B.A., M.A., University of Melbourne; Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)
Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics; Professor of Psychology
Psychology Department chair; research interests include adult development; positive psychology; religion and spirituality; altruism; narcissism; wisdom; cross-cultural conceptions of the self.
Paul Wink received his B.A. in psychology and philosophy and M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently professor of psychology at Wellesley College, and was a visiting faculty at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Wink’s research interests are in the area of adult development and aging broadly defined to include psychosocial functioning, and the interface between personality, life course transitions, and socio-historical context. His extensive research on narcissism focuses on the differences between healthy and pathological (overt and covert) narcissism. Wink has researched personality change among self- and other-directed women and has investigated the relationship between social class and physical health among professional women. He has studied differences in individualism and collectivism among Euro- and Asian-Americans.
Recently, Dr. Wink directed a follow-up study of participants in the Berkeley Guidance and Oakland Growth longitudinal studies. These internationally renowned studies have tracked psychosocial and personality functioning among a group of men and women differentiated by social class from adolescence to late adulthood. Wink is currently using these longitudinal data to examine the socio-biographical antecedents, life course trajectories, and social implications of religion and spirituality. His research has shown that religiousness remains relatively stable across the life course, that spirituality increases from midlife onward, that family of origin is an important antecedent of religious commitment and altruistic behavior in late adulthood, and that religiousness buffers against depression and loss of life satisfaction in response to adversity. Wink is currently writing on the relationship among religiousness, self-actualization, and the fear of death and the implications of adolescent generativity for physical and mental health in late adulthood.
Wink’s research has been supported by grants from the Open Society Institute, the Lilly Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute in collaboration with the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. He is currently a recipient of a three year grant from the John Templeton Foundation awarded for research on the life-course development and psychosocial implications of religiousness and spirituality. Wink is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the Society for Personology.