Ross Oakes Mueller

When he's not in the classroom, Dr. Oakes Mueller researches the connections between gratitude and psychology.

For assistant professor of psychology, Ross Oakes Mueller, Ph.D., the relationship and interplay between faith and psychology has always been intriguing.

He explored the connection between morality and psychology for his graduate dissertation at Fuller Theological Seminary, and now introduces the subject to students in his favorite class, Moral and Cultural Psychology.

The best part of his job, he said, is being able to work closely with students in classes and on in-depth research studies.

During the 2009-2010 academic year, Oakes Mueller joined with professor of psychology G. Michael Leffel, Ph.D. and several psychology students to study the connection between gratitude and a person’s capability to love and show compassion. They wanted “to see whether changes in students’ levels of overall gratitude were related to changes in their abilities to care for others.”

The study did, in fact, suggest a link between gratitude and compassion; an increase in gratitude levels was related to an increase in a person’s ability to care for and love others.

About the research, Oakes Mueller said, “You can’t study gratitude and not end up more grateful for things in your life.” On his personal list of things to be grateful for is his family, including his two-year-old son, Nolan, and newborn son, Nash Allen.