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. He is currently attempting to develop a grand 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 

 Claudia Civai
Claudia is mainly interested in social decision making and its neural basis; in particular, she has been obsessively trying to understand how people perceive fairness and equality concepts. To pursue her aim, she uses paradigms borrowed from Game Theory, such as the Ultimatum and Dictator Games, and neuroscientific techniques, including fMRI, skin conductance response, and transcranical direct current stimulation (tDCS). She wants to be young forever, so she spends most of her spare time going to rock concerts.

Graduate Students

 Rachel Clark (Biological Psychopathology)
Rachel is interested in the biological etiology of psychopathology, particularly mood disorders and externalizing disorders. Presently, she’s investigating genetic influences on ADHD and antisocial behavior, as well as personality and genetic risk factors for PTSD. Rachel has an extremely powerful memory. Her trainer stands at left in the photo.

  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, including what kinds of interactions between genome and environment facilitate risk, resilience, and plasticity. In her spare time, Rachael is working on a prototype to replace Wonder Woman's indestructable bracelets with more sustainable  materials. 

 Sooyeon Sung (Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics)
 “Why are people the way they are?  This is one big question in my mind, which expands into various related topics that interest me; how do people develop their personality? What kind of roles do relationships with other people play in personality development? How do genes and environment interact? What would be the ultimate function of personality variation? How do biological systems such as brain function and the endocrine systems produce individual differences in personality? Currently, I am working on a project that investigates whether human life history traits can be captured in two dimensions rather than in a uni-dimensional continuum and how other personality traits and characteristic adaptations might be related to those two dimensions.”

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.


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 at Colgate College in New York. 

Daniel Hawes

Daniel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Sam McClure at Stanford University in California.

Matt Paffel

After several years as a superb Lab Manager and all-around Trouble Shooter, Matt is currently working toward a degree in IT management. (I believe IT standards for "Impressive Trout.")

 Undergraduate Research Assistants: Past and Present

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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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.