TRAIT MODELS (Costa and McCrae, 1990) – This approach suggests there are five traits that are consistent throughout development, with this consistency predicting the evolution or development of personality across the lifespan
NEUROTICISM – This trait associated with anxiety, depression, hostility, vulnerability, impulsiveness, and self-consciousness
EXTRAVERSION- This characteristic is related to excitement seeking, assertiveness, activity, warmth, positive emotions and gregariousness
OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE – This involves fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas and values
CONSCIENTIOUSNESS – Related to achievement striving, deliberation, competence, self-discipline, order, dutifulness.
AGREEABLENESS – This trait associated with altruism, compliance, tender-mindedness, straightforwardness, trust, and modesty
Costa and McCrae found much stability in these five domains. They did report some shift in personality during the latter part of young adulthood. They concluded that personality takes its final form sometime during the decade of the twenties.
NORMATIVE CRISIS model: This approach sees everyone following the same basic “ground plan” for development, with the details of the particular stage changing
This ground plan consists of a sequence of age-related social and emotional changesChanges are “normative” in that they seem common to most members of a population and they emerge in successive periods, phases or stages, with emotional crises often requiring resolution for development to continue.Theories of Erikson, Vaillant, and Levinson are examples of theories employing normative-crisis approach.
TIMING OF EVENTS model: This approach views life events as markers of development
- In childhood and adolescence, internal maturational events signal transition from one developmental stage to the next. In adulthood, according to this
- approach, adults develop in response to the times in their lives when key events do or do not occurSuch events, if they occur more or less when they are “supposed to” occur are “on time” (i.e. graduation from high school, entry into first job sometime during early adulthood). Events that occur at unexpected times are considered to be “off-time” (widowhood in the 20’s , parenthood in the early teens or early 40’s, premature physical decline in middle adulthood).
- So events can be of two types:
- NORMATIVE LIFE EVENTS – those events that happen to most adults, such as parenthood, employment, retirement
- NON-NORMATIVE LIFE EVENTS – events that are not anticipated, such as a traumatic accident, an unanticipated promotion, winning the lotterySometimes cultural events that happen not just to individuals but to entire societies may also influence development (economic depression, war, natural disasters, famine, or even
- something less dramatic, such as onset of “information age.”)Issue not really what the life event is, but rather when it happens in the person’s life. There certainly is a cultural element, which determines the “right” times for certain happeningsIn past 50-70 years, the definition of what is “right time” for certain events has become much less restrictive, so that “timing” issue not as clear cut as it once was (parenthood, education, retirement)
- HUMANISTIC model: This approach conceptualize the person as continually developing, with the potential to develop to the fullest extent possible. This approach
- emphasizes the human qualities of the person being able to take charge of their own circumstance and foster their own development (Example is Maslow)