Dr Jason Rentfrow

BA, PhD (University of Texas, Austin)
Social Psychology
Social & Political Sciences
Personality, culture, music, geography
Tutor|Director of Studies, PBS

Dr Jason Rentfrow

Dr Jason Rentfrow 2015

Department webpage


Jason bounced around the United States, from Louisiana to Texas to New York to Massachusetts, and somehow landed in England, where he is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. His research concerns person-environment interactions and focuses on the ways in which personality is expressed in everything from people's preferences for music to the places in which they live. His work on these topics has appeared in several of the most prestigious journals in psychology-including American Psychologist, Journal of Personality, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Perspectives on Psychological Science, and Psychological Science. He is committed to sharing psychological research with the public and does so by giving open lectures and designing online interactive psychology surveys, most recently the BBC's Big Personality Test.


Jason teaches introduction to social psychology (Part 1), current topics in social psychology (Part 2), and research methods (MPhil). 

Research interests

Personality, culture, music, geography

Selected recent publications

Rentfrow, P. J. (in press). The open city. In A. E. Andersson, D. Andersson, and C. Mellander (Eds.). Handbook of Cities and Creativity. London: Elgar.

Rentfrow, P. J. (2010). Statewide differences in personality: Toward a psychological geography of the United States. American Psychologist, 65, 548-558.

Rentfrow, P. J., Goldberg, L. R., & Levitin, D.J. (in press). The Structure of Musical Preferences: A Five-Factor Model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Rentfrow, P. J., Goldberg, L. R., & Zilca, R. (2011). Listening, watching, and reading: The structure and correlates of entertainment preferences. Journal of Personality, 79, 223-257. 

Rentfrow, P. J., Gosling, S. D. & Potter, J. (2008). A Theory of the emergence, persistence, and expression of regional variation in basic traits. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 339-369. 


  • 14 July 2017
    Fitzwilliam College students, staff and Fellows are once again running in the Chariots of Fire race, which this year takes place on 17 September.
  • 29 June 2017
    Experiencing traumatic events such as WW2 bombings may be associated with greater mental resilience rather than causing widespread angst, suggests study published by Fellow Jason Rentfrow and colleagues.
  • 20 September 2016
    Two teams composed of staff and Fellows from Fitzwilliam College ran in the Chariots of Fire race for the third time on 18 September.
  • 13 January 2015
    Fellow Jason Rentfrow is co-author of a new study showing that life satisfaction in London links to how well your personality suits your local environment