David Watson

David Watson

Andrew J. Mckenna Family Professor of Psychology

Ph.D., University of Minnesota 

  • Clinical



Corbett Family Hall

Notre Dame, IN 46556

Center for Advanced Measurement of Personality and Psychopathology (CAMPP Lab)

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NOTE: Dr. Watson is not taking on any new graduate students as he is in phased retirement.


Professor Watson is a personality psychologist with expertise in personality and clinical assessment.  His work investigates the structure and measurement of personality, affect, and psychopathology, as well as examining how personality traits relate to clinical disorders. He works in a variety of substantive areas within psychopathology, including depression, the anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mania, the personality disorders, and dissociation. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop comprehensive taxonomic models that integrate normal-range and pathological processes into a single overarching scheme. Other areas of personality research examine stability versus change across the life span, mate preferences, and accuracy in person perception.  He has published more than 240 articles in the top journals in personality and pathology. He served as an Advisor to the DSM-IV Anxiety Disorders Workgroup and to the DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Workgroup.  From 2006-2011, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. In 2015, he was one of three founding members (with Roman Kotov and Robert Krueger) of the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) consortium.

Recent Publications

Clark, L. A., Corona-Espinosa, A., Khoo, S., Kotelnikova, Y., Levin-Aspenson, H. F., Serapio-Garcia, G., & Watson, D. (2021). Preliminary scales for ICD-11 personality disorder: Self and interpersonal dysfunction plus five personality disorder trait domains. Frontiers in Psychology, 12: 668724. 

Garland, M. M., Vaidya, J. G., Tranel, D., Watson, D., & Feinstein, J. S. (2021). Who are you? A study of personality in patients with severe anterograde amnesia. Psychological Science. Advance online publication.

Kotov, R., Krueger, R. F., Watson, D., Cicero, D. C., Conway, C. C., DeYoung, C. G., Eaton, N. R., Forbes, M. K., Hallquist, M. N., Latzman, R. D., Mullins-Sweatt, S. N., Ruggero, C. J., Simms, L. J., Waldman, I. D., Waszczuk, M. A., & Wright, A. G. C. (2021). The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A quantitative nosology based on consensus of evidence. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 17, 83-108.

Levin-Aspenson, H. F., Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Zimmerman, M. (2021). What is the general factor of psychopathology? Consistency of the p factor across samples. Assessment, 28, 1035-1049. 

Levin-Aspenson, H. F., Watson, D., Ellickson-Larew, S., Stanton, K., & Stasik-O’Brien, S. M. (2021). Beyond distress and fear: Differential psychopathology correlates of PTSD symptom clusters. Journal of Affective Disorders, 284, 9-17. 

Sellbom, M., Forbush, K. T., Gould, S. R., Markon, K E., Watson, D., & Witthöft, M. (2021). HiTOP assessment of the somatoform spectrum and eating disorders. Assessment. Advance online publication. d 

Simms, L. J., Wright, A. G. C., Cicero, D., Kotov, R., Mullins-Sweatt, S. N., Sellbom, M., Watson, D., Widiger, T. A., & Zimmermann, J. (2021). Development of measures for the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A collaborative scale development project. Assessment. 

Stanton, K., Brown, M. F. D., & Watson, D. (2021). Examining the item-level structure of the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure: Sharpening assessment of psychopathy constructs. Assessment, 28, 429-445. 

Watson, D., Ellickson-Larew, S., Stanton, K., Levin-Aspenson, H. F., & Khoo, S. (2021). Examining the criterion validity and diagnostic specificity of self-report measures of narcissism and mania. Assessment, 28, 3-14.

Watson, D., Forbes, M. K., Levin-Aspenson, H. F., Ruggero, C. J., Kotelnikova, Y., Khoo, S., Bagby, R. M. Sunderland, M., Patalay, P., & Kotov, R. (2021). The development of preliminary HiTOP internalizing spectrum scales. Assessment. Advance online publication.