Faculty Profile

Tom Carpenter

Thomas Carpenter

Associate Professor of Psychology

Phone: 206-281-2916
Office: Marston 119

Education: BS, Seattle Pacific University, 2004; MA, Baylor University, 2012; PhD, Baylor University, 2015. At SPU since 2014.

Dr. Tom Carpenter’s areas of expertise include personality-social psychology, research methods, and statistics. His teaching focuses on introductory and advanced research methods and statistics in psychology as well as social and personality psychology.

Dr. Carpenter’s research focuses on our hypocritical human nature: our propensity to ignore our overt preferences and standards and to transgress against ourselves and others. One line of research in this area focuses on implicit bias, the impulsive thoughts that can undermine our higher reasoning. Dr. Carpenter has developed new software methods for running the Implicit Association Test (IAT) using online survey software (read more here:

A second line of research focuses on guilt, shame, and self-forgiveness, specifically focusing on the functions of ‘guilt-proneness’ and ‘shame-proneness’ as well as associations with the general ability to forgive the self. Finally, Dr. Carpenter has conducted research related to his area of teaching (statistics education).

​Selected publications

Carpenter, T. P. & Kirk, R. E. (2017). Are psychology students getting worse at math? Trends in the math skills of psychology statistics students across 21 years. Educational Studies, 43(3).

Carpenter, T. P., Tignor, S. M., Tsang, J., & Willett, A. (2016). Dispositional self-forgiveness, guilt- and shame-proneness, and the roles of motivational tendencies. Personality and Individual Differences, 98, 53–61.

Carpenter, G.S., Carpenter, T.P., Kimbrel, N. A., Flynn, E. J., Pennington, M. L., Cammarata, C., … Gulliver, S. B. (2015). Social support, stress, and suicidal ideation in firefighters. American Journal of Health Behavior, 39, 191–196.

Carpenter, T. P., Carlisle, R. D., & Tsang, J. (2014). Tipping the scales: Conciliatory behavior and the morality of self-forgiveness. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9, 389–401.

Tsang, J., Carpenter, T. P., Roberts, J. A., Frisch, M.B., & Carlisle, R.D. (2014). Why are materialists less happy? The role of gratitude and need satisfaction in the relationship between materialism and life satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 64, 62–66.

Carpenter, T.P., Laney, T., & Mezulis, A. (2012). Religious coping, stress, and depressive symptoms among adolescents: A prospective study. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 4, 19–30.

Carpenter, T.P., & Marshall, M.A. (2009). An examination of religious priming and intrinsic religious motivation in the moral hypocrisy paradigm. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48, 386–393.

Please view Dr. Carpenter’s CV (PDF) for additional publication.

Why I Teach at SPU

Thomas Carpenter, Assistant Professor of Psychology

“I teach at SPU because of the opportunities for students. It is rare to find a school so focused on students’ academic, personal, and spiritual growth as well as their professional development. SPU is a great place to grow, study, and learn together.”