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Personal profile

Personal Statement

The goal of my research is to identify the key differences between people that underlie their behaviour, and to find out how these key differences work together to makeup our personality.  I have been investigating individual differences at the psychological level (e.g. beliefs, skills, reactivity to threat and reward, behavioural strategies like rumination) and at the physiological level (e.g. pharmacology, autonomic nervous system).  In addition, I have been investigating how these key differences work together in the self-regulation of mood and behaviour. I have applied this research to healthy individual in the community, to people with acquired personality disorder after brain injury, and to people with developmental personality disorder.  This research is reflected in my teaching on brain function, and on the physiological basis of motivation. 

I am the Postgraduate Coordinator for the School of Psychological Sciences and Health.  I coordinate the activity and the information flow between the Graduate School and the School of Psychological Sciences and Health. 

Research Interests

The dominant goal of my research is to determine the nature of personality.  To do this, I am examining the psychological and physiological components of personality, and examining how these components work together in the self-regulation of behaviour. We can examine these components of personality at a psychological level and at a physiological level.  At a psychological level, we are examining the role of beliefs (e.g. beliefs about the self, beliefs about others, beliefs about the world), the role of particular skills (e.g. the ability to take on another person’s perspective, working memory), the role of motivation (threat and reward) and the role of learned behavioural strategies (rumination, reappraisal) in forming our personality.  We are also investigating the roles of the autonomic nervous system in personality, and how pharmacological differences between people affect how they can regulate mood.  We have carried out investigations in adolescents and adults in the community,  people with acquired personality disorder (acquired brain injury) and people with developmental personality disorder (Borderline Personality Disorder). 

Expertise & Capabilities


Factor analysis of personality measures

Psychophysiological measures (skin conductance, heart rate, facial electromyography)

Laboratory paradigms to investigate personality

Teaching Interests

The courses I teach reflect my research.  I teach the Biological Psychology module in the First Year Psychological class.  I also teach a third year course on brain function, and a fourth year course on the physiological basis of motivation and self-regulation. 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Queen's University

Master of Science, Queen's University

Bachelor of Science, University of Guelph

Bachelor of Arts, York University


  • personality, self-regulation, brain injury, psychopharmacology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Marc Obonsawin is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2007 2007

Research Output 2001 2018

Cognitive appraisals mediate affective reactivity in affiliative extraversion

Inglis, G., Obonsawin, M. C. & Hunter, S. C., 23 May 2018, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 9, 782.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Imagery (Psychotherapy)
Extraversion (Psychology)

Bias in beliefs about the self is associated with depressive but not anxious mood

Obonsawin, M. C., Carlisle, J., Patterson, C. J., Black, K., Davidson, K. M. & Masson, N., 30 Apr 2017, In : Comprehensive Psychiatry. 74, p. 180-188 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Mood Disorders
Equipment and Supplies


Activities 2007 2018

The consortium of European research on emotion

Michelle Patrick (Participant), Susan Rasmussen (Participant), Marc Obonsawin (Participant)
4 Apr 20185 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Traits, temperament, beliefs, skills, goals and self-regulation: towards a model of personality change after brain injury

Marc Obonsawin (Contributor)
16 May 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk