The mission of the Optentia Research Focus Area is to develop and organise knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with specific interest in the African context. The research programme utilises the inputs from various disciplines in the social sciences, including Psychology, Industrial/Organisational Psychology, Human Resource Management, Educational Psychology, Sociology, Educational Sciences, Employment Relations, and Social Work.

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Research Day: Cultivating Humanity - 26 September 2018

Call for abstracts and registration
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Recent news

The talent fallacy: Why grit is more important than potential

In 1997, Steven Hankin from the McKinsey institute, released a report which he called “the war for talent”. In this report it was argued that given globalisation and increased job mobility, most companies would have to...Read article

New extraordinary professor to investigate resilience during prestige lecture

The Optentia Research Day that has the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark abuzz with excitement, will welcome a familiar face “back home”. Prof Linda Theron, previously part of the uni...Read article

Embracing inclusiveness

At Optentia’s Science Sandwich meeting on Wednesday, 12 September 2018, Optentia participants discussed the topic of inclusiveness and how to promote inclusion on university level. Prof. Susanne Schwab, from the University o...Read article

Oxford expert to lecture at NWU’s Optentia

On 18 September 2018, Dr George Leeson, director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, will act as guest lecturer at the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Optenti...Read article

Newsletter, July 2018

Recent publications

September 2018

School principal support, and teachers’ work engagement and intention to leave: The role of psychological need satisfaction

In M. Coetzee, I.L. Potgieter, & N. Ferreira (Eds.), Psychology of retention: Theory, research and practice

August 2018

Hope, religiosity, and subjective well-being.

Journal of Psychology in Africa

Upcoming events



Presentation: Dr Emir Efendic
09:00-13:00; Workshop: Using R as a tool to analyze psychological da...



Statistics Study Group
11:00-12:00; Optentia Indaba. Topic: Bayesian analyses

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