Mike Furr

furrrm@wfu.edu
McCulloch Fellow
Associate Professor of Psychology
Executive Editor, Journal of Social Psychology
(336) 758-5024
Greene Hall 437

Personal Web Site: http://psych.wfu.edu/furr/

 

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position Available: https://wake-hr.silkroad.com/epostings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobinfo&jobid=1530&company_id=16141&version=1&source=ONLINE&jobOwner=992513&aid=1

Most of my current research efforts are dedicated to two collaborative projects:

1) The Character Project. Capitalizing on Wake Forest’s unique cross-disciplinary expertise in the nature of character, we are conducted empirical research projects to address significant and timely issues in the study of character. This research creates a unique and exciting blend of theoretical and empirical work, discipline-specific and interdisciplinary thinking, exploratory and confirmatory strategies, and correlational and experimental studies.The Character Project team is investigating questions such as:

  • Do character traits such as honesty or compassion really exist?
  • If they do exist, how prevalent are they, and what is their underlying psychological nature?
  • Do you see your own moral characteristics in the same way that other people see your moral characteristics? Fore xample, if you see yourself as compassionate, do other people see you as compassionate?
  • Do your moral self-perceptions match your moral behavior? If not why not?

For more information about the Chartacter Project, please visit the Character Project website

2) Borderline Personality Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness, associated with severe functional impairment and significant costs to society.

Our research team has several goals:

  • Obtain direct, empirical accounts of symptom frequencies, severities, and co-occurrences, to aid diagnosis, treatment, and termination decisions.
  • Test several theoretical mechanisms for the occurrence of BPD symptoms in daily life
  • Investigate the role of interpersonal perception processes in stressors and symptoms of BPD.
  • Chart trajectories and transactions of symptom frequencies, severities, and contingencies.

Overarching Research Interests:

Cutting across these two current projects and much of my earlier work are several fundamental questions reflecting personality/social psychology and measurement/statistics.

1) Why do you do what you do – is it because of who you are or because of the situations in which you find yourself? To what degree is there something about “who you are” that drives your behavior, or is your behavior driven more by “where you are”?

One area of interest in personality psychology is understanding the connections between two important behavioral facts: 1) people differ from each other – for example, are some people are generally more compassionate than others?, and 2) people differ from themselves as they move from one situation to another – for each of us, our tendency to act compassionately might changes from situation to situation.

In some ways, these two facts seem to be contradictory – if people change from situation to situation, then to what degree should we discuss the “general” differences among people? This leads to question such as, what are the factors that change your compassion (or fairness, or anger, or anxiety, etc) as you encounter different psychological environments? Are some people more reactive to situational forces than others? If so, why? How do personality “traits” relate to day-to-day behavior? Can we conceptualize personality in a way that integrates the two behavioral facts?

Relevant Student Research

  • Tucker, J. N., & Furr, R. M. (October, 2007). Interpersonal values and self-presentational strategies in everyday life situations. Poster presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists.
  • Catalino, L. I., & Furr, R. M. (January, 2007). An Exploration of Trait-State Interactions with the Need for Relatedness. Paper presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Memphis, TN
  • Catalino, L. I., Furr, R. M., & Manna, S. J. (January, 2006). A Social Cognitive Approach to the Self-Presentation Theory of Social Anxiety. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Palm Springs, CA.
  • Furr, R. M., Stridh, P. E., & Swanger, R. L. (January, 2005). A social cognitive perspective on social anxiety: Situations influence intra-individual associations among social anxiety person variables. Paper presented at 6th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA.
  • Furr, R. M., & Bellis, F. A. (January, 2004). Situational and interactive effects in the self-presentation theory of social anxiety. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.

Note: See my lab members web page for information about where students have gone after completing their work.

2) A second area of interest is how people undertsand themselvea and each others’ personalities. When we interact with other people, how is our behavior interpreted by others? In what way do our social goals and motivations affect those interpretations? Do we know how we are perceived by others? Are some of us particularly effective at creating the impressions that we want to create? If so, who and how? How well do people understand their own behavior and the behavior of others?

Relevant Student Research:

  • Fanciullo, J., & Furr, R. M. (January, 2011). Differential Accuracy of Personality Judgment. Poster presented at the 12th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX.
  • Carlson, E. N., & Furr, R. M. (February, 2009). Differential meta-accuracy: People are aware of the differential impressions they make on others. Poster presented at 10th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Tampa, FL..(Awarded First Place in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Student Poster Award Competition).
  • Carlson, E. N., & Furr, R. M. (2009). Evidence of differential meta-accuracy: People understand the different impressions they make. Psychological Science, 23, 1033-1039.
  • Gauthier, K. & Furr, R. M. (January, 2007). Lay-Persons’ Perceptions of Cross-Situational Behavioral Variability: Accuracy, Interpersonal Effects, and Instrumental Effects. Paper presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Memphis, TN.
  • Nave, C.S., & Furr, R. M. (January, 2007). Examining personality judgments from a self-presentational perspective. Paper presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Memphis, TN.
  • Reimer, H. M., & Furr, R. M. (January, 2005). Lay prediction of behavior: Information, judge, and behavior effects. Paper presented at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA.

3) Again, I’ve become interested in extending these basic questions to personality pathology and to morality.

Relevant Student Research:

  • Hawkins, A., Fanciullo, J., & Furr, R. M. (January, 2011). Relatively low but significant agreement on benevolent traits. Poster presented at the Justice and Morality preconference at the 12th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX.
  • Smith, C. P., & Furr, R. M. (January, 2010). Relational distress associated with sub-clinical personality pathology. Poster to be presented at the 11th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Gauthier, K. J., Furr, R. M., Mathias, C. W., Richard, D. M., & Dougherty, D. M. (2009). Differentiating impulsive and premeditated aggression: Self and informant perspectives among adolescents with personality pathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 23, 74-82.
  • Carlson, E. N., & Furr, R. M. (February, 2008). Self-presentational goals and performance: The toxic effects of personality pathology. Poster to be presented at the 9th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Albuquerque, NM
  • Gauthier, K., Furr, R. M., Mathias, C. W., Dougherty, D. M., & Marsh, D. M. (January, 2007). NEO Personality Ratings in Adolescents with Conduct Disorder: Comparisons between Those who Display Impulsive versus Premeditated Aggression. Paper presented at the Association for Research in Personality pre-conference of the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Memphis, TN

4) Another area of interest is more purely in psychometrics and statistics. All quantitative psychological research depends crucially on measurement and data analysis. I am interested in the process of constructing and validating personality inventories. In addition, I am interested in the development and evaluation of statistical procedures, particularly those used with repeated-measures data.

Relevant Student Research:

  • Carlson, E. & Furr, R. M. (January, 2007). Evaluating a trait profile approach to personality pathology.Paper presented at the Association for Research in Personality pre-conference of the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Memphis, TN.
  • Nave, C. S., & Furr, R. M. (January, 2006). Development and validation of a social motivation/social efficacy scale. Paper presented at the 7 th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Palm Springs, CA
  • Schmidt, E. A., Furr, R. M., & Huelsman, T. J. (January, 2004).Differential item functioning of positive and negative wording in personality and social assessment: An item response theory analysis. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.

Representative Publications

(A full list is available here)

Books

  • Furr, R. M. (2011). Scale Construction and Psychometrics for Social and Personality Psychology. London, UK: Sage Publications. (Part of the SAGE Library in Social and Personality Psychology Methods).
  • Furr, R. M. & Bacharach, V. R. (2008). Psychometrics: An Introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Journal Articles

  • Carlson, E. N., Furr, R. M., & Vazire, S. (2010). Do we know the first impressions we make? Evidence for idiographic meta-accuracy and calibration of first impressions. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1, 94-98.
  • Furr, R. M. (2010). The double-entry intraclass correlation as an index of profile simliarity: Meaning, problems, and alternatives. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 1-15.
  • Carlson, E. N., & Furr, R. M. (2009). Evidence of differential meta-accuracy: People understand the different impressions they make. Psychological Science, 23, 1033-1039.
  • Furr, R. M. (2009). Personality psychology as a truly behavioral science. European Journal of Personality, 23, 369-401. (Invited target article)
  • Furr, R. M. (2009). Profile analysis in person-situation integration. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 196-207. (Invited article for special issue)
  • Gauthier, K. J., Furr, R. M., Mathias, C. W., Richard, D. M., & Dougherty, D. M. (2009). Differentiating impulsive and premeditated aggression: Self and informant perspectives among adolescents with personality pathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 23, 74-82
  • Furr, R. M. (2008). A framework for profile similarity: Integrating similarity, normativeness, and distinctiveness. Journal of Personality, 76, 1267-1316.
  • Furr, R. M. (2008). A contrast analysis approach to change. Educational Research and Evaluation, 14, 335-362. (special issue on growth models)
  • Furr, R. M., Dougherty, D. M., Marsh, D. M., & Mathias, C. W. (2007). Personality judgment and personality pathology: Self-other agreement in adolescents with conduct disorder. Journal of Personality, 75, 629-662.
  • Furr, R. M., & Funder, D. C. (2004). Situational similarity and behavioral consistency: Subjective, objective, variable-centered, and person-centered approaches. Journal of Research in Personality, 38, 421-447.
  • Furr, R. M., & Rosenthal, R. (2003). Repeated-measures contrasts for “Multiple-pattern” hypotheses. Psychological Methods, 8, 275-293.
  • Furr, R. M., & Funder, D. C. (1998). A multi-modal analysis of personal negativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1580-1591.

Book Chapters

Furr, R. M., Wagerman, S. A., & Funder, D. C. (2010). Personality as manifest in behavior: Direct behavioral observation using the revised Riverside Behavioral Q-Sort (RBQ-3.0). In Agnew, C. R., Carlston, D. E., Graziano, W. G., & Kelly, J. R. (Eds.), Then a miracle occurs: Focusing on behavior in social psychological theory and research (pp. 186-204). New York: Oxford University Press.

Furr, R. M., & Funder, D. C. (2007). Behavioral Observation. In R. Robins, C. Fraley, & R. Krueger (Eds). Handbook of Research Methods in Personality Psychology (pp. 273-291). New York: Guilford Press.

  • Personality Psychology
  • Statistics and Methods of Psychological Research
  • Psychological Testing
  • Univariate Statistics (Graduate)
  • Multivariate Statistics (Graduate)