Brent W. Roberts is a Professor of Psychology and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he holds the Gutsgell Endowed Professorship at the University of Illinois, is designated as a Health Innovation Professor in the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, and is a Distinguished Guest Professor at the Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology at the University of Tübingen, Germany.
Dr. Roberts received his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1994 in Personality Psychology and worked at the University of Tulsa until 1999 when he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois. Dr. Roberts's research focuses on continuity and change in personality traits across adulthood, the life experiences associated with changes in personality traits over time, and whether personality traits can be changed through intervention. Dr. Roberts also conducts research on measurement issues, in particular how to measure the traits of conscientiousness and narcissism, and more recently, how to best assess social, emotional, and behavioral skills.
He has received multiple awards for his work including the Carol and Ed Diener Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology, the Theodore Millon Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology, the Henry Murray Award, the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Basel. He served as the Director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Science, Associate Editor for the Journal of Research in Personality and Psychological Science and is the Past President for the Association for Research in Personality.
- Personality Development
- Personality Assessment
- Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Skills
Dr. Roberts's primary line of research is dedicated to understanding the patterns of continuity and change in personality across the decades of adulthood and the mechanisms that affect these patterns. Dr. Roberts has a second line of research on personality assessment. This research line includes studies focusing on the traits of conscientiousness and narcissism, the relationship between conscientiousness and the health process, how best to assess social and emotional skills, and using machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to assess personality.
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor, Biomedical and Translational Sciences
Senior Science Advisor, Office of the Provost
Affiliate, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
- google scholar profile
- How's my PI study
- Personality Interest Group Including Espresso (PIG-IE)
- Personality Assessment and Development Lab
- Free online personality tests
- Social, emotional, and behavioral skills research and assessment
- Psych 541 spring 2019 reading list
- Grad personality syllabus repository
Luo, J., Zhang, B., Cao, M., & Roberts, B. W. (2023). The Stressful Personality: A Meta-Analytical Review of the Relation Between Personality and Stress. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 27(2), 128–194. https://doi.org/10.1177/10888683221104002
Mullen, S. P., Luo, Y., Adamek, J., Phansikar, M., Mackenzie, M., Roberts, B. W., & Larrison, C. R. (Accepted/In press). Path Analysis of Effects of First-Generation Status on Physical Activity and 4-Year College Degree Completion. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work (United States). https://doi.org/10.1080/26408066.2023.2265922
Rakhshani, A., Donnellan, M. B., Roberts, B. W., & Lucas, R. E. (Accepted/In press). Brief Report: Does the Number of Response Options Matter for the BFI-2? Conceptual Replication and Extension. Assessment. https://doi.org/10.1177/10731911231190098
Rocha, A. M., Zanon, C., & Roberts, B. W. (2023). Measuring conscientiousness in Brazil and disentangling its relationships with subjective well-being, and academic involvement. Current Psychology, 42(27), 23970-23985. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-03552-7
Sewell, M. N., Napolitano, C. M., Roberts, B. W., Soto, C. J., & Yoon, H. J. (2023). The social, emotional, and behavioral skill antecedents to college students' volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 33(2), 618-631. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12830