Welcome to the
Positive Organizational Psychology (POP) Lab

Dr. Charlotte Fritz

The Positive Organizational Psychology (POP) Lab is led by Dr. Charlotte Fritz, an Associate Professor in I-O Psychology at Portland State University.

About Dr. Fritz

Dr.Fritz Profile

Dr. Charlotte Fritz is an Associate Professor in Industrial / Organizational (I/O) Psychology and a faculty member within the Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) Graduate Training Program at Portland State University (PSU). She graduated with her Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from the University of Braunschweig, Germany, in 2005, held a position as Assistant Professor in I/O Psychology at Bowling Green State University from 2005 to 2009, and has been at PSU since 2009.

She has studied employees in a variety of industries and countries to better understand what keeps employees happy, healthy, engaged, and productive. Specifically, she examines the interplay between employee experiences at work and those outside of work. For example, how do experiences outside of work (e.g., sleep, mental disengagement from work, relaxation, or mastery experiences) during different types of work breaks (i.e., vacations, weekends, evenings) impact employees in the workplace? Which work experiences and practices impact employee even outside of work? How can employees be supported (e.g., by their supervisors or spouses) in recovery from work demands? How does replenishing energy outside of work impact employee well-being, engagement, and performance in the workplace?

Dr. Fritz’s research has been published in outlets such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. She serves on the editorial boards of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Occupational Health Science, and the Journal of Business and Psychology. She has received research funding from the Oregon Department of Corrections, the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (a NIOSH Center of Excellence), and the USDA Forest Service. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and The Oregonian.

You can view Dr.Fritz's PSU Faculty Profile here

View Faculty Profile

Topics of Study

We study a variety of topics relating to employee well-being and health. Below are some of our recent research projects.

Work Experiences and Well-being of Dual Earner Couples

Charlotte Fritz, YoungAh Park, and Brittnie R Shepherd

Building on past research on dual-earner couples we examined processes of crossover between partners. For example, we examined the extent to which the experience of incivility at work is linked to work rumination and insomnia in employees and their partners. We further studied how work-related technology demands can impact employees as well as their partners at home. In addition, we examined positive experiences that can mitigate some of the negative impact of work stressors. This research will help better understand how experiences of one employee can impact their own health and well-being as well as that of their partners.

Work Stress and Correctional Officer Well-being

Charlotte Fritz, Brittnie Shepherd, Leslie Hammer, & Frankie Guros

Employees in security-related occupations are expected to be alert and on guard at work in order to stay safe and complete their work tasks (e.g., police, military, corrections). They also have higher than average rates of problem drinking and burnout. In this project we developed a survey measure of work-related hypervigilance and examined links with employee well-being. We also studied ways to mitigate the impact of emotional work demands on work stress-related drinking. Specifically, we found that positive experiences outside of work can buffer against some of the negative outcomes for employees. Results from this study have helped better understand the unique work experiences of correctional officers and highlighted ways in which we may be able to intervene to improve their work and home lives.

Here’s what we have published from this project so far:

Fritz, C., Hammer, L. B., Guros, F., & Shepherd, B. R., & Maier, D. (2018). Always on alert: Relationships between work-related hypervigilance and employee outcomes. Occupational Health Science, 2, 67-82.

Reattachment to Work and Supervisor Outcomes

Charlotte Fritz, Dana Auten, & David Caughlin

After short and long work breaks it is important for employees to tune back into work to ensure high levels of task focus and work engagement. In this project we examined the links between reattaching (i.e., mentally reconnecting with work before actually engaging in work tasks) to work in the morning and employee outcomes throughout the workday. Specifically, our study focuses on supervisor outcomes such as vitality, task accomplishment, and positive leadership. Understanding how supervisors transition between work and nonwork domains can inform existing leadership training and development initiatives thereby fostering the well-being and work engagement of supervisors and their employees.

Mindfulness at Work and Employee Outcomes

Dana Auten and Charlotte Fritz

Mindfulness (focusing one’s awareness on the present moment with acceptance and non-judgment) has been found to be linked to a variety of positive outcomes for employees. Building on these findings we explored mindfulness at work from several angles. For example, we considered the extent to which mindfulness at work can impact the mental health of employees. We further empirically examined links between supervisor mindfulness and positive leadership.

Here’s what we have published from this project so far:

Auten, D., & Fritz, C. (2018). Mental health at work: How mindfulness aids in more ways than one. Organizational Dynamics. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2018.04.001

Recent Publications

Fritz, C. & Demsky, C. (in press). Nonwork time as individual resource building: A literature review and research agenda. In Burke, R. & Richardsen A. (Eds.). Creating psychologically healthy workplaces. Northampton: Edward Elgar.

Debus, M., Fritz, C., & Philipp M. (in press). A story of gains and losses: Intra-individual shifts in job characteristics and well-being when transitioning to a managerial role. Journal of Business and Psychology.

Fritz, C., Park, Y., & Shepherd, B. R. (in press). Workplace incivility ruins my sleep and yours: The costs of being in a work-linked relationship. Occupational Health Science.

Demsky, C. A., Fritz, C., Hammer, L. B., & Black, A. (in press). Workplace incivility and employee sleep: The role of rumination and recovery experiences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1037/ocp0000116.

Sonnentag, S., & Fritz, C. (2018). Recovery from work. In N. Anderson, D. S. Ones, H. K. Sinangil, & V. Chockalingam (Eds.). Handbook of industrial, work & organizational Psychology (pp. 471-482). London: Sage.

Auten, D., & Fritz, C. (2018). Mental health at work: How mindfulness aids in more ways than one. Organizational Dynamics. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2018.04.001

Shepherd, B. R., Fritz, C., Hammer, L., Guros, F., & Meier, D. (2018). Emotional demands and alcohol use in corrections: A moderated-mediation model. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Advance Online Publication. 10.1037/ocp0000114.

Fritz, C., Hammer, L. B., Guros, F., & Shepherd, B. R., & Maier, D. (2018). Always on alert: Relationships between work-related hypervigilance and employee outcomes. Occupational Health Science, 2,67-82. 

Park, Y., Fritz, C., & Jex, S. (2018). Daily cyber incivility and distress: The moderating roles of resources at work and home. Journal of Management, 44, 2535-2557.

Park, Y. & Fritz, C. (2015). Spousal recovery support, recovery experiences, and life satisfaction crossover among dual-earner couples. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100, 557-566.

Sonnentag, S., & Fritz, C. (2015). Recovery from job stress: The stressor-detachment model as an integrative framework. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36, 72-103.

Demsky, C. A., Ellis, A. M., & Fritz, C. (2014). Shrugging it off: Does psychological detachment mediate the relationship between workplace aggression and work-family conflict? Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19, 195-205.

Lam, C. F., Spreitzer, G. M., & Fritz, C. (2014). Too much of a good thing: Curvilinear effects of positive affect on proactive behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 530-546.

Sonnentag, S., Arbeus, H., Mahn, C., & Fritz, C. (2014). Exhaustion and lack of psychological detachment from work during off-job time: Moderator effects of time pressure and leisure experiences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19, 206-216.

Fritz, C., Ellis, A. M., Demsky, C. A., Lin, B. C., & Guros, F. (2013). Embracing work breaks: Recovering from stress. Organizational Dynamics, 42, 274-280.

Lin, B. C., Kain, J. M., & Fritz, C. (2013). Don’t interrupt me! An examination of the relationship between intrusions at work and employee well-being. International Journal of Stress Management, 20, 77-94.

To see more publications by Dr. Fritz, please visit her Google Scholar Page

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Current Graduate Students

Morgan Taylor

Morgan Taylor

Morgan Taylor is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan and received her B.A in Psychology from the University of South Florida (USF) in May. During her time at USF, she was a member of the Psychology Honors Program and completed an honors thesis examining moderators of the cyberloafing and job performance relationship. She is currently a first-year student in PSU’s Applied I-O Psychology Program and is interested in researching employee well-being topics, specifically psychological health, recovery from work, high quality connections, civility, and engagement in the workplace.

Brittnie Shepherd

Brittnie Shepherd

Brittnie is a 5th year doctoral student working with both Dr. Charlotte Fritz and Dr. Cynthia Mohr. Her research interests include vulnerable work populations, occupational health psychology, employee substance use, psychometrics, text analytics, and employee engagement. More specifically, she is interested in how to assess and support employee health and well-being in organizations, how to mitigate the impact of work demands on employee experiences and coping, and how experiences crossover domains and relationships. Her research has been published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and Occupational Health Science and she has worked on a number of research grants including the Study for Employment Retention of Veterans, the Safety and Health Improvement Program, and the Family and Safety Support in Corrections Pilot.

Dana Auten

Dana Auten

Dana is in her fourth year as an I-O graduate student at PSU. Her research interests are centered around occupational health psychology, specifically, recovery from work, the work-nonwork interface, and positive employee well-being. She has conducted research with Dr. Charlotte Fritz on various topics including mindfulness, supervisor-subordinate relationships, reattachment to work, positive leader behaviors, and proactivity. In addition to her research at PSU, Dana has spent time working for Limeade in Seattle, WA, where she contributed to major projects relating to employee burnout, recovery, and engagement. Dana also loves hiking, baking, watching movies, and traveling.

Lab Alumni

Allison M. Ellis, Ph.D.

Allison M. Ellis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Management and Human Resources

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Bing Chun Lin, Ph.D.

Bing Chun Lin, Ph.D.

Talent Acquisition Metrics & Analytics Team Leader

International Business Machines (IBM)

Frankie Guros, Ph.D.

Frankie Guros, Ph.D.

People Research Scientist


Caitlin Demsky, Ph.D.

Caitlin Demsky, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Management

Oakland University

Join the POP Lab

Undergraduate Students

Volunteering as an undergraduate research assistant is a great way to gain valuable research experience and develop new skills. Research experience is a key factor that can set you apart when applying to graduate programs. We expect undergraduate research assistants to have completed introductory statistics and research methods courses. If you are interested in working in the POP Lab, please contact Morgan Taylor at motaylo2@pdx.edu to see if there are any current research opportunities. 

Prospective Graduate Students

Note that Dr. Fritz will be accepting Ph.D. students for the 2019-20 academic year.

Prospective students are selected and recruited to work with one primary advisor. Therefore, we strongly encourage all applicants to review Dr. Fritz’s current research interests to determine fit before applying.

Please visit PSU’s Department Psychology page for more information about the PhD program in Applied Industrial Organizational Psychology.

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