Photo: J Routledge

        Photo: J Routledge


"All animals fight for survival, but humans uniquely fight for significance. We don't just want to live, we want lives that matter."

Dr. Clay Routledge is an author, psychological scientist, and professor. He studies basic psychological needs and how these needs influence wellbeing, physical health, and intergroup relations.Much of his research focuses on the need for meaning in life and the need to belong.

He has published over 90 scholarly papers, co-edited a book on the psychology of meaning, and authored the book Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource. He was a contributing author for the books The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead, Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, and Star Trek Psychology: The Mental Frontier and the lead writer for the TED-Ed animated lesson Why Do We Feel Nostalgia? His new book on the psychology of supernatural beliefs will be released in early 2018.

Dr. Routledge’s work has been featured by many media outlets such as The New York Times, CBS News, ABC News, BBC News, CBC News, CNN, MSNBC, Men’s Health, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. Dr. Routledge writes a popular online column for Psychology Today called More Than Mortal. He also regularly writes about how psychology informs current issues and about problems in higher education and scholarly research related to ideological bias and a lack of viewpoint diversity. His writing on these topics has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American. Dr. Routledge frequently serves as a guest expert for national and international radio programs and podcasts.

His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, John Templeton Foundation, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

You can follow him on Twitter @clayroutledge

Academic Appointments & Education

Professor, North Dakota State University, (2016 - Present)

Associate Professor, North Dakota State University (2013 - 2016)

Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University (2007 - 2013)

Lecturer, University of Southampton, UK (2006 - 2007)

Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Southampton, UK (2005 - 2006)

PhD, University of Missouri (2005)

MA, University of Missouri (2003)

Bachelor of Arts, Missouri Southern State University (1999)