• Ph.D 1991 University of California, Davis
  • A.B. 1986 Kenyon College, English Literature & Psychology


  • 2013-present  Curators' Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences
  • 2009-2012  Frederick A. Middlebush Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • 2003-present  Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • 2004-2006; 2017-2019 Director, Social/Personality Training Area, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • 2001-2003  Associate Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • 1991-2001  Assistant to Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University
  • 1988-1991   Teaching Assistant and Instructor, University of California, Davis
  • 1988   Graduate Assistant, Murray Lectures Committee, M.S.U. 
  • 1986-1988  Teaching Assistant, Michigan State University
  • 1984-1986  Writing Clinic Tutor, English Department, Kenyon College

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science; Fellow, American Psychological Association/Division 8; Fellow, Society for Personality and Social Psychology;  Fellow, Society of Experimental Social Psychology; Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Editorial Positions

  • Editor, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2019-present 
  • Editor, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality and Individual Differences, 2009-2015
  • Editor, Journal of Research in Personality, 2006-2009
  • Associate Editor, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 1998-1999; 2017-2018
  • Section Editor, Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2007-2009
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1999-2003
  • Chair, American Psychological Association Council of Editors, 2013-2014

Editorial Boards

  • American Psychologist, 2016-present; Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2008-present; Journal of Positive Psychology, 2005-present; Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2005-present; Psychological Science, 2010-2019; Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2009-2010, 2015-present; Journal of Personality, 1996-2003; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1997-1999
  • Advisory Board, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2010-2013

Awards and Recognition

  • SPSP Awards: 2018 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality; 2015 Service to the Field Award; 2011 Ed and Carol Diener Award for Distinguished Contributions to Personality Psychology
  • Other awards:    2013 Named Curators' Distinguished Professor, University of Missouri; 2009-2012 Named Frederick A. Middlebush Professor, Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri; 2004 Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Missouri


  • Chair SPSP Publications Committee (current)
  • PSPB Editor Search Committee, Chair (2020).
  • SPSP Student Publication Award Committee, Chair /Member 2018-2019
  • SPSP Fellows Committee, Chair 2015  (member 2014, 2016)
  • Diener Personality Award Committee, Chair, 2013 (member, 2012)
  • SPSP Executive Committee Member-At-Large, 2009-2011
  • APA Division 8 Liaison to the Henry Murray Award Committee, 2008, 2009

Other service

  • Association for Research in Personality, Member-At-Large, 2002-2005
  • Committee of Visitors, Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences, National Science Foundation, 2015

Research & Teaching Interests

I am a personality/social psychologists interested in the human experience of life as meaningful. This broad focus has led me to pursue research well-being, meaning in life, existential psychology, trauma and stress, emotion, motivation, and narrative approaches to personality. I am an accomplished teacher at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Most recently, I have taught graduate seminars in Personality Psychology, Experimental Methods in Social Psychology, and the Social and Personality Psychology of Everyday Life. At the undergraduate level, I teach introductory psychology, intro to personality, and most recently an interdisciplinary course on the Art & Science of Living.