Patrick Dwyer

Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies

Patrick Dwyer
University Hall, Suite 3000
301 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Social Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Minnesota
  • B.A., Psychology, Vassar College


Patrick Dwyer is an assistant professor of philanthropic studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He joined the faculty in 2017 after completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He earned his Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses broadly on motivation, emotion, and social action. Some of the questions that inspire his work are: Why do people help others, and when and why do they look the other way? What are the benefits of gratitude, and is it ever a bad idea to say “thanks”? And, how can psychology be used to promote sustainable behaviors, and to increase community involvement?

Dwyer’s conceptual perspective reflects both his graduate training in social psychology, which focused on the role of personal motivation and social influence in predicting behavior, and his postdoctoral training, which drew from the fields of affective science and positive psychology. He utilizes a variety of methods in his work, including experiments in the laboratory, online, and in the field, as well as cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.

Courses Taught


  • Donor Motivations & Engagement II


  • Donor Behavior in Major & Planned Giving
  • Institutional Fundraising
  • Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector (co-instructor with Dwight Burlingame)


  • A complete list of publications can be found on Patrick’s Google Scholar page.

Research Interests

  • Psychology of philanthropy
  • Human motivation
  • Social influence processes
  • Emotion and philanthropy
  • Experimental methods

Honors & Awards

  • Dissertation Research Award - University of California, Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center / John Templeton Foundation

Other Activities

Patrick serves as a reviewer for a variety of academic journals, including Basic and Applied Social Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, and Voluntas.