Read about new insights into personality from Psychological Science and Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Kira O. McCabe and William Fleeson
Can the goals people pursue predict individual differences in extraverted behavior? Participants used a personal digital assistant to report their current level of extraversion, their momentary goals, and their current level of positive affect 5 times a day for 10 days. The researchers found that within- and between-person fluctuations in levels of extroversion were associated with changes in people’s momentary goals. Researchers also found that the level of extraversion partially mediated the relationship between goal pursuit and positive affect. This suggests that extraversion may be one of the means by which people reach their goals, especially if those goals relate to having fun, connecting with people, or entertaining people.
Longitudinal studies indicate that the stability of interindividual differences in personality traits increases over time; however, the source of these changes is not well known. Kandler explores genetic and environmental contributions to lifespan changes in extraversion and neuroticism, finding that genetic factors play a greater role in personality changes across childhood and young adulthood, whereas environmental influences on personality occur throughout the lifespan. He also finds that these factors do not work in isolation, but interact to influence the development of lifelong personality.