Emorie D Beck

Graduate Student, Washington University in St. Louis
Personality Measurement and Development Lab
Brown University, 2016

What I do

My research asks 2 distinct but related questions: (1) What is personality and (2) How does personality change? These are distinct in that we can seek to define personality without considering change but related because observations of change will depend on an operational definition of personality.

The lexical hypothesis (personality structure can be extracted from patterns in lay perceptions of trait adjectives we use to describe ourselves and others) is the cornerstone of modern personality (trait) psychology. But I argue for an extended definition of personality that incorporates lay perceptions of how we predict others' behaviors. Fundamental to this is the observation that people reach for social inferences, like intentionality and goals, before dispositional characteristics, like personality traits. Thus, I seek to integrate the patterns of social inferences people make into a cohesive framework that will complement trait approaches to personality.


Measurement is the foundation of personality. My work investigates alternative ways to define personality and its implications for our understanding of personality.


Personality is real and influences life outcomes, but just what it is and what drives it is unknown. I use networks and time series modeling to investigate personality processes.

Idiographic Assessment

Methods are finally catching up to theory, allowing us to use intensive repeated measures to better understand personality at the level of the person, not the population.


How should we design effective interventions for behavioral change? I'm using idiographic analyses to create personalized interventions.


Most days, I speak R better than English. I also have strong opinions about best practices. Sorry in advance.


Personality changes over the lifespan. I study how and why this occurs across the lifespan.