DeYoung Personality Laboratory

The DeYoung Personality Lab at the University of Minnesota investigates the structure and sources of personality, including cognitive abilities and risk for psychopathology, using both psychometric and neuroscientific methods. Click here for a more detailed description of the research. (Publications)

Lab Members

 Colin DeYoung  (Lab Director)
Colin is interested in the development of explanatory models of personality traits as psychological and biological parameters within an evolved adaptive system. Personality is conceived broadly as encompassing all reasonably stable individual differences in emotion, motivation, cognition, and behavior. His Cybernetic Big Five Theory attempts to provide a unifying theory for personality psychology and personality neuroscience.
If you are interested in joining the lab, as a graduate student, 
undergraduate, or postdoc, please contact me about the possiblity.

Postdoctoral Fellows 

 (None Currently)

Graduate Students

  Rachael Grazioplene (Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics)

Rachael is interested in understanding the genetic and biological factors that contribute to human individual differences. She is using neuroimaging and molecular genetics to investigate the neural basis of creativity and other personality traits. Of particular interest is how normal variations in personality, neurobiology, and genetics relate to the etiology of common brain disorders. In her spare time, Rachael is working on a prototype to replace Wonder Woman's indestructible bracelets with more sustainable  materials. 

 Sooyeon Sung (Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics)
Sooyeon is interested in the development of personality, focusing on the role that relationships with other people play in personality development.  She takes an evolutionary developmental perpsective to address questions such as, How do genes and environment interact? and How do children's relationships with their parents shape their personalities?

Alex Rautu (Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics)

Alex is interested broadly in the cognitive, motivational and neural processes underlying personality traits, with a particular focus on traits related to Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience.


Tim Allen (Child Development)
Tim’s interests reside in two main areas: formation and development of personality across the life span, and the role of individual differences in cognitive and affective regulatory tendencies that may contribute to various forms of psychopathology. Tim is currently investigating how two lower level aspects of Neuroticism—namely Volatility and Withdrawal—relate to differences in inhibitory control and affective reactivity, and how these differences may manifest themselves in neurobiological functioning.

Amanda Rueter (Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics)

Amanda aims to better understand the intersection of personality, biological factors, and externalizing behaviors. Currently, she is investigating the personality profiles and neurobiological correlates of impulsivity, substance use, and emotion regulation.

Victoria Oleynick (Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics)

Victoria is interested in the cognitive, motivational, and biological origins of creativity and well-being. She has studied inspiration, a motivational state that fuels creative output, the “chills,” a set of bodily sensations that sometimes accompany strong emotion, and congruence between implicit and explicit motivation. Currently, she is investigating lumping and splitting, facets of Openness/Intellect that involve detecting connections and distinctions, respectively. Victoria (and Layla) were excited to join the lab.

Lab Alumni/ae

  Yanna Weisberg
Yanna is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Linfield College in Oregon.  She researches personality in the context of interpersonal relationships and plans to take over the world by manipulating people's endogenous opiates.
Steven Ludeke

Steven is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Political Science at the University of Southern Denmark. 

Rachel Clark

Rachel is a Lecturer in Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University in Texas.

Daniel Hawes

Daniel is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Claudia Civai

Claudia is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen.

Matt Paffel

After several years as a superb Lab Manager and all-around Trouble Shooter, Matt is now working as a Project Coordinator for US Bank (when he's not out fishing).

 Undergraduate Research Assistants: Past and Present

Alex Christensen
Yasir Uddin
Hannah Hillman
Billy Black
Jared LaScotte
Sara Kemmer

Anna Hitchman
Jake Gray
David Leverty
Natalie Bradt
Amanda Folberg
Chloe Miron
Jo Lackner
Kirsten Johnson
Amanda Rezutek
Irene Liveris


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