Katariina Salmela-Aro

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2018/2019
discipline Psychology
Full Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Helsinki, Chair of the Personality and Work Psychology Sector at the University of Jyväskylä

Research project

Dynamics of Optimal Learning Moments


In this research, I aim to identify the dynamics of personalized optimal learning moments using new advanced technology aiming to identify and promote optimal learning moments. I am particularly interested in the role of new technology, how to optimize learning using new technology whether it occurs in informal settings or in the more formal settings of schools and family.


The aim is to examine more in detail the optimal learning moments, the role of different promoting and hindering emotions, and related social context, their biomarkers to examine embodied optimal learning. Besides personalized individual optimal learning moments, I am interested in identifying the joint shared optimal learning moments by using the new social sensors. I aim to examine also the role of future learning skills, in terms of socio-emotional skills, creativity and critical thinking skills, global skills and their changes. I will also examine the role of new interventions in terms of growth mindset and utility value promoting optimal learning moments.

The data was be collected mainly during the year 2017-18 so it is ready to be analysed during the term 2018-19. In addition, I plan to work on three special issues, (i) one focusing on digitalization, (ii) one on identity and (iii) one on immigration during the residence.


Consequently, in line with the IAS’s mission, my mission is to boost the science of excellence and also train and mentor future leading researchers, and facilitate better understanding and discourse with stakeholders on how to equip children for mastering the challenges presented by the 21st century.



Katariina Salmela-Aro is Full Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Helsinki, Chair of the Personality and Work Psychology Sector at the University of Jyväskylä. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Helsinki.


Selected publications


'Immigrant Status, Gender, and School Burnout in Finnish lower Secondary School Students: A Longitudinal Study', with S. Read et al., International Journal of Behavioral Development, vol. 42, no. 2, 2018, pp. 225-236.


'Partners of Nulliparous Women with Severe Fear of Childbirth: A Longitudinal Study of Psychological Well-being', with E. L. Ryding et al., Birth, vol. 45, no. 1, 2018,  pp. 88-93.


'The Role of Daily Autonomous and Controlled Educational Goals in Students' Academic Emotion States: An Experience Sampling Method Approach', with E. Ketonen et al., Learning and Instruction, vol. 53, 2018, pp. 10-20.


Youth and Migration: What Promotes and What Challenges Their Integration?, with F. Motti-Stefanidi (eds), Special issue: European Psychologist, vol. 23, no. 1, Hogrefe, Göttingen, 2018.


'The Dark Side of Internet Use: Two Longitudinal Studies of Excessive Internet Use, Depressive Symptoms, School Burnout and Engagement Among Finnish Early and Late Adolescents', with K. Upadyaya et al., J Youth Adolescence, vol. 46, 2017, pp. 343-357.



junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Collegium Helveticum
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Collegium Helveticum
discipline Philosophy
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Collegium Helveticum
discipline Philosophy
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Collegium Helveticum
discipline Sociology