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Personality Psychology

  1. Richard W. Robins1,
  2. M. Brent Donnellan2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0666

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Robins, R. W. and Donnellan, M. B. 2010. Personality Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–5.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of California, Davis

  2. 2

    Michigan State University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Personality psychology focuses on understanding individual variability in people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors: why is one person shy and another sociable, one person irritable and another even-tempered, and one person reliable and another irresponsible? One of the hallmarks of the field is that such questions are investigated at multiple levels of analysis, from genes to sociocultural contexts. Consequently, personality researchers use a broad array of methods, including self-report questionnaires, computerized tasks, behavioral observation, brain imaging, and DNA analyses. Individuals trained in personality psychology work at universities, private and federal research institutes, test-publishing companies, organizational consulting firms, and government agencies such as the CIA.


  • Big Five;
  • traits;
  • development;
  • structure;
  • processes