Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Subjective experiences of life events match individual differences in personality development.

The last 2 decades have witnessed increased research on the role of life events in personality trait development, but few findings appear to be robust. We propose that a key to resolving this issue is incorporating individuals' subjective experiences into the study of event-related development. To test this, we developed and administered a survey about event-related personality change to a representative Dutch sample (N = 5,513, Ages 16-95) and linked their responses to 12-year trajectories of measured Big Five development. Most participants (63%) believed that a life event impacted their personality in the past 10 years, on average 5 years presurvey. These participants, even those who experienced the same event, had markedly heterogenous perceptions of how their traits changed and why each event affected their personality. In preregistered analyses, we examined participants' individual personality trajectories before and after the event that they identified as most impactful. Across events, retrospective perceptions of event-related personality change were significantly correlated with short-term and long-term postevent personality trajectories across Big Five traits (mean rs = .22, .28) and preevent trajectories in all traits except agreeableness (mean r = .16). We also found correspondence between perceived and measured development in analyses of the two most commonly reported personality-changing events: health problems and death of a loved one/family member. Finally, we explored associations between personality development and perceived change-inducing event characteristics. Using these findings, we argue that future research into event-related personality development should de-emphasize mean-level change to focus on individuals' varied experiences of whether, when, how, and why life events have affected their personality. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app