If people's behaviors reflect their personalities, and if their personalities remain relatively unchanged across situations, then it should be possible to predict what a person is like in one situation from knowing what she or he is like in another. But research shows this is often very difficult to do, despite the concerted effort by many social and personality psychologists. Does personality exist? Is it not stable? Research in my lab to date suggests that hidden in the seemingly random variation of individuals_ behavior across situations is a pattern that is stable and distinctive for each individual. The behavior itself varies, but there is stability in how each individual_s behavior varies from one situation to another. These stable and distinctive patterns, which we call the behavioral signatures of individuals, suggest the existence of a higher order consistency and that an intuitive belief in personality may in fact be based on consistency of such a kind. To account for such higher-order consistency (i.e., consistency in the pattern of variatons), we have been conceptualizing personality as a distinctive and stable network of automatic associations of thoughts and feelings. The thoughts and feelings that are activated at any given moment may change. But the associative network that guides and constrains their activation itself may be stable and distinctive for each individual. Computer simulations have confirmed this prediction. Our research now focuses on developing empirical methodologies for the assessment of automatic (i.e., not consciously controlled) associations among specific cognitions and affects, as well as a method for analyzing situations in terms of a set of psychological features that activate these cognitions and affects.
- August 11, 2023 Yuichi Shoda received two-year, $287,320 grant from the NSF's Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate
- April 15, 2020 Yuichi Shoda and the Marshmallow Test are cited in this Medium.com article about COVID-19.
- November 7, 2019 Yuichi Shoda cited in this Elemental article. Analysis and new studies involving the Marshmallow Test reveal complexity.
- February 14, 2019 Yuichi Shoda and colleague Vivian Zayas explore the complication underlying love in this article in The Conversation.
- December 10, 2018 UW News discusses the lack of diversity in research subjects and cites a paper by Laura Brady, Yuichi Shoda and Stephanie Fryberg, in this article
- December 6, 2018 Yuichi Shoda is quoted in this Right as Rain article on self-control
- July 3, 2018 Yuichi Shoda is cited in this EurekAlert! article about children’s capacity for delayed gratification.
- September 27, 2016 Alicia Shen’s summer data science for social good project, which analyzed ORCA card data for the City of Seattle just got covered by both the Seattle Times and GeekWire!
- January 11, 2016 Yuichi Shoda was one of the 2015 Golden Goose Awardees for his work on the famous Marshmallow Test.
- October 15, 2014 Yuichi Shoda’s work is mentioned in this story -
- September 6, 2011 Jennifer Wang was lead author on "When the Seemingly Innocuous' Stings': Racial Microaggressions and Their Emotional Consequences," that was published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin XX(X) 1-13.
- Shoda, Y. (in press). Studying people to understand situations; studying situations to understand people. In C. Sansone, C. Morf, & A. Panter (Eds.), Handbook of Methods in Social Psychology. Sage.
- Shoda, Y., LeeTiernan, S., & Mischel, W. (in press). Personality as a dynamical system: Emergence of stability and constancy from intra- and inter-personal interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Review.
- Zayas, V., Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. N. (in press). Personality in context: An interpersonal systems perspective. Journal of Personality.