Psychology research scientist, Yale University

Susan Rivers, Ph.D., is deputy director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a research scientist in the Department of Psychology. She received her B.A. from Skidmore College and her M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale. Susan’s research draws from social and health psychology to examine the conditions that promote and impede healthy living across the lifespan. Her primary research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in effective social and intrapersonal functioning.
With Marc Brackett, Susan created the RULER model of emotional intelligence, which posits that teaching children to recognize, understand, label, express, and regulate emotions promotes positive youth development. She is currently testing the tenets of this model in classrooms worldwide.
Other questions that Susan addresses in her research include: In what contexts does emotional intelligence contribute to social and personal functioning (e.g., at work, school, home, in same-sex or mixed sex interactions)? Do emotional skills protect youth from engaging in behaviors that put their health and well-being at risk? Is the ability to regulate emotions a general skill (applicable to all emotions), or one that varies depending on the type of emotion being regulated (anger, sadness, shame, guilt)? Newer research is looking at how virtual reality systems can be created to help individuals develop emotional skills.
Susan is the co-author of many scholarly articles and papers addressing the significance of emotional intelligence in effective functioning.


  • –present
    Psychology research scientist, Yale University