Psych Building

The International Situations Project


The Riverside Accuracy Project



The International Situations Project

Our current focuses on situational assessment across cultures (along with collaborators in Japan, China, Italy and many other countries). For the first paper from the international project, reporting some preliminary data from the US and Japan, click here.  For a more comprehensive paper, reporting comparisons of situational experience across 20 countries, click here.  For a second paper, focusing on comparisons of behavioral reports across 21 countries, click here.  For the funded grant proposal for the "International Situations Project"  (NSF  BCS-1528131) that is working to expand this project to more countries and wider samples around the world, click here. In close collaboration with an amazing international team of researchers, we are currently gathering data in 43 countries (and in more than 30 languages), with more expected soon. 


The Riverside Accuracy Project

The Riverside Accuracy Project (RAP) is a long-term investigation into several important topics relevant to the assessment and perception of human personality.  Funded for almost two decades by the National Institute of Mental Health grant R01-MH42427, the project more recently gained support from National Science Foundation grant BCS-0642243.  

This research program is based on the Realistic Accuracy Model (Funder, 1995, 1999, 2012).  Theoretically, the model proposes that accurate personality judgment requires a four-stage process in which (1) relevant information is emitted by the target which (2) becomes available to the judge, who then (3) detects this information and (4) utilizes it correctly.  Empirically, four moderator variables make accuracy more or less likely, including properties of (1) the judge (e.g., judgmental ability), (2) the target (e.g., judgability), (3) the trait being judged (e.g., visibility), and (4) the information upon which the judgment is based (e.g., its quantity or quality).  For a summary of this research, click here.

Our lab has gathered three large data sets over the years.  Each includes investigations of approximately 200 participants.  Our data include self-reports of personality, peer descriptions of personality, life history interviews and measurements of behavior and life outcomes.  Research using these data is ongoing, including studies of the personality correlates of language use in a life history interview (Fast & Funder, 2008, 2010).


Situational Assessment.  The foundation of the International Situations Project is our prior research on the assessment of the psychologically important aspects of situations.  For a recently published overview, click here.  We have developed the Riverside Situational Q-sort (RSQ) and have used this instrument to assess situations experienced by college students in daily life, and the correlates among elements of situations, personality, and behavior.  Articles introducing and using this instrument have been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Sherman, Nave & Funder, 2010) and the Journal of Research in Personality (Sherman, Nave & Funder, 2012, 2013).  Further work in progress addresses "construal," the ways different people may perceive the same situation.  For the grant proposal to NSF that describes the purpose and procedures of our study on "situational construal," click here.

Another facet of this research explores the implications of situations categorized on the basis of their relevance to evolutionary theory.



UCR Undergraduates:  Interested in working in our lab for academic credit?  For the application, click here.





We are pleased to provide these research resources.  

1. Revised Behavioral Q-sort.  The Riverside Behavioral Q-sort has been revised for more general use, outside of the laboratory contexts in which it has been employed to date.

2. Riverside Situational Q-sort.  We are in the process of developing and testing a Q-sort for the psychological description of situations.

3. Q-sorter program.  We have developed a free, downloadable program for completing Q-sorts on the computer, thus making Q-sort descriptions easier to complete and their data entry more accurate.  We also include files including the behavioral and situational Q-sorts described above, along with the revised California Q-sort for the description of personality.

If you are interested in any of these, please go to our Qsort Resources Page.

4. Program to conduct randomization tests.  This program, written by Ryne Sherman in the R programming language, conducts a randomization test to evaluate (a) the number of significant correlations between a single variable and a large number of other variables, (b) the number of significant correlations between two large sets of variables, and (c) the average size of a large number of effects. Link

The relevant article is:
Sherman, R.A., & Funder, D.C. (2009). Evaluating correlations in studies of personality and behavior: Beyond the number of significant findings to be expected by chance. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 1053-1063.


The material described in these web pages is based, part, upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. BCS-06422243, BCS-1052638, and BCS-1528131. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the individual researchers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



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