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Michael McDougall, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Psychology   |   Turock School of Arts and Sciences

Contact Information

Phone: 570-945-8485
Office location:
Harris Hall 303b

From the first time I stepped on campus I found Keystone to be incredibly welcoming and supportive. The campus is scenic in all seasons, which makes it a great place to spend your days. From a teaching perspective, I love the small class sizes because it really lets us get to know our students, their interests and what they want to achieve.

About Me

Prior to joining Keystone College in August 2017, I worked extensively in a range of settings including mental health and nonprofit, social care, applied forensic psychology research, sport psychology and more recently in organizational change consultancy. These are experiences that I have enjoyed immensely and that have considerably shaped my views on psychology and the way that I teach. I am an active researcher and my scholarly interests include team and organizational culture, elite sport environments, existential psychology and themes of identity, meaning, and choice.

Education – Degrees & Certifications


  • Ph.D. Sport Psychology (ABD), Liverpool John Moores University, England
  • MSc. Sport Psychology. Liverpool John Moores University, England
  • BSc. Psychology. The University of Stirling, Scotland
  • Sport Psychology
  • Theories of Personality
  • Theories of Clinical Counseling
  • Social Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Research Analysis
  • Senior Seminar
  • Qualitative Research Methods – Special Section

For the last five years, as my Ph.D. focus, I have been researching team and organizational culture and people’s experience of this within elite-professional sport environments. I have a growing portfolio of research in this area and my work has featured in peer-review journals such as The Sport Psychologist and Sport & Exercise Psychology Review.

At the heart of my research is an attempt to understand people in complex, performance-orientated contexts and the socio-cultural influences that surround and influence them. Given that culture is so central to human experience, my research converges on and explores a number of themes, including personal and social identity, collectivism/individualism, ideas of community, choice and freedom.

Despite my love of psychology, I increasingly consider myself a broadly trained social scientist and accent heavily from philosophy, anthropology, cultural psychology and organizational theory to ground and develop my ideas.

View My ResearchGate profile

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • McDougall, M., & Ronkainen, N. (2019). Organisational culture is not dead…yet: A response to Wagstaff and Burton-Wylie. Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, 15, 13-19.
  • McDougall, M., Nesti, M., Richardson, D., & Littlewood., M. (2017). Emphasising the culture in culture change: Examining current perspectives of culture and offering some alternative ones. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 13(1), 47-61.
  • McDougall., M., Nesti, M., & Richardson, D. (2015). The challenges of sport psychology delivery in elite and professional sport: Reflections from experienced sport psychologists. The Journal of Sport Psychology, 29, 265-277. DOI:
  • Tahtinen, R., Tikkanen, O., McDougall, M., Halldorson, V., Feddersen, N., Mitchell, L., Thomas, L., Ronkainen, N. J. (2019). Craftsmanship: A novel approach for exploring meaningfulness of sport. European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) Congress. Muenster, Germany. (presentation).
  • Tahtinen, R., McDougall, M., Tikkanen, O., Feddersen, N., Mitchell, L., Thomas, L., Ronkainen, N. J. (2019). Reflection and brooding rumination as predictors of athletes’ depressive symptoms. European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) Congress. Muenster, Germany. (presentation).
  • McDougall, M. (2019). Captain Cook, leaking ships and organizational culture. Faculty colloquium. Keystone College.
  • McDougall, M. (2018). Band-Aid’s don’t work: Challenging traditional team building and conflict practices. Keystone Professional Day. Keystone College.
  • McDougall, M. (2018). Three paradigms for understanding organizational culture: Narratives from elite sport. In, Ronkainen, N.J, McDougall, M., Feddersen, N., & Mi Lee, S. Going beyond what is shared in the culture(s) of sport: An invitation to interdisciplinary dialogue.(symposium). International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, Vancouver, Canada.
  • McDougall, M., & Nesti, M. (2018). Challenging organizational culture myths in sport psychology. International Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, Vancouver, Canada. (poster presentation)
  • McDougall, M. (2018). Teaching Sport Psychology and Anxiety Management by Encouraging Students to Become their Own Sport Psychologist. National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, St Pete Beach, USA. (poster presentation)
  • McDougall, M. (2016). Putting some culture back into culture change: Time to ask what culture is and not only what it can do for us. North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA), Montreal, Canada. (poster presentation)
  • McDougall, M. (2013). Relationships, congruence and culture in high-performance sport. Coaching Matters, The University of Stirling, Scotland.
  • McDougall, M. (2013). The challenges of sport psychology delivery in elite and professional sport: Reflections from leading sport psychologists. Scottish Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Edinburgh, Scotland.

MSc distinction: Highest awardable grade in a UK masters degree.