Handbook of Research Methods in Personality Psychology (Paperback) book cover

Handbook of Research Methods in Personality Psychology

Edited by Richard W. Robins, R. Chris Fraley, Robert F. Krueger

© 2011 – Guilford Press

719 pages

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Bringing together leading investigators, this comprehensive handbook is a one-stop reference for anyone planning or conducting research on personality. It provides up-to-date analyses of the rich array of methodological tools available today, giving particular attention to real-world theoretical and logistical challenges and how to overcome them. In chapters filled with detailed, practical examples, readers are shown step by step how to formulate a suitable research design, select and use high-quality measures, and manage the complexities of data analysis and interpretation. Coverage ranges from classic methods like self-report inventories and observational procedures to such recent innovations as neuroimaging and genetic analyses.


"In this volume, three rising stars of personality psychology have brought together a virtual 'who's who' of the field to address an almost unbelievably comprehensive set of issues in personality research. The book covers virtually every problem or issue that arises in thinking about how to plan research, assess personality, or analyze the resulting data. It very likely will be an indispensable resource for researchers in this broad field for many years to come."--Charles S. Carver, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Miami
"Edited and written by experienced, distinguished scholars, this handbook encompasses the remarkable breadth of research venues, assessment methods, and data-analytic approaches embraced by modern personality psychology. The quality and accessibility of the contents make this volume an indispensable guide for undergraduate and graduate students who are serious about personality science. It will surely become a standard reference for all personologists."--Auke Tellegen, PhD, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), University of Minnesota
"There is nothing more essential to good science than good methods, and personality research is no exception to this fundamental rule. This handbook is a landmark collection of defining statements on the diverse methods available to researchers in the field. It is a 'must read' for experienced and novice researchers alike, and will surely advance the state of the scientific study of personality."--Mark Snyder, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota
"This is a 'must-have,' 'must-read' handbook for personality researchers at all levels of the game. The outstanding, award-winning editors have produced a superb textbook and reference for graduate and undergraduate students just entering the field and hoping to conduct their own research. The book is essential for seasoned personality researchers too, because it covers exciting new methods that didn’t exist when we veterans were trained. Beyond its great value for anyone wishing to understand, critique, or conduct modern personality research, the Handbook is emblematic of a research field that is experiencing a dramatic upswing in self-confidence and influence. The sophistication, scope, and engaging prose style of this volume reflect the vitality of the field itself."--Phillip R. Shaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, Davis

Table of Contents

I. Designing a Personality Study

1. The Role of Theory in Personality Assessment, Dan P. McAdams and Jennifer L. Pals

2. Designing and Implementing Longitudinal Studies, M. Brent Donnellan and Rand D. Conger

3. Experimental Approaches to the Study of Personality, William Revelle

4. Behavior Genetic Designs, Robert F. Krueger and Jennifer L. Tackett

5. Idiographic Personality: The Theory and Practice of Experience Sampling, Tamlin S. Conner, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Michele M. Tugade, and Howard Tennen

6. Psychobiography and Case Study Methods, Alan C. Elms

7. Mining Archival Data, Phebe Cramer

8. Using the Internet for Personality Research: What Can Be Done, How to Do It, and Some Concerns, R. Chris Fraley

9. The Null Hypothesis Significance-Testing Debate and Its Implications for Personality Research, R. Chris Fraley and Michael J. Marks

10. Cross-Cultural Personality Research: Conceptual and Methodological Issues, Verónica Benet-Martínez

11. Measuring Personality in Nonhuman Animals, Simine Vazire, Samuel D. Gosling, Audrey S. Dickey, and Steven J. Schapiro

II. Methods for Assessing Personality at Different Levels of Analysis

12. Taxonomies, Trends, and Integrations, Kenneth H. Craik

13. The Self-Report Method, Delroy L. Paulhus and Simine Vazire

14. The Construct Validation Approach to Personality Scale Construction, Leonard J. Simms and David Watson

15. Observer Ratings of Personality, Robert R. McCrae and Alexander Weiss

16. Behavior Observation, R. Michael Furr and David C. Funder

17. Content Coding of Open-Ended Responses, Barbara A. Woike

18. Personality Assessment at a Distance, Anna V. Song and Dean Keith Simonton

19. Measuring Implicit Motives, Oliver C. Schultheiss and Joyce S. Pang

20. Lives Lived in Milliseconds: Using Cognitive Methods in Personality Research, Michael D. Robinson

21. Patient and Neuroimaging Methodologies, Jennifer S. Beer and Michael V. Lombardo

22. Physiological Measures, Lisa M. Diamond and Kim Otter-Henderson

23. The Human Genome Project and Personality: What We Can Learn about Our Inner and Outer Selves through Our Genes, Richard P. Ebstein, Rachel Bachner-Melman, Salomon Israel, Lubov Nemanov, and Inga Gritsenko

III. Analyzing and Interpreting Personality Data

24. Toward Modern Psychometrics: Application of Item Response Theory Models in Personality Research, Julien Morizot, Andrew T. Ainsworth, and Steven P. Reise

25. Factor Analysis in Personality Research, Kibeom Lee and Michael C. Ashton

26. Applications of Structural Equation Modeling in Personality Research, Rick H. Hoyle

27. The Importance of Being Valid: Reliability and the Process of Construct Validation, Oliver P. John and Christopher J. Soto

28. Evaluating Effect Size in Personality Research, Daniel J. Ozer

29. Multilevel Modeling in Personality Research, John B. Nezlek

30. Studying Personality Processes: Explaining Change in Between-Persons Longitudinal and Within-Person Multilevel Models, William Fleeson

31. The Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Personality Research, Daniel K. Mroczek

32. Person-Centered Structural Analyses, James W. Grice

33. Multiple Regression: Applications of the Basics and Beyond in Personality Research, Stephen G. West, Leona S. Aiken, Wei Wu, and Aaron B. Taylor

34. Moderator and Mediator Models in Personality Research: A Basic Introduction, William F. Chaplin

35. Computational Modeling of Personality as a Dynamical System, Yuichi Shoda

36. Meta-Analysis in Personality Psychology: A Primer, Brent W. Roberts, Nathan R. Kuncel, Wolfgang Viechtbauer, and Tim Bogg

37. What Kinds of Methods Do Personality Psychologists Use?: A Survey of Journal Editors and Editorial Board Members, Richard W. Robins, Jessica L. Tracy, and Jeffrey W. Sherman

About the Editors

Richard W. Robins, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on personality, emotion, and the self. Dr. Robins is coeditor of two forthcoming books, Handbook of Personality and The Self-Conscious Emotions, and served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He was awarded the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s Theoretical Innovation Prize.


R. Chris Fraley, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on adult attachment dynamics, personality processes and development, and research methods. Dr. Fraley serves as Associate Editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. He received the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology.


Robert F. Krueger, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Krueger’s major research interests lie at the intersection of personality, psychopathology, psychometrics, and behavioral genetics. He has received a number of awards, including the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology and the American Psychological Foundation's Theodore Millon Award for midcareer contributions to personality psychology.

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