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Call for papers: "New approaches towards conceptualizing and assessing personality"

Call for papers

Hi there! We're happy to share with you a call for papers for a joint special issue by the European Journal of Personality (EJP) and the European Journal of Psychological Assessment on novel conceptual and measurement approaches to personality. 

Read more about this call for papers below!

The European Journal of Personality calls for papers for a joint Special Issue together with the European Journal of Psychological Assessment on “New approaches towards conceptualizing and assessing personality”

See below detailed information
Deadline for paper proposals: October 15th 2018

Call for Papers –
European Journal of Personality and European Journal of Psychological Assessment
New approaches towards conceptualizing and assessing personality

Editors: René Mõttus, David Condon, Dustin Wood, Sacha Epskamp

Personality science is arguably moving towards more fine-grained theoretical and assessment models. This joint special issue of the European Journal of Personality (EJP) and the European Journal of Psychological Assessment (EJPA) will be devoted to showcasing such novel conceptual and measurement approaches.

We invite you to contribute your best work to this joint special issue. Your work will be noticed. EJP and EJPA are two of the most prestigious journals of their respective fields. To further increase the visibility of the articles across personality and assessments disciplines, the joint special issue will include shared editorials and discussion papers. The issue will be widely disseminated across both fields and joint media outreach activities are planned.

If you are interested in contributing, please see further details below and send a proposal by October 15, 2018.

The paradigm of representing personality with a few broad dimensions, most typically the Big Five, has produced many important insights into the stability, heritability, interpersonal perception, and consequences of personality attributes, among other things. However, such broad dimensions themselves are “black boxes” yet to be unpacked. Why do specific personality characteristics form patterns such as the Big Five? What kind of specific motivational, behavioral, perceptual, and cognitive regularities underlie these traits? These are among the most important questions of current personality research (e.g., Baumert et al., 2017). While a number of general frameworks for nuanced and process-based representations of personality have been proposed, the field still lacks more specific theories providing a fine-grained description and understanding of circumscribed aspects of personality.
Similarly, personality assessment researchers are increasingly moving beyond global self-report measures and are aiming at more narrowly specified assessments of personality. This move may include developing experimental approaches to behavioral observations, but also attempts to “read” personality from digital traces that people leave behind, experience-sampling, and social sensing assessments of ongoing state experiences and behaviors. Such contextualized and/or repeated assessments may give rise to more dynamic representations of individual differences (e.g., with regard to state fluctuations, if-then contingencies). Despite the increasing use of novel assessment and analytic tools, the field still lacks concrete suggestions of how they can be applied to provide psychometrically sound measures of circumscribed aspects of personality.

In addition, the potential of traditional self-report questionnaires may not yet be fully exhausted. For example, investigations into the unique variance in facets of the broad traits and even individual items within these facets may reflect etiological heterogeneity, and this might call for new approaches to the understanding and assessment of personality.

Possible Contributions
For this joint issue, we welcome papers that provide novel and more fine-grained ways of conceptualizing and/or assessing circumscribed personality aspects. Below, we outline some exemplary topics for both pillars of the special issue (conceptualization and assessment). Please note that we intend for these examples to stimulate your imagination and that submissions are not limited to the outlined questions.

Conceptual issues
We invite papers that propose more nuanced ways of conceptualizing personality characteristics, so as to better understand their structure and functioning. Papers that would fit with the aims of the special issue may address (but are not limited to) the following:

  • How can circumscribed aspects of personality be conceptualized and meaningfully organized as systems/networks/process-regularities of lower-level psychological entities (e.g., biological, mental and behavioral states)?
  • How can we conceptually and empirically distinguish between correspondence (each trait having a distinct set of mechanisms) and emergence (each sharing underlying mechanisms) explanations (as defined in Baumert et al., 2017), and how can we turn them into testable hypotheses?
  • What conceptual/empirical/computational models can be used to better understand how diverse aspects of personality affect one another to shape the observed patterns of covariation between people or across time?
  • How do diverse psychological attributes operate jointly and interactively to predict a person’s responses to particular situations?
  • What causes the unique variance at different levels of personality hierarchy?
  • How can we better delineate and organize the massive space of personality “facets” and “nuances” that exists at the level below broad factors?
  • How can a more detailed representation of personality aspects inform the distinction between traits and so-called characteristic adaptations?

Assessment-related issues
We invite papers that propose novel ways for reliably assessing fine-grained (narrow) personality constructs, as well as for assessing broader or more abstract constructs in more fine-grained and yet reliable ways. Research questions might include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • What types of study designs and measurement strategies are optimal for the assessment of narrow distinctions in personality beyond standard self-report questionnaires?
  • How to best measure and analyze individual differences in personality dynamics (e.g., fluctuations/variability; reactivities/if-then-contingencies), in line with psychometric standards?
  • What level and kind of aggregation (across what exactly) is needed to derive “trait-like” measures based on diverse lower-level state measures?
  • What specific computational or statistical models can be applied to a large number of lower-level assessments to derive coherent representations and reliable assessments of personality?
  • What is needed to provide economic versions of more narrowly specified assessments so that they qualify as appropriate alternatives in applied contexts?

Theoretical models of the forces underlying psychological and behavioral regularities and methodological issues associated with more molecular personality assessments ultimately inform one another. Therefore, we particularly welcome contributions that tackle both conceptual and assessment issues. Also, to move beyond generic conceptual frameworks and the mere explorations of broad classes of novel assessment techniques, we particularly welcome contributions that are able to substantiate their novel conceptual and/or assessment approaches by exemplifying and applying it more concretely to a circumscribed (range of) personality aspect(s).
We invite both empirical studies and theoretical contributions related to the topics described above. Also, we will consider methodological papers, including introductions to novel statistical approaches and their implementations (e.g., software), and tutorials to the use of such approaches. We encourage submissions that illustrate applications of frameworks and methodologies that have not been traditionally applied to the study of personality and personality assessment.

Submission Process and timeline
If you are interested in contributing to this joint special issue, please send a proposal by October 15, 2018 to one of the issue editors (see below). The proposals will be considered for either journal depending on their focus and considering an optimal arrangement of papers for both issues. Authors can indicate their journal preference in the proposal but the final decision of allocation will be made once the joint SI is about to be finalized.

Proposals should be no longer than two pages and should outline the purpose, rationale, methodology and expected results of the proposed study (as appropriate).
Full papers that are invited after the review of the proposals, will undergo the regular review process.

Submitted papers should adhere to the author guidelines of EJP and of EJPA. Please note in particular that all submitted empirical papers need to follow the transparency guidelines outlined in EJPs author guidelines. Also, all submitted papers should be concise and take the word limits outlined in EJPAs author guidelines (5,000 words for single-study empirical articles and 7,500 words for multi-study reports) as a general orientation for manuscript length; however, for explicitly stated reasons, papers that combine theoretical ideas with empirical illustrations can be longer. Exceptions regarding the word limits are possible upon request and should be justified by the authors in the cover letter.

The anticipated schedule is as follows:
October 15, 2018 - Submissions of initial proposals (via email)
November 15, 2018 - Comments and decisions on proposals sent to authors
April 15, 2019 - Full papers due
May – December 2019 – regular review and revision process
January/February 2020 - Issue Published

Proposals and questions regarding the special issue can be sent by email to any of the editors:

René Mõttus (
David Condon (
Dustin Wood (
Sacha Epskamp (


Don't forget to send in your work!

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