fleeson2Dr. William Fleeson is Hultquist Family Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University. His work focuses on the morally exceptional and on examining actual behavior, behavior patterns, and behavior contingencies in order to obtain new insights about personality constructs and to explain the mechanisms and operation of personality constructs, especially moral character and borderline personality disorder. His work on this line of research has resulted in several publications in leading journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Personality, and Journal of Research in Personality, and in the 2002 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Theoretical Innovation Prize and the 2016 SPSP Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality Psychology. Link to CV

Psychology_H_CMYKWake Forest University Psychology Department stresses both the commitment to classroom teaching characteristic of the liberal arts college and the commitment to scholarship characteristic of the research university. It offers a rigorous undergraduate curriculum in psychology that emphasizes the scientific foundations of psychology, as well as a research-oriented master’s program designed specifically to prepare students for doctoral work.

Fall 2020 Course: Psy 351, Personality Research — Personality, Courage, and Immigration

Coming To America


Research has two mutually supportive goals. The first goal is to improve the world, by making lives better for people. The second goal is to find the truth. These goals work together because the truth will make lives better, and making lives better will increase the desire for the truth.

A significant feature of the human condition is that it is not at all clear how to live life, yet something must be tried. Some of these efforts add to successful, satisfying lives, while others lead to dead ends, frustrated hopes, and wasted resources. My fascination with this feature of the human condition has led me to the study of self-regulation: what people do, try to do, and are able to do to improve the quality of their lives. I am currently working on three research projects:

  1. The Morally Exceptional.
  2. Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms.
  3. Social-Cognitive and Other Mechanisms Constituting Traits.