Letter from the Editors: Change and Continuity

Jonathan Adler and Erik Noftle

Erik NoftleJonathan Adler

The study of personality is fundamentally concerned with continuity and change. Whether we're focused on dispositional traits, contextualized motivation, or narrative identity, we expect personality to exhibit some coherence, some robustness over time and across situations. But we also know that we are always developing as individuals. As this issue of P makes clear, the field of personality psychology mirrors this dance between continuity and change - and we are currently at an inflection point. While the rigor of our methods and the breadth and diversity of our foci will no doubt persist, the practice of our science is changing.


At our June conference in Sacramento, the Executive Board of ARP announced that at the end of 2017 ARP will sever its ties with Elsevier and the Journal of Research in Personality (JRP) which they publish. There has been a flurry of discussion – both leading up to that decision and since it was made – about the future of ARP's solo affiliation with a journal and at this point, no firm commitments have been made (a survey about this recently went out to the ARP membership). This conversation has intersected with broader discussions about the future of publishing that have consumed disciplines far beyond our own corner of academia. Not surprisingly, this topic shows up across several of the columns in this issue. Outgoing President Dan McAdams describes the history of the ARP-JRP relationship and looks towards the future. Rich Lucas, the outgoing Editor of JRP, reflects on his nine years at the helm of the journal, a period marked by dramatic growth and enhancement. In addition, three columns from Editors at other journals provide a high-level view of the current publishing landscape. Simine Vazire weighs in with a brief look at the exciting activity at Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS), a journal which ARP co-sponsors with several other organizations. Likewise, Mitja Back (Editor) and Joanne Chung (Research Communications Editor) update us on the many important developments at the European Journal of Personality (EJP). In many ways, SPPS (published by Sage) and EJP (published by Wiley) represent the model of academic publishing that we are most accustomed to, though with several vibrant innovations, such as the inclusion of pre-registered replications. Yet we also hear from Brent Donnellan and Simine Vazire as two of the three Senior Editors (along with Joel Cooper) at Collabra: Psychology, a new open-access online journal published by the University of California Press and the official journal of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. Collabra: Psychology, which has a dedicated personality psychology section, offers a very different model of academic publishing than JRP, SPPS, or EJP (and many other high-quality outlets for personality research). At this point, the direction for ARP's future with an affiliated journal is still being discussed. If you have thoughts you'd like to share (in addition to those you included in response to the survey), please feel free to email us, along with Dan Ozer (daniel.ozer@ucr.edu) as members of the ARP Publications & Communications committee.

and Continuity

In addition to the conversation about the future of academic publishing in personality, we are happy to bring you reports from other members of our community. Rebecca Shiner offers some reflections on her nearly-complete term as ARP Executive Officer. Postdoc and Grad Student Representatives Allison Tackman and Kai Horstmann remind us of the opportunities available to our earliest career members. Jérôme Rossier and Diane Mackie share their perspectives as the Presidents of some of the other organizations that we are close to: the European Association for Personality Psychology (Rossier) and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (Mackie). John Rauthmann and Eranda Jayawickreme give us a preview of the upcoming ARP-sponsored preconference on Personality Dynamics, Processes, and Functioning at SPSP in Atlanta (March, 2018). And, as always, we bring you interviews with two recent ARP award winners, Wiebke Bleidorn, the winner of the inagural ARP Early Career Award, and Daniel Briley, the winner of the Tanaka Award. Finally, in a new column, we have also invited the two winners of the ARP Poster Contest from the most recent June meeting, Emily Bastarache and Raffles Cowan, to share their reflections on attending our conference. It just so happened that both winners are graduate students at the same school (Northwestern, which is also where Jonathan went...just sayin...), so they decided to co-author the column and they have graciously made their posters availble to us as well. We strongly encourage you to read it, as it espouses a wisdom and self-awareness far beyond their years of experience, with lessons we couldn't believe in more deeply.

and More Change

We want to close by sharing the news that this will be the last issue of P that we contribute to as Co-Editors. In the five years that we have filled this role, we have seen ARP blossom incredibly as an organization and we have treasured the opportunity to serve in this way. We have also each been tenured and become parents, so it feels like an eternity. We look forward to continuing to serve ARP on the Publications & Communications Committee as we navigate the organization's future and work with them to help select the new Co-Editors. ARP is home for each of us, so we'll certainly be around. Finally, this issue of P would not have been possible without the expert web skills of Benjamin Johnson, who we want to thank for being such a great collaborator the past few years.

Jonathan and Erik