Robert O. Pihl

Academic title(s): 

Professor Emeritus


Contact Information:


Office: 2001 McGill College, 557
Phone: 514.398.6096


Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology
2001 McGill College, 7th floor
Montreal, QC
H3A 1G1


Robert O. Pihl

Research Areas:

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology

Research Summary:

Prof. Pihl's research coalesces around the perspective that differential susceptibility/etiology for a mental disorder is a function of variability in different motivational systems.  Work is ongoing in four areas, a developmental study of a birth cohort of twins, investigations of populations at risk for drug abuse, the assessment of drug effects, and clinical interventions with drug abusing populations.

Selected References:

Morisano, D., Hirsh, J., Peterson, J., Pihl, R., & Shore, B. (2010). Personal goal setting inproves academic performance in university students. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 255-264.

Flanders, J., Simard, M., Paquette, D., Parent, S., Vitaro, F., Pihl, R., & Séguin, J.  (2010).  Rough-and-Tumble play and the development of physical aggression and emotion regulation: A five year follow-up study. Journal of Family Violence, 25, 357-367.

Pihl, R.O. (2010). Mental disorders are brain disorders: You think? Canadian Psychologist, 51, 40-49.

Pihl, R.O. (2009).The etiology of substance abuse. In P. Blaney & T. Millan (Eds.)  Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology 2nd Ed.  (pp. 253-279): Oxford Press, New York.

Pihl, R.O., & Sutton, R. (2009). Drugs and aggression readily mix; so what now? Substance Use and Misuse, 44, 1188-1203.

Nantel-Vivier, A., Kokko, K., Pastorelli, C., Gerbino, M., Paciello, M., Pihl, R.O., Vitaro, F., Cote, S., Caprara, G. & Tremblay, R. (2009). Prosocial development from childhood to adolescence:  A multi-informant perspective with Canadian and Italian longitudinal studies.  ournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, (5)  590-598.

Mottillo, S., Filion, K., Belisle, P., Joseph, L., Gervais, A., O’Loughlin, J., Paradis, G., Pihl, R.O., Pilote, L., Rinfret, S., Tremblay, M., & Eisenberg, M. (2009). Behavioral interventions for smoking cessation:  A metal-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  European Heart Journal, 30, 718-730.

Brunelle, C., Douglas, R., Pihl, R.O. & Stewart, S. (2009). Personality and substance use disorders in female offenders: A matched controlled study. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 472-476.

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