Now Accepting Award Nominations through August 1st!

We have opened the nomination period for a few of the SPA Annual awards. We need your help in recognizing individuals that embody the Society's mission to advance the development of methods of personality assessment, the advancement of research on their effectiveness, and the exchange of ideas about the theory and practice of assessment. Recipients of these awards will be celebrated at our 2022 SPA Annual Convention in Chicago, IL. If you have any questions, please contact our office at

The BRUNO KLOPFER MEMORIAL AWARD is given for outstanding, long-term professional contribution to the field of personality assessment.

The JOHN E. EXNER SCHOLAR AWARD honors the memory of John E. Exner, Ph.D., a pioneer in personality assessment, by supporting the research of a young personality assessor. Dr. Exner was committed to advancing the science of personality assessment by empirical research in the development and application of assessment instruments. This award honors that commitment by recognizing and supporting a young investigator examining any method of personality assessment.

The SAMUEL J. and ANNE G. BECK AWARD is given for outstanding early career research in the field of personality assessment. The award is presented in conjunction with the University of Chicago.

The WALTER G. KLOPFER AWARD is bestowed annually by the Society for Personality Assessment for distinguished contribution to the literature in personality assessment. Eligible contributions focus on statistically based research projects. The Journal for Personality Assessment Editor asks all Consulting Editors to nominate outstanding articles from the previous year, each of which is then rated by the Editor and Associate Editors.

The MARTIN MAYMAN AWARD is bestowed annually by the Society for Personality Assessment for a distinguished contribution to the literature in personality assessment. Eligible contributions may consist of an outstanding case study, qualitative research project, or theoretical development. The JPA Editor asks all Consulting Editors to nominate outstanding articles from the previous year, each of which is then rated by the Editor and Associate Editors.

The MARGUERITE R. HERTZ MEMORIAL is a tribute to Dr. Hertz for her long-term professional contributions to personality assessment. The memorial is presented by a distinguished member of the Society in honor of a deceased eminence from the field of personality assessment. At times, the presenter also invites other members to join in relating anecdotes of their personal contact with the honoree.

The MARY S. CERNEY STUDENT AWARD is awarded to the best personality assessment research paper submitted by a student. This award carries a small stipend to help defray the cost of attending the Annual Convention.

The DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AND CONTRIBUTION TO PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT AWARD honors individuals promoting personality assessment through excellence in teaching, outreach, advocacy, or practice. Recipients are those whose work has made a meaningful contribution to the practice of personality assessment by way of direct service, policy development and implementation, innovation, teaching, training, professional publications, leadership, or advocacy for the profession.

2021 Award Winners

Headshot of Dr. R. Michael BagbyDr. R. Michael Bagby

R. Michael Bagby, Ph.D. is currently a Full Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, and the Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science, University of Toronto. He received his International Baccalaureate Diploma from Christchurch School, Christchurch, Virginia; a B.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; his M.A. from Radford University, Radford, Virginia and his Ph.D. from York University, Toronto, Canada. He completed his clinical internship and post-doctoral studies in the Behavioural Medicine Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He has published more than 400 peer reviewed journal articles, nearly 50 book chapters, two books, and five psychological tests. He is past Editor of Assessment and is currently an Associate Editor for Psychological Assessment. He sits on the Editorial board of all four major psychological assessment journals – Assessment, European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Journal of Personality Assessment, and Psychological Assessment. He has held or currently holds operating grants as a PI, Co-PI or Co-I and fellowships from several different agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Ontario Mental Health Foundation and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In 2018 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Assessment Psychologist Award, given by Division 12, Section IX of the American Psychological Association.

Michael RocheDr. Michael Roche

Michael Roche, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at West Chester University. Dr. Roche earned his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, after completing his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research lab, the Psychological Assessment of Temporally-dynamic Traits, Emotions, and Relationships in Naturalistic Settings (PATTERNS) lab, assesses the impact of personality disorder in daily life, using longitudinal methods to capture temporally-dynamic patterns of psychological dysfunction, and creating methods to utilize person-specific assessments to assist clinicians in conceptualizing their clients. He has authored or coauthored over 30 academic journal articles, 10 book chapters, and 65 presentations and posters. He serves as a consulting editor for the journal Assessment, and the Journal of Personality Assessment. Dr. Roche is also the newsletter editor for the Society for Interpersonal Theory and Research, and was recently elected vice president of this society. He teaches assessment and psychotherapy courses in the WCU doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD) along with providing therapy and assessment supervision to doctoral students and teaching undergraduate courses. He also maintains a small practice of individual and group (DBT) psychotherapy, and is a statistical consultant for researchers interested in analyzing longitudinal data. His most important and fulfilling position is father to future Dr. Tatum Elaine Roche.

Headshot of Dr. ThielmannDr. Isabel Thielmann

Isabel Thielmann, Ph.D. is a researcher at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. She received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of Mannheim, Germany. Her research focuses on personality and its measurement as well as on the determinants of prosocial and ethical behavior. Moreover, Dr. Thielmann is interested in personality judgments. In most of her work, she is combining approaches and methods from different fields to study person-situation interactions in the moral domain.

The HEXACO–100 Across 16 Languages: A Large-Scale Test of Measurement Invariance

The HEXACO Personality Inventory–Revised (HEXACO–PI–R) has become one of the most heavily applied measurement tools for the assessment of basic personality traits. Correspondingly, the inventory has been translated to many languages for use in cross-cultural research. However, formal tests examining whether the different language versions of the HEXACO–PI–R provide equivalent measures of the 6 personality dimensions are missing. We provide a large-scale test of measurement invariance of the 100-item version of the HEXACO–PI–R across 16 languages spoken in European and Asian countries (N.30,484). Multigroup exploratory structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analyses revealed consistent support for configural and metric invariance, thus implying that the factor structure of the HEXACO dimensions as well as the meaning of the latent HEXACO factors is comparable across languages. However, analyses did not show overall support for scalar invariance; that is, equivalence of facet intercepts. A complementary alignment analysis supported this pattern, but also revealed substantial heterogeneity in the level of (non)invariance across facets and factors. Overall, results imply that the HEXACO–PI–R provides largely comparable measurement of the HEXACO dimensions, although the lack of scalar invariance highlights the necessity for future research clarifying the interpretation of mean-level trait differences across countries.

Isabel Thielmann, Nazar Akrami, Toni Babarović, Amparo Belloch, Robin Bergh, Antonio Chirumbolo, Petar Čolović, Reinout E. de Vries, Daniel Dostál, Marina Egorova, Augusto Gnisci, Timo Heydasch, Benjamin E. Hilbig, Kung-Yu Hsu, Paweł Izdebski, Luigi Leone, Bernd Marcus, Janko Međedović, János Nagy, Oksana Parshikova, Marco Perugini, Boban Petrović, Estrella Romero, Ida Sergi, Kang-Hyun Shin, Snežana Smederevac, Iva Šverko, Piotr Szarota, Zsofia Szirmák, Arkun Tatar, Akio Wakabayashi, S. Arzu Wasti, Tereza Záškodná, Ingo Zettler, Michael C. Ashton & Kibeom Lee

Dr. MayerDr. John D. Mayer

John D. Mayer received his B.A. from the University of Michigan, his Ph.D. in psychology from Case Western Reserve University, and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University. Mayer's interests are in personality psychology and in personal and emotional intelligences. He has served on the editorial boards of Psychological Bulletin, the Journal of Personality, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, among others.

An Integrated Approach to Personality Assessment Based on the Personality Systems Framework

Psychologists who carry out personality assessments must be conversant in diverse technical languages to describe their clients’ social contexts and inner personality function. The clinician needs to understand a person’s family, gender role, ethnic identity, religious beliefs, and similar qualities, and also a client’s inner personality functioning, including the workings of motives, emotions, cognition, and self-control: These can be characterized by relevant psychiatric symptoms, personality traits, and individual test scores such as those on the MMPI–2–RF and Rorschach-Performance Assessment System. The Personality Systems Framework for Assessment (PSF–A) can support the assessment process by organizing information about both an individual’s context and personality function, freeing professionals to optimally focus on characterizing their clients.

Headshot of Whitney RingwaldWhitney Ringwald

Whitney Ringwald is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Pittsburgh. She received a master's in social work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. Whitney is currently part of the Personality Processes and Outcomes Laboratory working with Aidan Wright. Her research leverages dynamic assessment of people's everyday patterns to understand the processes underlying individual differences in social and emotional functioning. Clinically, Whitney has worked in a wide range of settings with diverse patients from drug and alcohol treatment in forensic settings to group therapy for individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She is interested in gaining experience using psychodynamic methods to treat personality pathology. Outside of her research and clinical work, Whitney is an avid consumer and creator of art.

Dr. BrabenderDr. Virginia Brabender

Virginia Brabender began her research in the area of psychological assessment on the difficult diagnostic issue of differentiating patients with unipolar versus bipolar depression.  For this research, she and her co-author were awarded the 1994 Walter G. Klopfer Award for Distinguished Statistically-based contribution to the literature in personality assessment, presented by the Society for Personality Assessment in collaboration with Psychological Assessment Resources.  She went on to publish various papers on personality assessment and served as co-editor of a special series of articles on ethics and psychological assessment.  More recently, she has delved into the topic of diversity, inclusion, and personality assessment through a collection of papers and presentations, as well as the volume, co-edited with Dr. Joni Mihura, The handbook of gender and sexuality in psychological assessment. She has particular interest in the pedagogy of training in diversity and personality assessment.  Virginia Brabender has taught personality assessment for 40 years at Hahnemann University, Temple University, and Widener University with her tenure at the latter spanning over 30 years.  She has served as President, Secretary, and newsletter editor of the Society of Personality Assessment, and as consulting and section editor for JPA.