Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Personality development

Personality Development

The study of personality development aims at describing and explaining individual differences in social and emotional behavior. When such differences are temporally stable they can be regarded as an aspect of personality. If differences are temporally unstable, however, they are regarded as "states".

Currently, the most important model to describe personality differences is he Five Factor Model of Personality, which distinguishes between extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience.

After years of research, it is currently assumed that personality is characterized by both stability and change during the entire life span (see the meta-analytic studies by Roberts et al., 2000, 2006). These developmental patterns are shaped by reciprocal transactions between genetic and environmental influences.