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Personality Processes and Outcomes Laboratory


Welcome to the Personality Processes and Outcomes Laboratory (PPOL) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.  The PPOL has a broad mission to understand what causes and maintains individual differences in the most important of life outcomes: developing and maintaining satisfying relationships, finding rewarding work, and enjoying good health. Within this broader mission we are working to better understand the ways in which personality and psychopathology connect, chart the development and change of personality disorders over time, and, most centrally, characterize the processes that differentiate normal/adaptive from disordered personality functioning, among other goals. We are also involved in the development and application of novel assessment and advanced statistical modeling techniques to further our research aims.

Research in the PPOL is grounded in the basic sciences of personality psychology and psychopathology. In our work we frequently draw on well validated structural models of individual differences (e.g., the interpersonal circumplex, the big-5/five-factor model) to provide an organizing framework for investigations. However, we adopt the perspective that personality traits reflect ensembles of contextualized dynamic processes that need to be understood as they unfold over various time scales. Therefore much of our work involves repeated sampling from subjects in time intervals that span from the micro (e.g., sub-second) to the macro (e.g., across decades) scale, in order to reveal processes of interest.

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol