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Matthias Mehl

Matthias Mehl

I am a social and personality psychologist with three broad areas of interest. First, I am interested in naturalistic person-environment interactions. What do people do over the course of a day? To what extent can people’s personalities, gender, and cultural backgrounds account for the different lives they live? I address these questions by analyzing snippets of ambient sounds sampled from people’s momentary environments. Second, I am interested in stress, emotion regulation and coping. My research looks at how psychological responses to upheaval unfold over time, and how social interactions facilitate coping. Finally, I am interested in developing alternative assessment methods that can complement psychology’s long-standing reliance on self-reports. My work in this area has focused on the unobtrusive observation of daily life, quantitative text analysis, and physiological measurement.

Primary Interests:

  • Communication, Language
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Health Psychology
  • Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
  • Person Perception
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Research Methods, Assessment

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Journal Articles:

  • Cohn, M. A., Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2004). Linguistic indicators of psychological change after September 11, 2001. Psychological Science, 15, 687-693.
  • Holleran, S. E., Whitehead, J., Schmader, T., & Mehl, M. R. (2011). Talking shop and shooting the breeze: A study of workplace conversations and job disengagement among STEM faculty. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 65-71.
  • Holtzman, N. S., Vazire, S., & Mehl, M. R. (2010). Sounds like a narcissist: Behavioral manifestations of narcissism in everyday life. Journal of Research in Personality, 44, 478-484.
  • Lyons, E. J., Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). Pro-anorexics and recovering anorexics differ in their linguistic Internet self-presentation. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 60, 253-256.
  • Mason, A. E., Sbarra, D. A., & Mehl, M. R. (2010). Thin-slicing divorce: Thirty seconds of information predict changes in psychological adjustment over ninety days. Psychological Science, 21, 1420-1422.
  • Mehl, M. R. (2007). Eavesdropping on health: A naturalistic observation approach for social-health research. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1, 359-380.
  • Mehl, M. R. (2006). The lay assessment of subclinical depression in daily life. Psychological Assessment, 18, 340-345.
  • Mehl, M. R., Gosling, S. D., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). Personality in its natural habitat: Manifestations and implicit folk theories of personality in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 862-877.
  • Mehl, M. R., & Holleran, S. E. (2007). An empirical analysis of the obtrusiveness of and participants' compliance with the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR). European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 23, 248-257.
  • Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2003). The social dynamics of a cultural upheaval: Social interactions surrounding September 11, 2001. Psychological Science, 14, 579-585.
  • Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2003). The sounds of social life: A psychometric analysis of students’ daily social environments and natural conversations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 857-870.
  • Mehl, M. R., Pennebaker, J. W., Crow, M. D., Dabbs, J., & Price, J. H. (2001). The Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR): A device for sampling naturalistic daily activities and conver­sations. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 33, 517-523.
  • Mehl, M. R., Vazire, S., Holleran, S. E., & Clark, C. S. (2010). Eavesdropping on happiness: Well-being is related to having less small talk and more substantive conversations. Psychological Science, 21, 539 - 541.
  • Mehl, M. R., Vazire, S., Ramirez-Esparza, N., Slatcher, R. B., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2007). Are women really more talkative than men? Science, 317, 82.
  • Pennebaker, J. W., Mehl, M. R., & Niederhoffer, K. (2003). Psychological aspects of natural language use: Our words, our selves. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 547-577.
  • Robbins, M. L., Mehl, M. R., Holleran, S. E., & Kasle, S. (2011). Naturalistically observed sighing and depression in rheumatoid arthritis patients: A preliminary study. Health Psychology, 30, 129-133.
  • Vazire, S., & Mehl, M. R. (2008). Knowing me, knowing you: The relative accuracy and unique predictive validity of self- and other ratings of daily behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1202-1216.

Other Publications:

  • Mehl, M. R. (2005). Quantitative text analysis. In M. Eid & E. Diener (Eds.), Handbook of multimethod measurement in psychology (pp.141-156). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Mehl, M. R., & Gill, A. J. (2010). Automatic text analysis. In S. D. Gosling & J. A. Johnson (Eds.), Advanced methods for conducting online behavioral research (pp. 109-127). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Matthias Mehl
Department of Psychology
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721
United States

  • Phone: (520) 626-2374
  • Fax: (520) 621-9306

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