Grant allows students to collaborate with professor on psychology research

Assistant Professor of Psychology Erik Noftle has earned a major grant that will allow for a team of Willamette University undergraduates to collaborate with him on research into associations between character and personality, personality development, and consistency in personality.

The two-year, $138,656 grant is from “The Character Project: New Frontiers in Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology” at Wake Forest University, with funding from the John Templeton Foundation. Noftle’s project is entitled “Stability and Change in Character in Early Emerging Adulthood.”

The award will provide funding for a team of student research assistants, including three summer research collaborators, to work with Noftle on his study. The research will follow 240 Willamette students through their first two years of college to determine how personality and character develop in young adulthood.

The study will integrate internet questionnaire methods and experience-sampling methods — using iPod touch devices — to examine antecedents, processes and outcomes of personality and character development.

The Character Project supports early-career scholars studying the psychology of character who have not yet benefitted from traditional funding sources.