Kevin Lanning

I am a personality psychologist with interests in social/political psychology and computational methods. My hobbies include photography.
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Computational Social Science

Computational social science is traditionally understood as lying at the intersection of the social sciences, statistics, and computer science, though it arguably requires additional skills, including the ability to collaborate and to communicate. My current work focuses on network, text analysis, and the nature of team science.

The structure of scholarly communities

In a series of papers, I've used bibliographic couplings to model the empirical structure of personality-social psychology (e.g., Lanning, 2017) and, with my students, other areas of scholarship. I interpret these networks using various models of community structure, and identify communities using analyses of the characteristic language found in the bibliographic record.


A TEDx talk

In this 15 minute video from a few years back, I considered some of the ways in which network science can inform - and perhaps transform - contemporary colleges and universities.


The nature of ego development

In a recent paper in Nature, I used a supervised machine learning approach to extract the speech  associated with stages of ego development, a broad-bandwidth construct which includes aspects of social, cognitive, and moral maturity. In the figure above, the language of ego level can be seen progressing clockwise from the Impulsive to the Autonomous/Integrated stage.

Psychology and Politics

My training is in psychology and measurement.  Much of my recent work is in political psychology.


Personality and ideology

Why are 'walls' so important? The concept is arguably a primitive (basic) one in political psychology. A preregistered project on Trump, permeability, and personality is in progress).

2The psychology of elections

My edited collections on the social psychology of the 2004, 2008, and the 2012 US presidential elections appeared in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

3Freedom and equality

The war on terror has laid bare tensions not merely between freedom and security, but also between freedom (civil liberties) and equality (civil rights). A brief paper is here.


I am a professor at the Wilkes Honors College of FAU, where I teach a range of classes in psychology and data science.


Courses in psychology and behavioral science

Regularly taught courses include Personality, Political Psychology, Behavioral Economics/Thinking and Decision Making, and Personality and Social Development.

Research supervision

Honors College students interested in working with me should contact me via email or during office hours (WB 220, Jupiter campus). here.

Courses in data science and computational social science

Regularly taught courses include Introduction to Data Science and Computational Social Science.