Katherine (Kailey) Lawson


  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Areas of Study


  • PhD, University of California, Davis, 2022

  • MA, University of California, Davis, 2020

  • BA, Pomona College, 2017


Broadly, my research program focuses on the nature, development, and assessment of personality traits such as self-control and negative emotionality, and the influence of these traits on mental health, academic achievement, occupational success, and other life outcomes. I incorporate insights and methods from developmental psychology and much of my work examines the developmental period of adolescence through young adulthood. My recent research has identified individual variability in adolescent personality trajectories and documented the ways in which this variability confers risk for or protection against adverse mental health experiences during young adulthood.

Beyond my substantive research interests, I am also excited about longitudinal modeling, psychometrics, and construct validity. I have written about how constructs can be conceptually/empirically overlapping, but distinct (i.e., sibling constructs) and how to use causal justification to determine whether it is appropriate to statistically control for a given variable.

I teach Personality Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and a seminar on Psychometrics.

  • Personality

  • Personality development

  • Adolescence

  • Longitudinal methods

  • Psychometrics and construct validity

Spring 2023

Developmental Psychology — PSYC 216
Advanced Methods in Psychometrics — PSYC 306
Teaching Assistant — PSYC 500
Practicum in Psychology — PSYC 501
Supervised Research in Psychology - Full — PSYC 510F
Supervised Research in Psychology - Half — PSYC 510H
Senior Portfolio — PSYC 599
Senior Portfolio - Half — PSYC 599H