Brent W. Roberts is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 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 Illinois. Dr. Roberts's research has focused on determining the replicable patterns of continuity and change in personality traits across adulthood, the life experiences associated with changes in personality traits over time, and the significance of these changes for individual functioning. Dr. Roberts also conducts research on psychometric issues, in particular how to measure the traits of conscientiousness and narcissism, and more recently, how to best assess socio-emotional 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 has served as the 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
- Personality and Health
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 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
Director, Center for Social and Behavioral Science
Senior Science Advisor, Office of the Provost
Affiliate, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
- google scholar profile
- Personality Interest Group Including Espresso (PIG-IE)
- Personality Assessment and Development Lab
- Personality Development
- How conscientious are you?
- How narcissistic are you?
- Free online personality tests
- Psych 541 spring 2019 reading list
- Grad personality syllabus repository
Atherton, O. E., Grijalva, E., Roberts, B. W., & Robins, R. W. (2021). Stability and Change in Personality Traits and Major Life Goals From College to Midlife. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 47(5), 841-858. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167220949362
Inzlicht, M., Werner, K. M., Briskin, J. L., & Roberts, B. W. (2021). Integrating Models of Self-Regulation. Annual review of psychology, 72, 319-345. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-061020-105721
Luo, J., Zhang, B., & Roberts, B. W. (2021). Sensitization or inoculation: Investigating the effects of early adversity on personality traits and stress experiences in adulthood. PloS one, 16(4), [e0248822]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0248822
Roberts, B. W., & Nickel, L. B. (2021). Personality Development across the Life Course: A Neo-Socioanalytic Perspective. In O. P. John, & R. W. Robins (Eds.), Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research (4 ed., pp. 11). Guilford Press.
Soto, C. J., Napolitano, C. M., & Roberts, B. W. (2021). Taking Skills Seriously: Toward an Integrative Model and Agenda for Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Skills. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 30(1), 26-33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721420978613