Jackson installed as Rosenzweig Associate Professor

Joshua Jackson was installed as the Saul and Louise Rosenzweig Associate Professor of Personality Science at Washington University March 21. Jackson poses for a photo with his family, including his wife, Jenessa, and 8-month-old son, Beckett, during the ceremony. (Photo: Sid Hastings/Washington University)

Joshua Jackson has been installed as the Saul and Louise Rosenzweig Associate Professor of Personality Science at Washington University in St. Louis. A ceremony and reception were held March 21 in Holmes Lounge in Ridgley Hall to celebrate the occasion.

Jackson’s scholarly expertise focuses on how personality develops across the lifespan, the effects that personality has on important life outcomes, and how best to measure personality across time and context. His current studies emphasize understanding how personality relates to physical health and whether educational experiences change personality.

The endowed professorship was made possible by a generous gift from the Foundation for Idiodynamics from the bequest of Saul Rosenzweig, a member of the Washington University psychology faculty in Arts & Sciences from 1948 to 1975, and his wife, Louise.

“I am deeply grateful to the leadership at the Foundation for Idiodynamics for this professorship honoring Saul and Louise Rosenzweig and their enduring contributions to the university,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “During his long tenure on the Washington University faculty, Saul Rosenzweig was an influential figure in the field of personality science, and this professorship will further extend his remarkable legacy.”

“It is certainly a pleasure to be able to recognize the outstanding work of such a bright and engaging scholar of psychology,” said Barbara A. Schaal, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor. “Joshua Jackson’s star has only begun to rise and we are very proud to call him a member of our faculty. This endowed professorship serves as acknowledgement not only of his many accomplishments in his field, but also of the exciting discoveries that no doubt lie ahead as he continues to build on his exceptional body of work.”

Jackson has served since 2011 as director of the Personality Measurement and Development Lab at Washington University and has published his research in a wide variety of scholarly journals, including Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the European Journal of Personality, JAMA Psychiatry, Psychology and Aging, and Journals of Gerontology. He received the Best Paper Award from the Journal of Research in Personality in 2014.

Jackson has received grant funding from sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; the National Science Foundation; and the John Templeton Foundation. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Personality and the European Journal of Personality, and is co-editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Personality and Health.

A 2005 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jackson earned his doctorate in personality psychology from the University of Illinois in 2011. The same year, he received the J.S. Tanaka Dissertation Award for methodological and substantive contributions to the field of personality. Among his many honors, he also has received a Rising Star award from both the Association for Research in Personality and the Association for Psychological Science, and an Excellence in Mentoring award from Washington University.

About Saul and Louise Rosenzweig

A Boston native, Saul Rosenzweig earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Harvard University in 1932. He joined the Washington University faculty in 1948 and continued teaching until his retirement in 1975. As a professor emeritus, he remained actively involved with the university, conducting research with post-graduate students until shortly before his death in 2004.

In 1972, Rosenzweig founded and served as the first president of the International Society for Research on Aggression, becoming one of the first psychologists to actively attempt to define and study aggression. The same year, he established the Foundation for Idiodynamics, a philanthropic organization that supported personality research.  Following Rosenzweig’s death, several faculty members of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences were serving on the board of the Foundation for Idiodynamics and continued its philanthropic work, including Randy Larsen, the William R. Stuckenberg Professor of Human Values and Moral Development; Henry Roediger, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor; and adjunct professor Eric Nuetzel, MD, from the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute. Thomas Oltmanns, the Edgar James Swift Professor in Arts & Sciences, also assisted the foundation.  In 2011, the Foundation for Idiodynamics decided to fund an endowed professorship to honor Saul and Louise Rosenzweig and to support research at Washington University in the area of personality science.

Rosenzweig was the author of more than 200 articles and papers on such topics as experimental personality psychology, psychoanalysis, frustration theory, and the idiodynamic approach to studying personality and human behavior. He authored numerous books, including “The Historic Expedition to America (1909): Freud, Jung and Hall the Kingmaker,” which chronicled Sigmund Freud’s trip to America with Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung.

Remembered as an influential figure in the field of clinical psychology, Rosenzweig’s notable contributions include the formulation of the “Dodo Bird Hypothesis,” which concerned outcome studies about the effectiveness of psychotherapy. He argued that many forms of psychotherapy are effective because they share common factors, and named his hypothesis after the Dodo Bird verdict in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” in which the Dodo Bird declared, while judging a race, “everybody has won and all must have prizes.” Rosenzweig also was known for developing the Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Scale, internationally recognized as a measure of aggression.

Louise Rosenzweig, who died shortly after her husband, was a frequent collaborator of his, in addition to being a lifelong companion.