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PSYC 2P25 (4)
Chapter 4

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2P25
Professor
Michael Ashton
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 4: Developmental Change and Stability of Personality Developmental Changes in Mean Levels of Personality Traits Longitudinal Research Studies  Assessed the personality trait levels on two or more occasions, often many years or decades apart o By finding the average level of a given trait across all members of the group, and then comparing the average levels as observed at the different time periods, the researchers can then detect any systematic changes in personality across those segments of the life span  Self-reports or observer reports Patterns of Life Span Change: Increasing Maturity?  Based on 90 different studies that show the patterns of developmental change in personality across the life course [Roberts et al]  Average levels of conscientiousness, emotional stability, and the assertive aspects of extraversion tend to increase during adolescence, during young adulthood, and during early middle age  Average levels of the sociable and lively aspects of extraversion showed a slight decrease during young adulthood and another decrease toward the end of middle age  Openness to experience showed some moderate increases between adolescence and young adulthood, and then remained stable throughout adulthood before showing a decline during late middle age  Most people can be said to develop deeper maturity as they grow older  Why do these developmental changes occur? o Changes are due to biological processes of maturation o Important events and the changes in social roles that most people experience during their lives tend to have an influence on their personalities Stability of Traits across the Years (and the Life Span) Stability across a Period of Several Years during Adulthood  Costa and McCrae (1988b) o Sample of 1000 adults [25-84 years old] o Self-reports on two occasions, 6 years apart o Showed very strong relations between the level of a given personality trait at the firs occasion and level of the same trait at the second occasion  Costa and McCrae (1992c) o Observer reports of 90 adults [31-57 years old] o Two periods, 7 years apart, by close friends o Same results as above o Suggests that personality traits show a high level of stability across a period of several years, regardless of whether the traits were measured by self- or observer report  Ashton and Lee (2005b) o Relations between scales from two personality inventories – NEO-PI-R and the HEXACO- PI o 9 years apart; 600 adults o The respondents self-reported levels of personality traits were very stable Stability across Longer Periods of Time during Adulthood  Costa and McCrae (1992c) o Self-report personality questionnaires o Period of 24 years o The stability of personality across the entire 24-year period, was .65 o Sug
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