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Richard Robins


  • Ph.D., Psychology (Social/Personality), University of California, Berkeley, 1995
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, 1988


In addition to his academic appointment in Psychology, Richard Robins is director of the Personality, Self and Emotion Lab. He also serves as director of the California Families Project and is a member of the core faculty for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Training Program in Affective Science. He has been consulting editor for the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science since 2009. Previously, he served as associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and as guest editor of the Journal of Research in Personality

Research Focus

Professor Robins' research explores issues at the intersection of social-personality and developmental psychology. His primary area of research concerns how people perceive and evaluate themselves and others, including cognitive and motivational processes in self-evaluation, self-esteem development, implicit self-theories, personality judgment and causal attribution. He also conducts longitudinal research, examining the influence of personality on psychological functioning, including the role of personality in the development of adolescent problems such as delinquency and school failure, personality correlates of relationship satisfaction, and the adaptive and maladaptive consequences of positive illusions.   

Selected Publications

  • Hernandez, M.,  Conger, R. D.,  Robins, R. W.,  Bacher, K. B., & Widaman, K. F. (in press). Cultural socialization and ethnic pride among Mexican-origin adolescents during the transition to middle school. Child Development, 85, 695-708.
  • Donnellan, M. B., Trzesniewski, K. H., &  Robins, R. W. (in press). Measuring self-esteem. In G.J. Boyle, D.H. Saklofske, and G. Matthews (Eds.). Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Constructs. Elsevier. 
  • Atherton, O. E.,  Robins, R. W.,  Rentfrow, P. J., & Lamb, M. E. (2014). Personality correlates of risky health outcomes: Findings from a large internet study. Journal of Research in Personality, 50, 56-60. 
  • Steiger, A. E.,  Allemand, M.,  Robins, R. W., & Fend, H. A. (2014). Low and decreasing self-esteem during adolescence predicts adult depression two decades later. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 325-338.
  • Chung, J. M., Robins, R. W., Trzesniewski, K. H.,  Noftle, E. E., Roberts, B. W., & Widaman, K. F. (2014). Continuity and change in self-esteem during emerging adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 469-483. 
  • Schriber, R. A.,  Robins, R. W., &  Solomon, M. (2014). Personality and self-insight in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 112-130.


Professor Robins teaches in the areas of personality and self esteem development, self and emotion, and interpersonal perception. At UC Davis, he has taught Introduction to Personality Psychology, Personality, and Topics in Social and Personality.


Professor Robins has won a number of awards throughout his career, including the 2012 Diener Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Contributions to Personality Psychology from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. In 2011, he was selected a fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. In 2010 he was ranked among the top 3 percent of all social-personality psychologists in career-stage citation impact (Nosek et al., 2010, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin), and in 2007 Professor Robins was named one of the most frequently published authors in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Journal of Personality (SPSP Dialogue, 2007). He also received a Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution from the American Psychological Association, and the Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. From 2002 to 2007 he was a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Davis.