Professor Roberts has had a profound influence on the field of personality psychology, stemming from his ground-breaking work on conscientiousness and other basic traits, and their association with important life outcomes. He has also made key contributions to the understanding of the continuity and development of personality over the life course, and the prospects for personality change. He has been an influential leader in the movement to re-appraise and improve the reliability of psychological research through more open and rigorous methods. For all of these contributions and for his central leadership role in the field, Professor Roberts is deserving of the 2019 Jack Block Award for Achievements in Personality Psychology.
Laura A. King, Ph.D.
Laura King has shaped the contours of personality psychology with her influential research on aspects of the good life and her significant service contributions. King made instrumental advances in the study of personal strivings, including work examining goal ambivalence and conflict, motive assessment, and the relationships between goals and well-being. She continued her pioneering research examining lay conceptualizations of the good life, focusing on meaning in life and happiness as key features. She utilized a narrative approach to examine well-being, maturity, and growth in the face of life difficulties and leveraged writing paradigms to dampen the impact of trauma, accentuate positive experiences, and motivate goal pursuit. King’s research has examined the role of social cognitive factors, including individual differences in cognitive processing styles, in well-being judgments. Furthermore, her work on meaning in life has challenged centuries-old grandiose conceptions of how people gain meaning in their lives, instead arguing for the important role of common human experiences including positive moods and sense-making. King’s extensive service to the field of Personality Psychology includes Editorships for Perspectives on Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality and Individual Differences, and Journal of Research in Personality, and in 2015 she was recognized with SPSP’s Service to the Field Award. King was also awarded the Diener Award for Contributions to Personality Psychology in 2011. In recognition of these substantial contributions to Personality Psychology, Laura King is awarded the 2018 Jack Block Award.
Oliver P. John
Oliver John, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has been a central figure in the renaissance of personality psychology evident over the last three decades. He is widely known for his work on the structure and assessment of personality, particularly with regard to the Big Five model that is currently the field’s gold standard. In addition to his extensive empirical work, he has written several highly influential handbook chapters, evaluating and synthesizing research on the Big Five. He developed one of the most widely used adult measures of personality, the Big Five Inventory, as well as adaptations of that instrument to more than 30 languages and cultures. He also created one of the first measures of the Big Five for children and even helped to extend measurement of the Big Five into other species. Beyond his huge body of research on the Big Five, he has also published extensively on bias and accuracy in personality perception, on emotion regulation, and on personality development. He is one of two Principal Investigators of the Mills Longitudinal Study, which has followed a cohort of women for 50 years following their graduation from Mills College. He has served as editor for the Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research and in 2009 was Awarded the Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality Psychology. The science of personality has been enormously enriched by John’s many contributions. In recognition of these accomplishments, Oliver John is awarded the 2017 Jack Block Award.
Lee Anna Clark
Lee Anna Clark has made important contributions to our understanding of both basic personality traits and personality disorders. Over three decades, she has been at the forefront of research showing that psychopathology is on a continuum with normal personality. In the early 1990s, she created the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP), which assesses the basic trait dimensions underlying the personality disorders described by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). More recently, as a member of the DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group, she was instrumental in the creation of the new alternative dimensional model of personality disorder included in Section III of DSM-5. With her husband and collaborator, David Watson, she has carried out foundational work on the structure of affect and its relation to personality traits and psychopathology. Over the course of her career, she has consistently advanced an integrated perspective on personality and psychopathology, based in biological processes and their connections with psychosocial forces. She has been president of both the Society for Research in Psychopathology and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology. She was also one of the founders of the Association for Research in Personality and played a key role in its early development.
Historically, personality psychology has been closely tied to the study of psychopathology, and David Watson has carried on this tradition brilliantly. His work investigates the structure and measurement of personality, mood, and psychopathology, as well as examining how personality traits relate to clinical disorders. His early work with wife and collaborator Lee Anna Clark focused on the structure of affect, and the instrument they created—the PANAS—has been used in thousands of studies. More recently he has helped integrate normal and abnormal psychology and championed a dimensional approach to psychopathology. For example, Watson and Clark’s work on normal affect led to the tripartite model of clinical anxiety and depression. The long-term goal of his work is to develop comprehensive taxonomic models that integrate normal-range and pathological processes into a single overarching scheme. The magnitude of his influence is shown by his selection as Editor of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. David Watson has also made important contributions to many other topics in personality research, including the temporal stability of traits, health psychology, and personality and personality perception in couples. Watson, who was the founding President of the Association for Research in Personality, received the Diener Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Contribution to Personality in 2009.
Mary K. Rothbart
Mary Rothbart is perhaps the foremost exponent of the oldest tradition in personality psychology, the study of temperament. Her developmental studies have traced temperament from infancy into adulthood, linking early manifestations of individual differences to the familiar traits of adults. Conceptually, she has used biological and evolutionary models of behavioral, emotional, and attentional processes to understand the observed dimensions of childhood and adult personality. Methodologically, she has employed field and laboratory observations along with parent- and self-reports on questionnaire measures, seeking cross-method and cross-time consistencies. Her research has reinvigorated the concept of temperament and helped to integrate child developmental psychology with personality.
Robert R. (Jeff) McCrae
Robert R. ("Jeff”) McCrae is one of the most influential personality psychologists in the world today. With his colleague Paul T. Costa, Jr., McCrae developed an especially persuasive framework for conceptualizing the broad factors that comprise the Big Five model of personality traits, along with the specific content facets that make up each of the five. McCrae’s and Costa’s early landmark findings from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging showed that individual differences in personality traits are stable over time and predictive of important life outcomes such as health and coping, leading to a strong resurgence of the entire field of personality psychology in the 1980s and the establishment of the five-factor model as the dominant paradigm for personality. Employing their expertise in psychometrics and statistical analysis, McCrae and Costa designed and validated highly influential self-report inventories for measuring individual differences in personality traits, such as the NEO-PI-R and the NEO-FFI, and they have carefully examined the relations between self-reports and alterative assessments of traits, such as peer ratings. McCrae has been at the forefront in the study of adult personality development, and he has led large collaborations of investigators from many different nations to examine the cross-cultural manifestations and implications of the Big Five. He has also done illuminating theoretical work on the trait of openness to experience. In more recent years, Jeff McCrae has written provocative papers on the future of personality psychology for the 21st century, has begun to explore the molecular genetics of personality dispositions, and has gone so far as to extend the five-factor model of personality traits to the study of history and literary fiction.
Dan McAdams has been the leading thinker over the past quarter century in the study of personality, identity, and human development. His work has spanned the study of generativity in adult development, the role of power, intimacy, and redemption in human lives, modernity and the self, the psychological study of religion, and autobiographical memory. He is best known for developing a life-story theory of human identity, through which he has demonstrated that people form sense of purpose in their lives by creating "personal myths." This pioneering work is marked by the linking of theory and research, the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods, and an unparalleled ability to draw not only from various areas within psychology, but also from theology, history and philosophy. His book, The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By, received APA's 2006 William James Award and the 2007 Association of American Publishers Award for excellence in professional and scholarly publishing. While advancing the field of personality in important and creative ways, Dan McAdams has been an extraordinary ambassador, representing the best of personality psychology to the social sciences and humanities, and through his lucid writing, to the general public.
Paul T. Costa
Lewis R. Goldberg