What is IPSR?

The Institute of Personality and Social Research (IPSR) encompasses a distinguished membership from a broad range of disciplines including psychology, business, neuroscience, public health, public policy, education, economics, and social welfare. The IPSR intellectual community is united by a focus on social and personality research that contributes to understanding and fostering well-being, health, equality, and access to information for all.

IPSR's five focal research areas are :


This area continues the Institute's historical focus on personality assessment, personality development, and the implications of personality for performance and health. Moreover, it embraces new approaches toward the assessment and conceptualization of personality and individual differences (e.g., multi-method assessment, the "Big Five" dimensions of personality).


This area addresses the fundamental nature of emotion and its biological substrates, the ways that emotions differ across people and cultures, the critical links between emotion and social processes (e.g., affiliation, prosocial acts, conflict), and the role that emotion and emotion regulation play in well-being, health, and illness.


This area addresses the influence of culture on fundamental social and behavioral processes such as cognition, emotion, affiliation, identity, development, relationships, and personality. It also examines how these processes shape people’s happiness, well-being, and health.

Health and health disparities

This area addresses the role of stress and basic behavioral processes (e.g., emotion, coping) in health and illness. Emphases include individual and cultural differences in health behavior and symptomatology; the physiological underpinnings of resilience, health, and disease; and the reciprocal influences between health systems and the individual.

Social, intergroup, and organizational processes

This area addresses the ways that personality, emotion, culture, and health impact on and are impacted by social, intergroup, and organizational processes. This includes work on relationships, power and status, intergroup bias and discrimination, inequality and health disparities, organizational behavior, and political influences on behavior and information processing.

IPSR Programs and facilities:

IPSR programs and facilities support collaborative and interdisciplinary research amongst its members. IPSR provides office space and meeting rooms at 2121 Berkeley Way. Research resources include small and large group testing rooms, a video coding facility, and a video recording and editing studio. IPSR houses a number of archival data sets concerned with the assessment and development of personality that have been collected over the past half century. IPSR sponsors a vibrant weekly colloquium series as well as conferences and special events that are open to the Berkeley community. IPSR provides research grants that support doctoral and postdoctoral trainees’ research.