Course Hero Logo
This textbook is available atAmazon.com Logo
The Personality Puzzle 8th Edition

The Personality Puzzle (8th Edition)

Book Edition8th Edition
Author(s)Funder
ISBN9780393421781
PublisherW. W. Norton
SubjectPsychology

Chapter 7, End of Chapter, Think About It, Exercise 1

Page 262

Explanation

Multiple studies have implied that the degree of change in an individual's personality is a function of how old they are. During late adolescence, an individual's personality tends to change more radically than middle-aged adults, who report that their personalities have changed a little over the span of 5-6 years. The cumulative continuity principle suggests that the differences between one individual's personality to another get more consistent as they age. This increase in consistency is attributable to the increased stability of overt behavior from adolescence to adulthood. Moreover, an individual's self-rating of their personality becomes more uniform with the ratings of others as the individual ages. The increased stability in personality during older adulthood is also due to the constancy of one's immediate environment, including physical space, occupation, and partner.

 

The evidence for the first argument, that is, some individuals might show positive changes are as follows:

  • When the personality of individuals changes in a positive manner across their life span; individuals are expected to perform their roles and responsibilities and act in accordance with more maturity. To be able to fulfill their obligations, they tend to become more psychologically mature and act consistently across a variety of circumstances. For instance, an individual who develops traits of agreeableness will demonstrate a positive change. In agreeableness, individuals are generally empathetic towards other individuals.
  • The stability of personality is sourced from psychological maturity, which is one's ability to perform developmentally appropriate roles such as being a spouse, raising children, fulfilling professional obligations, retiring from work, and a marked consistency in one's overt behavior across time. Psychological maturity reflects upon traits like emotional stability, self-regulation, and the ability to accurately judge the emotional states of others. A study implied that adolescents who possess comparatively mature personalities changed the least in terms of traits [characterizing psychological maturity] over the span of a decade as compared to their counterparts who tend to be less mature. In this way, with increasing age, an individual is expected to become more mature to fulfill their social obligations and duties, and the personality of the individual changes in a better and constructive direction.

The evidence for the second argument, that is, some individuals might show negative changes are as follows:

  • When the change in the personality traits is a negative one; individuals might not show a sense of responsibility or maturity. They are unable to fulfill their obligations, they tend to become dependent and immature. They often act inconsistently across a variety of circumstances. For instance, if an individual scores high on neuroticism; they will demonstrate a negative change. In neuroticism, individuals demonstrate a lack of emotional stability.
  • Negative changes in one's personality might be associated with certain psychological disorders. For instance, individuals suffering from depression will show a lack of emotional stability. They will face difficulties in regulating their emotions and might act immaturely in certain situations.

Sample Response

Personality refers to an individual's distinctive and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. The personality of an individual is dynamic and changes across their lifespan in response to external circumstances such as traumatic events and distinctive experiences. However, certain personality traits remain consistent across time in an individual. Traits are relatively stable characteristics present in an individual. For instance, some children might be extroverts. Extraversion is a trait. Such traits mostly remain constant throughout one's life span and may maintain this distinctiveness. 

 

The personality of individuals changes over time. Such changes might be good or bad. The following arguments can be considered:

  • Some individuals might show positive changes
  • Some individuals might show negative changes

When the personality of individuals changes in a positive manner across their life span; individuals are expected to perform their roles and responsibilities and act in accordance with more maturity. To be able to fulfill their obligations, they tend to become more psychologically mature and act consistently across a variety of circumstances.

How would you rate this answer and explanation?
Did you like this example?
Subscribe for full access
Page 262