Faculty » David C. Funder

The principal current research in our lab concerns the assessment of the psychologically important aspects of situations. Intensive data gathering is under way, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. We have developed the Riverside Situational Q-sort (RSQ) and have used this instrument to assess situations experienced by college students in daily life, and the correlates between elements of situations, personality, and behavior. Articles introducing and using this instrument have been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Sherman, Nave & Funder, 2010) and the Journal of Research in Personality (Sherman, Nave & Funder, 2012). Further work in progress addresses "construal," the ways different people may perceive the same situation. Other related projects are examining situational assessment across cultures (along with collaborators in Japan, China, Italy, Singapore and other countries), and the categorization of situations according to evolutionary theory.
Our lab also has a long-standing interest in the accuracy of personality judgment.  This research program is based on the Realistic Accuracy Model (Funder, 1995, 1999, 2012). Theoretically, the model proposes that accurate personality judgment requires a four-stage process in which (1) relevant information is emitted by the target which (2) becomes available to the judge, who then (3) detects this information and (4) utilizes it correctly. Empirically, four moderator variables make accuracy more or less likely, including properties of (1) the judge (e.g., judgmental ability), (2) the target (e.g., judgability), (3) the trait being judged (e.g., visibility), and (4) the information upon which the judgment is based (e.g., its quantity or quality). For a recent summary of this research, click here.

Selected Publications

Funder, D.C. (2012). Accurate personality judgment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 177-182.

Funder, D.C. (2012).  The Personality Puzzle (6th Ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.

Sherman, R.A., Nave, C.S., & Funder, D.C. (2010). Situational similarity and personality predict behavioral consistency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 330-343.

Sherman, R.A., & Funder, D.C. (2009). Evaluating correlations in studies of personality and behavior: Beyond the number of significant findings to be expected by chance. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 1053-1063.

Wagerman, S.A., & Funder, D.C. (2009). Personality psychology of situations. In P.J. Corr and G. Matthews (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Personality (pp. 27-42).  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Funder, D.C. (2008). Persons, situations and person-situation interactions. In O.P. John, R. Robins & L. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of Personality (3rd Ed.), pp. 568-580. New York: Guilford.

Fast, L.A., & Funder, D.C. (2008). Personality as manifest in word use: Correlations with self-report, acquaintance-report, and behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 334-346.

Funder, D.C. (2007). The Personality Puzzle (4th Ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.

Krueger, J.I., & Funder, D.C. (2004). Towards a balanced social psychology: Causes, consequences and cures for the problem-seeking approach to social behavior and cognition (target article), Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 313-327.

Funder, D.C. (2001). Personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 197-221.

Funder, D.C. (1999). Personality judgment: A realistic approach to person perception. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Funder, D.C. (1995). On the accuracy of personality judgment: A realistic approach. Psychological Review, 102, 652-670.

Funder, D.C. (1991). Global traits: A Neo-Allportian approach to personality. Psychological Science, 2, 31-39.

Kenrick, D.T., & Funder, D.C. (1988). Profiting from controversy: Lessons from the person-situation debate. American Psychologist, 43, 23-34.

Funder, D.C. (1987). Errors and mistakes: Evaluating the accuracy of social judgment. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 75-90.