Psy 201

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Personality change in women from college to midlife. By: Helson R, Moane G, Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 0022-3514, 1987 Jul, Vol. 53, Issue 1
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Personality Change in Women From College to Midlife
The idea that personality changes with age is familiar from Solon and Shakespeare, assumed in every opera that assigns its Tamino to a tenor and its Sarastro to a bass, and has been widely accepted by theorists of adult development (for example, Buhler, 1935 ; Erikson, 1950 ; Jung, 1931/1971 ; Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson, & McKee, 1978 ; Pascual-Leone, 1983). It has been strangely difficult, however, to find evidence from personality inventories that normative changes occur. Most longitudinal studies that have used personality inventories have emphasized the stability of personality (Conley, 1985b ; Costa & McCrae, 1980 ; Kelly, 1955 ; Siegler, George, & Okun, 1979), cohort variability (Nesselroade & Baltes, 1974), the illusoriness of change (Woodruff & Birren, 1972), or individual differences in change patterns (Block, 1971, 1981).
Several excellent discussions help us to understand this state of affairs (for example, Block, 1971 ; Moss & Sussman, 1980 ; Nesselroade, 1977 ; Neugarten, 1977). Most personality inventories have been developed to assess dispositions that endure (traits). However, the more researchers endeavor to make measures of personality factorially pure, reliable, and applicable across adolescence and adulthood, the more insensitive their measures are to normative changes that occur with age. Statistical assumptions are better suited to the demonstration of stability than of change (Cronbach & Furby, 1970), and problems of design are intimidating (Schaie, 1965). Variations in samples or cohorts, times of testing, and types of measures make comparisons between studies confusing. It has been difficult to

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