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Conscientiousness, the propensity to be organized, responsible, self-controlled, industrious, and rule-following, is related to numerous important outcomes including many forms of psychopathology. Given the increasing awareness of the importance of conscientiousness, it is becoming common to want to understand how to foster it. In this paper we first describe and update a recent model that was put forward as a theoretically informed intervention to change conscientiousness. We then consider recent life span theories focused on conscientiousness that might inform how best to use existing interventions as well as identify potential moderators of the effectiveness of intervention. Finally, we integrate these perspectives into a framework for how to foster conscientiousness that we label the Sociogenomic Trait Intervention Model (STIM).
... Clinicians should work with couples who score lower on conscientiousness by helping them establish more structured routines and accepting more accountability in their lives and relationships. Roberts, Hill, and Davis (2017) discuss the possibly of increasing levels of conscientiousness by having clinicians act as teachers and "structure the person's behaviors around pursuing long-term goals, teaching them how to organize their lives so as to achieve these goals, and rewarding them for making progress on changing their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors necessary to achieve those ends" (p. 203). ...
... 203). They also discuss the importance of making sure the individual is in the right environment, has the time to commit to implementing the lessons they are learning, and that they are receptive to change (Roberts, Hill, & Davis, 2017). ...
Four hundred and fourteen participants answered questions regarding financial habits within the context of the couple relationship. The Big Five Personality Inventory and a Martial and Life Satisfaction Scale were used to determine the incidence and factors associated with financial infidelity. Results indicated that 27% of participants have kept a financial secret from their partner. Furthermore, both marital and life satisfaction were lower for participants who have experienced financial infidelity than in those who have not. Finally, conscientiousness, a factor from the Big Five Personality Inventory, showed a significant difference, suggesting that more organized individuals were less likely to keep financial secrets. Clinical implications are also discussed.
... Thus, the purpose of this section is to consider how the HiTOP model might be expanded toward the development of transtheoretical therapy principles and, ultimately, a more clinically useful diagnostic scheme. This work is concordant with a number of other articles linking psychotherapy to evidence-based models of psychopathology (Anchin & Pincus, 2010;Bagby et al., 2016;Barlow et al., 2016;Beutler & Clarkin, 2013;Castonguay & Beutler, 2006;Hopwood, 2018;Livesley, Dimaggio, & Clarkin, 2016;Millon & Grossman, 2007;Roberts, Hill, & Davis, 2017;Singer, 2005;Widiger & Presnall, 2013). ...
In this article, we present the hierarchical taxonomy of psychopathology (HiTOP), an evidence-based alternative to the categorical approach to diagnostic classification that has considerable promise for integrative psychotherapy research and practice. We first review issues associated with the categorical approach that may have constrained advances in psychotherapy. We next describe how the HiTOP model addresses some of these issues. We then offer suggestions regarding potentially mutual benefits of integrating HiTOP with treatment principles from the common factors literature as well as the cognitive-behavioral and relational psychotherapy traditions. We conclude by enumerating principles for psychotherapy research and practice based on the HiTOP model, which are illustrated with a case example.
... Last but not least, the current results provide concrete mechanisms for how personality traits are clinically useful (Mullins-Sweatt & Lengel, 2012) and support their incorporation into clinical treatment. This also amplifies recent efforts to develop interventions geared towards changing maladaptive personality traits (e.g., Allemand & Flückiger, 2017;Roberts, Hill, & Davis, 2017). There have recently been two experimental studies that have investigated volitional personality change and found that traits do change over time, even with minimal intervention (Allan, Leeson, Fruyt, & Martin, 2018;Hudson & Chris Fraley, 2015). ...
Personality traits have been hypothesized to be clinically useful for diagnosis, client conceptualization, treatment planning, as well as for predicting treatment outcomes. Although several studies examined the relation between personality traits and specific therapy outcomes, this literature has not yet been systematically reviewed. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to investigate the relations between personality traits and various therapeutic outcomes. Traits were organized via the domains of the five-factor model to provide a common framework for interpreting effects. Across 99 studies (N = 107, 206), overall findings indicated that traits were systematically related to outcomes, with many specific relations congruent with theorized predictions. Generally, lower levels of neuroticism and higher levels of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness were associated with more favorable outcomes. More specifically, agreeableness had positive associations with therapeutic alliance and conscientiousness was positively related to abstinence from substances suggesting these traits are likely a beneficial factor to consider at the outset of services. Personality traits also related to various outcomes differently based on moderators. For example, duration of treatment moderated links between traits and outcomes suggesting these effects are amplified over longer services. Overall results suggest that personality assessment can aid with case conceptualization by suggesting potential strengths as well as barriers to treatment.
... They are connected to a range of neurobio- logical correlates (Depue & Collins, 1999;DeYoung et al., 2010), and predict a host of important life outcomes (Ozer & Benet-Martinez, 2006;Roberts et al., 2007). Traits are also systematically related to clinical variables including PD diagnoses (Samuel & Widiger, 2008), other forms of psycho- pathology (Kotov, Gamez, Schmidt, & Watson, 2010), and treatment effects (Roberts, Hill, & Davis, 2017). ...
... The idea that changing conscientiousness requires inter- vening directly or indirectly on goals is consistent with pre- vious research (Hennecke, Bleidorn, Denissen, & Wood, 2014;McCabe & Fleeson, 2016;Roberts, Hill, & Davis, 2017). This idea is further supported by the fact that a net- work analysis of conscientiousness (Costantini & Perugini, 2016b) revealed also a connection between conscientious- ness facets and a tendency to focus on future (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999) and to consider future consequences (Strathman, Gleicher, Boninger, & Edwards, 1994). ...
... They suggested that such disorders be conceptualized simply as emotional disorders, with treatment focused on trait Neuroticism ( Barlow et al., 2014). Interventions have been seen to effectively change personality traits (Roberts, Luo, et al., 2017, provide a meta-analysis of 207 studies), and protocols are currently being developed to treat traits like high Neuroticism (Armstrong, & Rimes, 2016;Sauer-Zavala, Wilner, & Barlow, 2017) and low Conscientiousness (Roberts, Hill, & Davis, 2017). Over time this approach may lead to both greater simplification and greater precision in how psychological disorders are conceptualized and treatment protocols deployed. ...
Self-report scores on personality inventories predict important life outcomes, including health and longevity, marital outcomes, career success, and mental health problems, but the ways they predict mental health treatment have not been widely explored. Psychotherapy is sought for diverse problems, but about half of those who begin therapy drop out, and only about half who complete therapy experience lasting improvements. Several authors have argued that understanding how personality traits relate to treatment could lead to better targeted, more successful services. Here self-report scores on Big Five and Big Six personality dimensions are explored as predictors of therapy presentation, usage, and outcomes in a sample of community clinic clients (N = 306). Participants received evidence-based treatments in the context of individual-, couples-, or family-therapy sessions. One measure of initial functioning and three indicators of outcome were used. All personality trait scores except Openness associated with initial psychological functioning. Higher Conscientiousness scores predicted more sessions attended for family therapy but fewer for couples-therapy clients. Higher Honesty–Propriety and Extraversion scores predicted fewer sessions attended for family-therapy clients. Better termination outcome was predicted by higher Conscientiousness scores for family- and higher Extraversion scores for individual-therapy clients. Higher Honesty–Propriety and Neuroticism scores predicted more improvement in psychological functioning in terms of successive Outcome Questionnaire–45 administrations. Taken together, the results provide some support for the role of personality traits in predicting treatment usage and outcome and for the utility of a 6-factor model in this context.
Objectives: Despite widespread agreement that personality traits change across the lifespan into older adulthood, the association between changes in personality and depression among older adult cancer survivors is unknown. It was hypothesized that older adults with (vs. without) a past cancer diagnosis would experience an increase in neuroticism, and decreases in conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness, and extraversion, and that changes in these traits would mediate the relationship between receiving a cancer diagnosis and change in depression. Two hypotheses were tested in a cancer survivor sample. First, that increased chronic stressors and decreased physical health would mediate the link between personality change and increased depression. Second, that personality change would mediate the link between changes in chronic stressors/health and increased depression.
Method: Secondary data analysis utilizing three waves of data from the Health and Retirement Study. Data was compiled from 5,217 participants, among whom 707 received a cancer diagnosis.
Results: Older adults with (vs. without) a cancer diagnosis decreased in conscientiousness, which was associated with increased depression. Among cancer survivors, worsening chronic stressors/health mediated many pathways between personality change and an increased depression. Increased neuroticism mediated the link between worsening health/chronic stressors and increased depression.
Conclusion: With the exception of conscientiousness, changes in personality did not mediate the link between cancer survivor status and depression. Among older adult cancer survivors, changes in personality traits may increase depression through worsening physical health and chronic stressors, potentially informing targeted interventions. Interventions that target increased neuroticism may be particularly useful in older adult cancer survivors.
The categorical model of classification in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is sorely problematic. A proposed solution is emerging in the form of a quantitative nosology, an empirically based dimensional organization of psychopathology. More specifically, a team of investigators has proposed the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). The purpose of this article is to discuss the potential role, importance, and implications of personality within the HiTOP dimensional model of psychopathology. Suggested herein is that personality provides a foundational base for the HiTOP dimensional model of psychopathology. Implications concern the potential value of the early assessment of and screening for personality as well as the development of protocols for the treatment of personality trait domains, which may in turn contribute to substantial improvements in quality of life as well as mental and physical health.
Despite its demonstrated empirical superiority over the DSM‐5 Section 2 categorical model of personality disorders for organizing the features of personality pathology, limitations remain with regard to the translation of the DSM‐5 Section 3 alternative model of personality disorders (AMPD) to clinical practice. The goal of this paper is to outline a general and preliminary framework for approaching treatment from the perspective of the AMPD. Specific techniques are discussed for the assessment and treatment of both Criterion A personality dysfunction and Criterion B maladaptive traits. A concise and step‐by‐step model is presented for clinical decision making with the AMPD, in the hopes of offering clinicians a framework for treating personality pathology and promoting further research on the clinical utility of the AMPD. Copyright
Conscientiousness is a personality construct that is a core determinant of health, positive aging, and human capital. A large body of work has contributed to our understanding of this important aspect of personality, but there are multiple conceptual and methodological issues that complicate our understanding of conscientiousness. Toward this end, we review (a) the conceptual standing of conscientiousness as a personality trait, (b) past research focusing on the underlying dimensions of conscientiousness, (c) the nomological network in which conscientiousness is embedded, and (d) the diverse methods that have been used to assess dimensions of conscientiousness. We conclude with recommendations for improving our understanding of the construct of conscientiousness, methods of assessment, and etiological underpinnings of conscientiousness. We believe this article can serve an important role in the larger goal of better understanding conscientiousness and its core role in the health of our society. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Decreasing delinquency, criminal behavior, and recidivism by intervening on psychological factors other than cognitive ability: A review of the intervention literature Making crime control pay: Cost-effective alternatives to incarceration
P L Hill
B W Roberts
J T Grogger
P. L. Hill
B. W. Roberts
J. T. Grogger
P. J. Cook
(in press) The sourdough bread model of conscientiousness Building better students: Preparation for the workforce
B W Roberts
P L Hill
Roberts, B. W., & Hill, P. L. (in press). The sourdough bread model of
conscientiousness. In J. Burrus, K. Mattern, & R. Roberts (Eds.), Building better students: Preparation for the workforce. New York, NY:
Oxford University Press.
Making crime control pay: Cost-effective alternatives to incarceration
McCrary (Eds.), Making crime control pay: Cost-effective alternatives
to incarceration (pp. 366 – 406). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago
The sourdough bread model of conscientiousness Building better students: Preparation for the workforce
In this paper, I seek to update the sociogenomic model of personality traits (Roberts & Jackson, 2008). Specifically, I seek to outline a broader and more comprehensive theoretical perspective on personality traits than offered in the original version of the sociogenomic model of personality traits. First, I review the major points of our 2008 paper. Second, I update our earlier model mostly with insights derived from a deeper reading of evolutionary theoretical systems, such as those found in life-history theory and ecological-evolutionary-developmental biology. In particular, this revision incorporates two evolutionary-informed systems, labeled "pliable" and "elastic" systems, that provide new insights into how personality traits develop. Third, I describe some of the implications of this new understanding of the biological and evolutionary architecture that underlies human phenotypes such as personality traits. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The current meta-analysis investigated the extent to which personality traits changed as a result of intervention, with the primary focus on clinical interventions. We identified 207 studies that had tracked changes in measures of personality traits during interventions, including true experiments and prepost change designs. Interventions were associated with marked changes in personality trait measures over an average time of 24 weeks (e.g., d = .37). Additional analyses showed that the increases replicated across experimental and nonexperimental designs, for nonclinical interventions, and persisted in longitudinal follow-ups of samples beyond the course of intervention. Emotional stability was the primary trait domain showing changes as a result of therapy, followed by extraversion. The type of therapy employed was not strongly associated with the amount of change in personality traits. Patients presenting with anxiety disorders changed the most, and patients being treated for substance use changed the least. The relevance of the results for theory and social policy are discussed.
The current article presents a theoretical framework of the short- and long-term processes underlying personality development throughout adulthood. The newly developed TESSERA framework posits that long-term personality development occurs due to repeated short-term, situational processes. These short-term processes can be generalized as recursive sequence of T: riggering situations, E: xpectancy, S: tates/ S: tate E: xpressions, and R: e A: ctions (TESSERA). Reflective and associative processes on TESSERA sequences can lead to personality development (i.e., continuity and lasting changes in explicit and implicit personality characteristics and behavioral patterns). We illustrate how the TESSERA framework facilitates a more comprehensive understanding of normative and differential personality development at various ages during the life span. The TESSERA framework extends previous theories by explicitly linking short- and long-term processes of personality development, by addressing different manifestations of personality, and by being applicable to different personality characteristics, for example, behavioral traits, motivational orientations, or life narratives.
The present study investigated Big Five personality trait development in the transition to early adolescence (from the fifth to eighth grade).
Personality traits were assessed in 2,761 (47% female) students over a 3-year period of time. Youths' self-reports and parent ratings were used to test for cross-informant agreement. Acquiescent responding and measurement invariance were established with latent variable modeling.
Growth curve models revealed three main findings: (a) Normative mean-level changes occurred for youths' self-report data and parent ratings with modest effects in both cases. (b) Agreeableness and Openness decreased for self-reports and parent ratings whereas data source differences were found for Conscientiousness (decreased for self-reports and remained stable for parent ratings), Extraversion (increased for self-reports and decreased for parent ratings), and Neuroticism (remained stable for self-reports and decreased for parent ratings). (c) Girls showed a more mature personality overall (self-reports and parent ratings revealed higher levels of Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness) and became more extraverted in the middle of adolescence (self-reports).
Personality change modestly during early adolescence whereby change does not occur in the direction of maturation and substantial differences exists between parent-ratings and self-reports. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Why are some people more skilled in complex domains than other people? According to one prominent view, individual differences in performance largely reflect individual differences in accumulated amount of deliberate practice. Here, we investigated the relationship between deliberate practice and performance in sports. Overall, deliberate practice accounted for 18% of the variance in sports performance. However, the contribution differed depending on skill level. Most important, deliberate practice accounted for only 1% of the variance in performance among elite-level performers. This finding is inconsistent with the claim that deliberate practice accounts for performance differences even among elite performers. Another major finding was that athletes who reached a high level of skill did not begin their sport earlier in childhood than lower skill athletes. This finding challenges the notion that higher skill performers tend to start in a sport at a younger age than lower skill performers. We conclude that to understand the underpinnings of expertise, researchers must investigate contributions of a broad range of factors, taking into account findings from diverse subdisciplines of psychology (e.g., cognitive psychology, personality psychology) and interdisciplinary areas of research (e.g., sports science).
Across four studies, we developed and validated a measure of people’s goals to change their personality traits. In doing so, we explored the prevalence and correlates of such change goals. We found that the vast majority of people want to change aspects of their personalities, and that these desires are organized around the big-five personality dimensions. Change goals were related to theoretically relevant predictors, including life satisfaction and current personality traits. In three subsequent daily-diary studies, we found that change goals were discriminant from more generalized trait-relevant motives, and that change goals were negatively correlated with daily behavior, to the extent that traits and behavior covaried. Implications for studying people’s goals and attempts to change their personality traits are discussed.
The rising number of newly insured young adults brought on by health care reform will soon increase demands on primary care physicians. Physicians will face more young adult patients, which presents an opportunity for more prevention-oriented care. In the present study, we evaluated whether brief observer reports of young adults' personality traits could predict which individuals would be at greater risk for poor health as they entered midlife. Following the cohort of 1,000 individuals from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (Moffitt, Caspi, Rutter, & Silva, 2001), we show that very brief measures of young adults' personalities predicted their midlife physical health across multiple domains (metabolic abnormalities, cardiorespiratory fitness, pulmonary function, periodontal disease, and systemic inflammation). Individuals scoring low on the traits of Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience went on to develop poorer health even after accounting for preexisting differences in education, socioeconomic status, smoking, obesity, self-reported health, medical conditions, and family medical history. Moreover, personality ratings from peer informants who knew participants well, and from a nurse and receptionist who had just met participants for the first time, predicted health decline from young adulthood to midlife despite striking differences in level of acquaintance. Personality effect sizes were on par with other well-established health risk factors such as socioeconomic status, smoking, and self-reported health. We discuss the potential utility of personality measurement to function as an inexpensive and accessible tool for health care professionals to personalize preventive medicine. Adding personality information to existing health care electronic infrastructures could also advance personality theory by generating opportunities to examine how personality processes influence doctor-patient communication, health service use, and patient outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
This chapter provides an overview of a new theoretical framework that serves to integrate personality psychology and other fields, such as organizational behavior. The first section describes a structural model of personality that incorporates traits, motives, abilities, and narratives, with social roles. The second section describes basic patterns of continuity and change in personality and how this might be relevant to organizational behavior. The third section describes the ASTMA model of person–organization transaction (attraction, selection, transformation, manipulation, and attrition), which describes the primary transactions between personality and organizational experiences across the life course. The goal for the chapter is to build a bridge between modern personality psychology and organizational behavior, such that the two fields can better inform one another.
Considerable evidence suggests that personality traits may be changeable, raising the possibility that personality traits most linked to health problems can be modified with intervention. A growing body of research suggests that problematic personality traits may be altered with behavioral intervention using a bottom-up approach. That is, by targeting core behaviors that underlie personality traits with the goal of engendering new, healthier patterns of behavior that, over time, become automatized and manifest in changes in personality traits. Nevertheless, a bottom-up model for changing personality traits is somewhat diffuse and requires clearer integration of theory and relevant interventions to enable real clinical application. As such, this article proposes a set of guiding principles for theory-driven modification of targeted personality traits using a bottom-up approach, focusing specifically on targeting the trait of conscientiousness using a relevant behavioral intervention, Behavioral Activation (BA), considered within the motivational framework of expectancy value theory (EVT). We conclude with a real case example of the application of BA to alter behaviors counter to conscientiousness in a substance-dependent patient, highlighting the EVT principles most relevant to the approach and the importance and viability of a theoretically driven, bottom-up approach to changing personality traits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
The benefits of living a conscientious life have been demonstrated across multiple domains, and yet, few studies have sought to explain how the positive effects in one area may help explain those in another. The current paper considers the possibility that conscientious individuals live healthier lives by virtue of having greater success in their relationships. Using both past research and new findings to support our model, we set forth a framework by which to consider how conscientiousness affects relationship functioning, which in turn leads to better physical, emotional, and psychological health. In so doing, we also provide a new outlook on the health benefits associated with conscientiousness, and how these may be conferred by relationship success.
While there is a general consensus that temperament forms the enduring, biologically based foundation of personality and that this biological basis should imply some continuity within the individual across time, there is a limited literature exploring linkages between these areas. The purpose of this article was to provide an initial assessment of the relation between a two-factor model of temperament in early/middle childhood and the five-factor model of personality in late adolescence/young adulthood. Data were gathered from 115 children who had participated in a longitudinal study of early/middle childhood and who provided follow-up data 15 years later. Significant linkages were found between the two time periods. At the facet level, temperament in early and middle childhood accounted for an average of 32% of the variance in personality in late adolescence/early young adulthood. At the domain level, temperament accounted for an average of 34% of the variance.
This paper summarizes recent evidence on what achievement tests measure; how achievement tests relate to other measures of "cognitive ability" like IQ and grades; the important skills that achievement tests miss or mismeasure, and how much these skills matter in life. Achievement tests miss, or perhaps more accurately, do not adequately capture, soft skills-personality traits, goals, motivations, and preferences that are valued in the labor market, in school, and in many other domains. The larger message of this paper is that soft skills predict success in life, that they causally produce that success, and that programs that enhance soft skills have an important place in an effective portfolio of public policies.
Many life span personality-and-health models assume that childhood personality traits result in life-course pathways leading through morbidity to mortality. Although childhood conscientiousness in particular predicts mortality, there are few prospective studies that have investigated the associations between childhood personality and objective health status in adulthood. The present study tested this crucial assumption of life span models of personality and health using a comprehensive assessment of the Big Five traits in childhood (M age = 10 years) and biomarkers of health over 40 years later (M age = 51 years).
Members of the Hawaii Personality and Health Cohort (N = 753; 368 men, 385 women) underwent a medical examination at mean age 51. Their global health status was evaluated by well-established clinical indicators that were objectively measured using standard protocols, including blood pressure, lipid profile, fasting blood glucose, and body mass index. These indicators were combined to evaluate overall physiological dysregulation and grouped into five more homogeneous subcomponents (glucose intolerance, blood pressure, lipids, obesity, and medications).
Lower levels of childhood conscientiousness predicted more physiological dysregulation (β = -.11, p < .05), greater obesity (β = -.10, p < .05), and worse lipid profiles (β = -.10, p < .05), after controlling for the other Big Five childhood personality traits, gender, ethnicity, parental home ownership, and adult conscientiousness.
These findings are consistent with a key assumption in life span models that childhood conscientiousness is associated with objective health status in older adults. They open the way for testing mechanisms by which childhood personality may influence mortality through morbidity; mechanisms that could then be targeted for intervention.
Peak: Secrets from the new science of expertise
Ericsson, K. A., & Pool, R. (2016). Peak: Secrets from the new science of
expertise. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The Conscientiousness (C) of the self and significant others influences health by way of mediational chains involving socioeconomic attainment, the avoidance and neutralization of stressors, the promotion of health behaviors and the minimization of risk behaviors, and the management of symptoms and diseases. Yet, meta-analyses reveal that these associations are moderated by factors that are not well understood. We propose the Life Course of Personality Model (LCP Model), which comprises a series of hypotheses that suggest how such mediational chains are subject to 2 sources of contingency. First, the mechanisms by which C translates into health and the avoidance of risk change from early childhood to late adulthood, involving processes that are specific to phases of the life course; also, however, C influences health by way of continuous processes extending over many decades of life. Second, C may be more consequential in some social contexts than in others, and when accompanied by some constellations of personality characteristics than by others. That is, the mediational processes by which C translates into health and the avoidance of disease are likely moderated by timing, social context (including the C of others), and other aspects of the individual's personality. We consider methodological implications of the LCP Model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
This article investigates how personality and cognitive ability relate to measures of objective success (income and wealth) and subjective success (life satisfaction, positive affect, and lack of negative affect) in a representative sample of 9,646 American adults. In cross-sectional analyses controlling for demographic covariates, cognitive ability, and other Big Five traits, conscientiousness demonstrated beneficial associations of small-to-medium magnitude with all success outcomes. In contrast, other traits demonstrated stronger, but less consistently beneficial, relations with outcomes in the same models. For instance, emotional stability demonstrated medium-to-large associations with life satisfaction and affect but a weak association with income and no association with wealth. Likewise, extraversion demonstrated medium-to-large associations with positive affect and life satisfaction but small-to-medium associations with wealth and (lack of) negative affect and no association with income. Cognitive ability showed small-to-medium associations with income and wealth but no association with any aspect of subjective success. More agreeable adults were worse off in terms of objective success and life satisfaction, demonstrating small-to-medium inverse associations with those outcomes, but they did not differ from less agreeable adults in positive or negative affect. Likewise, openness to experience demonstrated small-to-medium inverse associations with every success outcome except positive affect, in which more open adults were slightly higher. Notably, in each of the five models predicting objective and subjective success outcomes, individual differences other than conscientiousness explained more variance than did conscientiousness. Thus, the benefits of conscientiousness may be remarkable more for their ubiquity than for their magnitude.
Research on the causes of delinquency has a long research history, often with an undue focus on how cognitive ability serves as the main predictor of delinquent activity. The current review examines interventions that focus on psychological factors other than cognitive ability, and discusses how several of these programs have demonstrated efficacy in reducing delinquent behavior. Our review uncovers certain themes shared by a number of effective interventions. First, these interventions tend to emphasize rigorous and consistent implementation. Second, effective interventions often incorporate the family environment. Third, several effective interventions have focused on promoting adaptive social skills. In conclusion, our review discusses the possibility that these interventions have proven efficacious in part because they promote adaptive personality trait development.
The present study investigated the relationship of traits from the 5-factor model of personality (often termed the “Big Five”) and general mental ability with career success. Career success was argued to be comprised of intrinsic success (job satisfaction) and extrinsic success (income and occupational status) dimensions. Data were obtained from the Intergenerational Studies, a set of 3 studies that followed participants from early childhood to retirement. The most general findings were that conscientiousness positively predicted intrinsic and extrinsic career success, neuroticism negatively predicted extrinsic success, and general mental ability positively predicted extrinsic career success. Personality was related to career success controlling for general mental ability and, though adulthood measures of the Big Five traits were more strongly related to career success than were childhood measures, both contributed unique variance in explaining career success.
Conscientious individuals tend to experience a number of health benefits, not the least of which being greater longevity. However, it remains an open question as to why this link with longevity occurs. The current study tested two possible mediators (physical health and cognitive functioning) of the link between conscientiousness and longevity.
We tested these mediators using a 10-year longitudinal sample (N = 512), a subset of the long-running Health and Retirement Study of aging adults. Measures included an adjective-rating measure of conscientiousness, self-reported health conditions, and three measures of cognitive functioning (word recall, delayed recall, and vocabulary) included in the 1996 wave of the HRS study.
Our results found that conscientiousness significantly predicted greater longevity, even in a model including the two proposed mediator variables, gender, age, and years of education. Moreover, cognitive functioning appears to partially mediate this relationship.
This study replicates previous research showing that conscientious individuals tend to lead longer lives, and provides further insight into why this effect occurs. In addition, it underscores the importance of measurement considerations.
Following from the seminal work of Ferster, Lewinsohn, and Jacobson, as well as theory and research on the Matching Law, Lejuez, Hopko, LePage, Hopko, and McNeil developed a reinforcement-based depression treatment that was brief, uncomplicated, and tied closely to behavioral theory. They called this treatment the brief behavioral activation treatment for depression (BATD), and the original manual was published in this journal. The current manuscript is a revised manual (BATD-R), reflecting key modifications that simplify and clarify key treatment elements, procedures, and treatment forms. Specific modifications include (a) greater emphasis on treatment rationale, including therapeutic alliance; (b) greater clarity regarding life areas, values, and activities; (c) simplified (and fewer) treatment forms; (d) enhanced procedural details, including troubleshooting and concept reviews; and (e) availability of a modified Daily Monitoring Form to accommodate low literacy patients. Following the presentation of the manual, the authors conclude with a discussion of the key barriers in greater depth, including strategies for addressing these barriers.
Typical assessments of personality traits collapse behaviors, thoughts, and feelings into a single measure without distinguishing between these different manifestations. To address this lack of specification, the current study develops and validates a measure that assesses a number of broad behaviors associated with the personality trait of conscientiousness (the Behavioral Indicators of Conscientiousness; BIC). Findings suggest that the lower-order structure of conscientious behaviors is mostly similar to the lower-order structure in extant trait measures. Furthermore, a daily diary method was used to validate the BIC against frequency counts of conscientious behavior. Overall, the results identify specific behaviors that conscientious individuals tend to perform and highlight possible advantages of this approach over broad trait assessment.
The past decade has witnessed a resurgence of interest in behavioral interventions for depression. This contemporary work is grounded in the work of Lewinsohn and colleagues, which laid a foundation for future clinical practice and science. This review thus summarizes the origins of a behavioral model of depression and the behavioral activation (BA) approach to the treatment and prevention of depression. We highlight the formative initial work by Lewinsohn and colleagues, the evolution of this work, and related contemporary research initiatives, such as that led by Jacobson and colleagues. We examine the diverse ways in which BA has been investigated over time and its emerging application to a broad range of populations and problems. We close with reflections on important directions for future inquiry.
Policy-makers are considering large-scale programs aimed at self-control to improve citizens' health and wealth and reduce crime. Experimental and economic studies suggest such programs could reap benefits. Yet, is self-control important for the health, wealth, and public safety of the population? Following a cohort of 1,000 children from birth to the age of 32 y, we show that childhood self-control predicts physical health, substance dependence, personal finances, and criminal offending outcomes, following a gradient of self-control. Effects of children's self-control could be disentangled from their intelligence and social class as well as from mistakes they made as adolescents. In another cohort of 500 sibling-pairs, the sibling with lower self-control had poorer outcomes, despite shared family background. Interventions addressing self-control might reduce a panoply of societal costs, save taxpayers money, and promote prosperity.
We performed a quantitative review of associations between the higher order personality traits in the Big Three and Big Five models (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, disinhibition, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness) and specific depressive, anxiety, and substance use disorders (SUD) in adults. This approach resulted in 66 meta-analyses. The review included 175 studies published from 1980 to 2007, which yielded 851 effect sizes. For a given analysis, the number of studies ranged from three to 63 (total sample size ranged from 1,076 to 75,229). All diagnostic groups were high on neuroticism (mean Cohen's d = 1.65) and low on conscientiousness (mean d = -1.01). Many disorders also showed low extraversion, with the largest effect sizes for dysthymic disorder (d = -1.47) and social phobia (d = -1.31). Disinhibition was linked to only a few conditions, including SUD (d = 0.72). Finally, agreeableness and openness were largely unrelated to the analyzed diagnoses. Two conditions showed particularly distinct profiles: SUD, which was less related to neuroticism but more elevated on disinhibition and disagreeableness, and specific phobia, which displayed weaker links to all traits. Moderator analyses indicated that epidemiologic samples produced smaller effects than patient samples and that Eysenck's inventories showed weaker associations than NEO scales. In sum, we found that common mental disorders are strongly linked to personality and have similar trait profiles. Neuroticism was the strongest correlate across the board, but several other traits showed substantial effects independent of neuroticism. Greater attention to these constructs can significantly benefit psychopathology research and clinical practice.
In this essay I consider the future of personality development in light of the past effects of Personality and Assessment on the field of personality in general and personality development in particular. The essay is organized around 1) the effect of Mischel's book on the foundational theories informing personality development; 2) definitions of personality traits; 3) an alternative model of personality traits, described as the sociogenomic model of personality traits, that can bridge the divide that still characterizes the field of personality development; 4) the application of the sociogenomic model of personality traits to issues of personality trait development, and 5) a "Newtonian" vision for the future of personality psychology.
This article reports a meta-analysis of personality-academic performance relationships, based on the 5-factor model, in which cumulative sample sizes ranged to over 70,000. Most analyzed studies came from the tertiary level of education, but there were similar aggregate samples from secondary and tertiary education. There was a comparatively smaller sample derived from studies at the primary level. Academic performance was found to correlate significantly with Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness. Where tested, correlations between Conscientiousness and academic performance were largely independent of intelligence. When secondary academic performance was controlled for, Conscientiousness added as much to the prediction of tertiary academic performance as did intelligence. Strong evidence was found for moderators of correlations. Academic level (primary, secondary, or tertiary), average age of participant, and the interaction between academic level and age significantly moderated correlations with academic performance. Possible explanations for these moderator effects are discussed, and recommendations for future research are provided.
In this article, we address a number of issues surrounding biological models of personality traits. Most traditional and many contemporary biological models of personality traits assume that biological systems underlying personality traits are causal and immutable. In contrast, sociogenomic biology, which we introduce to readers in this article, directly contradicts the widely held assumption that something that is biological, heritable, or temperamental, is unchangeable. We provide examples of how seemingly unchanging biological systems, such as DNA, are both dependent on environments for elicitation and can be modified by environmental changes. Finally, we synthesize sociogenomic biology with personality psychology in a model of personality traits that integrates this more modern perspective on biology, physiology, and environment that we term sociogenomic personality psychology. We end the article with a discussion of the future directions of sociogenomic personality psychology.
Following up on growing evidence that higher levels of conscientiousness are associated with greater health protection, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of the association between conscientiousness-related traits and longevity.
Using a random-effects analysis model, the authors statistically combined 20 independent samples. In addition, the authors used fixed-effects analyses to examine specific facets of conscientiousness and study characteristics as potential moderators of this relationship.
Effect sizes were computed for each individual sample as the correlation coefficient r, based on the relationship between conscientiousness and mortality risk (all-cause mortality risk, longevity, or length of survival).
Higher levels of conscientiousness were significantly and positively related to longevity (r = .11, 95% confidence interval = .05-.17). Associations were strongest for the achievement (persistent, industrious) and order (organized, disciplined) facets of conscientiousness.
Results strongly support the importance of conscientiousness-related traits to health across the life span. Future research and interventions should consider how individual differences in conscientiousness may cause and be shaped by health-relevant biopsychosocial events across many years.
In a response to comments by P. T. Costa, Jr., and R. R. McCrae on the current authors' original article, the authors show that Costa and McCrae's writings on personality suggest a belief in immutability of personality traits. The authors agree with Costa and McCrae that new personality trait models that provide an accurate lower order structure of personality traits are needed and explain why the Revised NEO Personality Inventory is not the correct model for that purpose. The authors provide direct evidence refuting the hypothesis that personality traits change only because of biologically based intrinsic maturation. The authors present arguments supporting the contention that meta-analyses should be preferred to single longitudinal studies when drawing inferences about general patterns of personality development. Finally, the authors point out why the differences between their position and Costa and McCrae's are important.
Researchers of broad and narrow traits have debated whether narrow traits are important to consider in the prediction of job performance. Because personality-performance relationship meta-analyses have focused almost exclusively on the Big Five, the predictive power of narrow traits has not been adequately examined. In this study, the authors address this question by meta-analytically examining the degree to which the narrow traits of conscientiousness predict above and beyond global conscientiousness. Results suggest that narrow traits do incrementally predict performance above and beyond global conscientiousness, yet the degree to which they contribute depends on the particular performance criterion and occupation in question. Overall, the results of this study suggest that there are benefits to considering the narrow traits of conscientiousness in the prediction of performance.
Activity scheduling is a behavioral treatment of depression in which patients learn to monitor their mood and daily activities, and how to increase the number of pleasant activities and to increase positive interactions with their environment. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized effect studies of activity scheduling. Sixteen studies with 780 subjects were included. The pooled effect size indicating the difference between intervention and control conditions at post-test was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.60 - 1.15). This is a large effect. Heterogeneity was low in all analyses. The comparisons with other psychological treatments at post-test resulted in a non-significant pooled effect size of 0.13 in favor of activity scheduling. In ten studies activity scheduling was compared to cognitive therapy, and the pooled effect size indicating the difference between these two types of treatment was 0.02. The changes from post-test to follow-up for activity scheduling were non-significant, indicating that the benefits of the treatments were retained at follow-up. The differences between activity scheduling and cognitive therapy at follow-up were also non-significant. Activity scheduling is an attractive treatment for depression, not only because it is relatively uncomplicated, time-efficient and does not require complex skills from patients or therapist, but also because this meta-analysis found clear indications that it is effective.
The personality trait of conscientiousness has been related to morbidity and mortality in old age, but its association with the development of Alzheimer disease is not known.
To test the hypothesis that a higher level of conscientiousness is associated with decreased risk of Alzheimer disease.
Longitudinal clinicopathologic cohort study with up to 12 years of annual follow-up.
The Religious Orders Study.
A total of 997 older Catholic nuns, priests, and brothers without dementia at enrollment, recruited from more than 40 groups across the United States. At baseline, they completed a standard 12-item measure of conscientiousness. Those who died underwent a uniform neuropathologic evaluation from which previously established measures of amyloid burden, tangle density, Lewy bodies, and chronic cerebral infarction were derived.
Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer disease and change in previously established measures of global cognition and specific cognitive functions.
Conscientiousness scores ranged from 11 to 47 (mean, 34.0; SD, 5.0). During follow-up, 176 people developed Alzheimer disease. In a proportional hazards regression model adjusted for age, sex, and education, a high conscientiousness score (90th percentile) was associated with an 89% reduction in risk of Alzheimer disease compared with a low score (10th percentile). Results were not substantially changed by controlling for other personality traits, activity patterns, vascular conditions, or other risk factors. Conscientiousness was also associated with decreased incidence of mild cognitive impairment and reduced cognitive decline. In those who died and underwent brain autopsy, conscientiousness was unrelated to neuropathologic measures, but it modified the association of neurofibrillary pathologic changes and cerebral infarction with cognition proximate to death.
Level of conscientiousness is a risk factor for Alzheimer disease.
Antisocial behavior, substance use, and impulsive and aggressive personality traits often co-occur, forming a coherent spectrum of personality and psychopathology. In the current research, the authors developed a novel quantitative model of this spectrum. Over 3 waves of iterative data collection, 1,787 adult participants selected to represent a range across the externalizing spectrum provided extensive data about specific externalizing behaviors. Statistical methods such as item response theory and semiparametric factor analysis were used to model these data. The model and assessment instrument that emerged from the research shows how externalizing phenomena are organized hierarchically and cover a wide range of individual differences. The authors discuss the utility of this model for framing research on the correlates and the etiology of externalizing phenomena.
Depression is highly prevalent among illicit drug users, and this co-occurrence is associated with poorer treatment outcomes. However, there has been limited empirical attention toward developing and assessing behavioral interventions for depression among illicit drug users. The objective of the current study was to test the efficacy of integrating a brief behavioral intervention for depression into standard inpatient substance abuse treatment.
Forty-four adult illicit drug users with mild to moderate depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-II [BDI-II] score >or= 10) who were receiving inpatient substance abuse treatment were randomly assigned to either treatment as usual (TAU) alone or TAU plus brief behavioral therapy for depression (i.e., Life Enhancement Treatment for Substance Use [LETS Act!]). Patients were assessed at baseline for DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses, depressive symptoms (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, BDI-II), anxiety symptoms (Beck Anxiety Inventory), and enjoyment and reward value of activities (Environmental Reward Observation Scale). Patients were again assessed at posttreatment and at 2-week follow-up. Treatment satisfaction and attrition rates also were assessed at posttreatment. Data were collected from November 2005 to March 2006.
Patients who received the LETS Act! intervention (N = 22) evidenced significantly greater improvements than the TAU group (N = 22) in severity of depression, anxiety symptoms, and enjoyment and reward value of activities at posttreatment and in depressive symptoms at 2-week follow-up. The LETS Act! group also reported significantly higher treatment satisfaction ratings.
This study supports the efficacy of LETS Act! in treating depressive symptoms and improving the enjoyment and reward value of activities among illicit drug users currently receiving inpatient substance use treatment. Data also indicate the intervention may help prevent treatment attrition. LETS Act! appears to be a feasible and parsimonious intervention to improve the treatment of depression and overall quality of care within inpatient substance abuse treatment settings.