Department of Psychology
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA 02481
Office: 470 Science Center

Research interests: adult development; positive psychology; religion and spirituality; altruism; narcissism; wisdom; cross-cultural conceptions of the self.

Courses currently taught
Psyc 224 Abnormal Psychology
Psyc 224R Research Methods in Abnormal Psychology
Psyc 308 Systems of Psychotherapy
Psyc 329 Adult development and Aging
Psyc 333 Clinical and Educational Assessment

Professional background and research
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.

Selected recent publications
James, J. B., & Wink, P. (Eds.). (2007). The crown of life: Dynamics of the early post- retirement period. New York: Springer Publishing Co.

Dillon, M. & Wink, P. (2007). In the course of a lifetime: Tracing religious belief, practice and change. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Wink, P., Dillon, M., & Prettyman, A. (In press). The relation between religiosness, spiritual seeking and authoritarianism: findings from a longitudinal study. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Wink, P., Ciciollo, L., Dilon, M., & Tracy, A. (In press) Religiousness, spirituality, and personality; Findings from a longitudinal study. Journal of Personality.

Wink, P., Dillon, M., & Prettyman, A. (In press). Religion as moderator of the sense of control: Gener differences. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging.

Wink, P., & Dillon, M. (In press). Do generative adolescents become healthy older adults? In S. Post (Ed.) Altruism and health. New York: Oxford.

Wink, P., & Dillon, M. (In press). Religiousness and spirituality in the adult years. In D. Wulff (ed.), Handbook of the Psychology of Religion. Oxford University Press.

Wink, P. (2007). Live in the third age. In J. B. James & P. Wink (Eds.), The crown of Life: Dynamics of the early post-retirement period. New York: Springer Publishing Co.

Wink, P., & James, J. (2007). Is the third age the crown of life? In J. B. James & P. Wink (Eds.), The crown of life: Dynamics of the early post-retirement period (305-325). New York: Springer Publishing Co.

Wink, P. (2006). Who is afraid of death? Religion, spirituality, and death anxiety. Journal of Religion Spirituality and Aging, 18, 93-110.

Wink, P., Dillon, M., & Fay, K. (2005). Spiritual seeking, narcissism, and psychotherapy: How are they related? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 44, 143-158.

Wink, P., Dillon, M., & Larsen, B. (2005). Religion as moderator of the depression health connection. Research on Aging, 27, 197-220.

Wink, P., & Scott, J. (2005). Does religiousness buffer against the fear of death and dying in late adulthood? Findings from a longitudinal study. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 60B, P207-P214.

Wink, P. & Dillon, M. (2003). Religiousness, spirituality, and psychosocial functioning in late adulthood: Findings from a longitudinal study. Psychology and Aging, 18, 916-924.

Wink, P. (2003). Dwelling and seeking in late adulthood: The psychosocial implications of two types of religious orientation. Journal of Religious Gerontology, 14, 101-117.

Dillon, M., & Wink, P. (2004). American religion, generativity, and the therapeutic culture. In E. de St. Aubin & D. P. MacAdams (Eds.), The generative society (pp. 153-174). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.

Dillon, M., & Wink, P. (2003). Religiousness and spirituality: Trajectories and vital involvement in late adulthood. In M. Dillon (Ed.), Handbook of the sociology of religion (pp. 179-189). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Dillon, M., Wink, P., & Fay, K. (2003). Is spirituality detrimental to generativity? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42, 427-442.

Wink, P., & Schiff, B. (2002). To review or not to review: The role of personality and life events in life review and adaptation to older age. In J. Webster & B. Haight (Eds.), Critical advances in reminiscence: From theory to applications. New York: Springer.

Wink, P., & Dillon, M. (2002). Spiritual development across the adult life course: Findings from a longitudinal study. Journal of adult development, 9, 79-94.

Wink, P., & Dillon, M. (2001). Religious involvement and health outcomes in late adulthood: Findings from a longitudinal study of women and men. In T. Plante & A. Sherman (Eds). Faith and health. New York: Guilford Press.

Adams, S.H., Cartwright, L. K., Ostrove, J.M., Stewart, A.J., & Wink, P. (1998). Psychological predictors of good health in three longitudinal samples of educated midlife women. Health Psychology, 17, 412-420.

Wink, P. (1997). Individualism and collectivism: The influence of ethnicity and four other social variables. Journal of Social Issues, 53, 329-350.

Wink, P., & Helson, R. (1997). Practical and transcendent wisdom: Their nature and some longitudinal findings. Journal of Adult Development, 4, 1-15.

Wink, P. (1996). Narcissism. In C. G. Costello (Ed.), Personality characteristics of the personality disordered (pp.146-172). New York: Wiley.

Back to Main Page