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Personality stability is produced by a complicated interplay between individuals and their social settings. Many personality attributes are linked to life experiences in a mutually reinforcing cycle: Personality attributes seem to shape environmental contexts, and those contexts often then accentuate and reinforce those very personality attributes.
Even so, personality change or transformation is possible because individuals respond to their environments. Individuals may also want to change their personalities. Personality researchers are now beginning to address important questions about the possibility of lasting personality changes through intervention efforts.
Discussion Questions Why is it difficult to give a simple answer to the question of whether personality is stable across the lifespan? What happens during young adulthood that might explain findings about average changes in personality attributes? Why does differential stability increase during adulthood?
Can you explain the corresponsive principle of personality development? Provide several clear examples. Do you think dramatic personality changes are likely to happen in adulthood? Why or why not?
What kinds of environments might be particularly powerful for changing personality? What specific features of these environments seem to make them powerful for producing change? Is it easy to change your personality in adulthood? What steps do you think are needed to produce noticeable and lasting changes in your personality? What steps are needed to change the personalities of others? Do you find the evidence that personality attributes are relatively enduring attributes reflects a largely positive aspect of adult development or a more unpleasant aspect?
Vocabulary Consistency in the level or amount of a personality attribute over time. Active person—environment transactions The interplay between individuals and their contextual circumstances that occurs whenever individuals play a key role in seeking out, selecting, or otherwise manipulating aspects of their environment. Age effects Differences in personality between groups of different ages that are related to maturation and development instead of birth cohort differences. Attraction A connection between personality attributes and aspects of the environment that occurs because individuals with particular traits are drawn to certain environments.
Attrition A connection between personality attributes and aspects of the environment that occurs because individuals with particular traits drop out from certain environments. Birth cohort Individuals born in a particular year or span of time. Cohort effects Differences in personality that are related to historical and social factors unique to individuals born in a particular year.
Cumulative continuity principle The generalization that personality attributes show increasing stability with age and experience. Differential stability Consistency in the rank-ordering of personality across two or more measurement occasions.
Evocative person—environment transactions The interplay between individuals and their contextual circumstances that occurs whenever attributes of the individual draw out particular responses from others in their environment. Group level A focus on summary statistics that apply to aggregates of individuals when studying personality development. An example is considering whether the average score of a group of 50 year olds is higher than the average score of a group of 21 year olds when considering a trait like conscientiousness.
Heterotypic stability Consistency in the underlying psychological attribute across development regardless of any changes in how the attribute is expressed at different ages. Homotypic stability Consistency of the exact same thoughts, feelings, and behaviors across development. Hostile attribution bias The tendency of some individuals to interpret ambiguous social cues and interactions as examples of aggressiveness, disrespect, or antagonism.
Individual level A focus on individual level statistics that reflect whether individuals show stability or change when studying personality development.
An example is evaluating how many individuals increased in conscientiousness versus how many decreased in conscientiousness when considering the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Manipulation A connection between personality attributes and aspects of the environment that occurs whenever individuals with particular traits actively shape their environments.
Maturity principle The generalization that personality attributes associated with the successful fulfillment of adult roles increase with age and experience. Person—environment transactions The interplay between individuals and their contextual circumstances that ends up shaping both personality and the environment.
Reactive person—environment transactions The interplay between individuals and their contextual circumstances that occurs whenever attributes of the individual shape how a person perceives and responds to their environment. Selection A connection between personality attributes and aspects of the environment that occurs whenever individuals with particular attributes choose particular kinds of environments.
Stress reaction The tendency to become easily distressed by the normal challenges of life. Transformation The term for personality changes associated with experience and life events. References Anusic, I.
Cross-sectional age differences in personality: Evidence from nationally representative samples from Switzerland and the United States. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, — Caspi, A. Personality continuity and change across the life course. Pervin Ed. When do individual differences matter?
A paradoxical theory of personality coherence. Psychological Inquiry, 4, — Continuities and consequences of interactional styles across the life course. Journal of Personality, 57, — Personality development: Stability and change. Annual Review of Psychology, 56, — Cesario, J. Cohen, J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences 2nd ed.
Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Crick, N. Social information-processing mechanisms in reactive and proactive aggression. Child Development, 67, — Donnellan, M. Personality development from late adolescence to young adulthood: Differential stability, normative maturity, and evidence for the maturity-stability hypothesis.
Journal of Personality, 75, — Edmonds, G. Is characters fate, or is there hope to change my personality yet? Social and Personality Compass, 2, — Ferguson, C. A meta-analysis of normal and disordered personality across the lifespan.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, — Jackson, J. Can an old dog learn and want to experience new tricks?
Cognitive training increases openness to experience in older adults. Psychology and Aging, 27, Military training and personality trait development: Does the military make the man, or does the man make the military?
Psychological Science, 23, — John, O. Paradigm shift to the integrative Big Five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and conceptual issues. John, R. Robins, and L. Pervin Eds. Kotov, R. Psychological Bulletin , — Lucas, R. Personality development across the lifespan: Longitudinal analyses with a national sample from Germany. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, , — Age differences in personality: Evidence from a nationally representative sample of Australians.
Developmental Psychology, 45, — McCrae, R. Personality in adulthood: A five-factor theory perspective 2nd ed. Miller, J. Structural models of personality and their relation to antisocial behavior: A meta-analytic review. Criminology, 39, — Mroczek, D. Personality change influences mortality in older men. Psychological Science, 18, — Orobio de Castro, B. Hostile attribution of intent and aggressive behavior: A meta-analysis.
Child Development, 73, — Ozer, D. Personality and the prediction of consequential outcomes. Banks also mobilized his scientific contacts in later years to aid Humboldt's work. Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by Friedrich Georg Weitsch , Humboldt's passion for travel was of long standing. Humboldt's talents were devoted to the purpose of preparing himself as a scientific explorer. Werner , leader of the Neptunist school of geology;  from anatomy at Jena under J.
Loder ; and astronomy and the use of scientific instruments under F. During this period, his brother Wilhelm married, but Alexander did not attend the nuptials. Humboldt was excellent at his job, with production of gold ore in his first year outstripping the previous eight years. He opened a free school for miners, paid for out of his own pocket, which became an unchartered government training school for labor.
He also sought to establish an emergency relief fund for miners, aiding them following accidents. Goethe had developed his own extensive theories on comparative anatomy. Working before Darwin, he believed that animals had an internal force, an urform, that gave them a basic shape and then they were further adapted to their environment by an external force.
Humboldt urged him to publish his theories. Together, the two discussed and expanded these ideas. Goethe and Humboldt soon became close friends. Humboldt often returned to Jena in the years that followed. Goethe remarked about Humboldt to friends that he had never met anyone so versatile.
Humboldt's drive served as an inspiration for Goethe. In , Humboldt returned to Jena for three months. During this time, Goethe moved from his residence in Weimar to reside in Jena. Together, Humboldt and Goethe attended university lectures on anatomy and conducted their own experiments. One experiment involved hooking up a frog leg to various metals.
They found no effect until the moisture of Humboldt's breath triggered a reaction that caused the frog leg to leap off the table. Humboldt described this as one of his favorite experiments because it was as if he were "breathing life into" the leg. Humboldt obtained their corpses and analyzed them in the anatomy tower of the university.
Goethe and Schiller were the key figures at the time. Humboldt contributed 7 June to Schiller's new periodical, Die Horen, a philosophical allegory entitled Die Lebenskraft, oder der rhodische Genius. Although this service to the state was regarded by him as only an apprenticeship to the service of science, he fulfilled its duties with such conspicuous ability that not only did he rise rapidly to the highest post in his department, but he was also entrusted with several important diplomatic missions.
Neither brother attended the funeral. Humboldt was able to spend more time on writing up his research. Spanish American expedition, —[ edit ] Alexander von Humboldt's Latin American expedition Seeking a foreign expedition[ edit ] With the financial resources to finance his scientific travels, he sought a ship on a major expedition. Meantime, he went to Paris, where his brother Wilhelm was now living. Paris was a great center of scientific learning and his brother and sister-in-law Caroline were well connected in those circles.
Louis-Antoine de Bougainville urged Humboldt to accompany him on a major expedition, likely to last five years, but the French revolutionary Directoire placed Nicolas Baudin at the head of it rather than the aging scientific traveler. He had already selected scientific instruments for his voyage. Discouraged, the two left Paris for Marseilles , where they hoped to join Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt, but North Africans were in revolt against the French invasion in Egypt and French authorities refused permission to travel.
Humboldt and Bonpland eventually found their way to Madrid , where their luck changed spectacularly. Baron Forell had an interest in mineralogy and science endeavors and inclined to help Humboldt.
The Bourbon Reforms sought to reform administration of the realms and revitalize their economies. For Humboldt "the confluent effect of the Bourbon revolution in government and the Spanish Enlightenment had created ideal conditions for his venture".
These were lengthy, state-sponsored enterprises to gather information about plants and animals from the Spanish realms, assess economic possibilities, and provide plants and seeds for the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid founded Spain under the Habsburg monarchy had guarded its realms against foreigner travelers and intruders. The Bourbon monarch was open to Humboldt's proposal. With Humboldt's experience working for the absolutist Prussian monarchy as a government mining official, Humboldt had both the academic training and experience of working well within a bureaucratic structure.
His History of the Peloponnesian War is in fact neither a work of political philosophy nor a sustained theory of international relations.
Much of this work, which presents a partial account of the armed conflict between Athens and Sparta that took place from to B. Nevertheless, if the History is described as the only acknowledged classical text in international relations, and if it inspires theorists from Hobbes to contemporary international relations scholars, this is because it is more than a chronicle of events, and a theoretical position can be extrapolated from it.
Realism is expressed in the very first speech of the Athenians recorded in the History—a speech given at the debate that took place in Sparta just before the war. Together these factors contribute to a conflict-based paradigm of international relations, in which the key actors are states, in which power and security become the main issues, and in which there is little place for morality.
The set of premises concerning state actors, egoism, anarchy, power, security, and morality that define the realist tradition are all present in Thucydides. Realists view human beings as inherently egoistic and self-interested to the extent that self-interest overcomes moral principles. The lack of a common rule-making and enforcing authority means, they argue, that the international arena is essentially a self-help system.
Each state is responsible for its own survival and is free to define its own interests and to pursue power. Anarchy thus leads to a situation in which power has the overriding role in shaping interstate relations. To attain security, states try to increase their power and engage in power-balancing for the purpose of deterring potential aggressors. Wars are fought to prevent competing nations from becoming militarily stronger.
Thucydides, while distinguishing between the immediate and underlying causes of the Peloponnesian War, does not see its real cause in any of the particular events that immediately preceded its outbreak. He instead locates the cause of the war in the changing distribution of power between the two blocs of Greek city-states: the Delian League, under the leadership of Athens, and the Peloponnesian League, under the leadership of Sparta.
According to him, the growth of Athenian power made the Spartans afraid for their security, and thus propelled them into war 1. This dialogue relates to the events of B. The Athenian envoys presented the Melians with a choice, destruction or surrender, and from the outset asked them not to appeal to justice, but to think only about their survival.
Since such an authority above states does not exist, the Athenians argue that in this lawless condition of international anarchy, the only right is the right of the stronger to dominate the weaker.
They explicitly equate right with might, and exclude considerations of justice from foreign affairs. Political realism is usually contrasted by IR scholars with idealism or liberalism, a theoretical perspective that emphasizes international norms, interdependence among states, and international cooperation.
For the Melians, who employ idealistic arguments, the choice is between war and subjection 5. They are courageous and love their country. They do not wish to lose their freedom, and in spite of the fact that they are militarily weaker than the Athenians, they are prepared to defend themselves 5. They base their arguments on an appeal to justice, which they associate with fairness, and regard the Athenians as unjust 5. They are pious, believing that gods will support their just cause and compensate for their weakness, and trust in alliances, thinking that their allies, the Spartans, who are also related to them, will help them 5.
Hence, one can identify in the speech of the Melians elements of the idealistic or liberal world view: the belief that nations have the right to exercise political independence, that they have mutual obligations to one another and will carry out such obligations, and that a war of aggression is unjust.
What the Melians nevertheless lack are resources and foresight. In their decision to defend themselves, they are guided more by their hopes than by the evidence at hand or by prudent calculations. The Athenian argument is based on key realist concepts such as security and power, and is informed not by what the world should be, but by what it is.
The Athenians disregard any moral talk and urge the Melians to look at the facts—that is, to recognize their military inferiority, to consider the potential consequences of their decision, and to think about their own survival 5. There appears to be a powerful realist logic behind the Athenian arguments.
Their position, based on security concerns and self-interest, seemingly involves reliance on rationality, intelligence, and foresight. However, upon close examination, their logic proves to be seriously flawed. Melos, a relatively weak state, does not pose any real security threat to them. The eventual destruction of Melos does not change the course of the Peloponnesian War, which Athens will lose a few years later.
In the History, Thucydides shows that power, if it is unrestrained by moderation and a sense of justice, brings about the uncontrolled desire for more power. There are no logical limits to the size of an empire. Drunk with the prospect of glory and gain, after conquering Melos, the Athenians engage in a war against Sicily.
They pay no attention to the Melian argument that considerations of justice are useful to all in the longer run 5. And, as the Athenians overestimate their strength and in the end lose the war, their self-interested logic proves to be very shortsighted indeed. It is utopian to ignore the reality of power in international relations, but it is equally blind to rely on power alone.
Thucydides appears to support neither the naive idealism of the Melians nor the cynicism of their Athenian opponents. Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero were all political idealists who believed that there were some universal moral values on which political life could be based. Building on the work of his predecessors, Cicero developed the idea of a natural moral law that was applicable to both domestic and international politics.
His ideas concerning righteousness in war were carried further in the writings of the Christian thinkers St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Machiavelli — challenged this well-established moral tradition, thus positioning himself as a political innovator.
The novelty of his approach lies in his critique of classical Western political thought as unrealistic, and in his separation of politics from ethics. He thereby lays the foundations for modern politics. It represents the sum of the practical conditions that he believes are required to make both the individual and the country prosperous and strong. Machiavellianism is a radical type of political realism that is applied to both domestic and international affairs.
It is a doctrine which denies the relevance of morality in politics, and claims that all means moral and immoral are justified to achieve certain political ends. He operated within the single framework of traditional morality. It became a specific task of his nineteenth-century followers to develop the doctrine of a double ethics: one public and one private, to push Machiavellian realism to even further extremes, and to apply it to international relations.
Thus he overturned the traditional morality. Referring to Machiavelli, Heinrich von Treitschke declared that the state was power, precisely in order to assert itself as against other equally independent powers, and that the supreme moral duty of the state was to foster this power.
He considered international agreements to be binding only insofar as it was expedient for the state. The idea of an autonomous ethics of state behavior and the concept of realpolitik were thus introduced. These concepts, along with the belief in the superiority of Germanic culture, served as weapons with which German statesmen, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War, justified their policies of conquest and extermination.
Machiavelli is often praised for his prudential advice to leaders which has caused him to be regarded as a founding master of modern political strategy and for his defense of the republican form of government. There are certainly many aspects of his thought that merit such praise. Nevertheless, it is also possible to see him as the thinker who bears foremost responsibility for the demoralization of Europe.
However, before Machiavelli, this amoral or immoral mode of thinking had never prevailed in the mainstream of Western political thought. It was the force and timeliness of his justification of resorting to evil as a legitimate means of achieving political ends that persuaded so many of the thinkers and political practitioners who followed him.
The effects of Machiavellian ideas, such as the notion that the employment of all possible means was permissible in war, would be seen on the battlefields of modern Europe, as mass citizen armies fought against each other to the bitter end without regard for the rules of justice. The tension between expediency and morality lost its validity in the sphere of politics.
The concept of a double ethics, private and public, that created a further damage to traditional, customary ethics was invented. Perhaps the greatest problem with realism in international relations is that it has a tendency to slip into its extreme version, which accepts any policy that can benefit the state at the expense of other states, no matter how morally problematic the policy is.
According to classical political philosophy, on which the idealist perspective is based, human beings can control their desires through reason and can work for the benefit of others, even at the expense of their own benefit.
They are thus both rational and moral agents, capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and of making moral choices. They are also naturally social. With great skill Hobbes attacks these views.
They therefore inevitably struggle for power. In setting out such ideas, Hobbes contributes to some of the basic conceptions fundamental to the realist tradition in international relations, and especially to neorealism.
These include the characterization of human nature as egoistic, the concept of international anarchy, and the view that politics, rooted in the struggle for power, can be rationalized and studied scientifically. He derives his notion of the state of war from his views of both human nature and the condition in which individuals exist. Anyone may at any time use force, and all must constantly be ready to counter such force with force.
Being suspicious of one another and driven by fear, they are also likely to engage in preemptive actions and invade one another to ensure their own safety. Finally, individuals are also driven by pride and a desire for glory. Hobbes is primarily concerned with the relationship between individuals and the state, and his comments about relations among states are scarce.
Nevertheless, what he says about the lives of individuals in the state of nature can also be interpreted as a description of how states exist in relation to one another. Accordingly, the quest and struggle for power lies at the core of the Hobbesian vision of relations among states.
The same would later be true of the model of international relations developed by Hans Morgenthau, who was deeply influenced by Hobbes and adopted the same view of human nature. By subjecting themselves to a sovereign, individuals escape the war of all against all which Hobbes associates with the state of nature; however, this war continues to dominate relations among states. This does not mean that states are always fighting, but rather that they have a disposition to fight XIII 8.
With each state deciding for itself whether or not to use force, war may break out at any time. The achievement of domestic security through the creation of a state is then paralleled by a condition of inter-state insecurity. One can argue that if Hobbes were fully consistent, he would agree with the notion that, to escape this condition, states should also enter into a contract and submit themselves to a world sovereign.
He does not propose that a social contract among nations be implemented to bring international anarchy to an end. This is because the condition of insecurity in which states are placed does not necessarily lead to insecurity for their citizens. As long as an armed conflict or other type of hostility between states does not actually break out, individuals within a state can feel relatively secure. His theory of international relations, which assumes that independent states, like independent individuals, are enemies by nature, asocial and selfish, and that there is no moral limitation on their behavior, is a great challenge to the idealist political vision based on human sociability and to the concept of the international jurisprudence that is built on this vision.
However, what separates Hobbes from Machiavelli and associates him more with classical realism is his insistence on the defensive character of foreign policy. His political theory does not put forward the invitation to do whatever may be advantageous for the state.
His approach to international relations is prudential and pacific: sovereign states, like individuals, should be disposed towards peace which is commended by reason. By suggesting that certain dictates of reason apply even in the state of nature, he affirms that more peaceful and cooperative international relations are possible.
Neither does he deny the existence of international law. Sovereign states can sign treaties with one another to provide a legal basis for their relations. At the same time, however, Hobbes seems aware that international rules will often prove ineffective in restraining the struggle for power. States will interpret them to their own advantage, and so international law will be obeyed or ignored according to the interests of the states affected.
Hence, international relations will always tend to be a precarious affair. Twentieth Century Classical Realism Twentieth-century realism was born in response to the idealist perspective that dominated international relations scholarship in the aftermath of the First World War. The idealists of the s and s also called liberal internationalists or utopians had the goal of building peace in order to prevent another world conflict.
They saw the solution to inter-state problems as being the creation of a respected system of international law, backed by international organizations. This interwar idealism resulted in the founding of the League of Nations in and in the Kellogg-Briand Pact of outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlements of disputes. Fosdick, and other prominent idealists of the era, gave their intellectual support to the League of Nations. Instead of focusing on what some might see as the inevitability of conflict between states and peoples, they chose to emphasize the common interests that could unite humanity, and attempted to appeal to rationality and morality.
For them, war did not originate in an egoistic human nature, but rather in imperfect social conditions and political arrangements, which could be improved. Yet their ideas were already being criticized in the early s by Reinhold Niebuhr and within a few years by E. This fact, perhaps more than any theoretical argument, produced a strong realist reaction.
Then, during the s and s, classical realism came under challenge of scholars who tried to introduce a more scientific approach to the study of international politics. During the s it gave way to another trend in international relations theory—neorealism. Since it is impossible within the scope of this article to introduce all of the thinkers who contributed to the development of twentieth-century classical realism, E.
Carr and Hans Morgenthau, as perhaps the most influential among them, have been selected for discussion here. Carr challenges idealism by questioning its claim to moral universalism and its idea of the harmony of interests.
Carr uses the concept of the relativity of thought, which he traces to Marx and other modern theorists, to show that standards by which policies are judged are the products of circumstances and interests. His central idea is that the interests of a given party always determine what this party regards as moral principles, and hence, these principles are not universal. Carr observes that politicians, for example, often use the language of justice to cloak the particular interests of their own countries, or to create negative images of other people to justify acts of aggression.
Policies are not, as the idealists would have it, based on some universal norms, independent of interests of the parties involved. While the idealists tend to regard such values, such as peace or justice, as universal and claim that upholding them is in the interest of all, Carr argues against this view.
According to him, there are neither universal values nor universal interests.
He claims that those who refer to universal interests are in fact acting in their own interests