The study of personality is the last refuge of the generalist in psychology. As such, my interests in personality theory include the biological basis of personality and motivation, psychometric theory, the structure of daily mood, and models of attention and memory.
Recent work in the Personality, Motivation, and Cognition Laboratory has focused on the interactive effects of personality (e.g., impulsivity, trait anxiety) and situational determinants of motivation (e.g., time-of-day, caffeine, films, monetary incentives, exercise) as they combine to influence motivational states (energetic and tense arousal), and how these motivational states in turn affect cognitive processes (sustained attention, working-memory capacity, long-term memory) to determine cognitive performance. The long term goal is to develop a better understanding of how individual differences interact with situational moderators to affect efficient information processing.
Additional work in personality theory has focused on the personality characteristics associated with differential sensitivities to cues for reward and punishment. Current work is being done on the personality and situational determinants of affective state and dimensional analyses of affect.
Another continuing project is refining Synthetic Aperture Personality Assessment (SAPA) methodology. SAPA takes advantage of the web to administer small subsets of personality and ability items to different participants responding over the web. By appropriate design considerations, it is possible to synthetically combine these small subsets into very large correlation matrices suitable for psychometric analysis. This is an ongoing project that has collected data from somewhat more than 120,000 participants on about 400 different items. Examples of this work include an analysis of the structure of trust as well as the relationship between personality and cognition.
I also manage the Personality Project, an attempt to bring information about current personality theory and research to the readers of the World Wide Web. Suggestions for additions to this project are very welcome.
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- Evans, A. M., & Revelle, W. (2008). Survey and behavioral measurements of interpersonal trust. Journal of Research in Personality.
- Humphreys, M. S., & Revelle, W. (1984). Personality, motivation, and performance: A theory of the relationship between individual differences and information processing. Psychological Review, 91, 153-184.
- Revelle, W. (1995). Personality processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 46, 295-328.
- Revelle, W., Amaral, P., & Turriff, S. (1976). Introversion/extroversion, time stress, and caffeine: Effect on verbal performance. Science, 192, 149-150.
- Revelle, W., Humphreys, M. S., Simon, L., & Gilliland, K. (1980). The interactive effect of personality, time of day, and caffeine: A test of the arousal model. Journal of Experimental Psycholology: General, 109, 1-31.
- Revelle, W., & Michaels, E. J. (1976). The theory of achievement motivation revisted: The implications of inertial tendencies. Psychological Review, 83, 394-404.
- Revelle, W., & Oehlberg, K. (2008). Integrating experimental and observational personality research: The contributions of Hans Eysenck. Journal of Personality, 76(6), 1387-1414.
- Revelle, W., & Zinbarg, R. E. (2009). Coefficients alpha, beta, omega and the glb: Comments on Sijtsma. Psychometrika, 74(1), 145-154.
- Romer, D., & Revelle, W. (1984). Personality traits: Facts or fiction? A critique of the Shweder and D'Andrade systematic distortion hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1028-1042.
- Zinbarg, R., & Revelle, W. (1989). Personality and conditioning: A test of four models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 301-314.
- Ortony, A., Norman, D. A., & Revelle, W. (2005). Affect and proto-affect in effective functioning. In J. M. Fellous & M. A. Arbib (Eds.), Who needs emotions? The brain meets the machine (pp. 173-202). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Revelle, W. (1997). Extraversion and impulsivity: The lost dimension? In H. Nyborg (Ed.), The scientific study of human nature: Tribute to Hans J. Eysenck at eighty. Elsevier Science Press.
- Revelle, W. (1993). Individual differences in personality and motivation: "Non-cognitive" determinants of cognitive performance. In A. Baddeley and L. Weiskrantz (Eds.), Attention: Selection, awareness and control: A tribute to Donald Broadbent (pp. 346-373). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Revelle, W., Wilt, J., & Rosenthal, A. (in press). Individual differences in cognition: New methods for examining the personality-cognition link. In A. Gruszka, G. Matthews, and B. Szymura (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Cognition: Attention, Memory and Executive Control.
- Wilt, J., & Revelle, W. (2009). Extraversion. In M. Leary and R. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior (pp. 27-45). New York: Guilford Press.
Department of Psychology
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Evanston, Illinois 60208
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