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CHAPTER NINE CHAPTER NINE Personality. Your Life Events For each of the age ranges listed, write down a memory from that time period. If you do not remember.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER NINE CHAPTER NINE Personality. Your Life Events For each of the age ranges listed, write down a memory from that time period. If you do not remember."— Presentation transcript:


2 Your Life Events For each of the age ranges listed, write down a memory from that time period. If you do not remember or have not yet reached a particular age range, write down one event that you believe would be important for the age range in question. 0-1 2-3 4-5 6-12 13-20 21-39 40-64 65+

3 Traits as building blocks of personality

4 Personality Traits You will be mostly the same 50 years from now, according to trait theory research. How do you feel about being the same in the future? What about some of your undesirable habits?

5 Dispositional Traits Across Adulthood Dispositional traits –Aspects of personality that are consistent across different contexts –Can be represented on a continuum showing high to low degrees of the characteristic The Case for Stability: The Five-Factor Model 5 dimensions of personality: –Neuroticism –Extraversion –Openness to experience –Agreeableness –Conscientiousness

6 6 of 42 Dispositional Traits Across Adulthood Neuroticism Has six facets: –Anxiety –Hostility –Self-consciousness –Depression –Impulsiveness –Vulnerability

7 7 of 42 Dispositional Traits Across Adulthood Extraversion Has six facets in two groups: –Interpersonal traits Warmth Gregariousness Assertiveness –Temperamental traits Activity Excitement seeking Positive emotions

8 Dispositional Traits Across Adulthood Openness to Experience Has six areas: –Fantasy –Aesthetics –Action –Ideas –Values –Occupational choice

9 Dispositional Traits Across Adulthood Agreeableness (Opposite of Antagonism) Agreeable people are not: –Skeptical –Mistrustful –Callous –Unsympathetic –Stubborn –Rude –Skillful manipulators –Aggressive go-getters

10 10 of 42 Dispositional Traits Across Adulthood Conscientiousness Conscientious people are: –Hardworking –Ambitious –Energetic –Scrupulous –Persevering –Desirous to make something of themselves

11 What is the Evidence for Trait Stability? Costa and McCrae (1988, 1994, 1997) used the Five Factor model: –Asserted that personality was stable past age 30 –Over a 12-year period, 10 personality traits remained stable, as measured by a survey given to 114 males. –Other studies have found equivalent results –Martin and colleagues found, however, that in the very old, suspiciousness and sensitivity increased.

12 Additional Studies of Dispositional Traits Some studies have shown increasing evidence for personality changes as we grow older. Current Big Five research shows that, as people age there tends to be: –Absence of neuroticism –Presence of agreeableness and conscientiousness –Decrease in openness to new experiences Perhaps due to both normative processes of aging and cohort differences. Looking at specific aspects of personality in specific kinds of people, there may be less stability and more change.

13 Personal Concerns and Qualitative Stages in Adulthood Personal concerns: –Things that are important to people –Goals –Major concerns in life Personal concerns are different from dispositional traits in that they: –Are viewed within a context –Are narrative descriptions that rely on life circumstances –Change over time

14 Eriksons Stages of Psychosocial Development Erikson developed a lifespan theory of personality development His 8 stages represent the 8 great psychosocial struggles that he believed people must undergo.

15 Epigenetic Principle: Eriksons idea that development occurs in such a way that certain issues have their own particular times of importance

16 Possible Outcomes of Psychosocial Stages

17 Weekly Work Assignment Using the memories and events noted in Your Life Events at the beginning of this lecture, apply Eriksons theory of Psychosocial Personality Development. For each stage discuss: –Which psychosocial struggle is occurring –The important relationships or strengths formed in that stage –The outcome of the struggle

18 Theories Based on Life Transitions Among the most popular theories of adult personality development Research in area has contained many methodological problems Midlife crisis: The idea that in middle age one has a personal crisis that changes how one thinks about oneself –Many adults face difficult issues and make behavioral changes to try to better themselves

19 The Midlife Crisis 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. Midlife correction: –Reevaluating ones roles and dreams and making the necessary corrections

20 Conclusions about Personal Concerns Evidence supports a sharp change in personal concerns as adults age. Change is not specific to an age but is dependent on many factors. There is a need for more research in this area.

21 Life Narratives, Identity, and the Self Life narrative –Consists of the aspects of personality that pull everything together –Those integrative aspects that give a person an identity or sense of self

22 Life Narratives, Identity, and the Self McAdamss Life-story Model Argues that people create a life story –That is, an internalized narrative with a beginning, middle, and an anticipated ending Adults are said to reformulate their life stories throughout adulthood both at the conscious and unconscious levels. Goals of a life story are to be: –Coherent –Credible –Open to new possibilities –Richly differentiated –Reconciling of opposite aspects of oneself –Integrated within ones sociocultural context

23 Life Narrative: Optional Extra Credit (5 points possible) Create a Tree of My Life –Using any artistic medium youd like, create a collage (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.) that represents YOU and your life story. Please provide a key to help explain your story tree.

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