I.  Conceptualizing the self

            Personality-- Unique, Organized Combinations of Attributes, Motives, Values, Behaviors

                                    That Make Up an Individual

                        Components of personality

                                    a.  self-concept-- perceptions (positive to negative) of your own


                                    b.  self-esteem--  evaluation (positive to negative) of self-worth

                                    c.  identity-- overall sense of who someone is


II.  Theories of personality development

            A.  Psychoanalytic Theory

                        1.  Sigmund Freud

                                    a.  focus on “inner dynamics” of id, ego, superego

                                    b.  biological urges push children through universal stages of                                                            psychosexual development

                                    c.  gist of personality is formed in first five years

                                    d.  unfavorable early experience leads to permanent trouble

                        2.  Erik Erikson

                                    a.  personality evolves through systematic stages

                                    b.  placed more emphasis on social influences

                                    c.  personality continues to develop in adulthood

                                    d.  agreed with Freud that personality involves stages and people

                                         undergo similar personality development at similar ages

            B.  Trait Theory

                        1.  Psychometric approach-- mental measurement

                        2.  Personality is set of measurable traits

                        3.  Relies on factor analysis-- statistical technique to identify items that are

                             correlated with each other but not with other factors

                        4.  Big Five model includes dimensions of-- neuroticism, extraversion,

                             openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness

                                    a.  big five traits may be genetically determined and related to aspects of


                                    b.  levels of big five traits vary by culture

            C.  Social Learning Theory

                        Albert Bandura and Walter Mischel

                                    a.  reject notion of stages of personality

                                    b.  people change as environments change-- situation is key

                                                i.    consistency if situation is consistent

                                                ii.    we behave differently in differing situations

                                                iii.   great variation between firstborns

                                    c.  great variation in human personality

                                    d.  direction of development driven by social experience and social



III.  The infant

            A.  The Emerging Self

                        1.  Pattern of emerging self

                                    a.  born without sense of self

                                    b.  during first six months infants first discover properties of self

                                                            c.  during second six months realize that they are separate beings from others

                                                joint attention-- share perceptual experience with others begins

                        2.  Self-recognition (identification of own image)-- 15 to 24 months

                                    researched by watching children’s reaction to self

                        3.  Categorical self-- classification by socially meaningful dimensions

                        4.  Self-awareness driven by several factors

                                    a.  cognitive development

                                    b.  social experience/interactions

                        5.  Looking-glass self-- our view of self reflects others views of us

                                    treatment by parents and others communicate information to babies

                        6.  Awareness of self paves way for later social and emotional development

            B.  Temperament-- Dimension of “Infant Personality” (Basic Tendencies to Respond)

                        1.  Emotionality, activity, sociability

                                    three dimensions of temperament

                                                i.    emotionality(emotionally reactive)

                                                ii.    activity (sluggish)

                                                iii.   sociability (desire to interact with others)

2.      Behavioral inhibition-- tendency to be extremely shy and reserved in

unfamiliar situations

                                    a.  early tendencies seen by 4 months

                                    b.  impact can be seen into the teen years

c.       Kagan and colleagues conclude that behavioral inhibition is

biologically rooted

                                                i.    impact seen into later life

                                                ii.    environment (treatment by parents) also matters

                        3.  Easiness/difficultness

                                    a.  Thomas and Chess propose existence of three categories of infant


                                                i.    easy temperament-- content, adaptable to new experience

                                                ii.    difficult temperament-- negative reaction to stimuli, irritable

                                                iii.   slow-to-warm-up temperament-- relatively inactive, somewhat


                                    b.  Thomas and Chess study - 40% easy, 10% difficult, 15% slow-to-

                                         warm-up, 35% unclassifiable

                                    c.  by adulthood, individual adjustment has little to do with infant


                        4.  Goodness of fit

                                    a.  relationship between child and environment affects continuity of                                                  temperament

                                    b.  parent’s personality may impact type of environment they provide

                                                i.    demanding parents could be problematic

                                                ii.    level of parental empathy key to goodness of fit

                                                iii.   parental perception of child’s temperament key

                                                iv.   can teach parents how to better interpret and respond to child’s



IV.  The child

            A.  Elaborating on a Sense of Self

                        1.  Use of personal pronouns (e.g., “I” “Mine”)

                        2.  Preschoolers--  concrete and physical descriptions of self

                                    few descriptions of psychological traits

                        3.  School-age--  inner qualities or traits and social comparisons emerge

                                    a.  social comparison-- judgment of self compared with others

                                                children tend to believe they are the greatest

                                    b.  by first-grade learn about strengths and weaknesses

                                    c.  degree of social comparison impacted by sociocultural context

                                                i.    common in United States

                                                ii.    less common in Israeli kibbutz

                        4.  Self-esteem-- judgment of self-worth

                                    a.  preschooler’s self-esteem is broadly defined

                                                i.    physical and social competence

                                                ii.    personal and social adequacy (social acceptance)

                                    b.  Harter's self-perception scale measures

                                    c.  self-esteem multidimensional and hierarchical           

                                                i.    scholastic competence-- does well in school

                                                ii.    social acceptance-- being popular

                                                iii.  behavioral conduct-- not getting into trouble

                                                iv.  athletic competence-- good at sports

                                                v.  physical appearance-- feels good looking   

                                    d.  children begin to desire to be liked  

                                    e.  self-evaluations first inflated, then more realistic by school-age (age 8)

                                    f.   formation of.  ideal self--  grand idea of who they want to be (versus

                                         who you are)

                        5.  Influences on self-esteem

                                    a.  actual competence

                                    b.  more positive social feedback

                                                i.   parental behavior promoting self-esteem

                                                ii.    warm

                                                iii.   communicate approval

                                                iv.  enforce clearly stated rules

                                    c.  children may contribute to own high esteem by seeking positive


                                    d.  self-esteem stable over school years and correlated with adjustment


            B.  Forming Personality

                        1.  Temperament shaped into personality during childhood

                                    a.  some links between temperament in early childhood and later


                                                i.    difficult 3-year-olds later impulsive

                                                ii.    easy 3-year-olds well adjusted later

                                    b.  efforts being made to match temperament with big five factors

                                    c.  cross-cultural studies indicate that parents see big-five dimensions in

                                         their children as young as age 3

                                    d.  personality not set by age 5 (as suggested by Freud)

                        2.  Some stabilization in childhood, but then some traits change while others

                             remain about the same

                        3.  Behavioral patterns may set in motion social interactions that evoke certain



V.  The adolescent

            A.  Self-conceptions

                        1.  Self-conceptions become less physical and more psychological

                        2.  Self-conceptions become less concrete and more abstract

                        3.  Self-awareness increases in adolescence

                                    can lead to increase in self-consciousness

                        4.  Self-concept becomes more differentiated

                        5.  Older adolescents have more integrated and coherent self-portraits

                                    a.  become aware of inconsistencies

                                    b.  most adolescents overcome uncomfortable feelings

            B.  Self-esteem

                        1.  Young adolescents may experience drop in self-esteem

                                    a.  drop greatest among white females

                                    b.  drop most likely in individuals with self-approval based on approval of


                        2.  Adolescence is not as hazardous to self as most people believe

                                    revise self-concept in minor ways as they experience physical, cognitive,

                                    and social change

            C.  Forming a Sense of Identity

1.      Erikson: Adolescence is crisis of identity versus role confusion and


                                    a.  adolescence time attempt to form own identity

                                    b.  search involves grappling with many questions

                                    c.  may experience identity crisis

                                                i.    changing body image and adjust to being sexual being

                                                ii.    cognitive growth allows for more sophisticated understanding

                                                      of self

                                                iii.   social demands force children to “grow up”

                                    d.  society supports “moratorium period”-- time of relative freedom from


                        2.  Developmental trends

                                    a.  Marcia proposed four levels of identity statuses

                                    b.  key is whether person has experienced a crisis or achieved commitment

                                                i.    diffusion status-- no crisis, no commitment

                                                ii.    foreclosure status-- no crisis, commitment made

                                                iii.   moratorium status-- crisis experienced, no commitment

                                                iv.   identity achievement status-- crisis experienced, commitment


                                    c.  identity formation takes a long time and occurs at different rates for                                            different domains

                                    d.  some longitudinal studies fail to support this identity theory

                        3.  Influences on identity formation

                                    product of four factors

i.         cognitive development-- enables one to consider possible

future identities

                                          ii.    relationships with parents-- youth in diffusion most rejected

                                                while those in achievement have high support, parents can be

                                                “too loving” and allow adolescents few chances to make own


                                                iii.   experiences outside the home-- college often time of

                                                      moratorium, allows for exposure to diverse ideas

                                                iv.   broader social and historical context-- culture plays role in

                                                      formation of identity, Navajo adolescent experience differs

                                                      from that in Western society

            D.  Vocational Identity and Choice

                        1.  Central issue in identify formation for adolescents and adults

                        2.  Ginzberg proposed a three-stage theory of vocational choice

                                    a.  fantasy stage (through age 10)-- based on wishes whims

                                    b.  tentative stage (age 11-18)-- preliminary decisions based on interests

                                    c.  realistic stage (18-22)-- specific choices based on opportunity, value,

                                         capability, interests

                        3.  Main developmental trend is increasing realism about vocational options

                        4.  Key is to find optimal fit between one’s self and occupation

                        5.  Minority status, sex status, and income-status can affect career plans

                        6.  Many teenagers do not explore a wide range of career options

                                    goodness of fit between person and vocation important


VI.  The adult

            A.  Self-conceptions

                        1.  Age differences

                                                                  a.  self-esteem high in childhood, drops in adolescence, rises gradually in

                                                                       adulthood, drops in older age

                                                                  b.  correlations between self-esteem at different ages high (+.50 to .70)

                                    c.  how elderly people maintain positive self-image despite loss

                                                i.    close gap between present and ideal self

                                                ii.    change goals and standards to lessen perception of failure

                                                iii.   change comparison group-- often to older unhealthy people

                                    d.  negative stereotypes damaging to self-perception

                        2.  Cultural differences

                                    a.  individualistic culture-- individual goal valued above of group

                                                typical of North America, Western Europe

                                    b.  collectivist culture-- group goal valued above individual’s goals

                                                typical of Asia, Africa, Latin America

                                    c.  American tend to focus on unique aspects of general self and attempt to

                                         maintain high self-esteem

                                    d.  Japanese tend to focus on behavior in specific context and are more


                                                                  e.  Americans describe themselves in terms of generalized personality traits (see selves as sense of internal consistency)

                                    f.  Japanese expect others to react differently in different situations

                                    g.  cultural differences in self-description seen as early as age 3 to 4

                                    h.  cross-cultural differences challenge many assumptions about healthy

                                         personality development

                                                Western assumption is that you cannot function without a well

                                                developed sense of identity

            B.  Continuity and Discontinuity in Personality

                        1.  Do people retain their rankings?

                                    a.  Big Five personality traits relatively enduring but some change is


                                    b.  tendency to be consistent increases with age

                        2.  Do mean personality scores change?

                                    a.  focus on stability of a trait

                                    b.  differences may be due to generational or cohort effects

                                    c.  there is much cross-age consistency in rankings on Big Five, although

                                         some small changes possible

                                    d.  there are few ways in which personality traits of adults systematically                                                      change in similar directions as they age

                                                i.    increased achievement orientation and self-confidence

                                                ii.    activity level declines in later age

                                    e.  Big Five conclusions

                                                i.    biologically based temperaments

                                                ii.    relatively resistant to environmental influences

                                                iii.   undergo a universal process of maturational change

                                                iv.   evolution behind maturation

                                                v.   responsibility and helpfulness (raising children adaptive)

                                    f.  McCrae and Costa acknowledge impact of culture and social factors

                                    g.  Helson (and others) disagree with McCrae and Costa

                                                i.    personality does change in adulthood

                                                ii.    societal impact critical

                                    h.  summary points

                                                i.    good deal of cross-age consistency in Big Five traits

                                                ii.    historical context impacts personality

                                                iii.   personality growth in adulthood differs by factor

                                                iv.   little personality change in middle to later adulthood

                        3.  Why do people change or remain the same?

                                    a.  stability may be accounted for by…

                                                i.    genetic inheritance (heredity)

                                                ii.    lasting effects of childhood experiences

                                                iii.   stability of environments

                                                iv.   gene-environment correlations promote continuity

                                    b.  changes may be explained by…

                                                i.    biological factors

                                                ii.    changes in social environments (including major life events)

                                                iii.   poor fit between person and the environment

                                                iv.   gene-environment correlation (people seek and experience

                                                      environments that match and reinforce earlier predispositions)

            C.  Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth

                        Psychosocial stage theory of personality development with 8 stages

                        1.  The path to adulthood

                                    a.  trust versus mistrust-- infants learn to trust caregiver

                                    b.  autonomy versus shame and doubt-- toddlers learn self as they assert


                                    c.  initiative versus guilt-- gain sense of self/pride in accomplishment

                                    d.  industry versus inferiority-- elementary school students begin to make

                                         social comparisons

                                    e.  identity versus role confusion-- adolescent crisis of establishing unique

                                         sense of self

                        2.  Early adult intimacy

                                    a.  intimacy versus isolation-- first psychosocial conflict in adulthood

                                                i.    share self through intimacy in relationship

                                                ii.    failure may lead to being threatened by commitment

                                    b.  women may gain identity by choosing mate and role of wife

                                    c.  masculine women follow identity before intimacy route (like men)

                                    d.  theory better fit for men than women

                        3.  Middle-age generativity

                                    a.  psychosocial crisis of generativity versus stagnation

                                                i.    capacity to produce something that will outlive you

                                                ii.    teaching and parenting to younger generation examples of


                                    b.  Valliant-- few males experience full-blown midlife crisis

                                    c.  McAdams-- middle-age individual more generativity than younger


                                    d.  people high on generativity are more caring and productive

                        4.  Old age integrity

                                    a.  psychosocial crisis of integrity versus despair

                                                i.    handling of death based on review of life

                                                ii.    life review-- process of reflecting on past and resolving


                                                iii.   life reviews can be beneficial, but older people do not spend

                                                      that much time thinking about death

                                    b.  conducting a life-review may help people develop better sense of ego

                                         integrity and well-adjusted

            D.  Midlife Crisis?

                        Daniel Levinson proposed stage theory of personality development

                                    a.  life structure-- overall pattern reflecting one’s life (personality)

                                    b.  life structure built across time

                                    c.  mid-life crisis-- intensely unsettled time of life between age 40 and 45

                                                i.    Levinson popularizes concept (especially in men)

ii.       many question existence of genuine “midlife crisis” for

majority of people during middle age

                                          iii.   midlife crisis may be more appropriately referred to as “midlife


            E.  Vocational Development and Adjustment

                        1.  Establishing a career

                                    a.  adulthood is time for exploring career possibilities

                                    b.  personality factors influence vocational choice

                                                aggressive boys-men with unstable careers

                                    c.  gender (being female) can negatively impact vocation

                                                i.    discrimination concerning pay

                                                ii.    gender-role norms affects expectations and choice of

                                                      subordinate careers

                                                iii.   women without children achieve more in their careers

                                                iv.   women move into and out of the workforce more frequently

                                    d.  work can have positive impact on personality

                        2.  The aging worker

                                    a.  older workers as competent as younger workers and are more satisfied

                                         with their jobs

                                    b.  older workers use strategies to compensate for cognitive and physical


                                                i.    compensation sometime referred to as “selective optimization

                                                      with compensation” pattern

                                                ii.    selection (focus on needed skills),

                                                iii.   optimization (practice)

                                                iv.   compensation (getting around needed skills)

                                    c.  competence of older workers has led to raise or elimination of

                                         retirement ages

                        3.  Retirement

                                    a.  introduction of social security in 1930s lead to retirement boom

                                    b.  Atchley proposed model of retirement said to proceed in stages

                                                i.    pre-retirement-- getting ready

                                                ii.    honeymoon phase-- initial pleasure following retirement

                                                iii.  disenchantment-- novelty wears off and unhappiness sets in

                                                iv.   reorientation-- set more realistic lifestyle

                                    c.  research supports this basic pattern

                                    d.  most consistent impact is loss of income (three-fourths of previous


                                    e.  declines in health not directly the result of retirement

                                    f.  retirement does not disrupt marriages, life satisfaction, or mental health

            F.  Personality and Successful Aging

                        1.  Activity theory-- aging adults more satisfied if they can maintain previous

                             lifestyle and/or activity level

                                    may involve substitution of new activity with old

                        2.  Disengagement theory-- successful aging involves planned withdrawal from


                                    aging involves reducing activity and leaving old roles behind

                        3.  Quality of activity more important than quantity of activity

                        4.  Both models have some merit and neither alone can describe personality

change in adulthood

                        5.  Optimal satisfaction experienced when good fit between lifestyle, needs, and