Brent W Roberts



Brent W. Roberts is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, in the Social-Personality-Organizational Division. 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, Urbana-Champaign. He received the J. S. Tanaka Dissertation Award for methodological and substantive contributions to the field of personality psychology in 1995. He has since been awarded the Carol and Ed Diener Mid-Career award in Personality Psychology, The Theodore Millon Mid-Career award in Personality Psychology, the Henry Murray Award, and was recently acknowledged by Thomson Reuters as a highly cited researcher for 2016 & 2017 and received an Honorary Doctorate of Psychology from the University of Basel. He has served as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Research in Personality, and Psychological Science, as a member-at-large, Executive Officer, and President for the Association for Research in Personality, as a member of the Data Monitoring Committee of the Health and Retirement Study, and on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Perspectives on Psychological Science. He is currently the Chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Research Interests

  • Personality Development
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality and Health
  • Conscientiousness

Research Description

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 meaning and scope of the trait of conscientiousness and the relationship between conscientiousness and the health process, the utility of contextualized assessments of personality, and the use of IRT in personality assessment.


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Additional Campus Affiliations

Affiliate, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Director, Center for Social and Behavioral Science (IHSI/Beckman Institute), Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research

Recent Publications

Briley, D. A., Livengood, J. M., Derringer, J. L., Tucker-Drob, E. M., Fraley, R. C., & Roberts, B. W. (2019). Interpreting Behavior Genetic Models: Seven Developmental Processes to Understand. Behavior genetics, 49(2), 196-210.

Chapman, B. P., Huang, A., Horner, E., Peters, K., Sempeles, E., Roberts, B. W., & Lapham, S. (2019). High school personality traits and 48-year all-cause mortality risk: Results from a national sample of 26 845 baby boomers. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 73(2), 106-110.

Golle, J., Rose, N., Göllner, R., Spengler, M., Stoll, G., Hübner, N., ... Nagengast, B. (2019). School or Work? The Choice May Change Your Personality. Psychological Science, 30(1), 32-42.

Grosz, M. P., Göllner, R., Rose, N., Spengler, M., Trautwein, U., Rauthmann, J. F., ... Roberts, B. W. (2019). The development of narcissistic admiration and Machiavellianism in early adulthood. Journal of personality and social psychology, 116(3), 467-482.

Hammerslag, L. R., Belagodu, A. P., Aladesuyi Arogundade, O. A., Karountzos, A. G., Guo, Q., Galvez, R., ... Gulley, J. M. (2019). Adolescent impulsivity as a sex-dependent and subtype-dependent predictor of impulsivity, alcohol drinking and dopamine D 2 receptor expression in adult rats Addiction Biology, 24(2), 193-205.

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In The News

  • The Society for Personality and Social Psychology bestowed Dr. Brent Roberts with the 2019 Block Award for his distinguished contributions to our understanding of personality.