Personality Psychology Class 4.odt

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29 Mar 2012
Class 4: Personality Over Time
January 19 2012
What Is Personality Development?
Personality development: Continuities, consistencies, stability in people over time, and the way
in which people change over time
For example: Temperament, coherence, stability & change
Three Key Forms of Stability
Rank order stability: Maintenance of an individual position’s within group
Mean level stability: Constancy of level in population
Personality coherence: Maintaining rank order relative to others but changing in the
manifestations of trait
Personality Change: Two Defining Qualities
Internal: Changes are internal to a person, not changes in the external surrounding
Enduring: Changes are enduring over time, not temporary
Three Levels of Analysis
Population level: Changes or constancies that apply more or less to everyone
Group differences level: Changes or constancies that affect different groups differently
Individual difference level: e.g., Can we predict who is at risk for psychological disturbance
later in life based in earlier measures of personality?
Personality Stability Over Time :Temperament Stability During Infancy
Temperament: Individual differences that emerge very early in life, are heritable, and involved
behaviors are linked with emotionality
As assessed by caregivers, temperament factors include activity level, smiling and laughter, fear,
distress to limitations, soothability, and the duration of orienting
Research points to the following conclusions
Stable individual differences emerge early in life, where they can be assessed by observers
For most temperament variables, there are moderate levels of stability over time during the first
year of life
Stability of temperament is higher over short intervals of time than over long intervals of time
Level of stability of temperament increases as infants mature
Personality Stability Over Time: Childhood
Block & Block Longitudinal Study:Individual differences in activity level
Activity level assessed in two ways:Using actometer and independent assessments of behavior
and personality provided by teachers at ages 3, 4, 5, 7, 11
Stability coefficients: Correlations between same measures obtained at two different points in
time (test-retest reliability)
Validity coefficients: between different measures of the same trait at the same time
Stability of childhood aggression
Individual differences in aggression emerge early in life, by three years
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