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Identity and Identity and Personality Personality Development Development

Identity and Personality Development. Models of Adult Personality Stability or Change? Stability or Change? Organismic Organismic Stage Stage Universal

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Identity and Identity and Personality DevelopmentPersonality Development

Models of Adult PersonalityModels of Adult Personality

Stability or Change?Stability or Change?

OrganismicOrganismic StageStage

• Universal sequence of developmentUniversal sequence of development• Individuals show predictable changeIndividuals show predictable change

Erikson: psychodynamicErikson: psychodynamic Levinson: stages of lifeLevinson: stages of life

• Life transitionsLife transitions

MechanisticMechanistic TraitTrait

• Focus on attributes, temperamentFocus on attributes, temperament• Reduce personality to basic elementsReduce personality to basic elements• Individual shows stabilityIndividual shows stability

McCrea & Costa: “Big Five” personality traitsMcCrea & Costa: “Big Five” personality traits

ContextualContextual Timing of EventsTiming of Events

• Change not age-relatedChange not age-related Depends on circumstances and events in the Depends on circumstances and events in the

individual’s lifeindividual’s life

Bronfenbrenner: Ecological Systems Bronfenbrenner: Ecological Systems theorytheory

Stage ModelsStage Models

Normative personality changeNormative personality change• Common to everyoneCommon to everyone• Recognize individual variation, butRecognize individual variation, but

Successive periodsSuccessive periods• Marked by “crises,” “transitions,” or “life Marked by “crises,” “transitions,” or “life

tasks”tasks”• Occur at about the same age for allOccur at about the same age for all• Psychodynamic theories: Freud, JungPsychodynamic theories: Freud, Jung

EriksonErikson

Development through the life spanDevelopment through the life span Balance positive (“syntonic”) and Balance positive (“syntonic”) and

negative (“dystonic”) tendenciesnegative (“dystonic”) tendencies Eight critical stages (crises)Eight critical stages (crises) Successful resolution results in Successful resolution results in

emergence of a “virtue”emergence of a “virtue” Four stages in adolescence to Four stages in adolescence to

adulthood (identity, intimacy, adulthood (identity, intimacy, generativity, integrity)generativity, integrity)

Identity/Identity Confusion (stage 5)Identity/Identity Confusion (stage 5) Adolescence Adolescence develop concept of self (“fidelity”)develop concept of self (“fidelity”) integrate past with future directionintegrate past with future direction

Intimacy vs Isolation (stage 6)Intimacy vs Isolation (stage 6) 20’s – 30’s20’s – 30’s tolerant acceptance of otherstolerant acceptance of others develop cooperative, affiliative develop cooperative, affiliative

relationships (“love”)relationships (“love”) ““Who are the most important people Who are the most important people

in your life?”in your life?”

Generativity vs. Stagnation (stage 7)Generativity vs. Stagnation (stage 7) 40 – 6540 – 65 personal concern about otherspersonal concern about others outward focus, mentoringoutward focus, mentoring productivity, contributing (“care”)productivity, contributing (“care”) ““What advice would you give?”What advice would you give?”

Integrity vs. Despair (stage 8)Integrity vs. Despair (stage 8) 65 +65 + reflect positive qualities from earlier reflect positive qualities from earlier

stages (trust, autonomy, industry, stages (trust, autonomy, industry, identity), self-acceptanceidentity), self-acceptance

integrate past experience with integrate past experience with current realities, produce “wisdom”current realities, produce “wisdom”

““What have been the most What have been the most significant events of your life?”significant events of your life?”

Criticisms of Stage TheoriesCriticisms of Stage Theories

Overemphasis on chronological ageOveremphasis on chronological age• Masks individual variabilityMasks individual variability

No clear markers to denote start or No clear markers to denote start or finish of a stagefinish of a stage

Deviations from norm may Deviations from norm may mistakenly be seen as mistakenly be seen as maladjustmentmaladjustment

Downplay sociohistorical contextDownplay sociohistorical context

CriticismsCriticisms

Meaning of time and age confusedMeaning of time and age confused• Multiple meanings of ageMultiple meanings of age• FunctionalFunctional• BiologicalBiological• PsychologicalPsychological• SocialSocial• Increased desynchrony between time Increased desynchrony between time

and aspects of age over life spanand aspects of age over life span Chronological age poorer predictor later in Chronological age poorer predictor later in

lifelife

Western orientationWestern orientation• Distinctions between “individualist” and Distinctions between “individualist” and

“collectivist” ignored“collectivist” ignored Validity of “final” stageValidity of “final” stage

• May not reflect realities of terminal May not reflect realities of terminal periodperiod

• E.g., Joan Erikson’s revisionE.g., Joan Erikson’s revision

Trait Theories (mechanistic)Trait Theories (mechanistic)

Consistent differences (not Consistent differences (not similarities) between peoplesimilarities) between people

““constellations” of attributesconstellations” of attributes• Patterns of thoughts, feelings, actions Patterns of thoughts, feelings, actions

that define the individualthat define the individual Assume little change after age 30Assume little change after age 30

Personality traits identified using Personality traits identified using factor analysisfactor analysis• analyze correlations among attributes analyze correlations among attributes

(e.g., shyness, openness)(e.g., shyness, openness)• Identify groups of variables (e.g., Identify groups of variables (e.g.,

responses to questions “related” to responses to questions “related” to shyness) highly correlated with one shyness) highly correlated with one another (seem to go together)another (seem to go together)

Look for basic dimensions (factors or Look for basic dimensions (factors or “source” traits) along which people “source” traits) along which people differ differ

McRae/Costa Five Factor ModelMcRae/Costa Five Factor Model

Five traits help shape life courseFive traits help shape life course Each trait a continuumEach trait a continuum Uniqueness comes from combination Uniqueness comes from combination

of traits that we possessof traits that we possess

traits:traits:• Neuroticism (calm … worrying)Neuroticism (calm … worrying)• Extraversion (quiet … talkative)Extraversion (quiet … talkative)• Openness to experience (routine … Openness to experience (routine …

variety)variety)• Agreeableness (ruthless … softhearted)Agreeableness (ruthless … softhearted)• Conscientiousness (negligent … Conscientiousness (negligent …

conscientious)conscientious)

Baltimore Longitudinal StudyBaltimore Longitudinal Study

Began in 1958 (ages 17 to 96)Began in 1958 (ages 17 to 96)• Testing every 2 years Testing every 2 years

Stability on all five dimensionsStability on all five dimensions Later cross-sectional studyLater cross-sectional study

• 10,000 people10,000 people• Ages 32-88Ages 32-88

Found:Found:• Stability on neuroticism, extroversion, Stability on neuroticism, extroversion,

openness across lifespan (including midlife)openness across lifespan (including midlife)

Timing of Events ModelTiming of Events Model

ContextualContextual Time and age have different Time and age have different

meanings (chronological, biological, meanings (chronological, biological, psychological, social)psychological, social)

Bernice NeugartenBernice Neugarten• Major life events determined by “social Major life events determined by “social

age clock”age clock” Learned from cultureLearned from culture Normative life eventsNormative life events

• When to finish education, marry, have children, When to finish education, marry, have children, retireretire

““Normative”Normative”• Depends on social clockDepends on social clock• ““on time” events become non-normative on time” events become non-normative

if occur “off time” (too early, too late)if occur “off time” (too early, too late)• Examples?Examples?

Crisis caused by unexpected Crisis caused by unexpected occurrence, timing of life eventsoccurrence, timing of life events

Stress if “off-time”Stress if “off-time”• Lose job, slow career startLose job, slow career start• Late parenthood, marriageLate parenthood, marriage

Cultural/historical variationCultural/historical variation• Timing of first child (1970 v. 1987)Timing of first child (1970 v. 1987)• Emphasis on individual life courseEmphasis on individual life course• Challenge to idea of universal, age-Challenge to idea of universal, age-

related changerelated change

However…However…

Rapid social change undermines Rapid social change undermines predictability of modelpredictability of model• Late parenthood no longer a stressorLate parenthood no longer a stressor• Predictions specific to socio-historical Predictions specific to socio-historical

period (with stable norms)period (with stable norms)

Development of Self-Concept and Development of Self-Concept and Adult IdentityAdult Identity

Erikson: psychosocial Erikson: psychosocial developmentdevelopment• Focus on 5Focus on 5thth stage: the stage: the

“identity crisis”“identity crisis”

Marcia’s extension of Marcia’s extension of Erikson’s workErikson’s work

Adult identityAdult identity• Damon & Hart: factors Damon & Hart: factors

affecting our views of affecting our views of ourselvesourselves

EriksonErikson

Adolescence (stage 5): Adolescence (stage 5): Identity/Identity Confusion Identity/Identity Confusion

develop concept of selfdevelop concept of self• Transition from childhood to adulthoodTransition from childhood to adulthood

integrate past with future directionintegrate past with future direction Positive resolution:Positive resolution:

• Strong sense of self-identityStrong sense of self-identity Negative resolution:Negative resolution:

• Weak sense of selfWeak sense of self

Positive: likelihood of positive Positive: likelihood of positive resolution of adulthood stagesresolution of adulthood stages• Capacity to develop deep and Capacity to develop deep and

meaningful relationships and care for meaningful relationships and care for othersothers

• Consideration of future generations, Consideration of future generations, personal sense of worth and satisfactionpersonal sense of worth and satisfaction

Negative: Negative: • Isolation, unhappiness, selfishness, Isolation, unhappiness, selfishness,

stagnancy, sense of failure and regretstagnancy, sense of failure and regret

James MarciaJames Marcia

Developing personal identity in Developing personal identity in adolescence involves:adolescence involves:• Experiencing crisesExperiencing crises• Forming a commitmentForming a commitment

OccupationalOccupational IdeologicalIdeological

Adolescents experience different Adolescents experience different degrees of crisis and commitmentdegrees of crisis and commitment• Some don’t experience an “identity Some don’t experience an “identity

crisis” at allcrisis” at all

Marcia’s Four Identity StatusesMarcia’s Four Identity Statuses

Identity Achieved Foreclosure(self-confident, (typically identifyhigh level of moral strongly with development) parents; don’t

consider otheridentities; can bedogmatic)

Moratorium Identity Diffusion(currently having (immature andan identity crisis; impulsive, with a actively trying to sense of hope-reach a commitment) lessness)

Yes

Yes

No

No

Have you engaged in a period of active searchfor identity? (crisis)

Do you make commit-ments, e.g., to a career, mate, values?

Limited generalization: most Limited generalization: most research on university studentsresearch on university students• Need replication with representative Need replication with representative

samplessamples ““Type” model may be unrealistic:Type” model may be unrealistic:

• Often two or more statuses operating at Often two or more statuses operating at onceonce

• Stability of status can changeStability of status can change• Identity change possible (not endpoint)Identity change possible (not endpoint)

Four Aspects of “The Self”Four Aspects of “The Self”WilliamWilliam Damon & Daniel HartDamon & Daniel Hart

The “physical self” The “physical self” (our name, body, and (our name, body, and material possessions):material possessions): dominates in the dominates in the first first 2- 3 years2- 3 years

The “active self” The “active self” (how we behave and are (how we behave and are capable of behaving):capable of behaving): dominates during dominates during early elementary school yearsearly elementary school years

The “social self” The “social self” (the relationships we have (the relationships we have with other people):with other people): dominates during dominates during early early adolescenceadolescence

The “psychological self” The “psychological self” (our feelings, (our feelings, thought, beliefs, and personality thought, beliefs, and personality characteristics):characteristics): dominates in dominates in late late adolescenceadolescence

Evidence suggesting that getting to Evidence suggesting that getting to “know yourself” depends on gauging “know yourself” depends on gauging

other people’s reactions to you:other people’s reactions to you:

other people’s expectations of us affect other people’s expectations of us affect how we view ourselveshow we view ourselves

e.g., children who believe that respected e.g., children who believe that respected adults take a dim view of their abilities:adults take a dim view of their abilities:• are reluctant to sustain effort in difficult tasksare reluctant to sustain effort in difficult tasks• are more anxious about being evaluatedare more anxious about being evaluated• come to have low expectations of themselvescome to have low expectations of themselves

the social role that we’ve currently the social role that we’ve currently adopted shapes how we think about adopted shapes how we think about ourselvesourselves

social comparisons shape how we social comparisons shape how we view ourselvesview ourselves

Age and identityAge and identity

Subjective ageSubjective age Selective Optimization with Selective Optimization with

Compensation (Baltes, 1990)Compensation (Baltes, 1990)• AdaptationAdaptation• Maximization of gainsMaximization of gains• Minimization of lossesMinimization of losses• Select goals, behaviour on Select goals, behaviour on

compensating for functional loss: compensating for functional loss: maintain acceptable levels of maintain acceptable levels of functioningfunctioning

Personality - IdentityPersonality - Identity

ModelsModels• StageStage• TraitTrait• Timing of eventsTiming of events

Identity formationIdentity formation Self conceptSelf concept

11 DOMAINS OF COMPETENCY 11 DOMAINS OF COMPETENCY THOUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED IN THOUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED IN

ADULT EVALUATIONS OF SELF-WORTH ADULT EVALUATIONS OF SELF-WORTH (Harter):(Harter):

(1) intelligence (1) intelligence (7) sociability (7) sociability

(2) sense of humour (8) intimacy(2) sense of humour (8) intimacy

(3) job competence (9) nurturance(3) job competence (9) nurturance

(4) morality (4) morality (10) adequacy as a (10) adequacy as a

(5) athletic ability provider(5) athletic ability provider

(6) physical appearance (11) household (6) physical appearance (11) household management management