Michael A. Kisley, Ph.D.

Headshot of Michael Kisley.

Michael A. Kisley, Ph.D.

COLU 4013
Sabbatical Spring 2024

Professional Summary

Dr. Kisley joined the UCCS Psychology Department in 2002. Before becoming the Chairperson in 2014 - 2017, he served as the department's Director of Graduate Training for 5 years. Dr. Kisley teaches, conducts research and mentors graduate and undergraduate psychology students in their research and professional development. He was the Associate Dean for the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences from 2019-2021.


  • Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, 2000
  • M.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, 1994
  • B.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, 1992

Areas of Interest

Emotion beliefs, laypeople’s perspectives on emotion, emotional experience and regulation, meta-emotion, affect intolerance

The following recent scientific presentations provide an overview of the topics and types of projects my students and I are currently working on. *denotes a student supervisee

*Chung, E.J., & Kisley, M.A. (2023) The association between cultural identity, individualism, collectivism, and emotion beliefs. Society for Affective Science, annual meeting, Long Beach, CA.

Kisley, M.A., & Beblo, T. (2023) Permit or resist: Factor analysis and validation of the emotion acceptance questionnaire (EAQ). Society for Affective Science, annual meeting, Long Beach, CA.

*Abduljaber, J., & Kisley, M.A. (2023) Emotion beliefs mediate the effect of openness to experience on emotion regulation. Society for Affective Science, annual meeting, Long Beach, CA.

*Shulkin, J., & Kisley, M.A. (2022) Beliefs about emotion: An interaction between specificity of belief and valence of emotion. Society for Personality and Social Psychology, annual meeting, San Francisco.


Professor Kisley teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Emotion, Animal Psychology, Biopsychology, and Neuroscience for the UCCS Psychology Department.


  • PSY 1000 - General Psychology
  • PSY 1100 - The Profession of Psychology
  • PSY 3270 - Introduction to Biopsychology
  • PSY 4270 - Seminar in Biopsychology
  • PSY 4470 - Social Neuroscience
  • PSY 6120 - Neuroscience
  • PSY 6430 - Contemporary Issues in Psychology

Representative Publications


*Indicates a student author who was supervised by Dr. Kisley

Kisley, M.A., *Shulkin, J.R., *Meza-Whitlatch, M.V., & *Pedler, R.B. (2024) Emotion beliefs: Conceptual review and compendium. Frontiers in Psychology 14: 1271135. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1271135

*Harvey, A.M., & Kisley, M.A. (2023) Effects of emotion, emotional processing, and emotional tolerance on reasoning. Cognition & Emotion, Epub ahead of print: 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2023.2228539

Kneeland, E.T., & Kisley, M.A. (2023) Lay perspectives on emotion: Past, present, and future research directions. Motivation & Emotion, 47: 295-307. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11031-023-10015-4

Kisley, M.A., *Caudle, C.S., & *Harvey, A.M. (2019) Affect intolerance is associated with insecure attachment and reduced self-esteem in adults. Archives of Psychology 3: 1-21. https://www.archivesofpsychology.org/index.php/aop/article/view/121

Kisley, M.A. (2023) An evolutionary approach to emotion regulation. In L. Al-Shawaf & T.K. Shackelford (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolution and the Emotions. Oxford University Press.


Although scientists from different theoretical frameworks may disagree on exactly how to define emotion, there is nevertheless broad scientific consensus that emotions serve an important purpose in one’s life. However, many laypeople disagree with this idea, and instead consider emotions to be disruptive, foolish, draining, threatening, or useless. Such perspectives on emotions, often referred to as “emotion beliefs,” can have consequences for the well-being of the laypeople who hold them. In my lab we study these beliefs, including individual differences, functional consequences of specific beliefs including whether one accepts their emotions or instead fights against them, contributions of culture and personality to one’s emotion beliefs, and potential interventions aimed at changing one’s emotion beliefs, just to name a few topics.

If you would like to learn more, please refer to a review on “Lay perspectives on emotion” that I recently co-authored with Liz Kneeland of Amherst College. Here’s a direct link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11031-023-10015-4

Honors & Awards

  • UCCS College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, LAS Service Award 2021
  • University of Colorado System, Excellence in Leadership Program, 2015-16
  • Outstanding Faculty Member, PSI CHI & Psychology Club, 2013
  • Outstanding Research Award for the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 2013
  • Outstanding Teaching Award for the UCCS Campus, 2011
  • Outstanding Teaching Award for the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 2006

Representative & Recent Service/Leadership Roles

  • UCCS College of Letters, Arts & Sciences Associate Dean, 2019-2021
  • UCCS Psychology Department Chairperson, 2014-2017
  • UCCS Psychology Director of Graduate Training, 2009-2014
  • Served on several NIH Grant Review Study Sections including most recently the special emphasis panel on "Social Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics of Aging"
  • Served as ad hoc peer reviewer for more than 40 scientific journals

Curriculum Vitae