Dr. Jordan B Peterson

Behind the Science of Cream.HR

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist whose psychological laboratory is at the forefront of the development of modern personality tests. Jordan does experimental work on achievement, creativity, personality, narrative, and motivation. His assessments can predict intelligence, political beliefs, academic achievement, managerial ability, entrepreneurial capacity, creativity, ambition, assertiveness, propensity for depression and anxiety, sociability, aggression, empathy, and more.

His broader interest is in the formal assessment and theoretical nature of self-deception, construing it as voluntary failure of exploration rather than as repression.

Dr. Peterson taught at Harvard University as an Assistant and an Associate Professor before returning to Canada and taking a tenured position at the University of Toronto.

He is licensed in Massachusetts and Ontario, and offers therapy and career coaching to clients on a regular basis.

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Related Research Endeavors

Psychology of self-deception
Neuropsychological/cognitive and personality predictors of performance: academic, creative and industrial


Academic Appointments

Present Appointment Rank Date
University of Toronto    
Dept. of Psychology Professor (tenured) July, 2008 - present
Previous Appointments Rank Date
University of Toronto    
Dept. of Psychology Associate Professor July, 1998 - June, 2008
Harvard University    
Dept. of Psychology Associate Professor (untenured) July, 1997 - June, 1998
Dept. of Psychology Assistant Professor June, 1993 - July, 1997

Published By

Personality and Individual Differences
Journal of Personality
Journal of Research in Personality
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Creativity Research Journal
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Archives of General Psychiatry
Cognition and Emotion
Individual Differences Research
Annals of the New York Academy of Science
Journal of Anxiety Disorders Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Relevant Publications

Refereed Articles

In Press
68. Hirsh, J. B., & Peterson, J. B. (in press). Personality and language use in self-narratives. Journal of Personality, XX, XX-XX.

Hirsh, J.B., DeYoung, C.G. & Peterson, J.B. (2009). Meta-traits of the Big Five differentially predict engagement and restraint of behaviorJournal of Personality, 77, 1-17.

Hirsh, J. B., & Peterson, J. B. (2009). Extraversion, neuroticism, and the prisoner's dilemma. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 254-256.

DeYoung, C. G., Flanders, J. L., & Peterson, J. B. (2008). Cognitive abilities involved in insight problem solving: An individual differences modelCreativity Research Journal, 20, 278-290.

DeYoung, C. G., Peterson, J. B., Seguin, J. R., Pihl, R. O., & Tremblay, R. E. (2008). Externalizing behavior and the higher-order factors of the Big Five.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117, 947-953.

Hirsh, J. B., Morisano, D., & Peterson, J. B. (2008). Delay discounting: Interactions between personality and cognitive ability. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 1646-1650.

Hirsh, J. B., & Peterson, J. B. (2008). Predicting creativity and academic success with a ‘fake-proof’ measure of the Big Five. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 1323-1333.

DeYoung, C. G., Quilty, L. C., & Peterson, J. B. (2007). Between facets and domains: Ten aspects of the Big FiveJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 880-896.

Higgins, D.M., Peterson, J.B., Lee, A. and Pihl, R.O. (2007). Prefrontal cognitive ability, intelligence, Big Five personality and the prediction of advanced academic and workplace performanceJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 298-319.

DeYoung, C.G., Hasher, L., Djikic, M., Criger, B. & Peterson, J.B. (2007). Morning people are stable people: Circadian rhythm and the higher order factors of the Big Five. Personality and Individual Differences43, 267-276.

Djikic, M., Chan, I., & Peterson, J. B.  (2007). Reducing memory distortions in egoistic self-enhancers:  Effects of indirect social facilitation.  Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 723-731.

Mar, R.A., DeYoung, C.G., Higgins, D.M. & Peterson, J.B. (2006). Self-liking and self-competence separate self-esteem from self-deception: associations with personality, ability and achievementJournal of Personality, 74, 1047-1078.

DeYoung, C.G., Peterson, J.B.,  Seguin, J.R., Meija, J.,  Pihl, R.O., Benkelfat, C., Beitchman, J.H., Jain, U., Tremblay, R.E., Kennedy, J.L. & Palmour, R.M. (2006).Variation in the dopamine D4 receptor gene moderates the association between externalizing behavior and IQArchives of General Psychiatry, 63, 1410-1416.

Djikic, M., Peterson, J. & Zelazo, P.D. (2005)  Attentional biases and memory distortions in self-enhancersPersonality and Individual Differences, 38(3), 559-568.

DeYoung, C. G., Peterson, J. B., & Higgins, D. M. (2005).  Sources of Openness: Cognitive and neuropsychological correlates of the fifth factor of personality. Journal of Personality, 73, 1-34.

Carson, S., Peterson, J.B. & Higgins, D.M. (2005). Reliability, validity and factor structure of the creative achievement questionnaire.  Creativity Research Journal, 17, 37-50.

Shane, M.S., & Peterson, J.B. (2004b). Defensive copers show a deficit in passive avoidance learning on Newman's Go/No-Go Task: Implications for self-deception and socialization. Journal of Personality, 72, 939-966.

Shane, M. & Peterson, J. (2004a). Self-induced memory distortions and the allocation of processing resources at encoding and retrievalCognition and Emotion, 18, 533-558.

Peterson, J.B., Pihl, R.O., Higgins, D.M., Seguin, J.R. & Tremblay, R.E. (2003). Relationship between IQ, neuropsychological function, personality and grades among adolescent malesIndividual Differences Research, 1, 159-172.

Carson, S., Peterson, J.B. & Higgins, D.M. (2003). Latent inhibition and openness to experience in a high-achieving normative populationJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 499-506. 0 (0)

Peterson, J. B., DeYoung, C.G., Driver-Linn, E., Seguin, J.R, Higgins, D.M., Arseneault, L., & Tremblay, R. E. (2003). Self-deception and failure to modulate responses despite accruing evidence of error. Journal of Research in Personality, 37,205-223.

Peterson, J.B. & Flanders, J. (2002) Complexity management theory: Motivation for ideological rigidity and social conflictCortex, 38, 429-458.

Peterson, J.B., Smith, K.W. & Carson, S. (2002). Openness and extraversion are associated with reduced latent inhibition: replication and commentary Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 1137-1147. 1 (1)

Peterson, J.B., Driver-Linn, E. & DeYoung, C. (2002). Self-deception and impaired categorization of anomaly.. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 327-340. 1 (1)

DeYoung, C.G., Peterson, J.B. & Higgins, D.M. (2002). Higher order factors of the big five predict conformity: Are there neuroses of health? Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 533-552. 1 (1)

Peterson, J.B., and Carson, S. (2000). Latent inhibition and openness to experience in a high-achieving student population. Personality and Individual Differences, 28, 323-332.

Vickers, K.E., Peterson, J.B., Hornig, C.D., Pihl, R.O., Seguin, J., & Tremblay, R.E. (1996). Fighting as a function of personality and neuropsychological measuresAnnals of the New York Academy of Science, 794, 411-412.

Lau, M., Peterson, J.B., & Pihl, R.O. (1995). Provocation, acute alcohol intoxication, cognitive performance and aggressionJournal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 150-155.

Stewart, S.H., Peterson, J.B., & Pihl, R.O. (1995). Anxiety sensitivity index scores predict self-reported alcohol consumption rates in university womenJournal of Anxiety Disorders, 9, 283-292.

Pihl, R.O. and Peterson, J.B. (1995). Drugs and aggression: correlations, crime and human manipulative studies and some proposed mechanisms. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 20, 141-149.


1. Peterson, J.B. (1999). Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of BeliefLondon: Routledge, Ltd (541 pages).

Manuscripts Submitted/In Preparation

Hirsh, J. B., DeYoung, C. G., Xu, X., & Peterson, J. B. (submitted). Bleeding-heart liberals and conscientious conservatives: Personality and political ideology.

Hirsh, J. B., Guindon, A., Morisano, D., & Peterson, J. B. (submitted). Positive mood effects on delay discounting.

Morisano, D., Hirsh, J. B., & Peterson, J. B. (submitted). Personal goal setting improves academic performance in university students.

In Preparation(studies completed)
Peterson, J.B., Turner, A., Mintah, K., and Hon, R. (in preparation). Women prefer potential to resources: an investigation into the relationship between perceived attractiveness, possibility and wealth.

Peterson, J.B. & Guindon, A. (in preparation). Creative people are less blind to change.

DeYoung, C. G., Quilty, L. C., and Peterson, J. B. (in preparation). Aspects of the Big Five, the interpersonal circumplex, and trait affiliation.

Hirsh, J.B., Morisano, D., Guindon, A. & Peterson, J.B. (submitted). Delay discounting: Associations with personality, cognitive ability, and emotion.

Turner, A. & Peterson, J.B. (in preparation). Empirically-derived motivation for academic achievement predicts grade point average better than Big Five Conscientiousness and IQ combined: study and replication.

Guindon, A. & Peterson, J.B. (in preparation). A normative-ipsative Schwartz value scale predicts academic performance over and above IQ and Big Five personality.

Guindon, A. & Peterson, J.B. (in preparation). Big Five personality and future discounting: a multi-study approach.

Peterson, J.B., Pihl, R.O. and Bowman, E. (in preparation). Do executive function and trait personality measures predict academic success and persistence at the United States Naval Academy? An analysis of two complete incoming classes.

Pihl, R.O., Evans, C.W., Higgins, D.M., & Peterson, J.B. (in preparation). To err is human; to predict, divine: neuropsychological-cognitive profiles of error-prone pharmacists.

Hirsh, J. & Peterson, J.B. (in preparation). Factor analysis of a battery of putative dorsolateral and orbitofrontal cognitive tests.

Morisano, M., Hirsh, J.B., Peterson, J.B. & Pihl, R.0. (in preparation). Written goal setting reduces university dropout among students on academic probation.

Shane, M.S. & Peterson, J.B. Will people declare themselves psychopathic?

Shane, M.S., & Peterson, J.B. If attentional allocation toward error increases learning, then why do depressed individuals show pronounced cognitive deficits?

Shane, M.S., & Peterson, J.B. Learning to learn: Manipulating exposure to negative feedback influences the ability to learn experientially.

Shane, M.S., & Peterson, J.B. Reflective preference predicts the ability to learn over and above IQ: It isn't the size (of your intellect) that matters, but how you use it.

Professional Affiliations and Activities

Professional Memberships

Behavioral and Brain Sciences: Associate
Research Society on Alcoholism
International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Society
American Society of Criminology
New York Academy of Science
Research Unit on Children's Psycho-Social Maladjustment (GRIP)
Canadian Psychological Association