Dr. Scott I. Donaldson

Dr. Scott I. Donaldson

Senior Research Associate

University of Southern California


SCOTT I. DONALDSON is a Senior Researcher in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Scott completed his Postdoctoral Scholarship in Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and received his PhD in Psychology with a concentration in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods from Claremont Graduate University. He received an MS in Applied Psychology from the University of Southern California, and a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

His research uses quantitative methodologies, such as psychometric evaluation, meta-analysis, multitrait-multimethod analyses, and quantitative text analytics to research the intersection of health, data science, and well-being. He currently works in the USC Social Media Analytics Lab on a multi-year monitoring and evaluation grant funded by the California Department of Public Health in addition to other grants funded by the Regents of California.


  • Evaluation Science
  • Measurement
  • Well-Being
  • Health


  • Postdoctoral Scholar in Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement, 2021

    University of California, San Diego

  • PhD in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods, 2019

    Claremont Graduate University

  • MS in Applied Psychology, 2015

    University of Southern California

  • BA in Psychology, 2014

    University of California, Los Angeles

Statistical Programming Expertise

R Programming



Academic Experience


Senior Researcher

University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine

May 2021 – Present California

Adjunct Professor (Research Design and Methodology)

University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences

Jan 2020 – May 2021 California

Postdoctoral Scholar in Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement

University of California San Diego, Moores Cancer Center

Sep 2019 – May 2021 California

Adjunct Professor (Statistics & Research Methods)

Chapman University Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences

Aug 2018 – May 2019 California

Accenture Evaluation and Measurement Lead

Accenture Talent Innovation Research Lab

Feb 2018 – May 2019 California

Adjunct Professor (Statistics & Research Methods)

California State University, Los Angeles

Aug 2017 – May 2018 California

Evaluation Procedures Teaching Assistant

Claremont Graduate University

Feb 2017 – May 2018 California

Research and Jobs Coordinator

Claremont Graduate University

Jan 2017 – May 2018 California

Director of Oxbridge Seminar in Evaluation Science

Claremont Graduate University

Sep 2016 – May 2017 California

Lab Manager for the Positive Organizational Psychology Research Lab

Claremont Evaluation Center

Feb 2016 – May 2017 California

Research Objectives

Evaluating Health and Well-Being Programs

How can individual, workplace, and community-based health and well-being programs improve positive functioning and prevent lifestyle disease?

This research question spurred me to systematically review and meta-analyze over 20 years' worth of intervention research that examined positive functioning and performance outcomes (Donaldson et al., 2019). Across 6,027 employees representing 10 nations, I showed that five workplace interventions had a small positive effect on improving desirable outcomes, and a small to moderate effect on reducing undesirable outcomes. I also developed and validated my own scale of Positive Functioning at Work to contribute to the design and measurement of such interventions (Donaldson, 2019; Donaldson & Donaldson, 2021). The Positive Functioning at Work Scale provides a comprehensive measurement tool that can inform future workplace health promotion programs and interventions. It also predicts important performance outcomes, such as turnover intentions, job related affective well-being, plus individual, team, and organizational adaptivity, proactivity, and organizational proficiency.

Statistical Computing and Advanced Analytics in R

My research utilizes R to conduct cutting-edge methodologies, such as item response theory, factor analytic methods, social media data, multitrait-multimethod analyses, and interactive dashboards to improve health outcomes.

My doctoral dissertation evaluated the psychometric properties of Positive Functioning at Work using exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and multiple regression to establish incremental and criterion validity (Donaldson, 2019; Donaldson & Donaldson, 2021). Some of my other scale work includes validating a measure of imposter phenomenon in organizations (Lavelle, Donaldson, & Jones, in press). I am also interested in exploring the role of employee self-report and monomethod bias using multitrait-multimethod analyses. In sample of 220 coworker pairs, I found that positive functioning significantly predicted life satisfaction above and beyond self-report and mono-method bias (Donaldson et al., 2019). This was one of the first empirical studies to test Positive Functioning at Work beyond the sole use of self-reports, and illustrates that Positive Functioning can be a strong predictor of well-being. In my organizational consulting practice, I attempt to produce data-driven insights for my clients, some of which include companies such as Accenture. For example, I build data visualizations and analytic dashboards based on implementation and outcome intervention data so that human resource managers can easily use the information to make evidence-based decisions. My philosophy of practice is spring boarded on a storytelling narrative of data that makes findings digestible to clients that may not have a background in quantitative methodologies.

Current Projects

IPPA Work and Organizations

Bridging the Gap between Academia and Practice
IPPA Work and Organizations

Evaluation of the Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Program

Development of a Continuous Quality Improvement Process for a Statewide Youth Tobacco Education Program
Evaluation of the Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Program


Scott’s Rate My Professor

Research Design and Methodology - Teaching Evaluations

Spring 2017 - CSULA

Fall 2018 - Chapman University

Fall 2019 - Chapman University

Spring 2021 - University of San Diego

Statistics - Teaching Evaluations

Fall 2017 - CSULA

Fall 2018 - Chapman University

Interterm 2019 - Chapman University

Spring 2019 - Chapman University

Statistics for the Social Sciences

Some of the main topics in my lecture and lab sequence included -measures of central tendency, analysis of variance, applied multiple regression, data visualization, and the use of statistical software packages (e.g.,SPSS). The underlying logic of my statistics course was to help students formulate questions that data can answer, carry out appropriate statistical tests, and convey a story with data that lay people could understand.

Research Design and Methodology

This course introduced students to research designs and methods that are used in the scientific field of psychology. Topics included the scientific method, measurement and survey design, reliability and validity, and sampling. This course also included a lab component, focused on guiding students as they formulate hypotheses, choose and implement appropriate research designs, analyze and interpret data, and write research reports.