McAdams+and+Olson+2010 - ANRV398-PS61-20 ARI 28 October...

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Personality Development: Continuity and Change Over the Life Course Dan P. McAdams 1 and Bradley D. Olson 2 1 Department of Psychology, and School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208; email: [email protected] 2 School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208; email: [email protected] Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2010. 61:517–42 First published online as a Review in Advance on June 17, 2009 The Annual Review of Psychology is online at psych.annualreviews.org This article’s doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100507 Copyright c 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved 0066-4308/10/0110-0517$20.00 Key Words personality traits, temperament, motives and goals, narrative identity, lifespan development Abstract The development of personality across the human life course may be observed from three different standpoints: the person as actor (behav- ing), agent (striving), and author (narrating). Evident even in infancy, broad differences in social action patterns foreshadow the long-term de- velopmental elaboration of early temperament into adult dispositional traits. Research on personal strivings and other motivational constructs provides a second perspective on personality, one that becomes psycho- logically salient in childhood with the consolidation of an agentic self and the articulation of more-or-less stable goals. Layered over traits and goals, internalized life stories begin to emerge in adolescence and young adulthood, as the person authors a narrative identity to make meaning out of life. The review traces the development of traits, goals, and life stories from infancy through late adulthood and ends by considering their interplay at five developmental milestones: age 2, the transition to adolescence, emerging adulthood, midlife, and old age. 517 Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2010.61:517-542. Downloaded from by University of California - Irvine on 09/24/10. For personal use only.
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Nomothetic research: the study of numerous individuals in personality psychology, with the goal of testing hypotheses and deriving laws about people in general Contents INTRODUCTION: PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY AND THE WHOLE PERSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518 THE PERSON AS ACTOR: THE DISPOSITIONAL PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 519 From Temperament to Traits . . . . . . . 520 Differential Continuity of Traits . . . . 521 Developmental Trends for Traits Across the Life Course . . . . . . . . . . 522 THE PERSON AS AGENT: THE MOTIVATIONAL PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524 The Agentic Self: Intentionality and the Articulation of Goals . . . . 524 Goals Over the Life Course . . . . . . . . 525 THE PERSON AS AUTHOR: THE SELF-NARRATIVE PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 526 The Developmental Emergence of Narrative Identity . . . . . . . . . . . . 527 Self-Narrative Over the Life Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 528 PUTTING IT TOGETHER: DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 529 Age 2: Self and Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 531 The Transition to Adolescence . . . . . 532 Emerging Adulthood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 533 Midlife Tipping Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534 On Endings: The Incomplete Architecture of Personality Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 535 CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 536 INTRODUCTION: PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY AND THE WHOLE PERSON Ever since Allport (1937) and Murray (1938) envisioned personality psychology as the scien- tific study of psychological individuality, per-
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