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Erik Noftle

Professor of Psychology

Headshot of Erik Noftle

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Smullin 201
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
503-370-6720 (Fax)


PhD, MA, Personality-Social Psychology, UC Davis.

BA, Psychology, Grinnell College.


Professor Noftle received his BA in psychology from Grinnell College and his MA and PhD in personality-social psychology from UC Davis. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Wake Forest University and a year as an Assistant Professor at Linfield College, he joined the faculty at Willamette in 2010. Dr. Noftle enjoys teaching courses in personality psychology and research methods, among others. Dr. Noftle’s research interests include the following topics: personality variability, consistency, stability, and change; personality and character development; individual differences in attachment styles; functionalist approaches to discrete emotions and behavior; and assessment and psychometrics. In these research pursuits, Dr. Noftle seeks to answer the following questions: How do individuals differ psychologically from one another (and how can we know this), how consistent are those differences across situations and time, and what meaning do these differences have for people in their actual lives--for achievement, relationships, and happiness and well-being?

Dr. Noftle directs the Willamette University Personality Laboratory (or “WUP Lab”). He is currently seeking research assistants to join the lab who are responsible, careful, reliable, and excited about research. If you are interested in getting involved in his research program, please contact him via email.


Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 210)

Research Methods and Analysis I (PSYC 252W)

Personality Psychology (PSYC 332)

Personality Development (PSYC 370D)

Topical Seminar in Psychology titled “Personality Dynamics” (PSYC 431W)


Representative Publications

Klimstra, T. A., *Noftle, E. E., Luyckx, K., Goossens, L., & Robins, R. W. (2018). Personality development and adjustment in college: A multifaceted, cross-national view. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115, 338-361. [*sharing first authorship]

Noftle, E. E. (2017). Nice new developments but more on development? European Journal of Personality, 31, 559-560.

Noftle, E. E. (2015). Character across early emerging adulthood: Character traits, character strivings, and moral self-attributes. In C. B. Miller, R. M. Furr, A. Knobel, & W. Fleeson, (Eds.), Character: New directions from philosophy, psychology, and theology (pp. 490-521). New York: Oxford University Press.

Noftle, E. E. & Fleeson, W. (2015). Intraindividual variability in adult personality development. In M. Diehl, K. Hooker, & M. Sliwinski, (Eds.), Handbook of intraindividual variability across the lifespan (pp. 176-197). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Noftle, E. E., & *Gust, C. J. (2015). Powerful situations: Some real progress but some future considerations. European Journal of Personality, 29, 404-405 [*Willamette student].

Robinson, O. C., Noftle, E. E., Guo, J., Asadi, S., & Zhang, X. (2015). Goals and plans for Big Five personality trait change in young adults. Journal of Research in Personality, 59, 31-43.

Chung, J. M., Robins, R. W., Trzesniewski, K. H., Noftle, E. E., Roberts, B. W., & Widaman, K. F. (2014). Continuity and change in self-esteem during emerging adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 469-483.

Kling, K. C., Noftle, E. E., & Robins, R. W. (2013). Why do standardized tests underpredict women’s academic performance? The role of Conscientiousness. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 600-606.

Wilt, J., Noftle, E. E., Fleeson, W, & Spain, J. S. (2012). The dynamic role of personality states in mediating the relationship between extraversion and positive affect. Journal of Personality, 80, 1205-1236.

Letzring, T. D., & Noftle, E. E. (2010). Predicting relationship quality from self-verification of broad personality traits among romantic couples. Journal of Research in Personality, 44, 353-362.

Noftle, E. E., & Fleeson, W. (2010). Age differences in Big Five behavior averages and variabilities across the adult lifespan: Moving beyond retrospective, global summary accounts of personality. Psychology and Aging, 25, 95-107.


2016 Faculty Council Faculty Award for Teaching, Scholarship, and Service

Willamette University

Psychology Department

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-375-5306 voice
503-375-6512 fax