Theme 9Development of Personality in Adulthood
Do Our Personalities Change or Remain Stable During Adulthood and Old Age?
Models of features Continuity
Models of DiscontinuityDevelopment of IModels of life histories
Models of FeaturesKansas City Study (Neugarten)
Stability in lifestyle, attitudes and emotionsPersonas dominance declines beginning at 50 years old Theory of disconnectionTendency towards androgynyStrong paternal tendency in early adulthood (Gutman 1987)Androginy depends on cultural factors
Modelos de rasgosBaltimore Study (Costa & MacCrae)
High stability has been found in the big five personality traits:Neuroticism (emotional instability)Extroversion - IntroversionConscientiousnessOpenness to experienceAgreeableness
Emotional Instability and Age
Transverse studies Neuroticism Extroversion Openness to experience Agreeableness Conscientiousness
Longitudinal Studies = Neuroticism = Extroversion = Openness to experience ? Agreeableness ? Conscientiousness
Results of Studies Focused on Big Five TraitsRelated to life events
Models of Development of IModels that emphasize goals and objectives as directing our behavior throughout life :
The I as essence: self-conceptionThe I as action: adaptation and self-regulation
Criteria: ContinuityDiscriminative RelevanceBiographical significanceDiverse ContentMany Dimensions
The self conception does not worsen:Negative affect decreases, as does positive affectA Paradox of Aging?
Posible Is Sense of ControlSelf-esteemThe I as content: Self-Conception
Hedonic Wellbeing, Happiness, and AgeStability in hedonic wellbeing; decline in eudaimonic wellbeing
I as a Process: Self-regulation and Adaptation
Processes which regulate personal resources decide lifes trajectory Continuity and positive valuation of self-conception are possible
J. Brandtstdter and the Theory of the Action of Self
We look for coherence between our present self-conception and our goalsTwo fundamental mechanisms:
Assimilation and AccommodationImportancePerception of controlPaliative significance
Development of I and AgingAssimilation and accommodation during aging maintain levels of wellbeing
Assimilation declines with ageAccommodation augments with age
Assimilation, Accommodation and Continuity of I Throughout the Life CycleStrategies of Assimilation:Compensative activities: External influences, alternative activities
Strategies of accommodation: Change in the standards of comparison:Changes in reference groupsPessimistic vision of normal agingChange in the vision of personal trajectory
Assimilation, Accommodation, Regulation of the Loss and Reorganization of Self-ConceptionStrategies of Accommodation: Reassessment of goals: Tamping of idealsOlder people are more satisfied with their roles and activities than younger people.
Substitution of some goals for othersMore realistic goalsChanges in the priorities of life domains: health and physical environment.
Assimilation, Accommodation, and Growth of IModel of stages: EriksonIntimacy vs. Isolation (6th stage) 20-35 aos Emotional compromise or the achievement of intimacyGenerative vs. Stationary (7th stage) 35-60The search for transcendence Not limited to the adult yearsIntegrity vs. Desperation (8th stage) 60- Preparing to die, evaluating ones lifes trajectory
Generativity and Age
Assimilation, Accommodation, and the Growth of IGerotranscendence: A quality that some people achieve in the last decades of their livesConnected to concepts like interiority, wisdom, and integrityThree Dimensions:Cosmic DimensionDimension of SelfSocial Dimension
Levinsons Model of StagesEmpirical study of 40 middle aged men (The seasons of a Mans Life, 1978)
Focus on mid-life crisis
Meticulous interviews about family life, work, meaningful relationships, compromises, etc.
Structure of life
Follow-up study with female subjects
Changes in the structure of ones lifeLevinsons Model of Stages
Mid-Life CrisisOccurs in many adults during some part of middle ageCan last 2-5 yearsInvolves changes in friends, family and workSubjects display depressive and addictive symptoms; renewed focus on physical self
Models of Life HistoryA person looks to narrate his own history in order to understand himself, those around him, and project himself into the future.
This process allows an individual to better grasp lifes events and the transitions that provoke changes in our persona; provides a sense of individuality.
It facilitates normative transitions
There is a tendency to maintain a positive life history
Models of Life HistoryProvides support fundamental to our identity
Making memories of the past
Life ReflectionSource of growthNot of daily life but decisive moments
Revision of lifeEvaluative and therapeuticNecessary?
Some ConceptsContinuity or Stability
Chance Encounters (Bandura)
Beginning of the accentuation of psychological characteristics