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Identity and Personality Development

Identity and Personality Development

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Identity and Personality Development

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  1. Identity and Personality Development

  2. Models of Adult Personality • Stability or Change? • Organismic • Stage • Universal sequence of development • Individuals show predictable change • Erikson: psychodynamic • Levinson: stages of life • Life transitions

  3. Mechanistic • Trait • Focus on attributes, temperament • Reduce personality to basic elements • Individual shows stability • McCrea & Costa: “Big Five” personality traits

  4. Contextual • Timing of Events • Change not age-related • Depends on circumstances and events in the individual’s life • Bronfenbrenner: Ecological Systems theory

  5. Stage Models • Normative personality change • Common to everyone • Recognize individual variation, but • Successive periods • Marked by “crises,” “transitions,” or “life tasks” • Occur at about the same age for all • Psychodynamic theories: Freud, Jung

  6. Erikson • Development through the life span • Balance positive (“syntonic”) and negative (“dystonic”) tendencies • Eight critical stages (crises) • Successful resolution results in emergence of a “virtue” • Four stages in adolescence to adulthood (identity, intimacy, generativity, integrity)

  7. Identity/Identity Confusion (stage 5) • Adolescence • develop concept of self (“fidelity”) • integrate past with future direction

  8. Intimacy vs Isolation (stage 6) • 20’s – 30’s • tolerant acceptance of others • develop cooperative, affiliative relationships (“love”) • “Who are the most important people in your life?”

  9. Generativity vs. Stagnation (stage 7) • 40 – 65 • personal concern about others • outward focus, mentoring • productivity, contributing (“care”) • “What advice would you give?”

  10. Integrity vs. Despair (stage 8) • 65 + • reflect positive qualities from earlier stages (trust, autonomy, industry, identity), self-acceptance • integrate past experience with current realities, produce “wisdom” • “What have been the most significant events of your life?”

  11. Criticisms of Stage Theories • Overemphasis on chronological age • Masks individual variability • No clear markers to denote start or finish of a stage • Deviations from norm may mistakenly be seen as maladjustment • Downplay sociohistorical context

  12. Criticisms • Meaning of time and age confused • Multiple meanings of age • Functional • Biological • Psychological • Social • Increased desynchrony between time and aspects of age over life span • Chronological age poorer predictor later in life

  13. Western orientation • Distinctions between “individualist” and “collectivist” ignored • Validity of “final” stage • May not reflect realities of terminal period • E.g., Joan Erikson’s revision

  14. Trait Theories (mechanistic) • Consistent differences (not similarities) between people • “constellations” of attributes • Patterns of thoughts, feelings, actions that define the individual • Assume little change after age 30

  15. Personality traits identified using factor analysis • analyze correlations among attributes (e.g., shyness, openness) • Identify groups of variables (e.g., responses to questions “related” to shyness) highly correlated with one another (seem to go together) • Look for basic dimensions (factors or “source” traits) along which people differ

  16. McRae/Costa Five Factor Model • Five traits help shape life course • Each trait a continuum • Uniqueness comes from combination of traits that we possess

  17. traits: • Neuroticism (calm … worrying) • Extraversion (quiet … talkative) • Openness to experience (routine … variety) • Agreeableness (ruthless … softhearted) • Conscientiousness (negligent … conscientious)

  18. Baltimore Longitudinal Study • Began in 1958 (ages 17 to 96) • Testing every 2 years • Stability on all five dimensions • Later cross-sectional study • 10,000 people • Ages 32-88 • Found: • Stability on neuroticism, extroversion, openness across lifespan (including midlife)

  19. Timing of Events Model • Contextual • Time and age have different meanings (chronological, biological, psychological, social)

  20. Bernice Neugarten • Major life events determined by “social age clock” • Learned from culture • Normative life events • When to finish education, marry, have children, retire

  21. “Normative” • Depends on social clock • “on time” events become non-normative if occur “off time” (too early, too late) • Examples?

  22. Crisis caused by unexpected occurrence, timing of life events • Stress if “off-time” • Lose job, slow career start • Late parenthood, marriage

  23. Cultural/historical variation • Timing of first child (1970 v. 1987) • Emphasis on individual life course • Challenge to idea of universal, age-related change

  24. However… • Rapid social change undermines predictability of model • Late parenthood no longer a stressor • Predictions specific to socio-historical period (with stable norms)

  25. Development of Self-Concept and Adult Identity • Erikson: psychosocial development • Focus on 5th stage: the “identity crisis” • Marcia’s extension of Erikson’s work • Adult identity • Damon & Hart: factors affecting our views of ourselves

  26. Erikson • Adolescence (stage 5): Identity/Identity Confusion • develop concept of self • Transition from childhood to adulthood • integrate past with future direction • Positive resolution: • Strong sense of self-identity • Negative resolution: • Weak sense of self

  27. Positive: likelihood of positive resolution of adulthood stages • Capacity to develop deep and meaningful relationships and care for others • Consideration of future generations, personal sense of worth and satisfaction • Negative: • Isolation, unhappiness, selfishness, stagnancy, sense of failure and regret

  28. James Marcia • Developing personal identity in adolescence involves: • Experiencing crises • Forming a commitment • Occupational • Ideological • Adolescents experience different degrees of crisis and commitment • Some don’t experience an “identity crisis” at all

  29. Marcia’s Four Identity Statuses Have you engaged in a period of active search for identity? (crisis) Yes No Do you make commit-ments, e.g., to a career, mate, values? Yes No

  30. Limited generalization: most research on university students • Need replication with representative samples • “Type” model may be unrealistic: • Often two or more statuses operating at once • Stability of status can change • Identity change possible (not endpoint)

  31. Four Aspects of “The Self”WilliamDamon & Daniel Hart • The “physical self” (our name, body, and material possessions): dominates in the first 2- 3 years • The “active self” (how we behave and are capable of behaving): dominates during early elementary school years • The “social self” (the relationships we have with other people): dominates during early adolescence • The “psychological self” (our feelings, thought, beliefs, and personality characteristics): dominates in late adolescence

  32. Evidence suggesting that getting to “know yourself” depends on gauging other people’s reactions to you: • other people’s expectations of us affect how we view ourselves • e.g., children who believe that respected adults take a dim view of their abilities: • are reluctant to sustain effort in difficult tasks • are more anxious about being evaluated • come to have low expectations of themselves

  33. the social role that we’ve currently adopted shapes how we think about ourselves • social comparisons shape how we view ourselves

  34. Age and identity • Subjective age • Selective Optimization with Compensation (Baltes, 1990) • Adaptation • Maximization of gains • Minimization of losses • Select goals, behaviour on compensating for functional loss: maintain acceptable levels of functioning

  35. Personality - Identity • Models • Stage • Trait • Timing of events • Identity formation • Self concept

  36. 11 DOMAINS OF COMPETENCY THOUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED IN ADULT EVALUATIONS OF SELF-WORTH (Harter): (1) intelligence (7) sociability (2) sense of humour (8) intimacy (3) job competence (9) nurturance (4) morality (10) adequacy as a (5) athletic ability provider (6) physical appearance (11) household management