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Unformatted text preview: research on the Big
Five (Costa & McCrae, 1997; Roberts & DelVecchio, 2000). Individual
differences in Agreeableness and Neuroticism were the least consistent
in rank ordering, whereas individual differences in Openness to Experience were the most consistent.
The interrelations among the Big Five personality dimensions remained highly stable over the 4-year period, reflecting a high level of 632 Robins et al. structural stability. Thus, although college is a time of considerable
identity construction and reformation, it does not seem to entail a
dramatic change in the structure of personality traits.
In terms of ipsative stability, the individual Big Five profiles showed
moderate levels of stability. Almost half the sample showed change in
their trait profile over the 4-year period, based on the D2 and D′2 indices.
This is not surprising given that most people exhibited some degree of
reliable change on at least one of the Big Five dimensions. However,
analyses of the D″2 index showed that much of the change was due to
shifts in the overall level and spread of the profiles rather than in their
shape. The literature on personality change is almost completely devoid
of research on the stability of trait profiles, and the present study thus
helps to fill a gap in the literature. However, the psychological meaning
of individual differences in ipsative stability remains to be explored.
Limitations and Future Directions The present study has a number of limitations that suggest the need for
further research. Most notably, the design did not allow us to distinguish
personality change due to maturational factors (ontogenic change) and
change due to the college experience (sociogenic change). Thus, we do
not know whether the findings generalize to all individuals transitioning
from late adolescence to early adulthood or just those who attend college.
Consider, for example, normative increases in Conscientiousness and
Openness. In some sense, the college context provides an environmental
press for increases in these two traits. Successful academic performance
in college requires perseverance, punctuality, responsibility, an...
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2010 for the course PSYCH PSY BEH P2 taught by Professor Susanturkcharles during the Fall '10 term at UC Irvine.
- Fall '10