Fraley+and+Roberts+20005 - Psychological Review 2005, Vol....

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Patterns of Continuity: A Dynamic Model for Conceptualizing the Stability of Individual Differences in Psychological Constructs Across the Life Course R. Chris Fraley University of Illinois at Chicago Brent W. Roberts University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign In contemporary psychology there is debate over whether individual differences in psychological constructs are stable over extended periods of time. The authors argue that it is impossible to resolve such debates unless researchers focus on patterns of stability and the developmental mechanisms that may give rise to them. To facilitate this shift in emphasis, they describe a formal model that integrates 3 developmental processes: stochastic-contextual processes, person–environment transactions, and devel- opmental constancies. The theoretical and mathematical analyses indicate that this model makes novel predictions about the way in which test–retest correlations are structured across a wide range of ages and test–retest intervals. The authors illustrate the utility of the model by comparing its predictions against meta-analytic data on Neuroticism. The discussion emphasizes the value of focusing on patterns of continuity, not only as phenomena to be explained but as data capable of clarifying the developmental processes underlying stability and change for a variety of psychological constructs. In 1963 Director Michael Apted and his colleagues interviewed 14 British 7-year-olds about their dreams, fears, and aspirations. The documentary that resulted, 7Up , was a critically acclaimed film about the lives of a diverse group of children who would ultimately become Britain’s future (Almond & Apted, 1963). In the years that have followed, Apted has kept in touch with these individuals, interviewing them every 7 years about their relation- ships, accomplishments, and disappointments. The most recent update, 42 Up , was released in 1999. The 7 Up series is remarkable to watch because it allows the viewer to observe the unfolding of lives—from childhood to middle age—over the span of a few short hours. When watching this series, one cannot help but be struck by the degree of conti- nuity that characterizes some of the children. The child interested in astronomy grows up to become a tenured professor of physics, and the timid, introspective child spends decades trying to discover his place in society. In contrast, other children exhibit marked discontinuities, coming across as arrogant and rebellious at age 21, for example, and humble and conventional 7 years later. The diversity of developmental trajectories captured by the series prompts the viewer to ask, “How stable are individual differences from infancy to adulthood?” Indeed, it is precisely this kind of question that Apted hoped to answer by working on the 7 Up series. Inspired by the Jesuit maxim “Give me the child until he is 7, and I will show you the man,” Apted sought to determine to what extent the personality of the child foreshadows that of the adult.
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Fraley+and+Roberts+20005 - Psychological Review 2005, Vol....

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