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2018 SPSP Convention Logo Atlanta

Location: Hyatt Regency (HR) Hanover E

Speakers | SymposiaRegistration | PostersContact


Please submit poster abstracts (max. 200 words) to arp.precon@gmail.com until October 13 at the latest.
We have space for only about 20 posters.

Download our Program here.

Early personality psychologists such as Gordon Allport have stressed the importance of dynamics, processes, and functioning going on within the person. However, interest in those aspects of personality psychology seemed to have waned in favor of strictly nomothetically oriented, structural approaches focusing on the organization of traits across persons. In the last 15 years, personality psychology has made major leaps from such descriptive research (How can individual differences be described? Which trait structures are there?) to a more explanatory and dynamic science of personality (Which processes underlie traits? How and why do traits manifest? How does personality “function” in different contexts?), thus bridging structure- and process-based approaches to personality.

Currently, personality psychologists are growing more and more interested in the dynamic organization and interplay of thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions within persons who are always embedded into social, cultural, and historic contexts. “Hot topics” include (but are not limited to):

  • Within-person consistency and variability
  • Transactions between persons and situations or environments
  • Personality functioning (both normal and abnormal)
  • Biophysiological and social mechanisms underlying the expression and effects of personality
  • Mechanisms of personality and identity development across the lifespan
  • Personality signatures and if-then contingencies
  • Personality coherence and dynamic within-person organizations

These topics are studied with a range of methods which are geared towards assessing and analyzing their dynamic nature, such as (but not limited to) ecological momentary sampling of personality manifestations in real-life; dynamic modeling of time-series or longitudinal personality data; network modeling and simulations; and systems-theoretical models of dynamic processes. Although the topics and methods seem varied, they are tied together by the motivation for a more dynamic understanding of personality and individual differences.

The pre-conference is supposed to bring together experts and novices interested in a dynamic and process-focused science of personality. It is timely to convene in a pre-conference as interest in dynamic personality psychology is growing, with special issues and handbooks dedicated to the topics. Most recent examples include a target article on “Integrating Personality Structure, Personality Process, and Personality Development” by Baumert and colleagues in the European Journal of Personality (with several commentaries and a rejoinder); a special issue on “Within-Person Variability” in the Journal of Research in Personality, edited by Vazire and Sherman; a special issue on “Dynamic Personality Psychology” in the Journal Personality and Individual Differences, edited by Rauthmann, Beckmann, Noftle, and Sherman; and a Handbook of Personality Dynamics and Processes, edited by Rauthmann. 

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We have four symposia (each 90 minutes) planned, with four to five presentations in each of them. The first two symposia are about substantive research areas, the third deals with methodological and statistical issues when studying personality dynamics, and the fourth combines a substantive and methodological perspective.

Symposium #1:

Dynamics of Personality Change and Growth

Chairs: Jayawickreme & Noftle

Features talks that look at personality dynamics and processes across the lifespan, especially as they pertain to systematic ways of personality change and growth (e.g., following adversity)


  • Jon Adler
  • Laura Blackie
  • Nathan Hudson
  • Frank Infurna
  • William Chopik

Symposium #2:

Processes and Dynamics of Personality-Situation Transactions

Chairs: Rauthmann & Sherman

Features talks that examine how transactions between persons and situations or environments can explain personality variability and stability


  • Gabriela Blum
  • Anna Baumert
  • David Funder
  • Kai Horstmann
  • Ryne Sherman

Symposium #3:

Methodologies for Studying Personality Dynamics and Processes

Chair: Furr

Features talks that detail state-of-the-art and advances in methodologies (e.g., designs, methods, statistics) of studying personality dynamics, processes, and functioning.


  • Robin Edelstein
  • Marco Perugini
  • Vivian Zayas
  • Bill Revelle

Symposium #4:

Extreme Groups as a Key to Understanding Personality Dynamics and Functioning

Chair: Fleeson & Wright

Features talks on personality psychopathology and exceptional morality that demonstrate how extreme groups yield unique insights for “normal” personality dynamics in a more concentrated and more effective way


  • Jennifer Lodi-Smith (Autism Spectrum Disorder and Functional Personality Maturation across the Lifespan)
  • Max Barranti & Erika Carlson (Identifying moral exemplars: Who is consistently and frequently moral in everyday life?)
  • Karin Coifman (Unpacking the balance of emotion and cognition: predicting adaptive behavior and psychological health in high risk populations and aversive circumstances)
  • Lauren Bylsma (TBA)

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Registration Rates graphic

Save $25 when you register for both convention and preconference together!

Registration for preconferences is limited and fills quickly.
Registration is now open and will not reopen once this preconference fills.

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We have a 60-minute poster session planned, from 02:00 to 03:00pm. There are ten 4’ by 6’ double-sided poster boards available (and each board can accommodate two full-sized posters at a time). This means we will have space for a maximum of 20 posters. Open calls for posters will go around shortly.

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John Rauthmann, Wake Forest University
Eranda Jayawickreme, Wake Forest University
Mike Furr, Wake Forest University
Will Fleeson, Wake Forest University


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