Personality Processes Laboratory

Research Overview

logo for personality processes

Personality can be defined in terms of regularities in behaviour and experience – e.g., the tendency to behave in particular ways, or to experience certain affective states. These regularities can be usefully organised in terms of five trait domains, often known as the Big Five. Personality theories attempt to identify the sources of personality variation, and propose causal mechanisms at various levels of analysis (e.g., genetic, biological, cognitive, interpersonal). Methods for testing personality theories span the gamut of behavioural science, from molecular genetics to text messaging surveys. The depth and breadth of this field is why personality is often called the last refuge for the generalist in psychology. Details of some current projects being conducted within the Personality Processes Laboratory are listed under publications.


Professor Sam Gosling
Jessie  Sun, PhD Student
Kate A Barford, PhD Student
Joachim  Geaney, PhD Student
Ms Kun  Zhao, MPsych/PhD Student
Anna  Antinori, PhD Student

Research Publications

  • Hughes DM, Yates MJ, Morton EE, Smillie LD. (in press). Relative left frontal cortical activity predicts effort expenditure for reward. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
  • Smillie LD, Wilt J, Kabbani R, Garratt CL,  Revelle, W. (in press). Quality of Social Experience Explains the Relation Between Extraversion and Positive Affect. Emotion.
  • Zhao K, Smillie LD. (in press). The Role of Interpersonal Traits in Social Decision Making: Exploring Sources of Behavioral Heterogeneity in Economic Games. Personality and Social Psychology Review.
  • Smillie LD, DeYoung CG, Hall PJ. (in press). Clarifying the Relation Between Extraversion and Positive Affect. Journal of Personality.
  • Ho PM, Cooper AJ, Hall PJ, Smillie LD. (in press). Factor Structure and Construct Validity of the Temporal Experience of Pleasure Scales. Journal of Personality Assessment.
  • Smillie LD, Zhao K, Barford K. Avoiding "greedy reductionism" in personality theory: Comment on "Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective" by Neuman. Physics of Life Reviews 2014; 11(4): 697-698.
  • Avery RE, Smillie LD, de Fockert JW.  The Role of Working Memory in Achievement Goal Pursuit. Acta Psychologica 2013; 144(2): 361-372.
  • Smillie LD, Geaney JT, Wilt J, Cooper A, Revelle W. Aspects of Extraversion are Unrelated to Pleasant Affective Reactivity: Further Examination of the Affective Reactivity Hypothesis. Journal of Research in Personality 2013; 47: 580-587.

Other Items

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cognitive Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience, Social and Personality Psychology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Laboratory Director Dr Luke D Smillie

Department / Centre

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Unit / Centre

Personality Processes Laboratory

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