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Stacey MacKinnon

BSc, MSc, PhD
Associate Professor
(902) 566-0402
Memorial Hall, 206
BSc (Calgary)
MSc (Calgary)
PhD (Calgary)


My research currently focuses on curiosity and inquiry. I am particularly interested in understanding how curiosity and inquiry can help promote investment and ownership of learning and more meaningful engagement in both the classroom and in our day to day interactions with others. In addition, I am exploring the possibility that curiosity and may be important pieces of the resilience puzzle both in the face of both minor set-backs in everyday life and major tragedies.  In these instances where risk and trust are involved, an individual, a relationship and society more generally may benefit from forgiveness, and I believe curiosity and inquiry may help achieve that often difficult goal. In order to enhance our understanding of these important social phenomena, I bring the best of both quantitative and qualitative inquiry to my research by using mixed methodology approaches wherever possible.

Specific Research Interests:

  • Curiosity
  • Inquiry
  • Resiliency
  • Forgiveness
  • Trust
  • Risk

Current Research Projects:

  • MacKinnon, S. & Dolphin, O. Going Beyond Resilience: Learning to Thrive Over the Course of Four Years of Undergraduate Study
  • Boyle, S. & MacKinnon, S. The Barriers to Curiosity: Exploring the Lived Experience
  • MacLeod, S., MacKinnon, S. & MacDonald, R. Transformational Learning Experiences in “The Curiosity Project”
  • MacKinnon, S. & Coady, T. How can I forgive myself? Exploring barriers to self-forgiveness in real-life transgressions
  • MacKinnon, S.L. Forgiveness and resiliency: A multi-level model of interpersonal forgiveness. 
  • MacKinnon, S.L. Curiosity as a Roadmap to Forgiveness and Peace in Troubled Times


  • MacKinnon, S. L. & Boyle, S.L. (under review). Speed Bumps or Road Blocks? Students’ Perceptions of Barriers to Learning & Developing Academic Resilience. Proceedings of the Associate of Atlantic Universities Teaching Showcase.
  • MacKinnon, S. L. (2016). “The Curiosity Project”: Re-igniting the Desire to Inquire Through Intrinsically-Motivated Learning and Mentorship. Journal of Transformative Learning, 4(1).
  • MacKinnon, S. L. (2016). Invited contributor to the “Pathways to Peace: Training the Trainers” summit, hosted by the Mattie JT Stepanek Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
  • MacKinnon, S. L. (2015). Invited attendee to the “Students Just Aren’t Asking Questions” international workshop hosted by the Right Question Institute of Harvard, Boston, MA.
  • MacKinnon, S. L. (2014). Deception and Trust. In Timothy R. Levine (Ed) Encyclopedia of Lying and Deception (pp. 260-262). New York: Sage.
  • MacKinnon, S., Silva-Opps, M, Sullivan, N., Starkman, C., Ralling, A., McIntosh, E., Mills, C, & Clowater, K. (2014). The Curiosity Project: The Benefits and Challenges of Creating Transformational Learning Experiences Through Intrinsic Motivation and Writing in Arts and Science Faculties. Workshop conducted at the Association of Atlantic Universities Teaching Showcase, Sydney, NS..
  • MacKinnon, S. L. & Boon, S.D. (2012). Protect the individual or protect the relationship? A Dual-focus Model of Indirect Risk Exposure, Trust, and Caution. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 29(2), 262-283
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