Personality: Life Narratives, Identity, and the Self.
The concepts of stability and change in self-concept and personality are significant while evaluating adult life span development. Narrative researchers objectively approach this evaluation by relying on life narratives of participants. Life narratives are intended to reconstruct an internalized, personalized account of past and present experiences as they tie into personality development as well as considering future goals and direction. McAdams (1994) argues that this approach is necessary to accurately create an understanding of a person’s identity. Relying only on dispositional traits and personal goals lack coherence and overall purpose. Using narrative research, like McAdams Life-Story Model can help answer questions such as, “ Who am I?” and “ How do I fit in this world? ”. The life story will contain seven essential features: narrative tone, image, theme, ideological setting, nuclear episodes, character and ending, which will serve as a guideline for interview questions. Another theory to consider while evaluating the concept of Personality is Whitbourne’s Identity Theory and the life-span construct. Whitbourne’s approach to understanding adult identity is that identity is self-constructed based on one’s own conceptions. Whitbourne’s model of adult identity uses Piaget’s terms of assimilation and accommodation to illustrate the effects of self-evaluation and self-justification and identity. Using this model will provide information on personal schemas and how they have changed with the addition of new experiences. Possible questions to ask might be, “ At age twenty what goals had you set to achieve?” “ Was there an event that occurred which changed this goal?” “ What are some defining moments for you from your early adulthood?” “ What are your priorities now? ”, “ How do you see yourself in the future? ”. Developmental Influences
Life span development changes have three main influences,...
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