Department of Personality and Social Psychology
The Department of Personality and Social Psychology (DPSP) is a small, yet dynamic and both nationally and internationally recognised unit of the Institute of Psychology. The department is responsible for teaching and research in the general areas of personality, individual differences, social and cross-cultural psychology. High-level scientific research is a major focus in the department, which makes it possible to teach not only theoretical approaches, but also different complex research methods. The main areas of research in the department include personality traits and their development, genetics of personality, emotions, intelligence and cognitive abilities, self-esteem, academic motivation, values, health, and well-being. The members of the DPSP closely collaborate with people from other departments of the Institute of Psychology, most notably with Professor Jüri Allik (Department of Experimental Psychology). The DPSP is lead by Professor Anu Realo.
The members of the DPSP use a variety of different methods and data in their everyday research, ranging from momentary ecological assessments of various personality processes, health status, and physical activity to large scale comparative surveys such as the European Social Survey (ESS), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the Russian Personality and Character Survey (RPCS), to name a few. As an initiative of the members of the DPSP, a web-based research portal (https://kaemus.psych.ut.ee/&lang=Eng) was designed and developed during the years of 2009-2013 which allows to collect and store not only questionnaires but also experimental data in a more efficient and cost-effective way. In addition to the members of the DPSP, the web-based research portal is now being actively used also by students and by people from the other departments of the Institute of Psychology.
Several members of the DPSP (Dr Liisi Kööts-Ausmees, Dr René Mõttus, Professor Anu Realo, Monika Schmidt), together with Professor Jüri Allik, have been actively involved in collaboration with the Estonian Genome Centre of the University of Tartu (EGCUT). This collaborative research project has resulted in a database of approximately of 3,600 individuals for whom not only extensive demographic, lifestyle, health status, and medical history is known but also full genotype information and personality data (both self- and observer-reports) are available. This valuable dataset has been employed by the members of the DPSP in numerous high-level international publications and it has also allowed participation in many large-scale international collaborative research projects on the genetics of personality traits and various other social indicators.
The strong research focus in the DPSP on various health-related issues, including social factors affecting health, is also well reflected in Dr Toivo Aavik’s and Dr Kenn Konstabel’s research. In close collaboration with medical specialists from the Tartu University Clinic, Dr Toivo Aavik has examined the role of values in health-related behaviour and has now relevant data from more than 2,000 individuals with various diseases or otherwise vulnerable members of society. Dr Kenn Konstabel, on the other hand, has worked on identifying and preventing dietary- and lifestyle-inducted health effects in children and infants.
The members of the department (Dr Liisi Kööts-Ausmees, Dr René Mõttus, Professor Anu Realo) have also experience and expertise in conducting experience sampling research (ESM) on emotions and personality processes. The DPSP possesses 22 palmtop computers that can be used to collect ESM data and the plan is to upgrade the computers in the near future.
The DPSP is well-known and recognised for its high-level cross-cultural research on personality, national character stereotypes, subjective well-being, and values. Professor Anu Realo is the coordinator of the World Values Survey in Estonia as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Social Survey ERIC. All members of the DPSP have coordinated and/or actively participated in cross-cultural research projects and have got expertise in handling different types of large scale comparative data sets.
Over the years, the DPSP (especially Dr René Mõttus, Dr Helle Pullmann, and Dr Karin Täht) has maintained a strong research focus on cognitive abilities and educational achievement. Dr Helle Pullmann, together with Professor Jüri Allik, have examined the development of intelligence and personality traits among Estonian schoolchildren using a longitudinal, nationally representative sample of Estonian schoolchildren. Up to now, a subgroup of the participants has been followed up for three times since 2001, allowing the longitudinal assessment of cognitive and learning processes over time. While the research focus of Dr René Mõttus’ studies has been mostly on issues related to cognitive ageing in ageing populations, Dr Karin Täht currently examines the effects of internet addiction and smartphone dependency on the mental health and academic achievement of Estonian schoolchildren.
Academic and Research Staff:
Anu Realo, Professor of Personality and Social Psychology
Wolfgang Wagner, Visiting Professor (0.25 FTE)
Toivo Aavik, Senior Research Fellow and Docent in Personality and Social Psychology
Liisi Kööts-Ausmees, Research Fellow in Personality Psychology (0.8 FTE), Lecturer in Personality Psychology (0.2 FTE)
Karin Täht, Lecturer in Psychometrics
Helle Pullmann, Senior Research Fellow in Personality and Social Psychology (0.25 FTE)
Kenn Konstabel, Project Manager (0.2 FTE)
René Mõttus, Project Manager (0.1 FTE)
Monika Schmidt, Project Manager
Ongoing Research Projects:
Institutional research funding "Psychological Mechanisms of Cognition and Personality Processes“ for 2013-2018. Principal investigator: Jüri Allik. Senior research staff from the DPSP: Anu Realo, René Mõttus, Liisi Kööts-Ausmees.
Finished Research Projects:
„Factors Influencing the Academic Performance in University Students (KAEMUS),“ 2009-2013, funded by the Programme Primus. Principal investigator: Anu Realo, other project members from the DPSP: Olev Must, René Mõttus, Helle Pullmann, Monika Schmidt, and Karin Täht.
"The Location of Health in a Refined Basic Individual Values Model and Testing the Model’s Three-Dimensionality", a personal research grant from the Estonian Research Council for 2013-2016. Principal investigator: Toivo Allik.
“Excitement Seeking and Risky Behavior among Estonian Skydivers: Associations with Personality and Genes,“ 2011-2013. Principal investigator: Anu Realo, collaborators: Maie Talts, Jüri Allik, Liisi Kööts-Ausmees, Tõnu Esko (Estonian Genome Centre, University of Tartu), and Andres Metspalu (Estonian Genome Centre, University of Tartu).
„Personality, Genes, and Health“, a collaborative research project with the Estonian Genome Centre in the framework of the Centre of Translational Genomics, University of Tartu, 2011-2015. Local team leader: Jüri Allik, collaborators: Anu Realo, René Mõttus, Liisi Kööts-Ausmees, Henrik Dobewall and Andero Teras.
A Selection of Recent Publications (2013-2018):
Allik, J., Realo, A. (2018). Universal and Specific in the Five-Factor Model of Personality. In: T. A. Widiger (Ed.). The Oxford Handbook of the Five Factor Model of Personality (xx−xx). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199352487.013.23 [ilmumas].
Guillaume, E.; Baranski, E.; Todd, E.; Brock, B.; Bronin, I.; Ivanova, C.; Cheng, J. T.; de Kock, F. S.; Denissen, J. J. A.; Gallardo‐Pujol, D.; Halama, P.; Han, G. Q.; Bae, J.; Moon, J.; Hong, R. Y.; Hřebičkova, M.; Graf, S.; Izdebski, P.; Lundmann, L.; Penke, L. ... Funder, D. C. (2016). The World at 7: Comparing the experience of situations across 20 countries. Journal of Personality, 84, 493−509.10.1111/jopy.12176.
Mill, Aire; Realo, Anu; Allik, Jüri. (2016). Emotional variability predicts tiredness in daily life: An experience sampling study. Journal of Individual Differences, 37 (3), 181−193.10.1027/1614-0001/a000206.
Mõttus, R.; Allik, J.; Hřebíčková, M.; Realo, A.; Kööts-Ausmees, L. (2016). Age Differences in the Variance of Personality Characteristics. European Journal of Personality, 30, 4−11.10.1002/per.2036.
Kööts-Ausmees, Liisi; Realo, Anu (2016). Life Satisfaction Among Ethnic Minorities in Europe. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47 (3), 57−478.10.1177/0022022116628671.
Kööts-Ausmees, Liisi; Schmidt, Monika; Esko, Tõnu; Metspalu, Andres; Allik, Jüri; Realo, Anu (2016). The Role of the Five-factor Personality Traits in General Self-rated Health. European Journal of Personality, 30 (5), 492−504.10.1002/per.2058.
Čukić, I., Mõttus, R., Realo, A., & Allik, J. (2016). Elucidating the links between personality traits and facets with metabolic disorders. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, 377−382.10.1016/j.paid.2016.01.052.
Okbay, Aysu; Baselmans, Bart M L; De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Turley, Patrick; Nivard, Michel G; Fontana, Mark Alan; Meddens, S Fleur W; Linnér, Richard Karlsson; Rietveld, Cornelius A; Derringer, Jaime; Gratten, Jacob; Lee, James J; Liu, Jimmy Z; de Vlaming, Ronald; Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S; Buchwald, Jadwiga; Cavadino, Alana; Frazier-Wood, Alexis C; Furlotte, Nicholas A; Garfield, Victoria ... Cesarini, David (2016). Genetic variants associated with subjective well-being, depressive symptoms, and neuroticism identified through genome-wide analyses. Nature genetics, 48 (6), 624−633.10.1038/ng.3552.
Neeme, Marko; Aavik, Anu; Aavik, Toivo; Punab, Margus (2015). PERSONALITY AND UTILIZATION OF PROSTATE CANCER TESTING: EVIDENCE FOR THE INFLUENCE OF NEUROTICISM AND CONSCIENTIOUSNESS. Sage Open, 5 (3).
Mõttus, René; Realo, Anu; Allik, Jüri; Esko, Tõnu; Metspalu, Andres; Johnson, Wendy (2015). Within-trait heterogeneity in age group differences in personality domains and facets: Implications for the development and coherence of personality traits . PLoS ONE, 10(3).
De Bolle, M; De Fruyt, F.; McCrae, R.R.; Löckenhoff, C. E.; Costa, P.T.; Aguilar-Vafaie, M.E.; Ahn, C.K.; Ahn, H.N.; Alcalay, L.; Allik, J.; Avdeyeva, T.V.; Bratko, D.; Brunner-Sciarra, M.; Cain, T.R.; Chan, W.; Chittcharat, N.; Crawford, J.T.; Fehr, R.; Ficková, E.; Gelfand, M.; Graf, S.; Gülgöz, S.; Hřebíčková, M.; Jussim, L.; Klinkosz, W.; Knežević, G.; Leibovich de Figueroa, N.; Lima, M.P.; Martin, T.A.; Marušić, I.; Mastor, K.A.; Nakazato, K.; Nansubuga, F.; Porrata, J.; Purić, D.; Realo, A.; Reátegui, N.; Rolland, J.P.; Schmidt, V.; Sekowski, A; Shakespeare-Finch, J.; Shimonaka, Y.; Simonetti, F.; Siuta, J.; Szmigielska, B.; Vanno, V.; Wang, L.; Yik, M.; Terracciano, A. (2015). The emergence of sex differences in personality traits in early adolescence: A cross-sectional, cross-cultural study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108(1), 171 - 185.
de, Moor, MH; van, den, Berg, SM; Verweij, KJ; Krueger, RF; Luciano, M; Arias, Vasquez, A; Matteson, LK; Derringer, J; Esko, T; Amin, N; Gordon, SD; Hansell, NK; Hart, AB; Seppälä, I; Huffman, JE; Konte, B; Lahti, J; Lee, M; Miller, M; Nutile, T ...; Realo, A..... Genetics, of, Personality, Consortium (2015). Meta-analysis of Genome-wide Association Studies for Neuroticism, and the Polygenic Association With Major Depressive Disorder. JAMA Psychiatry, 72 (7), 642−650.
Herrmann, D.; Pohlabeln, H.; Gianfagna, F.; Konstabel, K.; Lissner, L.; Marild, S.; Molnar, D.; Moreno, LA.; Siani, A.; Sioen, I.; Veidebaum, T.; Ahrens, W. (2015). Association between bone stiffness and nutritional biomarkers combined with weight-bearing exercise, physical activity, and sedentary time in preadolescent children. A case-control study. Bone, 78, 142−149,
Moraes, A, C, F.; Carvalho, H, B.; Siani, A.; Barba, G.; Veidebaum, T.; Tornaritis, M.; Molnar, D.; Ahrens, W.; Wirsik, N.; De Henauw, S; Marild, S.; Lissner, L.; Konstabel, K.; Pitsiladis, Y.; Moreno, L A. (2015). Incidence of blood pressure in children - effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviors: the IDEFICS study. High blood pressure, lifestyle and children. International Journal of Cardiology , 180 (1), 165−170.
Pungas, Enel; Täht, Kadri; Realo, Anu; Tammaru, Tiit (2015). Does ethnicity matter in intentions to study abroad? Analysis of high school students in Estonia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41 (14), 2376−2395.
Realo, A.; Linnamägi, K.; Gelfand, M. (2015). The cultural dimension of tightness–looseness: An analysis of situational constraint in Estonia and Greece. International Journal of Psychology, 50, 193−204.
Realo, A.; Teras, A.; Kööts-Ausmees, L.; Esko, T.; Metspalu, A.; Allik, J. (2015). The relationship between the Five-Factor Model personality traits and peptic ulcer disease in a large population-based adult sample. Scandinavian journal of psychology, 56 (6), 693−699.
Rääsk, Triin; Konstabel, Kenn; Mäestu, Jarek; Lätt, Evelin; Jürimäe, Toivo; Jürimäe, Jaak (2015). Tracking of physical activity in pubertal boys with different BMI over two-year period. Journal of Sport Sciences, 33 (16), 1649−1657,
Shtarkshall, Ronny; Kontula, Osmo; Lottes, Ilsa; Aavik, Toivo (2015). Are They Guilty Because of Their Gender? International Journal of Criminology & Sociology, 4, 36−46.
Vainik, U.; Mõttus, R.; Allik, J.; Esko, T.; Realo, A. (2015). Are trait-outcome associations caused by scales or particular items? Example analysis of personality facets and BMI. European Journal of Personality, 29 (6), 622−634.
Vainik, U.; Neseliler, S.; Konstabel, K.; Fellows, L. K.; Dagher, A. (2015). Eating traits questionnaires as a continuum of a single concept. Uncontrolled eating. Appetite, 90, 229−239.
Beilmann, Mai; Mayer, Boris; Kasearu, Kairi; Realo, Anu (2014). The Relationship between Adolescents' Social Capital and Individualism-Collectivism in Estonia, Germany, and Russia. Child Indicators Research, 7(3), 589 - 611.
Dobewall, Henrik; Aavik, Toivo; Konstabel, Kenn; Schwartz, Shalom H.; Realo, Anu (2014). A Comparison of Self-Other Agreement in Personal Values versus the Big Five Personality Traits . Journal of Research in Personality, 50, 1 - 10.
Löckenhoff, C. E.; Chan, W.; McCrae, R. R.; De Fruyt, F.; Jussim, L.; De Bolle, M.; Costa, P. T.; Sutin, A. R.; Realo, A.; Allik, J.; Terracciano, A. (2014). Gender stereotypes of personality: Universal or accurate? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45(5), 675 - 694.
Mõttus, R.; McCrae, R. R.; Allik, J.; Realo, A. (2014). Cross-rater agreement on common and specific variance of personality scales and items. Journal of Research in Personality, 52, 47 - 54.
Mõttus, René; Johnson, Wendy; Murray, Catherine; Wolf, Michael S.; Starr, John M.; Deary, Ian J. (2014). Towards understanding the links between health literacy and physical health. Health Psychology, 33(2), 164 - 173.
Täht, Karin; Must, Olev; Peets, Kätlin; Kattel, Rainer. (2014). Learning motivation from a cross-cultural perspective: a moving target? Educational Research and Evaluation, 20 (4), 255−274.
Woodley, Michael; te Nijenhuis, Jan; Must, Olev; Must, Aasa (2014). Controlling for increased guessing enhances the independence of the Flynn effect from g: The return of the Brand effect. Intelligence, 43, 27−34.
Kööts-Ausmees, L., Realo, A., & Allik, J. (2013). The relationship between life satisfaction and emotional experience in 21 European countries. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, 223 - 244.
McCrae, R.R.; Chan, W.; Jussim, L.; De Fruyt, F.; Loeckenhoff, C. E.; De Boile, M., Costa, P. T.; Hrebícková, M.; Graf, S.; Realo, A.; Allik, J. Terracciano, A. (2013). The inaccuracy of national character stereotypes. Journal of Research in Personality, 47(6), 831 - 842.
Must, Olev; Must, Aasa (2013). Changes in test-taking patterns over time . Intelligence, 41(6), 780 - 790.
Mägi, M-L.; Adov, L.; Täht, K.; Must, O. (2013). Who is willing to take low-stake assignments? Trames : Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 17 (4), 417−432
Pullmann, H., Realo, A., Kreegipuu, K., Allik, J., & Mõttus, R. (2013). Fatigue and university performance. In E. Saar & R. Mõttus (Eds.) Higher education at a crossroad: The case of Estonia (pp. 93-117). New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang Publishers House.
Silm, Gerli; Täht, Karin; Must, Olev (2013). Test-taking effort as a predictor of performance in low-stakes tests. Trames : Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 17 (4), 433−448.
Täht, K.; Adov, L.; Mägi, M.-L.; Must, O. (2013). Does research-oriented university really have a negative effect on students' self-evaluations? In: E. Saar; R. Mõttus (Ed.). Higher education at the crossroad: The case of Estonia (73−91). New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang Publishers House.
Täht, Karin; Must, Olev. (2013). Comparability of educational achievement and learning attitudes across nations. Educational Research and Evaluation, 19, 19−38.