Frank Martela
Assistant Professor
University of Helsinki

Related Research Interests

My primary research topics are positive relationships at work, meaningful work, and intrinsic motivation. Currently I am working on three related research projects:

Firstly, I have been looking at compassion and caregiving in the caring relations between nurses and residents in a nursing home. I have been looking especially at how high-quality caring connections emerge through the mutual and mainly implicit engagement between both participants.

Secondly, I have been looking at prosocial motivation and how it relates to the three basic psychological needs in self-determination theory. My hypothesis is that the need for contribution – the need to have a positive impact in the lives of other people – could be an intrinsic and innate source of motivation.

Thirdly, I have been doing exploratory work on the topic of meaningful work trying to conceptualize the essential elements of what makes work, and life more generally, meaningful.