Todd B. Kashdan is a writer, public speaker, and professor of psychology at George Mason University. He is director of the Well-Being Laboratory at George Mason University. His research explores why people suffer, with an emphasis on the transition from normal to pathological anxiety. Other research explores the nature of well-being, with an emphasis on the critical functions of curiosity, meaning and purpose in life, and psychological flexibility to human performance.
Todd B. Kashdan was born in New York. After graduating college, he conducted research with Dr. Arthur Aron at Stony Brook University on how to maintain passion in long-term relationships, and Dr. Jan Loney on how parents interact with children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Kashdan received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and attended the University at Buffalo, State University of New York where he received his Ph.D. in 2004. His graduate training began in 1998, coinciding with Martin Seligman's introduction of positive psychology during his American Psychological Association presidential address.
In his Well-Being Laboratory, Kashdan conducts research on how to foster and sustain happiness and meaning in life, strength use and development, stress and anxiety, mindfulness, social relationships, and self-regulation. His research explores the difference between people with normal anxiety from those suffering from anxiety disorders. Infrequent positive events, a lack of positive emotions, and an unwillingness to experience distressing emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations were found to be more relevant to the presence of emotional disorders than the intensity of felt anxiety. His other work focuses on neglected elements of fulfilling and successful living, including psychological strength use, meaning and purpose in life, and psychological flexibility.
Kashdan has written two books for the general public titled "The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why being your whole self - not just your “good” self - drives success and fulfillment" and "Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life", given a TEDx talk, writes regularly for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post,.
He was an associate editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Personality and Journal of Positive Psychology. He has given more than 300 national and international talks and published more than 175 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Kashdan received the American Psychological Association's 2013 Distinguished Scientific Early Career Award.
Kashdan was the subject of a May, 2020 Washington Post article regarding a sexual harassment investigation by George Mason University (GMU). The article details that in 2019 GMU chastised the professor in February 2019 for a “lack of appropriate professional behavior” and concluded he violated rules against sexual or gender-based harassment. GMU also dismissed his internal appeal to have the findings dismissed. He then filed suit in September, 2019 in federal court in Alexandria, alleging that GMU and its officials had run a flawed investigation, displaying bias against men, and violated his rights to due process and freedom of speech. But a federal judge sided with the university in an April 23 ruling that he lacks sufficient liberty interest. According to the lawsuit, Kashdan was barred from teaching graduate courses for two years and ordered to undergo sexual harassment prevention training. GMU spokesman Michael Sandler told The Washington Post the public university followed state rules that prohibit sharing personnel information. Two women who filed complaints with GMU in 2018 against Kashdan were interviewed as part of the Washington Post article and denied that they were friends and denied that any accuser was terminated from his lab.
- Todd B. Kashdan; Robert Biswas-Diener (October 2014). The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why being your whole self - not just your "good" self - drives success and fulfillment. Hudson Street Press. ISBN 978-1594631733.
- Todd Kashdan (21 April 2009). Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-166118-1.
- Kennon M. Sheldon; Todd B. Kashdan; Michael F. Steger (3 January 2011). Designing Positive Psychology: Taking Stock and Moving Forward: Taking Stock and Moving Forward. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-970626-6.
- Todd B. Kashdan; Joseph Ciarrochi (1 April 2013). Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology: The Seven Foundations of Well-Being. New Harbinger. ISBN 978-1-60882-339-0.