Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science

Tony Vernon

Dr. Tony Vernon

Professor Emeritus - Social and Personality Psychology

Email: vernon@uwo.ca
Office: SSC 6302
Tel: 519-661-3682

  • Bio

  • Publications

  • Research

Biographical Information

I received my PhD in 1981 from the University of California at Berkeley, working with Arthur Jensen. I came to Western as an assistant professor in 1982 and become associate professor in 1987 and full professor in 1992.

Selected Publications

(* = current or former student):

Bell, E., Schermer, J.A.* & Vernon, P.A. (in press). The origins of political attitudes and behaviours: An analysis using twins. Canadian Journal of Political Science.

Campbell, J.*, Schermer, J.A.*, Villani, V.C.*, Nguyen, B.*, Vickers, L.*, & Vernon, P.A. (in press). A behavioural genetic study of the dark triad of personality and moral development. Twin Research and Human Genetics.

Vernon, P.A., Villani, V.C.*, Schermer, J.A.*, Kirilovic, S.*, Martin, R.A., Petrides, K.V., Spector, T.D., & Cherkas, L.F. (in press). Genetic and environmental correlations between trait emotional intelligence and humor styles. Journal of Individual Differences.

Veselka, L.*, Schermer, J.A.*, Petrides, K.V., & Vernon, P.A. (in press). Evidence for a heritable general factor of personality in two studies. Twin Research and Human Genetics.

Giddens, J.L.*, Schermer, J.A.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2009). Material values are largely in the family: A twin study of genetic and environmental contributions to materialism. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 428-431.

Horsburgh, V.A.*, Schermer, J.A.*, Veselka, L.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2009). A behavioural genetic study of mental toughness and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 100-105.

Johnson, A.M.*, Vernon, P.A., & Feiler, A.R.* (2008). Behavior genetic studies of personality: An introduction and review of the results of 50+ years of research. In G.J. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D.H. Saklofske (eds), Handbook of personality theory and assessment, Vol. 1. Sage Publishers.

Schermer, J.A.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2008). A behavior genetic analysis of vocational interests using a modified version of the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 103-109.

Vernon, P.A., Petrides, K.V., Bratko, D., & Schermer, J.A.* (2008). A behavioral genetic study of trait emotional intelligence. Emotion, 8, 635-642.

Vernon, P.A., Villani, V.C.*, Schermer, J.A.*, & Petrides, K.V. (2008). Phenotypic and genetic associations between the Big Five and trait emotional intelligence. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 11, 524-530.

Visser, B.A., Ashton, M.C., & Vernon, P.A. (2008). What makes you think you’re so smart? Measured abilities, personality, and sex differences in relation to self-estimates of Multiple Intelligences. Journal of Individual Differences, 29, 35-44.

Sheppard, L. D.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2008) Intelligence and speed of information-processing: A review of 50 years of research. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 535-551.

Vernon, P.A., Villani, V.C.*, Vickers, L.C.*, & Harris, J.A.* (2008) A behavioral genetic investigation of the Dark Triad and the Big 5. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 445-452.

Vernon, P.A., Martin, R.A., Schermer, J.A.*, Cherkas, L.F., & Spector, T.D.(2008). Genetic and environmental contributions to humor styles: A replication study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 11, 44-47.

Vernon, P.A., Martin, R.A., Schermer, J.A.*, & Mackie, A.*(2008). A behavioral genetic investigation of humor styles and their correlations with the Big-5 personality dimensions. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1116-1125.

Harris, J.A.*, Vernon, P.A., & Jang, K.L.* (2007). Rated personality and measured intelligence in young twin children. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 75-86.

Rushton, J.P., Bons, T.A., Vernon, P.A., & Cvorovic, J. (2007). Genetic and environmental contributions to population group differences on the Raven’s Progressive Matrices estimated from twins reared together and apart. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences, 274, 1773-1777.

Rushton, J.P., Vernon, P.A., & Bons, T.A. (2007). No evidence that polymorphisms of brain regulator genes Microcephalin and ASPM are associated with general mental ability, head circumference, or altruism. Biology Letters, 3, 157-160.

Vernon, P.A. (2006). Book review of Nancy Segal’s Indivisible by two. Personality and Individual Differences, 41, 1373-1374.

Harris, J.A.*, Vernon, P.A., Johnson, A.M.*, & Jang, K.L.* (2006). Phenotypic and genetic correlations between vocational interests and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 1531-1541.

van Anders, S.M.*, Vernon, P.A., & Wilbur, C.J. (2006). Finger-length ratios show evidence of hormone transfer in females from opposite-sex twin pairs. Hormones and Behavior, 49, 315-319.

Visser, B.A., Ashton, M.C., & Vernon, P.A. (2006a). Beyond g: putting Multiple Intelligences theory to the test. Intelligence, 34, 487-502

Visser, B.A., Ashton, M.C., & Vernon, P.A. (2006b). g and the measurement of multiple intelligences: a response to Gardner. Intelligence, 34, 507-510

Ashton, M.C., Lee, K., & Vernon, P.A. (2005). Gc and Gf are both valid intelligence factors: Commentary on Robinson (2005). Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 999-1004.

Johnson, A. M.*, Reed, T. E., & Vernon, P. A. (2005). Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is a valid and useful construct for studying human cognitive abilities: A reply to Saint-Amour et al. Neuropsychologia, 43, 1845-1846

Harris, J.A.*, Vernon, P.A., & Jang, K.L.* (2005). Testing the differentiation of personality by intelligence hypothesis. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 277-286.

Johnson, A.M.*, Pollard, C.C.*, Vernon, P.A., Tomes, J.L., & Jog, M.S. (2005). Memory perception and strategy use in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 11, 111-115.

Johnson, A.M.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2004). The genetics of substance abuse: Mediating effects of sensation seeking. In R.M. Stelmack (ed.), On the psychobiology of personality: Essays in honor of Marvin Zuckerman (pages 147-168). London: Elsevier.

Johnson, A.M.*, Vernon, P.A., Almeida, Q.J., Grantier, L.L., Singarayer, R., & Jog, M.S. (2004). Screening for Parkinson’s disease with response time batteries: A pilot study. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 4: 14 (13 Sept., 2004).

Reed, T.E., Vernon, P.A., & Johnson, A.M.* (2004). Sex differences in brain nerve conduction velocity in normal humans. Neuropsychologia, 42, 1709-1714.

Reed, T.E., Vernon, P.A., & Johnson, A.M.* (2004). Confirmation of correlation between brain nerve conduction velocity and intelligence level in normal adults. Intelligence, 32, 563-572.

Johnson, A.M.*, Vernon, P.A., Harris, J.A.*, & Jang, K.L.* (2004). A behavior genetic investigation of the relationship between leadership and personality. Twin Research, 7, 27-32.

Vernon, P.A. (2003). The Western Ontario Twin Project: Contributions of behavioral genetic research to issues in differential psychology. Invited address presented at the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada, August.

Livesley, W.J., Jang, K.L.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2003). The genetic basic of personality structure. In T. Millon & M.J. Lerner (Eds.), The Handbook of Psychology. New York: Wiley.

Koke, L.C.* & Vernon, P.A. (2003). The Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test (STAT) as a measure of academic achievement and general intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 1803-1807.

Gignac, G.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2003). Digit Symbol Rotation: A more g-loaded version of the traditional Digit Symbol subtest. Intelligence, 31, 1-8.

Gignac, G.E.*, & Vernon, P.A. (2003). Biological approaches to the assessment of human intelligence. In C.R. Reynolds and R.W. Kamphaus (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology & Educational Assessment of Children (2nd Edition). New York: The Guilford Press.

Jang, K.L.*, Livesley, W.J., Angleitner, A., Riemann, R., & Vernon, P.A. (2002). Genetic and environmental influences on the covariance of facets defining the domains of the five-factor model of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 83-101.

Jang, K.L.*, Livesley, W.J., & Vernon, P.A. (2002). The eliology of personality function: The University of British Columbia Twin Project. Twin Research, 5, 342-346.

Larstone, R.M., Jang, K.L.*, Livesley, W.J., Vernon, P.A., & Wolf, H. (2002). The relationship between Eysenck’s P-E-N model of personality, the five-factor model of personality, and traits delineating personality dysfunction. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 25-37.

Rijsdijk, F.V., Vernon, P.A., & Boomsma, D.I. (2002). Application of hierarchical genetic models to Raven and WAIS subtests: A Dutch twin study. Behavior Genetics, 32, 199-210.

Stein, M.B., Jang, K.L.*, Taylor, S., Vernon, P.A., & Livesley, W.J. (2002). Genetic and environmental influences on trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: A twin study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 1-7.

Jang, K.L*., Hu, S., Livesley, W.J., Angleitner, A., Riemann, R., Ando, J., Ono, Y., Vernon, P.A., & Hamer, D. (2001). Covariance structure of neuroticism and agreeableness: A twin and molecular genetic analysis of the role of the serotonin transporter gene. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 295-244.

Johnson, A.M.*, Pollard, C.C*., Tomes, J.L., Vernon, P.A., & Jog, M.S. (2001). Memory deficits in Parkisnon's Disease: The role of metamemory and strategy use. Presented at the 2001 Conference on Mental Dysfunction in Movement Disorders, Montreal, Canada, October.

Foy, A.K*., Vernon, P.A., & Jang, K.* (2001). Examining the dimensions of intimacy in twin and peer relationships. Twin Research, 4, 443-452.

Ashton, M.C., Lee, K., Vernon, P.A., & Jang, K.L*. (2000). Fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, and the Openness/Intellect factor. Journal of Research in Personality, 34, 198-207.

Gignac, G.* & Vernon, P.A. (2000). Method of correlated vectors at the item level. Presented at the first annual conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., November.

Vernon, P.A., Meunier, P.*, & Jang, K.L. (2000). Speed of information-processing and intelligence in a sample of young twins. Presented at the Canadian Psychological Association Convention, Ottawa, Canada, July.

Vernon, P.A., Wickett, J.C.*, Bazana, P.G., & Stelmack, R.M. (2000). The neuropsychology and psychophysiology of human intelligence. In R.J. Sternberg (ed.), Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge University Press.

Wickett, J.C.*, Vernon, P.A., & Lee, D.H. (2000). Relationships between factors of intelligence and brain volume. Personality and Individual Differences, 29, 1095-1122.

Goldberg, E.R.*, Johnson, A.M.*, & Vernon, P.A. (1999). Effects of birth weight discordance on cognitive ability: A longitudinal infant twin study. Presented at the 29th annual meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association, Vancouver, Canada, July.

Harris, J.A.*, Vernon, P.A., Olson, J.M., & Jang, K.L.* (1999). Self-rated personality and intelligence: A multivariate genetic analysis. European Journal of Personality, 13, 121-128.

Vernon, P.A., McCarthy, J.M., Johnson, A.M.*, Jang, K.L*., & Harris, J.A.* (1999). Individual differences in multiple dimensions of aggression: A univariate and multivariate genetic analysis. Twin Research, 2, 16-21.


My research interests, broadly defined, are human individual differences. To this end, I have a number of studies underway looking at intelligence and other mental abilities and at normal and abnormal personality. Much of my research involves behavior genetics and I have several ongoing studies of infant and young twins as well as adult twins and adoptees. My research has also looked at a number of biological correlates of human intelligence and my lab has the facilities to continue these investigations. In 1996-1997 I served as Acting President-Elect of the Behavior Genetics Association, and in 2001-2003 I was President of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences.