Personality and Health

Overview

Northwestern University’s Ph.D. program in Personality and Health (P & H) aims to train behavioral scientists to study the relationships between individual differences in psychological functioning and health outcomes. Bringing perspectives from personality psychology, the program puts a premium on the scientific measurement of personality constructs, advanced quantitative methods, and the study of continuity and change in features of personality across the human life course.  From the health psychology side, P & H examines how psychological and social factors impact physiology, health, and illness, and how variations in human experience, including those related to social class and economic disparities, “get under the skin” to affect health.  Research in P & H ultimately aims to understand how psychological variation impacts the most consequential outcomes in human lives, such as social and emotional wellbeing, mental health, occupational success, adaptation to stress, biological health and illness, and mortality.

The core faculty members in P & H are Professors Dan Mroczek (area head), Edith Chen, Dan McAdams, Greg Miller, Bill Revelle, and Onnie Rogers.  Affiliated faculty members include Professors Michael Bailey, Vijay Mittal, Robin Nusslock, Sylvia Perry, Jennifer Tackett, and Rick Zinbarg.  The P & H program also connects to programs and projects outside of the Psychology Department, including the Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) program in the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP); the Anthropology Department; the Society, Biology, and Health cluster in the Graduate School; the Cells-to-Society (C2S) initiative at Northwestern; and the Medical Social Sciences (MSS) Department in the Feinberg School of Medicine.