Personality is at the root of human behaviour. However, human performance research has focused almost exclusively on performance processes rather than on personality or the role of personality within such processes.

One aim of IPEP’s research is to redress this imbalance, specifically by investigating how personality, performance strategies, and other factors interact to influence elite performance. Some of our work has focused on the Big 5 traits of extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness and agreeableness. However, most of IPEP’s personality research goes beyond this broad trait-based approach to consider more focused personality variables like narcissism and alexithymia that have a strong theoretical rationale in terms of how they influence performance.

Example publications:

Zhang, S., Roberts, R., Woodman, T., Pitkethly, A., English, C., & Nightingale, D. (2021). Foresee the glory and train better: Narcissism, goal-setting and athlete trainingSport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology

Zhang, S., Roberts, R., Cooke, A., & Woodman, T. (2020). I am great, but only when I also want to dominate: Maladaptive narcissism moderates the relationship between adaptive narcissism and performance under pressureJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology42(4), 323-335.

Roberts, R., Cooke, A., Woodman, T., Hupfeld, H., Barwood, C., & Manley, H. (2019). When the Going Gets Tough, Who Gets Going? An Examination of the Relationship Between Narcissism, Effort, and PerformanceSport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology8(1), 93-105.

Roberts, R., Woodman, T., & Sedikides, C. (2017). Pass Me the ball: Narcissism in performance settingsInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Barlow, M. D., Woodman, T., Gorgulu, R., & Voyzey, R. M. (2015). Ironic effects of performance are worse for neuroticsPsychology of Sport and Exercise24, 27-37.

Roberts, R. J., Rotherham, M., Maynard, I., Thomas, O., & Woodman, T. (2013). Perfectionism and the 'Yips': An Initial InvestigationSport Psychologist27(1), 53-61.