Theme 9 Development of Personality in Adulthood. Do Our Personalities Change or Remain Stable During Adulthood and Old Age? Models of features Continuity

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  • 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

    Directive Function

    Social Function

  • Some ConceptsReminiscence

    Making memories of the past

    Life ReflectionSource of growthNot of daily life but decisive moments

    Revision of lifeEvaluative and therapeuticNecessary?

  • Some ConceptsContinuity or Stability

    Evolutionary Transitions

    Turning Points

    Chance Encounters (Bandura)

    Beginning of the accentuation of psychological characteristics