Eranda Jayawickreme's research while affiliated with Wake Forest University and other places

Publications (118)

Preprint
Heighted epistemic arrogance, misinformation, and intergroup conflict in many contemporary societies have been paralleled by growing interest in wisdom across social, behavioral and medical sciences. In a recently established Common Wisdom Model, central features concern epistemic virtues of intellectual humility, recognition of world in flux and c...
Article
Though research on assessing posttraumatic growth has been severely critiqued, some evidence suggests close others can observe and report changes in individuals following traumatic life events and are sensitive to idiosyncratic ways in which changes manifest. We extended these findings by investigating corroboration of self-perceived posttraumatic...
Article
Research on post-traumatic growth (PTG) has burgeoned in recent years. Nearly all of the research on PTG, however, has relied on retrospective assessments of perceived growth. These reports are minimally related to prospectively assessed positive change after trauma, and what they may reflect remains unknown. In this paper, we: (1) examine the evid...
Preprint
Though research on assessing posttraumatic growth has been severely critiqued, some evidence suggests close others can observe and report changes in individuals following traumatic life events and are sensitive to idiosyncratic ways in which changes manifest. We extended these findings by investigating corroboration of self-perceived posttraumatic...
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Full-text available
Does personal growth initiative (PGI)—the tendency to be proactive about one's personal development—impact adaptive beliefs about life quality among survivors of mass violence, such as ethnopolitical warfare or genocidal violence? One‐hundred‐and‐twenty‐three survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and 179 Tamil individuals affec...
Article
In a 2012 Theory and Research in Education article, Spiegel argued that intellectual humility and open-mindedness can mutually reinforce each other to produce good thinking and knowing. In this commentary, we build on this insight and discuss the likely importance of multiple intellectual virtues in producing good thinking. We argue that Spiegel’s...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to review recent research about the possibility that some people are more honest than others and about the causes of them being so. We tackle four big questions about consistency of honest behavior, the content and breadth of trait honesty, the mechanisms underlying trait honesty, and the measurement of trait honesty. R...
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In a time of societal acrimony, psychological scientists have turned to a possible antidote — intellectual humility. Interest in intellectual humility comes from diverse research areas, including researchers studying leadership and organizational behaviour, personality science, positive psychology, judgement and decision-making, education, culture,...
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Recent research has advocated for the value of conceptualizing post-traumatic growth as positive personality change. However, most research continues to use both methodologically suspect assessment tools and unsupported theoretical assumptions. How can personality psychologists contribute to the pursuit of high-quality research on this topic? The c...
Article
Although moral character may be the most central and consequential facet of one’s personality, existing measures are few and suffer from shortcomings. We present the Moral Character Questionnaire (MCQ) to focus primarily on global moral character and secondarily on six moral domains – Honesty, Compassion, Fairness, Loyalty, Respect, and Purity. All...
Article
To what extent do our beliefs about how our well-being has improved over time correspond to observed changes? Participants (N = 1,247 from Qualtrics Panels) completed questionnaires measuring dispositional well-being and ill-being (depressive symptoms) at three time points over the course of one year, as well as 44 weekly assessments of state well-...
Chapter
Stress-related growth (SRG) is a phenomenon in which an individual experiences positive psychological changes after going through a highly stressful life event or circumstance. SRG has become a popular area of research over the last 25 years—a trend amplified by the advent of the positive psychology movement. However, much research on SRG is compro...
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Adversity has been assumed to foster positive personality change under certain conditions. In this article, we examine this assumption within the context of the three-tier personality framework integrating traits, characteristic adaptations, and narrative identity to provide a comprehensive understanding of personality growth. We first review findi...
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During the last decade, intellectual humility has gone from a topic of philosophical inquiry to one of serious scientific investigation. It has been variously described as a remedy for political polarization, a tool for advancing scientific credibility, and a disposition that promotes learning. However, less attention has been paid to how intellect...
Article
Research on post-traumatic growth (PTG) has been compromised by methodological limitations. Recent process-oriented accounts of personality suggest, however, that positive changes may occur through short-term (i.e., state-level) changes in PTG. In the current year-long study, 1,247 participants provided weekly reports of significant negative events...
Article
In the last century, higher education has witnessed a shift away from explicit character education. Although scholarship has recently reemerged on the importance of character in college, there are almost no empirical investigations of courses intentionally designed to impact student character at the college level. The current study examines an inno...
Preprint
The purpose of this document is to present the Trait Truthful Communication (T-TCS) scale, to describe its conceptual foundation, and to provide initial evidence of its psychometric quality. This document is brief and is intended for researchers who are considering using the T-TCS scale in their own work. At some point, the material summarized brie...
Article
Current measures of adaptive functioning are typically validated using samples from Western populations, which limit their utility in non-Western populations. The present study examines the development and utility of a locally derived measure of adaptive functioning, the Penn/RESIST/Peradeniya Competencies (PRPC) Scale, among Tamil survivors of the...
Article
Traditionally, personality psychology has been understood as the study of stability in people’s dispositions. However, a different strand of personality research has highlighted the importance of acknowledging and explaining the meaningful intraindividual variation in human thoughts, feelings, and behavior across different contexts and time. The go...
Book
The literature on post-traumatic growth has been instrumental in highlighting the human capacity to overcome adversity by illuminating different pathways that individuals may follow when confronted with adversity. However, while the theme of “strength from adversity” is attractive and central to many disciplines and certain cultural narratives, the...
Chapter
The mantra “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” resonates with many people. Given both the degree and types of adversity that almost all individuals confront over the course of their lives, this cultural narrative can be a source of strength. While this message is strong, uplifting, and ingrained in the societal fabric of contemporary Americ...
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Using a biopsychosocial framework, our study examined the biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors associated with depression among a cross-sectional sample of undergraduate international students (N = 712) attending 28 U.S. colleges and universities. Consistent with hypotheses, regression analysis revealed that self-esteem, life satisf...
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How do experts in human behavior think the world change after the COVID-19 pandemic? What advice do they have for the post-pandemic world? Is there a consensus on the most significant psychological and societal changes ahead? To answer these questions, we analyzed interviews from the World after COVID project – reflections of more than 50 of the wo...
Article
The present study assessed whether seven specific character strengths may function to promote resilience or growth following interpersonal loss. A sample of 3710 adults, including 557 who experienced a recent interpersonal loss (defined as death of a first‐degree relative or divorce in the previous six months), completed questionnaires at least onc...
Preprint
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How will the world change as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic? What can people do to best adapt to the societal changes ahead? To answer these questions, over the course of the summer-fall 2020 we launched the World After COVID Project, interviewing more than 50 of the world’s leading scholars in the behavioral and social sciences, including fello...
Chapter
Whole Trait Theory articulates a modern theory of individuals' traits, one that incorporates social-cognitive responsiveness to situations into the nature of traits themselves. It articulates two parts of individuals' traits, which are joined together into whole traits. One part of individuals' traits is the descriptive part, and describes how much...
Chapter
Psychological wisdom is a growing and flourishing field of research. However, despite several promising efforts to systematically conceptualize and operationalize this construct, no consensus exists about the definition of wisdom. We argue that there is a need for integration of wisdom models to forward the field as a whole. For this purpose, we us...
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to describe Whole Trait Theory (WTT) as a modern theory of traits—one that puts dynamics at the core of structure. Personality psychology would benefit from an account of traits that emphasizes dynamic mechanisms underlying those traits (Baumert & Schmitt, 2012; Baumert et al., 2017; Fleeson, 2012). Given the impressi...
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Objective: Posttraumatic growth typically refers to enduring positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity, trauma, or highly challenging life circumstances. Critics have challenged insights from much of the prior research on this topic, pinpointing its significant methodological limitations. In response to these critiques, we...
Article
Prior research has highlighted the possibility that current affect may be interchangeable with state assessments of other dimensions of subjective well-being. In the present study, we conducted a systematic replication and extension by examining the relationship between state assessments of affect and eudaimonic well-being (meaning, core self-evalu...
Preprint
Posttraumatic growth typically refers to enduring positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity, trauma, or highly challenging life circumstances. Critics have challenged insights from much of the prior research on this topic, pinpointing its significant methodological limitations. In response to these critiques, we propose tha...
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Full-text available
Traditional research on post‐traumatic growth has utilized methodologically flawed cross‐sectional designs that involve retrospective assessments of post‐traumatic growth. This has resulted in a majority of research in this field suffering from a lack of credibility and reliability. In this special issue, we present nine articles that seek to make...
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Background and Objectives Most people agree that cognitive capabilities are an integral component of wisdom and its development. However, a question that has received less attention is whether people view maintaining cognitive capabilities as a necessary prerequisite for maintaining wisdom. Research Design and Methods This study used a mixed-metho...
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Research indicates that psychopathology in disaster survivors is a function of both experienced trauma and stressful life events. However, such studies are of limited utility to practitioners who are about to go into a new post-disaster setting as (1) most of them do not indicate which specific traumas and stressors are especially likely to lead to...
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Do people really have a psychological need to be moral? We present results from an experience sampling study of momentary moral need satisfaction, moral behaviors, and psychological thriving, which also provided an opportunity to test whether the moral need functions differently in people of high vs. low moral character. Results were that moral nee...
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Theory and empirical research on wisdom suggests that, under certain circumstances, the experience of adversity has the potential to enhance wisdom (Baltes, Glück, & Kunzmann, 2001; Bluck & Glück, 2004). Most central to the discussion of wisdom development is the need for a better grasp of how exactly individuals can grow from the experience of adv...
Chapter
Can moral exemplars provide insight into the nature and promotion of wisdom? Wisdom can be defined as the traits and skills characteristic of generative behavior and reflective knowledge (Jayawickreme & Blackie, in Exploring the psychological benefits of hardship: A critical reassessment of posttraumatic growth. Springer, Switzerland, 2016). Such t...
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Previous research on differences in character strengths as a result of traumatic cultural events has relied on non-overlapping samples of individuals who completed online questionnaires before and after the event. This study expands on these previous studies by examining differences in self-reports of character strengths before, between, and after...
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University settings present a unique opportunity for young adults to develop characteristics constitutive of wisdom. One challenge for educators working to support this development involves effectively measuring these characteristics. In this article, we present results from a secondary analysis of cognitive interviews to examine challenges that ma...
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The literature on resilience and posttraumatic growth has been instrumental in highlighting the human capacity to overcome adversity by illuminating that there are different pathways individuals may follow. Although the theme of strength from adversity is attractive and central to many disciplines and certain cultural narratives, this claim lacks r...
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Objective This work disentangles moral tolerance from moral relativism and reveals their distinct personological meanings. Both constructs have long been of interest to moral philosophers, moral psychologists, and everyday people, and they may play prominent roles in the feasibility of modern diverse societies. However, they have been criticized as...
Article
Borsboom et al. correctly note that the use of latent variable models in cross-cultural research has resulted in a futile search for universal, biological causes of psychopathology; however, this is not an inevitable outcome of such models. While network analytic approaches require further development, network models have the potential to better el...
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Objective Research examining relationships between trait openness to experience, psychopathology, and well‐being has produced contradictory findings. Examining temporary manifestations of openness may provide further insight into the interplay between openness and symptoms in clinical populations. Method The present study validated a brief new mea...
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It is important that we understand the role of significant life events such as failure, adversity, and trauma in human development. However, substantive methodological limitations in research on post-traumatic growth (PTG) has hampered this endeavor. Specifically, with narratives of growth following life challenges likely provide valuable informati...
Article
Whole Trait Theory (WTT) was developed as an integrative model of traits that incorporates mechanisms of differential reaction to situations. Providing an explanatory account to the Big 5 (defined in terms of density distributions of personality states) creates two parts to traits, an explanatory part and a descriptive part. WTT proposes that the e...
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We explore and explicate some promising points of integration between Self‐Determination Theory (SDT: Ryan & Deci, 2000) and Whole Trait Theory (WTT; Fleeson & Jayawickreme, 2015). Integrating SDT and WTT can offer an example for navigating challenges that have long confronted integrating trait‐descriptive and motivational‐explanatory views of pers...
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We investigate the long-standing yet understudied assumption that feeling moral is a basic psychological need, perhaps like the needs to feel autonomous, competent, and related (ACR). We report an empirical “entrance exam” on whether morality should be considered a need. Specifically, we applied to morality a pioneering method from which Sheldon an...
Article
Objective: People often report positive psychological changes after adversity, a phenomenon known as posttraumatic growth (PTG). Few PTG-focused interventions have been rigorously tested, and measurement strategies have had significant limitations. This study evaluated the effects of a new group-format psychosocial intervention, SecondStory, aimed...
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There has been growing interest in understanding the psychological and social-environmental factors that facilitate adaptive functioning in populations affected by ethnopolitical warfare. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that a brief measure incorporating local idioms of positive need fulfilment would predict functioning in a war-affe...
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Objectives: Existing assessments of intellectual humility (IH)-a key component of wisdom-do not examine its manifestation in daily life while sufficiently focusing on the core idea of the construct: owning up to one's intellectual shortcomings. The present research sought to examine situational contingencies underlying daily manifestations of IH-r...
Chapter
Research into post-traumatic growth describes the potentially transformative and positive impact that highly challenging and traumatic life experiences can have on an individual’s identity, relationships and worldviews. The positive changes individuals identify in the aftermath of challenging circumstances are theorised to be more than fleeting pos...
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Halls-Simmons and McGrath have proposed that character strengths can moderate the impact that clinical symptoms have on functioning. This notion is reasonable in light of existing evidence. Specifically, we provide secondary analyses from data first presented in Blackie, Jayawickreme, Forgeard, & Jayawickreme (2015) suggesting that character streng...
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Based on the thoughtful and thought-provoking comments, we strengthened some of the main proposals of our framework to integrate research on personality structure, process, and development. Integration is an important, yet challenging goal for personality science, and we see considerable potential for it, theoretically and in empirical research. We...
Article
Assessments of global life satisfaction capture beliefs about overall well-being; state satisfaction assessments focus on short-term or “in-the-moment” appraisals of current life circumstances. Prior research has examined how trait measures of life satisfaction and affect are related at between-person and within-person levels of analysis. At the st...
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Depression is commonly seen in survivors of conflict and disaster across the world. There is a dearth of research on the validity of commonly used measures of depression in these populations. Measurements of depression that are used in multiple contexts need to meet measurement equivalence, i.e., the instrument measures the same construct in the sa...
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In this target article, we argue that personality processes, personality structure, and personality development have to be understood and investigated in integrated ways in order to provide comprehensive responses to the key questions of personality psychology. The psychological processes and mechanisms that explain concrete behaviour in concrete s...
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A growing body of literature indicates that the mental distress experienced by survivors of war is a function of both experienced trauma and stressful life events. However, the majority of these studies are limited in that they 1) employ models of psychological distress that emphasize underlying latent constructs and do not allow researchers to exa...
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How do late adolescents make sense of stressful life events they have experienced in their lives? In a sample of 1320 college students, 676 (58% White, 63% female) reported the stressful events they had experienced in their lifetime up until the present survey and indicated whether they considered each stressful event to be a turning point and/or a...
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Traditional models of character development have conceptualized character as a set of psychological attributes that motivate or enable individuals to function as competent moral agents. In this special section, we present seven articles, including two commentaries, that seek to make innovative conceptual and methodological contributions to traditio...
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Aggregation (the process of collecting multiple observations of behavior and averaging them before predicting behavior) shows that virtue-relevant behavior is indeed highly predictable, and that individual differences in global virtues do indeed exist. Aggregation is a key response to the situationist argument against the existence of broad virtues...
Article
While extant studies have examined between-person relationships between life satisfaction and current affect, the nature of this relationship is fundamentally a within-person question. We define this effect of affect on life satisfaction as the proportion of total variance in life satisfaction explained by changes in affect over time. In a study of...
Chapter
In recent years, increased attention has been paid to the possibility of healthy functioning despite the experience of pronounced adversity, either in terms of the absence of psychopathology (resilience; Bonnano, 2004; Infurna and Luthar, 2015) or the development of psychological benefits (self-perceptions of post-traumatic growth; Jayawickreme and...
Chapter
Why should we be skeptical of much current research on posttraumatic growth? What needs to be done to improve the quality of research on the phenomenon? The present chapter lays out the case for the claim that little is in fact currently known about posttraumatic growth, given the design flaws of most research studies. We introduce the conceptualiz...
Chapter
While all major philosophical and theological traditions have argued that experiencing some adversity is a necessary condition for the full development of one’s character, no consensus exists about the nature of the specific virtues, traits, and abilities that might develop in response to adversity. In this chapter, we speculate that wisdom is one...
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Our conversations with individuals directly affected by the long-term effects of ethnopolitical warfare and the counselors and aid workerss supporting these individuals revealed to us that many individuals, and counselors in particular, believe that posttraumatic growth is a relevant and observable phenomenon in these situations. In this chapter, w...
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Is ill-being the only outcome we can expect following tragedy and trauma? Can enduring significant failure and adversity in fact change your character in truly meaningful ways? The present chapter introduces the concept of posttraumatic growth, summarizes the main goals of this monograph and outlines the main themes of each of the chapters in this...
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What are some new methods that researchers are interested in improving the quality of posttraumatic growth should consider? What methods have we used in our quest to increase our understanding of the phenomenon. This chapter focuses on two methodologies—utilizing informant reports and experience sampling methodologies—that each offers unique advant...
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In this final section, we provide some specific recommendations to improve the quality of posttraumatic growth research. While this list is not meant to be exhaustive, it includes many exciting questions concerning the nature of posttraumatic growth, the applicability of the research, and the importance of good research methods for those researcher...
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What exactly is posttraumatic growth? How has it been defined by researchers? What are the main conceptual approaches and empirical findings? The present chapter summarizes the key psychological approaches on posttraumatic growth, and provides an overview of the research findings on the phenomenon in the scientific literature.
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Objective: To develop a more reliable and comprehensive version of the Parental Facilitation of Mastery Scale (PFMS) METHOD: In Study 1, 387 undergraduates completed an expanded PFMS (PFMS-II) and measures of parenting, perceived control, responses to early life challenges, and psychopathology. In Study 2, 182 trauma-exposed community participants...
Chapter
The role of well-being in higher education has received increased attention from both researchers and practitioners in recent years. In this thought piece, we argue that a eudaemonic well-being approach represents an important lens through which to examine well-being in the educational context. Moreover, such an approach is consistent with the prog...
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Objective: Strategy-situation fit, or contextual coping, posits that the physical and psychological demands associated with stressors are determined in part by the characteristics of each stress situation and may therefore require the use of different coping strategies. In this review, we discuss strategy-situation fit in the context of both natur...
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We examine morality’s relationship to three distinct dimensions of social perception: liking, respecting, and knowing a person. Participants completed two independent tasks. First, they rated acquaintances’ morality, competence, and sociability, and how much they liked, respected, and knew those acquaintances. In the second task, they rated a varie...
Article
Earlier work has defined post-traumatic growth (PTG) as positive personality change, but measurement of this construct has relied almost exclusively on cross-sectional and retrospective assessments. The aim of this study was to use an experience-sampling procedure to measure the extent to which PTG manifested in individuals' everyday lives after a...
Book
Can adversity lead to enduring positive change across the lifespan? Providing a thoughtful and considered exploration of this question, this book presents a critical reassessment of posttraumatic growth, based on correcting prior theoretical and methodological limitations in the current research. Its core argument is that posttraumatic growth shoul...