Personality Psychology

Brent W. Roberts, Hee J. Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Personality psychology, which seeks to study individual differences in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that persist over time and place, has experienced a renaissance in the last few decades. It has also not been reviewed as a field in the Annual Review of Psychology since 2001. In this article, we seek to provide an update as well as a meta-organizational structure to the field. In particular, personality psychology has a prescribed set of four responsibilities that it implicitly or explicitly tackles as a field: (a) describing what personality is mdash i.e., what the units of analysis in the field are; (b) documenting how it develops; (c) explaining the processes of personality and why they affect functioning; and (d) providing a framework for understanding individuals and explaining their actions, feelings, and motivations. We review progress made over the last 20 years to address these four agendas and conclude by highlighting future directions and ongoing challenges to the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-516
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual review of psychology
StatePublished - 2022


  • motivation
  • narrative identity
  • personality
  • personality development
  • personality traits
  • skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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