This work explores how personality is revealed in real-world contexts in everyday life. I am especially interested in how individuals select and craft the environments in which they dwell to suit their personalities. I argue that individuals consciously and unconsciously leave traces of their individuality in the spaces around them. In turn, others may use these traces to form impressions about the occupants. Some of these impressions are accurate but others are not. I am becomingly increasingly interested in how individuals use their space to regulate their cognitive and emotional states (e.g., by sitting in certain parts of the room or going to particular neighborhoods); this last area of research is driving my interest in geographical analyses of psychological traits. My collaborators and I examine a number of different environments:
ANIMAL PERSONALITY (Comparative Personality Research)–Note, I am no longer doing research in this area.
This work examines personality or temperament in non-human animals. The ultimate goal of this work is to: (a) develop animal models to inform research in personality, social, and health psychology, (b) use perceptions of animal personality to understand general processes in personality perception, (c) apply our understanding of personality to promote animal and human welfare.
Since 1996 we have been collecting data using the internet. In addition to reaping the benefits of Internet research (e.g., large and relatively diverse samples), we are also evaluating the costs and benefits of using the Internet to gather data in psychology.