Mike Furr

Email:  furrrm at wfu.edu
Professor of Psychology
(336) 758-5024
Greene Hall 437

Personal Web Site:  http://go.wfu.edu/furr


Research Interests & Relevant Publications

My current research is focused on three broad issues:


1)    Moral Psychology. Among other things, our team is interested in understanding:

  • The personality basis of moral behavior, especially honest behavior
  • Moral reputations (e.g., what do people believe about highly honest people, how are honest people seen by others)?
  • How do people resolve moral dilemmas (e.g., what seems “correct” when honesty and compassion conflict?)

2)    Borderline Personality Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness, associated with severe functional impairment and significant costs to society. Our research team has several goals:

  • Obtain direct, empirical accounts of symptom frequencies, severities, and co-occurrences, to aid diagnosis, treatment, and termination decisions.
  • Test several theoretical mechanisms for the occurrence of BPD symptoms in daily life.
  • Investigate the role of interpersonal perception processes in stressors and symptoms of BPD.
  • Chart trajectories and transactions of symptom frequencies, severities, and contingencies.

3)    Measurement and Analysis. I’m interested in diverse issues related to the development and validation of psychological tests and related to the analysis of data. For example:

  • Assessment and analysis of “profile similarity”
  • Evaluating, understanding, and computing the “Quantifying Construct Validity” procedure
  • Developing new measures of moral relativism and moral tolerance
  • The practical meaning of variance components

Representative Publications (A full list is available here)



Furr, R. M. (2018). Psychometrics: An Introduction (3rd Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Miller, C., Furr, R. M., Knobel, A., & Fleeson, W. (Eds.). (2015). Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology. Oxford University Press. New York, NY.

Furr, R. M. (2011). Scale Construction and Psychometrics for Social and Personality Psychology. London, UK: Sage Publications. (Part of the SAGE Library in Social and Personality Psychology Methods).

Journal Articles


Rogers, K. H., Wood, D., & Furr, R. M. (2018). Assessment of similarity and self-other agreement in dyadic relationships: A guide to best practices. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35, 112-134. (Invited article for special issue, “Data Analytic Issues in Relationship Research”).

Hartley, A. G., & Furr, R. M. (2017). A profile-based framework for factorial similarity and the congruence coefficient. Journal of Personality Assessment, 99, 653-663.

             Note: This paper won the Society of Personality Assessment’s Walter G. Klopfer Award for the best empirical paper published in the Journal of Personality Assessment in 2017.

Hartley, A. G., Furr, R. M., Helzer, E., Jayawickreme, E., Velasquez, K., & Fleeson, W. (2016). Morality’s centrality in liking, respecting, and understanding others. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7, 648-657

Wood, D., & Furr, R. M. (2016). The correlates of similarity estimates are often misleadingly positive: The nature and scope of the problem, and some solutions. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20, 79-99.

Law, M. K., Furr, R. M., Arnold, E. M., Mneimne, M., Jaquett, C., & Fleeson, W. (2015). Does asking frequently and repeatedly about suicide cause harm? A randomized control study. Psychological Assessment, 27, 1171-1181.

Hawkins, A. A., Furr, R. M., Arnold, E. A., Law, M. K.., & Fleeson, W. (2014). The structure of Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms: A multi-method, multi-sample examination. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 5, 380-389.

Helzer, E. G., Furr, R. M., Hawkins, A., Barranti, M., Blackie, L. E. R., & Fleeson, W. (2014). Agreement on the perception of moral character. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 1698-1710

Furr, R. M., & Wood, D. (2013). On the similarity between exchangeable profiles: A psychometric model, analytic strategy, and empirical illustration. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 233-247.

Furr, R. M. (2010). The double-entry intraclass correlation as an index of profile similarity: Meaning, problems, and alternatives. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 1-15. Furr, R. M. (2009). Personality psychology as a truly behavioral science. European Journal of Personality, 23, 369-401. (Invited target article)

Furr, R. M. (2008). A framework for profile similarity: Integrating similarity, normativeness, and distinctiveness. Journal of Personality, 76, 1267-1316.

Furr, R. M., & Funder, D. C. (2004). Situational similarity and behavioral consistency: Subjective, objective, variable-centered, and person-centered approaches. Journal of Research in Personality, 38, 421-447.

Furr, R. M., & Rosenthal, R. (2003). Repeated-measures contrasts for “Multiple-pattern” hypotheses. Psychological Methods, 8, 275-293.

Recent Book Chapters


Furr, R. M. (In press). Psychometrics in clinical psychological research. In A. G. C. Wright & M. N. Hallquist (Eds.),Handbook of Research Methods in Clinical Psychology. Cambridge University Press.

Furr, R. M. (In press). Variability and consistency in the analysis of behavior. In J. Rauthmann (Ed.), Handbook of Personality Dynamics and Processes. Elsevier.

Furr, R. M., & Funder, D. C. (In press). Persons, situations, and person-situation interactions. In O. P. John & R. W. Robins (Eds.), Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research (4th Edition). Guilford Press.

Helzer, E. G., Jayawickreme, E., & Furr, R. M. (2018). Moral character: Current insights and future directions. In T. Shackelford & V. Ziegler-Hill (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Personality and Individual Differences Vol. 2 (pp. 278-300). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Nave, C. S., Feeney, M. G., & Furr, R. M. (2018). Behavioral observation in the study of personality and individual differences. In T. Shackelford & V. Ziegler-Hill (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Personality and Individual Differences Vol. 1 (pp. 317-340). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught

  • Univariate Statistics
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Psychometrics
  • Introduction to R
  • Personality Psychology
  • Methods of Psychological Research
  • Psychological Testing
  • Introductory Psychology


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