Philip Erdberg

Philip Erdberg

Clinical Psychology, University of Alabama, 1969

Current Positions

R-PAS Development Team, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California San Francisco - Independent consulting practice

How did you become interested in Personality Assessment?

It just clicked - going through courses and practicums in graduate school, it was always the assessment opportunities that I enjoyed most - I did an MMPI dissertation with Ray Fowler, and that clinched it.

Tell us about your current job. We are interested in hearing about the different things that people do who work in the area of personality assessment.

For me, one of the advantages of a personality assessment consulting practice is the diversity it allows - in the course of a month, I have the chance to do some continuing education teaching, some consulting with school districts, child and adolescent agencies, forensic settings, and private clinical and forensic practitioners.

What are the most memorable aspects of your time as SPA President?

It's hard to imagine, but I was the president-elect and program chair for the 50th Anniversary meeting in 1989 - the meeting was in New York, the city in which the society began - Marguerite Hertz opened the meeting, and a number of the Society's charter members were in attendance - it was a time of real growth for the organization, membership was approaching 2000, and four simultaneous tracks were needed to accommodate all the presentations - I felt that we were at a point of transition, with presentations at that meeting ranging from classic papers to those that foreshadowed the role computers would play in personality assessment - that sense of being at a juncture point characterized the years when I was SPA president - at the next few annual meetings, I organized symposia asking participants to speculate about the future - we resurrected the newsletter, calling it the Exchange to commemorate the old Rorschach Research Exchange, the mimeographed newsletter that was how members initially communicated with each other - like now, it was an exciting time.

Tell us how you initially learned about and joined SPA.

My introduction to SPA was through the journal.

As we look forward to SPA's 100th anniversary in 2038, what do you think is important in order for the field of personality assessment to thrive and to benefit others?

I think personality assessment will thrive as neuroscience increasingly investigates the infrastructure of personality - that's already happening, and some of the preliminary studies that relate neuroimaging findings to self-report and performance-based assessment measures hold tremendous promise for the future.

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