9 HUS 133 Personality

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9 HUS 133 Personality

  1. 1. Chapter NinePersonality 1 of 42
  2. 2. Levels of Analysis & Personality ResearchDispositional traits Consist of aspects of personality that are consistent across different contexts and can be compared across a group along a continuum representing high and low degrees of the characteristicPersonal concerns Consist of things that are important to people, their goals, and their major concerns in lifeLife narrative Consists of the aspects of personality that pull everything together, those integrative aspects that give a person an identity or sense of self 2 of 42
  3. 3. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodLearning Objectives• What is the five-factor model of dispositional traits?• What evidence is there for long-term stability in dispositional traits?• What criticisms have been leveled at the five-factor model?• What can we conclude from theory and research on dispositional traits? 3 of 42
  4. 4. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodThe Case for Stability: The Five-Factor ModelConsists of five independent dimensions of personality: – Neuroticism – Extraversion – Openness to experience – Agreeableness – Conscientiousness 4 of 42
  5. 5. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodNeuroticismHas six facets: – Anxiety – Hostility – Self-consciousness – Depression – Impulsiveness – Vulnerability 5 of 42
  6. 6. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodExtraversionHas six facets in two groups: Interpersonal traits • Warmth • Gregariousness • Assertiveness Temperamental traits • Activity • Excitement seeking • Positive emotions 6 of 42
  7. 7. Dispositional Traits Across Adulthood Openness to Experience Has six areas: – Fantasy – Aesthetics – Action – Ideas – Values – Occupational choice 7 of 42
  8. 8. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodAgreeableness (Opposite of Antagonism) Agreeable people are not: – Skeptical – Mistrustful – Callous – Unsympathetic – Stubborn – Rude – Skillful manipulators – Aggressive go-getters 8 of 42
  9. 9. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodConscientiousnessConscientious people are: – Hardworking – Ambitious – Energetic – Scrupulous – Persevering – Desirous to make something of themselves 9 of 42
  10. 10. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodWhat is the Evidence for Trait Stability?• Using the GZTS*, Costa and McCrae found: – Over a 12-year period, 10 personality traits measured by GZTS remained stable. – Other studies similar to the GZTS found equivalent results—however, in the very old, suspiciousness and sensitivity increased. *Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey 10 of 42
  11. 11. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodAdditional Studies of Dispositional Traits• Other studies have shown increasing evidence for personality changes as we grow older: Ursula Staudinger and colleagues found that: Personality takes on two forms: Adjustment Developmental changes in terms of their adaptive value and functionality. Growth Ideal endstates such as increased self- transcendence, wisdom, and integrity 11 of 42
  12. 12. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodAdditional Studies of Dispositional Traits• Current consensus of change in the Big Five with increasing age – Absence of neuroticism – Presence of agreeableness and conscientiousness• Studies also show decrease in openness to new experiences with increasing age.• Adjustment aspect with increasing age could be normative.• Personality changes are tied to cohort differences. 12 of 42
  13. 13. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodThe Berkeley StudiesParticipants were followed for 30 years between ages 40 to 70. Gender differences were identified: For women • Lifestyle in young adulthood was best predictor of life satisfaction in old age. For men • Personality was the better predictor of life satisfaction in old age. 13 of 42
  14. 14. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodWomen’s Personality Development During Adulthood• Two categories of women were studied with the following personality differences: Those who followed the social clock: • Withdrawal from social live • Suppression of impulse and spontaneity • Negative self-image • Decreased feelings of competence • 20% were divorced between ages of 28 and 30 14 of 42
  15. 15. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodWomen’s Personality Development During Adulthood Those who did not follow the social clock: • Less respectful of norms and self-assertive • Not lower on femininity or on well-being • More independent • Greater confidence and initiative • More forceful, less impulsive • More considerate of others and organized • More complex and better able to adapt 15 of 42
  16. 16. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodCritiques of the Five-Factor Model• Block (1995) takes issue with the methodology that uses lay people to specify personality descriptors that were used to create the terms of the Five- Factor Model.• McAdams (1996, 1999) points out that any model of dispositional traits says nothing about the core or essential aspects of human nature.• A major criticism is directed to the notion of stability and change in personality. 16 of 42
  17. 17. Dispositional Traits Across AdulthoodConclusions about Dispositional Traits• The idea that personality traits stop changing at age 30 does not have uniform support.• A partial resolution can be found by looking at how the research was conducted.• It could be that, generally speaking, personality traits tend to be stable when data are averaged over large groups of people.• But, looking at specific aspects of personality in specific kinds of people, there may be less stability and more change. 17 of 42
  18. 18. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesLearning Objectives• What are personal concerns?• What are the main elements of Jung’s theory?• What are the stages in Erikson’s theory? What types of clarifications and extensions of it have been offered?• What research evidence is there to support his stages?• What are the stages of Loevinger’s theory? What evidence is there to support her stages?• What are the main points and problems with theories based on life transitions?• How is midlife best described?• What can we conclude about personal concerns? 18 of 42
  19. 19. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesWhat’s Different about Personal Concerns?• Personal concerns: – Are explicitly contextual in contrast to dispositional traits – Are narrative descriptions that rely on life circumstances – Change over time• One “has” personality traits, but “does” behaviors that are important in everyday life. 19 of 42
  20. 20. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesJung’s Theory• Emphasizes that each aspect of a person’s personality must be in balance with all the others – Such as, introversion-extroversion and masculinity- femininity• Jung was the first theorist to discuss personality development during adulthood. – He invented the notion of midlife crisis.• Jung argues that people move toward integrating these dimensions as they age, with midlife being an especially important period. 20 of 42
  21. 21. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesErikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development• Erikson was the first theorist to develop a truly lifespan theory of personality development.• His eight stages represent the eight great struggles that he believed people must undergo.• Each struggle has a certain time of ascendancy. – The epigenetic principle • Each struggle must be resolved to continue development. 21 of 42
  22. 22. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesThe sequence of Erikson’s stages are: – Trust versus mistrust – Autonomy versus shame and doubt – Initiative versus guilt – Industry versus inferiority – Identity versus identity confusion – Intimacy versus isolation – Generativity versus stagnation – Ego versus despair 22 of 42
  23. 23. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesExtensions of Erikson’s Theory: Logan• Logan argues that the eight stages are really a cycle that repeats. – trust achievement wholeness• Slater (2003) expands on Logan’s reasoning on the central crisis of generativity versus stagnation and includes struggles between: – Pride and embarrassment – Responsibility and ambivalence – Career productivity and inadequacy – Parenthood and self-absorption 25 of 42
  24. 24. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesExtensions of Erikson’s Theory: Kotre• Kotre contends that adults experience many opportunities to express generativity that are not equivalent and do not lead to a general state. – Generativity as a set of impulses – Five types of generativity: 1. Biological and parental – raising children 2. Technical – passing of specific skills to the next generation 3. Cultural – being a mentor 4. Agentic – be or do something that transcends death 5. Communal – participation in mutual, interpersonal reality 26 of 42
  25. 25. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesExtensions of Erikson’s Theory: Hamachek• Provided behavioral and attitudinal descriptors of Erikson’s last three stages: – Creates a series of continua of possibilities for individual development – Few people have an exclusive orientation to either intimacy or isolation.• These behavioral and attitudinal descriptors provide a framework for researchers who need to operationalize Erikson’s concepts. 27 of 42
  26. 26. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesResearch on Generativity• McAdams’s model shows how generativity results from: – Complex interconnections between societal and inner forces – Thus, creating a concern for the next generation and a belief in the goodness of the human enterprise 28 of 42
  27. 27. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesExtensions of Erikson’s Theory: Loevinger’s TheoryLoevinger has proposed the most comprehensive attempt at integrating cognitive and ego development and extension of Erikson’s theory. – Ego development results from dynamic interactions between the person and the environment. – Eight stages: six in adulthood (see Table 9.2) – Four areas of importance in ego development: 1. Character development 2. Interpersonal style 3. Conscious preoccupations 4. Cognitive style 29 of 42
  28. 28. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesTheories Based on Life Transitions• Among the most popular theories of adult personality development• Based on the idea that adults go through a series of life transitions, or passages – However, few of these theories have substantial databases, and none are based on representative samples.• Life transitions tend to overestimate the commonality of age-linked transitions. 30 of 42
  29. 29. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesIn Search of the Midlife Crisis• A key idea in life transition theories is the midlife crisis. The idea that at middle age we take a good look at ourselves in the hopes of achieving a better understanding of who we are. Many adults face difficult issues and make behavioral changes. 31 of 42
  30. 30. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesThe Midlife CrisisHowever, very little data supports the claim that all people inevitably experience a crisis in middle age. – Most middle-aged people do point to both gains and losses, positives and negatives in their lives.• This transition may be better characterized as a midlife correction. – Reevaluating ones’ roles and dreams and making the necessary corrections 32 of 42
  31. 31. Personal Concerns and Qualitative StagesConclusions about Personal Concerns• Evidence supports a sharp change in personal concerns as adults age. – This is in contrast to stability in dispositional traits supporting McAdam’s contention that this middle level of personality should show some change.• Change is not specific to an age but is dependent on many factors.• All agree that there is a need for more research in this area. 33 of 42
  32. 32. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfLearning Objectives• What are the main aspects of McAdams’s life-story model?• What are the main points of Whitbourne’s identity theory?• How does self-concept come to take adult form? What is its development during adulthood?• What are possible selves? Do they show differences during adulthood?• What role does religion play in adult life?• How does gender-role identity develop in adulthood?• What conclusions can be drawn from research using life narratives? 34 of 42
  33. 33. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfMcAdams’s Life-story Model• Argues that people create a life story – That is, an internalized narrative with a beginning, middle, and an anticipated ending• There are seven essential features of a life story: – Narrative tone – Image – Theme – Ideological setting – Nuclear episodes – Character – An ending 35 of 42
  34. 34. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfMcAdams’s Life-story Model• Adults are said to reformulate their life stories throughout adulthood both at the conscious and unconscious levels. The goal is to have a life story that is: • Coherent • Credible • Open to new possibilities • Richly differentiated • Reconciling of opposite aspects of oneself • Integrated within one’s sociocultural context 36 of 42
  35. 35. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfWhitbournes Identity Theory• Argues that people build conceptions of how their lives should proceed• They create a unified sense of their past, present, and future. – The life-span construct• People’s identity changes over time via Piaget’s concepts of assimilation and accommodation.• The life-span construct has two parts: – A scenario • This includes future expectations or a game plan for one’s life; it is strongly related to age norms. – A life story • A personal narrative history that organizes past events into a coherent sequence. 37 of 42
  36. 36. Whitbourne’s Model of Adult Identity
  37. 37. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfSelf-ConceptThe organized, coherent, integrated pattern of self- perceptions that includes self-esteem and self-image – Mortimer and colleagues • A 14-year longitudinal study showed that self- concept influences the interpretation of life events.• Kegen – Self-concepts across adulthood are related to the cognitive-developmental level. – Proposes six stages of development which correspond to levels of cognitive development – Emphasizes that self-concept and personality does not occur in a vacuum 39 of 42
  38. 38. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfPossible Selves• Created by projecting yourself into the future and thinking about what you would like to become, and what you are afraid of becoming• Age differences have been observed in both hoped-for and feared selves. – Young adults and middle-aged adults report family issues as most important. – Middle-aged and older adults report personal issues to be most important. • However, all groups included physical aspects as part of their most feared selves. – Interestingly, young and middle-aged adults see themselves as improving in the future, while older adults do not. 40 of 42
  39. 39. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfPossible SelvesRyff identified six aspects of psychological well-being: – Self-acceptance – Positive relationships with others – Autonomy – Environmental mastery – Purpose in life – Personal growth 41 of 42
  40. 40. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfReligiosity and Spiritual Support• Older adults use religion more often than any other strategy to help them cope with problems in life. Spiritual support includes: • Pastoral care • Participating in organized and non-organized religious activities • Expressing faith in a God who cares for people 42 of 42
  41. 41. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfReligiosity and Spiritual Support• Spiritual support provides a strong influence on identity. – This is especially true for African Americans, who are more active in their church groups and attend services more frequently. – Other ethnic groups also gain important aspects of their identity from religion. 43 of 42
  42. 42. Life Narratives, Identity, and the SelfGender-Role Identity• People’s beliefs about the appropriate characteristics for men and women – They reflect shared cultural beliefs and stereotypes about masculinity and femininity.• There is some evidence that gender role identity converges in middle age. – Men and women more likely to endorse similar self- descriptions. • However, these similar descriptions do not necessarily translate into similar behavior. • Also, older men and women tend to endorse similar statements about masculinity and femininity. 44 of 42

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