James Floman, PhD
Research & Publications
Dr. Floman has three core research streams: 1) The assessment of dynamic social-affective processes (i.e., developing and validating EI and well-being measurement tools); 2) EI, mindfulness, and well-being training (i.e., developing, optimizing, and scaling EI and well-being-enhancement interventions for real-world applications); and 3) Affective neuroscience (studying mental training-induced changes in ‘emotional brain’ function and structure). Dr. Floman’s research aims to foster healthy developmental trajectories in adults by drawing on innovations in affective science from psychology, education, and neuroscience. Dr. Floman can be reached at email@example.com.
Extensive Research Description
I am an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI) whose mission is
to use the power of emotions to create a healthier, and more equitable, innovative, and compassionate
society. The Division of Research at the YCEI has an extensive $12.5 million portfolio of research projects
ranging from seed funding to large scale basic and applied research. With the support of my talented team (associate
research scientist, postdoctoral associate, research assistant, and student RAs), I am responsible for leading two
empirical research streams at the Center, as well as co-leading a project developing mindfulness curricula for
1. I am developing and validating a novel, multi-dimensional, and ecologically valid measure of social,
emotional, and eudaimonic well-being (i.e., psychological well-being) for adults, with a special focus
on educator and college student well-being. As part of this work, I am also co-developing and validating a new suite of
tools to assess emotion skills for basic and applied research, specifically performance-based ability
measures of emotion perception, understanding, and regulation. These tools will be used to guide
efforts to support the social-emotional well-being of U.S. adults, with a specific interest in human
service professionals, including preK-12 educators and doctors, and college students. In particular, the ecological
validity and parsimony of these tools will allow them to be used in experience sampling studies, randomized
controlled trials, and national longitudinal studies to facilitate more psychometrically rigorous
research on psychological well-being among professionals with high social-emotional labor jobs and college students.
2. I am also leading two large-scale national longitudinal studies examining well-being and resilience
dynamics among racially diverse U.S. educators. I am investigating the role of meditative practices,
compassion and social connectedness, as well as emotion regulation, leadership and school
climate, in buffering educators against the deleterious and prevalent impacts of chronic mental
stress. The goal of this research stream is to more precisely classify key protective and risk factors
underlying rapid increases in educator burnout and turnover, which disproportionately impact the
quality of education in high-poverty schools serving historically disadvantaged students. Insights
from this project will be translated directly to inform and optimize social-psychological and school-based
interventions designed to promote well-being and sustain resilience among educators.
3. Partnering with a seasoned educator who effectively taught contemplative practices in elementary
schools for over two decades, I am creating a set of mindfulness and compassion-based lessons to
support educator health and well-being. Specifically, I am integrating core principles of mindfulness
(e.g., present-centered attention, open awareness) and compassion (e.g., perspective taking,
common humanity) from meditative traditions into an emotion science-grounded evidence-based
preK-12 social-emotional learning (SEL) program called RULER (Recognizing, Understanding,
Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions). RULER reaches thousands of educators and about
2 million students worldwide, with continuous growth across diverse global school communities.
In my prior work – with the award of a Varela Grant from the Mind and Life Institute – I conducted an
online randomized controlled trial (RCT). In this RCT, I examined the effects of meditation training
on K-12 educator emotion skills, compassion, and prosocial behavior compared to an active music
relaxation control group. With support from Drs. Kim Schonert-Reichl and Patricia Jennings –
both world leaders in contemplative education research – I ran this rigorous contemplative practice RCT.
At present, we are working on a manuscript from the project on the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy
of online-based meditation training for educators who may benefit greatly from such scalable trainings. From this
project, we also found statistically and theoretically significant differential effects of mindfulness and
loving-kindness meditation on educator prosocial behavior that we are writing up for publication.
Anxiety Disorders; Burnout, Professional; Emotions; Mental Health; Psychology, Applied; Stress, Psychological; Mood Disorders; Personal Autonomy; Resilience, Psychological; Emotional Intelligence; Mindfulness; Compassion Fatigue; Burnout, Psychological; Posttraumatic Growth, Psychological; Emotional Regulation
- Emotional Bias in Classroom Observations: Within-Rater Positive Emotion Predicts Favorable Assessments of Classroom QualityFloman J, Hagelskamp C, Brackett M, Rivers S. Emotional Bias in Classroom Observations: Within-Rater Positive Emotion Predicts Favorable Assessments of Classroom Quality Journal Of Psychoeducational Assessment 2016, 35: 291-301. DOI: 10.1177/0734282916629595.
- The influence of teacher emotion on grading practices: a preliminary look at the evaluation of student writingBrackett M, Floman J, Ashton-James C, Cherkasskiy L, Salovey P. The influence of teacher emotion on grading practices: a preliminary look at the evaluation of student writing Teachers And Teaching 2013, 19: 634-646. DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2013.827453.