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John Johnson


  1. Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1981


Research interests

John A. Johnson is a personality psychologist who often takes an evolutionary perspective in his research. Much of his research has been aimed at understanding the factors that affect the validity of personality self reports, and he is especially interested in methods for improving the validity and pragmatic utility of computer-generated, narrative personality reports. He currently helps to manage the International Personality Item Pool, a collaboratory for public domain personality measures. Recent projects have focused on individual differences in evolved emotional dispositions and the impact of these dispositions on (a) the perception of fictional characters, (b) motivated reasoning in science and philosophy, and (c) judgments of the fairness of wealth inequality.

Recent Publications

Goldberg, L. R., Johnson, J. A., Eber, H. W., Hogan, R., Ashton, M. C., Cloninger, C. R., & Gough, H. G. (2006). The International Personality Item Pool and the future of public-domain personality measures. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 84-96. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2005.08.007

Johnson, J. A. (2009). Wrong and right questions about persons and situations. In B. Donnellan, R. Lucas, & W. Fleeson (Eds.), Personality and assessment at age 40 [Special Issue]. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 251-252. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2008.12.022

Johnson, J. A. (2010). Web-based self-report personality scales. In S. D. Gosling & J. A. Johnson (Eds.), Advanced methods for conducting online behavioral research (pp. 149-166). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Johnson, J. A., Carroll, J., Gottschall, J., & Kruger, D. (2011). Portrayal of personality in Victorian novels reflects modern research findings but amplifies the significance of agreeableness. Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 50-58. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2010.11.011

Johnson, J. A. (2011). The argumentative theory of reasoning applies to scientists and philosophers, too. [commentary on Mercier & Sperber: Why do humans reason?]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34, 81-82. doi:10.1017/S0140525X10002931

Johnson, J. A. (2011). Vampires are real: An evolutionary view of The Twilight Saga. The Evolutionary Review: Art, Science, Culture, 2, 113-118.

Carroll, J., Gottschall, J., Johnson, J. A., & Kruger, D. (2012). Graphing Jane Austin: The evolutionary basis for literary meaning. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Carroll, J., Johnson, J. A., Gottschall, J., & Kruger, D. (2012). Graphing Jane Austen: Agonistic structure in British novels of the nineteenth century. Scientific Study of Literature, 2, 1-24. doi 10.1075/ssol.2.1.01car

Johnson, J. A. (2014). Measuring thirty facets of the five factor model with a 120-item public domain inventory: Development of the IPIP-NEO-120. Journal of Research in Personality, 51, 78-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2014.05.003

Johnson, J. A. (2015). The best way to think about situations: Process and Reality, yea; Circularity, nay. European Journal of Personality, 29, 394-395. DOI: 10.1002/per.2005

Carroll, J., Gottschall, J., Johnson, J., & Kruger, D. (in press, 2016) Agonistic structure in canonical British novels of the nineteenth century. In J. Carroll, D. P. McAdams, & E. O. Wilson (Eds.), Darwin's bridge: Uniting the humanities and sciences. New York: Oxford University Press

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