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Richard W. 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 W. Robins is Director of the Personality, Self and Emotion Lab; Director of the California Families Project, and a member of the core faculty for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Training Program in Affective Science. He is currently Associate Editor of Personality and Social Psychological Review, and he has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Editor of several books including the Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research and the Handbook of Research Methods in Personality Psychology. His research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. 

Research Focus

Professor Robins' research focuses on: (a) the development of personality and its consequences for important life outcomes; (b) the nature and development of self-esteem and narcissism, (c) the regulation and expression of social/self-conscious emotions (pride, shame, guilt, contempt), and (d) the development of Mexican-origin youth. His work incorporates both longitudinal and experimental designs, and uses multiple methods and data sources (from biological to sociocultural) to study people in naturalistic contexts, with an emphasis on individual differences as well as general processes. Much of his research centers around the NIH-funded California Families Project, an ongoing 11-year longitudinal study of Mexican-origin youth and their families. 


Selected Publications

    • John, O. P., & Robins, R. W. (in press). Handbook of personality: Theory and research (4th Edition).  New York: Guilford.
    • Orth, U., & Robins, R. W. (in press).  The development of self-esteem.  In R. Shiner, D. McAdams, and J. L. Tackett (Eds), Handbook of Personality Development.  New York: Guilford.  
    • Aizpitarte, A., Atherton, O. E., & Robins, R. W. (in press). The co-development of relational aggression and disruptive behavior symptoms from late childhood through adolescence. Clinical Psychological Science.
    • Schriber, R. A., Chung, J. M., Sorensen, K. S., & Robins, R. W. (2017).  Dispositional contempt: A first look at the contemptuous person.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113, 280-309.
    • Atherton, O.E., Tackett, J.L., Ferrer, E., & Robins, R.W. (2017). Bidirectional pathways between relational aggression and temperament from late childhood to adolescence. Journal of Research in Personality, 67, 75-84. 
    • Wetzel, E., & Robins, R. W. (2016). Are parenting practices associated with the development of narcissism: Findings from a longitudinal study of Mexican-origin youth. Journal of Research in Personality63, 84-94.
    • Chung, J. M., Schriber, R. A., & Robins, R. W. (2016).  Positive illusions in the academic context: A longitudinal study of academic self-enhancement in college.  Personality and Social Psychology42, 1384-1401.  
    • Orth, U., Robins, R. W., Meier, L. L., & Conger, R. D. (2016).  Refining the vulnerability model of low self-esteem and depression: Disentangling the effects of genuine self-esteem and narcissism.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 133-149.
    • Chung, J.M., & Robins, R.W. (2015). Exploring cultural differences in the recognition of the self-conscious emotions. PLoS ONE, 10.
    • 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 core courses in Personality Psychology, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  In addition, he teaches graduate seminars on Personality Development, The Self, Emotion, and Longitudinal Methods.


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.