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Sung-il Kim, Ph.D.
Sung-il Kim, Ph.D.
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Sung-il Kim is a Professor of Educational Psychology and the immediate past Director of bMRI (Brain and Motivation Research Institute). He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Utah State University and was an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Whereas his earlier research focused on discourse comprehension and memory, his current research projects include investigating the neural bases of interest and motivation and modeling interest-based learning, and designing fun and exciting learning environments. He received the ‘Edwin B. Newman Award for Excellence in Research’ from APA/Psi Chi, the ‘Award for Outstanding Contribution’ from the Korean Educational Psychology Association, and the ‘Distinguished Teaching Award’ 12 consecutive times and the ‘Distinguished Research Award’ from Korea University. He has served as President of the Korean Educational Psychology Association, Korean Society for Cognitive Science, and Korean Mind, Brain, and Education Society and currently serves on the editorial boards of Motivation and Emotion and Frontiers in Educational Psychology.


Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, Utah State University, 1992
M.S. in Cognitive Psychology, Utah State University, 1988
B.A. in Psychology, Korea University, 1985


Director, Brain and Motivation Research Institute (bMRI), Korea University, 2006-2018
Professor of Educational Psychology, Department of Education, Korea University, 2002-present
Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Psychology, Kwangwoon University, 1994-2002
Senior Researcher, Institute of Behavioral Science, Korea University, 1993-1994
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1992-1993

Representative Publication

Kim, S., Reeve, J. M., & Bong, M. (Eds.). (2016). Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research on Human Motivation (Volume 19 of the Advances in Motivation and Achievement book series). Bingley UK: Emerald Group Publishing.
Song, J., Bong, M., Lee, K., Kim, S. (2015). Longitudinal Investigation into the role of perceived social support in adolescents' academic motivation and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107, 821-841.
Lee, W., & Kim, S. (2014). Effects of achievement goals on challenge seeking and feedback processing: Behavioral and fMRI evidence. PLoS ONE 9(9): e107254. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107254
Kim, S. (2013). Neuroscientific model of motivational process. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 98. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00098
Kim. S., Lee, M., Chung, Y., & Bong, M. (2010). Differential brain activation during norm-referenced versus criterion-referenced feedback: The moderating role of perceived competence and performance-approach goals. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35, 141-152.