Quick introduction. I was born in Vietnam, and came to the United States for study when I was 15. I never anticipated staying in school this long, but thanks to all my mentors who have offered tremendous supports, I find myself asking more questions than I can ever find answers for. So here I am. 

On this page, you will find all the information about my current projects and published works. My current research mainly focuses on observing people's experiences when spending time alone and understanding individual and contextual factors that predict the quality of their solitude.

Methodological approach

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. 

If my research sparks interest in you, please email me. Check out my CV here.

Thank you for visiting my website. 

Thuy-vy T. Nguyen
Assistant Professor

Quantitative Social Psychology

University of Durham

Donor of B. H. Nguyen Fund at CAF America






Doctor of Philosophy



Master Degree



Bachelor's Degree






Nguyen, T. T., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2018). Solitude as an approach to affective self-regulation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44(1), 92-106. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167217733073
Click here to access reprint

Click here to read lay summary

Nguyen, T. T, Werner, K. M., & Soenens, B. (2019). Embracing me-time: Motivation for solitude during transition to college. Motivation and Emotion, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-019-09759-9
Click here to access preprint
Click hear to read lay summary

Nguyen, T. T., Weinstein, N., & Ryan, R. (2020). The Possibilities of Aloneness and Solitude: Developing an Understanding Framed through the Lens of Human Motivation and Needs. In press at the 2nd Edition of the Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone (Edited by Robert J. Coplan, Julie C. Bowker, and Larry Nelson), to be published by Wiley-Blackwell Press.

Click here to access preprint


Time alone (chosen or not) can be a chance to hit the reset button

by Thuy-vy Nguyen at Aeon Magazine

Why you should find time to be alone with yourself

by Micaela Marini Higgs at the New York Times

How solitude can help regulate your mood

by Colin Dwyer at NPR Life Kit

The deactivation effect: What 15 minutes device-free solitude does to your emotions

by Christian Jarrett at BPS Research Digest

Why we all should be spending more time alone

by Shelby Lorman at Business Insider UK

Here's how 15 minutes of device-free solitude can affect your emotions

by A. Pawlowski at Today.com

La littérature, source d'empathie et de cohésion sociale

by Massimo Salgaro and Adrian van der Weel at Le Point