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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Thuy-vy Nguyen

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 47054
Room number: L76

Contact Dr Thuy-vy Nguyen (email at

Research Profile

Research interests:

My current research mainly focuses on observing people's experiences when spending time alone and understanding personality and contextual factors that predict the quality of their solitude.

I mostly use experimental and diary study design to investigate my research questions. My most often go-to paradigm is to have participants sit quietly by themselves for a brief period of time (15 minutes) and observe how they react to that experience. I am looking to explore other data collection methods besides self-reported measures. Specifically, I am exploring options to use eye tracking to understand attention in solitude and physiological measurements to look at changes in parasympathetic responses.


My doctoral training is in motivational science with a focus on Self-Determination Theory (SDT). SDT focuses on integration of behavioral values and satisfaction of the basic psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence as the basis for sustainable behavioural changes and wellness.

Research Groups

Department of Psychology

Research Interests

  • Solitude
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Well-being

Selected Publications

Journal Article

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