Tom Johnson Ph.D.

Tom Johnson


Degree: Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri

Research Interests/Specialties:    Primary interests:  Social and Applied Psychology of Music, Positive Psychology, History of Psychology; Secondary intersts:  Social and Cultural Influences on Substance Use, Cognitive and Constructivist Therapy.

Joined ISU: August, 1993

Dr. Johnson interests include music, theater, history, and making the world a better place.  Dr. Johnson got his BA in Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Missouri in 1993.  He also studied music at Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin, and Indiana State University.  He did his clinical psychology internship at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, and has worked as a clinician in community mental health and correctional settings.

Dr. Johnsons' current research focuses on:  1) spiritual and positive Psychological experiences (e.g., flow, awe, etc.) in response to music listening and performance; 2) clinical implications of music preferences (e.g., consequences of listening to sad music, etc.); and 3) behavioral and ideological aspects of music based subcultures (e.g., drug use, utopian thinking, concepts of gender, etc.).

Most of his previous research at ISU focused on social and motivational influences on substance use in college students, including the role of drinking games in socializing students into heavy drinking and the role of religiousness and spirituality as protective factors against the development of alcohol use and problems.  He is also interested in the role of drugs in various music "scenes" and is currently working with a student studying drug use in the Electronic Dance Music scene in the U.S.  His research has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Centers for Disease Control.  In April 2005 he received the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award, Indiana State University's highest award for research and Creative activities. 

As a composer, Dr. Johnson has written works for jazz band, jazz combos, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and choir as well as numerous folk and rock songs and two full length musicals.  He has also written several short plays and has two plays and a book in progress.  He performs "irregularly" on keyboards, trumpet, and guitar.

Dr. Johnson teaches courses in Cognitive Therapy, Psychology of Music, History of Psychology, Positive Psychology and Theories of Addiction.  He has also had the privilege of being able to teach in ISU's summer program in London on "Sex, Drugs, and Rock & roll:  Drug Cultures in the US and the UK."

    Web Pages:

Soundcloud (audio recordings of compositions):



Haynes, W.C.; Van Tongeren, D.R.; Aten, J., Davis, E.B.; Davis, D.E.; Hook, J.N.; Boan, D.; & Johnson, T. (in press).  the meaning as a buffer hypothesis:  Spiritual meaning attenuates the effect of disaster-related resource loss on posttraumatic stress.  Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Huesmann, L.R.; Boxer, P.; Moceri, D.C.; Bushman, B.J.; Johnson, T.J; O'Brien, M.; Hamburger, M. (in press).  The relation of violent and criminal behavior in adolescents and young adults to childhood habitual exposure to media violence.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Johnson, T.J. (2013).  Addiction and the search for the sacred:  Religion, spirituality, and the origins and treatment of substance use disorders.  In K.I. Pargament; A. Mahoney &E.P. Shafranske (Eds.); APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion and Spirituality (Vol 2):  An applied psychology of religion and spirituality, pp. 297-317.  Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association.

Johnson, T.J., & Kristeller, J.L. (2013).  Spirituality and addiction.  In P.M. Miller (Ed.), Comprehensive Addictive Behaviors and Disorders,Volume I, pp. 283-291.  Oxford, UK:  Elsevier.

Kristeller, J.L., Sheets, V., Johnson, T., & Frank, B. (2011).  Understanding religious and spiritual influences on adjustment to cancer:  Individual patterns and differences.  Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 34, 550-561.

Drerup, M.L., Johnson, T.J., & Bindl, S. (2011).  Mediators of the relationship between religiousness/spirituality and alcohol problems in an adult community sample.  Addictive Behaviors.

Johnson, T. J.,& Bennett, P. (2009). Faith based programs. In L. Cohen, F. L. Collins, A. M. Young, D. E. McChargue & T. R. Leffingwell (Eds.), The Pharmacology and Treatment of Substance Abuse: An Evidence based Approach (pp. 167-186). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Johnson, T. J. & Robinson, E. A. R., & (2008). Issues in measuring spirituality and religiousness in alcohol research. In M. Galanter & L. A. Kaskutis (Eds.), Recent developments in alcoholism (Volume 18): Research on Alcoholics Anonymous and Spirituality (pp. 167 - 186). New York: Springer.

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2008). Empirical Identification of Dimensions of Religiousness and Spirituality. Mental Health, Religion, & Culture, 11, 745 - 767.

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L. & Kristeller, J. (2008). Identifying Mediators of the Relationship Between Religiousness/Spirituality and Alcohol Use. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 69, 160 - 170.

Johnson, T. J. (2005). Goal theories of motivation as rigorous humanism. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 18, 311 - 325.

Johnson, T. J., Pfenninger, D., & Wenzel, M. (2005). Introduction to the Special Issue, Conversations on Rigorous Humanism: A tribute to Joseph Rychlak. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 18, 289 - 295.

Kristeller, J., & Johnson, T. J. (2005). Cultivating Loving-Kindness: A Two-Stage Model for the Effects of Meditation on compassion, Altruism and Spirituality. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 40, 391 - 407.

Johnson, T. J., Kristeller, J., Sheets, V. L. (2004). Religiousness and Spirituality in College Students: Separate Dimensions with Unique and Common Correlates. Journal of College and Character. Volume 5, Number 8.

Johnson, T. J., & Cohen, E. A. (2004). College students' reasons for not drinking and not playing drinking games. Substance Use and Misuse, 39, 1139 - 1162.

Johnson, T. J., & Sheets, V. L. (2004). Measuring College Students' Motives for Playing Drinking Games. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18, 91 - 99.

Johnson, T. J., & Stahl, C. (2004). Sexual experiences associated with drinking game participation. Journal of General Psychology, 131, 304 - 320.

Anderson, E. R., Herrmann, D., Yoder, C. Johnson, t., & Gennaro, R. (2003). Inferring the Mental Processes of Other People. Journal of Social Psychology, 143, 355 - 373.

Johnson, T.J. (2002). College students' self-reported reasons for why drinking games end. Addictive Behaviors, 27, 145 - 153.

Johnson, T. J. (2002). Folk drinking practices in the computer age: Drinking games and the internet. (In Russian). In R. M. Kulichenko (Ed.), Modern Technologies Used in Social Work and in Training Specialists at a University: Materials of International Scientific Conference(pp. 77 - 85). Tambov, Russia: TSU Press.

Johnson, T. J. (2001). Review of Introduction to Addictive Behaviors by Dennis R. Thombs and Psychological Theories of Drinking and Alcoholism by Kenneth E. Leonard and Howard T. Blaine. Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 29, 357 - 361.

Johnson, T. J., & Gennaro, R. J. (2001). Pragmatism and postmodernism: A review of Richard Rorty's Truth and Progress. [A review of the book: Truth and progress, Philosophical papers, Volume 3]. Journal of Constructive Psychology, 14, 65 - 76.

Johnson, T. J., & Cropsey, K. L. (2000). Sensation seeking and drinking game participation in heavy drinking college students. Addictive Behaviors, 25, 109 - 116.

Johnson, T. J., Pfenninger, D. T., & Klion, R. E. (2000). Constructing and deconstructing transitive diagnosis. In R. A. Neimeyer & J. D. Raskin (Eds.). Constructions of Disorder (pp. 145 - 174). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Johnson, T. J., Hamilton, S., & Sheets, V. L. (1999). College students self-reported reasons for playing drinking games. Addictive Behaviors, 24, 279 - 286.

Johnson, T. J., & DiLorenzo, T. M., (1998). Social information processing biases in depressed and nondepressed college students. Social Behavior and Personality, 13, 517 - 530.

Johnson, T. J., & Johnson, D. L. (1998). Old tune in a new key [ A review of the book: Jamming: The art and discipline of business creativity]. Praxis Review, 2:1.

Johnson, T. J., Wendel, J., & Hamilton, S. (1998). Social anxiety, alcohol expectancies, and drinking game participation. Addictive Behaviors, 23, 65 - 79.

Sarapata, M., Herrmann, D., Johnson, T., & Aycock, R., (1998). The role of head injury in cognitive functioning, emotional adjustment and criminal behavior. Brain Injury, 12, 821 - 842.

Kristeller, J. & Johnson, T. J. (1997). Women who smoke: Health effects and smoking cessation. In J. Rosenfeld (Ed.), Women's Health: A Text for Primary Providers (pp. 93 - 116). Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.

Cowan, N., Day, L., Saults, S., Keller, T. A., Johnson, T., & Flores, L. (1992). The role of verbal output time in the effects of work length on immediate memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 31, 1 -17.

Department of Psychology