Dr. Roberts received his Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley in 1994 in personality psychology and worked at the University of Tulsa until 1999 when he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois, where he is a Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar.
His primary line of research is dedicated to understanding the patterns of continuity and change in personality in adulthood and the mechanisms that affect these patterns, with a particular focus on the development of conscientiousness. His second line of research focuses on personality assessment. This includes studies focusing on the meaning and scope of conscientiousness, the relationship between conscientiousness and the health process, the utility of contextualized assessments of personality, and the use of IRT in personality assessment.
He received the J. S. Tanaka Dissertation Award for methodological and substantive contributions to the field of personality psychology in 1995. He was awarded the prize for the most important paper published in the Journal of Research in Personality in 2000. Most recently he received the Diener Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology and the Theodore Millon Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation.
He has served as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Research in Personality, as a member-at-large for the Association for Research in Personality. He is currently the Executive Officer for the Association for Research in Personality, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Roberts received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994.