"As a personality psychologist, my central fascination is with an individuals’ dispositions – their characteristic tendencies to respond a particular way in particular situations. I am interested in the nature, structure, determinants, functional consequences, and measurement of such tendencies. The Personality lab provides a base and a set of tools with which my students and I can investigate these questions, with a particular focus on the three topics addressed below." - John Campbell, Department Chair
1. Structure and Functional Consequences of Personality
For some time, my research has been guided by an interest in models of personality structure. This work culminated in my opportunity to assume responsibility for the fourth (and probably final) edition of the landmark textbook and conceptual source in my field, Calvin Hall and Gardner Lindzey’s Theories of personality. More recently, I provided an organizing chapter for the Sage handbook of personality theory and assessment. My empirical work on functional consequences of personality traits began with Hans Eysenck’s Extraversion – Neuroticism – Psychoticism model, as well as derivative models of impulsivity and sensation seeking. Work done in conjunction with students has investigated behavioral correlates for a variety of personality dimensions.
Selected references on Personality Structure
Campbell, J. B. (2008). Modern personality theories: What have we gained, what have we lost? In G. Boyle, G. Matthews, and D. Saklofske, The Sage handbook of personality theory and assessment. Vol 1 Personality theories and models (pp. 190-212). Los Angeles: Sage Publishers.
Hall, C. S., Lindzey, G., & Campbell, J. B. (1997). Theories of personality, 4th edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Selected references on Personality and Behavior
Nie, L., and Campbell, John B. (March 5, 2010). Subjective well-being: Do parenting style, locus of control, and college class matter? Poster presented at Annual Meeting of Eastern Psychological Association, New York City, NY.
McGoff, C., Cannon, E, & Alsayegh, J. (Spring, 2010). First Impressions of Strangers as a function of Big Five Personality. PSY390 paper.
Eudell, E., & Campbell, J. B. (2007). Openness to and belief in the paranomal: An extended replication of Zingrone, Alvarado, and Dalton. European Journal of Parapsychology, 22, 166-174.
George, K., Baechtold, J. A., Frost, R. E., & Campbell, J. B. (2006). Sensation seeking, aggression, and reckless behaviors in high school students, college students, and adults. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 103, 801-802.
Campbell, J.B., Tyrrell, D.J., & Zingaro, M. (1993). Sensation seeking among whitewater canoe and kayak paddlers. Personality and Individual Differences, 14, 489-491.
Campbell, J. B. (1992). Extraversion and noise sensitivity: A replication of Dornic and Ekehammar. Personality and Individual Differences,13, 953-955.
Campbell, J. B. (1983). Differential relationships of Extraversion, Impulsivity, and Sociability to study habits. Journal of Research in Personality, 17, 308-314.
Campbell, J. B., & Hawley, C. W. (1982). Study habits and Eysenck's theory of extraversion-introversion. Journal of Research in Personality, 16, 139-146.
2. Interaction of Persons and Situations
In recent years, reflecting transitions in personality psychology, I have gradually shifted to a focus on understanding persons in context and the interactive effects of personality and situation on behavior. The guiding question here, of course, is not whether persons or situations are more important in accounting for behavior, but how persons and situations jointly influence behavior. Consistent with my original focus on personality structure, this interactive orientation actually reflects the positions proposed by earlier American theorists Gordon Allport and Henry Murray. My work with students indicates that both situations and individuals (including humans and squirrel monkeys!) have reliable, complementary effects on behavior. My most recent project, which actually reflects my Ph. D. dissertation, investigates the actual and perceived “fit” between individuals’ (i.e., F&M students) dispositions and behavior and their appraisal of the environment (i.e., the F&M campus) in which they function, as well as the predictive relationship of fit with their satisfaction and performance in that environment.
Selected references on Persons AND Situations
Izzo, G. N., Bashaw, M. J., & Campbell, J. B. (under review). Multi-level enrichment reveals enrichment effects and consistent individual differences in squirrel monkey behavior.
Campbell, J. B., & Bhagat, S. M. (under review). Situational differences AND individual consistency in "Deal or No Deal" games.
Nie, L. (PSY490, 2009-2010). Towards Depicting your Emotional Display Signature: Trait Variability as a function of Role-Dyads in Emotional Display. PSY490 project.
Selected references on Person-Environment Fit
Campbell, J. B. (1977). Person-Environment Fit among Students in an Integrated Premedical-Medical Training Program. Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) in The University of Michigan.
Campbell, J. B., & Michelin, K. (2010). Person-Environment Fit among Franklin and Marshall Students. Hackman Scholars project, Summer, 2010.
Most recently, my first and second interests have fostered an interest in “moral personality” and attempts to understand morality as a joint function of persons and their situational context.
Selected references on Morality
Campbell, J. B., Meerschaert, S., & Chemero, A. (Under review). What situationist experiments show.
Bhagat, S. M., & Campbell, J. B. (2007, May 25). Comparative survey of character strengths. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC.
Campbell, J. B., & Jayawickreme, E. (2005, May). Persons, situations, and virtue ethics. Poster presented at Annual Meeting of American Psychological Society, Los Angeles.
The social psychology laboratory includes computer terminals that are equipped to run a variety of tasks, manipulations, and measures. Partitions allow up to three individual participants to be run simultaneously using Medialab and DirectRT software. One computer is also equipped with LIWC, a program used for text analysis. The primary lab room also includes two large tables around which lab members gather weekly for lab meetings. Cubicles and a second larger room in the PPS suite are available for independent study, honors, and collaborative students to run their studies. Laptops can be moved in and out of those rooms to accommodate the demands of the study. Also, blood pressure cuffs, Biopac systems, and tape recorders are available for data collection.
In the Social Psychology lab, we conduct research in the following areas:
(1) Belonging Regulation:
The processes by which individuals maintain a sense of belonging in the face of social threat
(2) Psychology and the Media:
The nature of individuals’ parasocial relationships with their favorite television characters and their impact on behavior, attitudes, feelings, autonomic reactivity, and task performance
(3) Self-Regulation and Relationships:
The ways in which social interactions and specific relationship partners impact impulse control and potential mediators such as the subjective experience of interpersonal ease
The Psychopathology Lab is designed to allow the collection of qualitative and quantitative data in a relaxed, “living room” like atmosphere. The intention is to help subjects feel as comfortable as possible while they share with our research assistants what is often very intimate data about themselves. The lab is designed to collect audio-visual data through computers that are controlled from another space. The data are entered automatically into computer where they may be coded and analyzed.
Moral Trauma: Akrasia and Mental Health
Moral emotions reflect or arise in response to thoughts and actions that are ordinarily thought of as touching on concerns of right and wrong. At the core of moral emotions are self-assessments and self-reflective judgments that center upon what one has done or failed to do, or the kind of person one has become. Moral emotions that are of great interest include guilt, shame, regret and remorse, since these may play important roles in the pathogenesis or exacerbation of a range of psychopathological states. Notwithstanding their potentially deleterious impact on mental health, however, negative moral emotions appear to be critical to the healthy development of moral character. Our work seeks to distinguish those conditions under which negative moral emotions tend to promote adaptive, growth inducing responses (e.g., character development) and those conditions under which they lead to various unhealthy mental health outcomes (e.g., anxiety, depression, somatization) or maladaptive character states (sociopathic tendencies or corrosion of self respect).
Strength and Weakness of Character: Psychological Health and Resilience
People vary in terms of the extent to which they are disposed to exert self-regulation to achieve actions consistent with their personal morality. That is, people vary in terms of their degree of strength of character (DSC). Those who are more disposed to exert self-regulation (high DSC, or strength of character) behave more consistently with their personal morality than those who are less disposed to do so (low DSC, or weakness of character). In this work, we explore potential adverse effects of the unconscious strain produced by behaving in ways that are inconsistent with one’s moral beliefs. Morally incongruent behavior, we suggest, is apt to awaken recurrent, ego-dystonic moral emotions, such as guilt, shame, and regret. Chronic exposure to these emotions, in turn, may cause or contribute to various states of psychopathology, such as depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic disorders.
The Protection and Development of the Human Spirit: An Expanded Focus for Human Rights Discourse
In this theoretical paper, published in the Human Rights Quarterly, my student and I argue that human rights discourse would be enriched by a greater focus on the conditions that are necessary for the protection, development and refinement of the human spirit. Our purpose is to outline a rational account of the notion of the human spirit. Further, we endeavor to show that the human spirit provides an appropriate focus for human rights concerns because it embodies the intrinsic value of the human person, provides an ontological basis for the oneness and interdependence of humankind, and defines those capacities of consciousness upon which the future of civilization depends.
Developmental Changes in Reasoning About Intrinsic Moral Dilemmas
This laboratory-based, on-going collaborative project explores the decision-making processes that children engage in when they seek to resolve moral dilemmas. We are in the process of examining whether children as young as five can make moral decisions in an experimental setting by deploying what we believe are intrinsic moral capacities.