Ted Schwaba's research while affiliated with University of Texas at Austin and other places

Publications (44)

Article
How does optimism change over the lifespan and how do changes predict health and well-being? In a pre-registered analysis of the Rochester Adult Longitudinal Study, we examined changes in and outcomes of optimism over 25 years (1989–2014) in 984 adults aged 16–70. Optimism increased over time similarly across participants. However, more optimistic...
Preprint
Past research syntheses provided evidence that personality traits are both stable and changeable throughout the lifespan. However, early meta-analytic estimates were constrained by a relatively small universe of longitudinal studies, many of which tracked personality traits in small samples over moderate time periods using measures that were only l...
Article
How do people’s religious beliefs and behaviors change over the course of adulthood? Previous research found rapid decreases in religiosity during young adulthood and rebounds in middle and late adulthood. However, secularization trends—if not accounted for—can bias or obscure age-graded changes in religiosity. Using longitudinal data from over 14,...
Preprint
Across adulthood, people tend to experience psychologically adaptive personality trait change, a robust finding known as the maturity principle of personality development. We identify three open areas of inquiry regarding personality maturation and address them in a pre-registered study, using a sample of US adults ages 30-70 who completed a batter...
Article
Across adulthood, people tend to experience psychologically adaptive personality trait change, a robust finding known as the maturity principle of personality development. We identify three open areas of inquiry regarding personality maturation and address them in a preregistered study, using a sample of U.S. adults ages 30-70 who completed a batte...
Article
Personality traits are important predictors of health behaviors, healthcare utilization, and health outcomes. However, we know little about the role of personality traits for emergency department outcomes. The present study used data from 200 patients (effective Ns range from 84 to 191), who were being discharged from the emergency department at an...
Preprint
Personality traits are important predictors of health behaviors, healthcare utilization, and health outcomes. However, we know little about the role of personality traits for emergency department outcomes. The present study used data from 200 patients (effective Ns range from 84 to 191), who were being discharged from the emergency department at an...
Preprint
Internet use is increasingly ubiquitous among older adults and may buffer against declines in cognitive engagement. We examined longitudinal associations between three types of internet use (media, social, and instrumental) and two indicators of cognitive engagement (Openness to Experience and Need for Cognition) in a nationally representative samp...
Article
Full-text available
Using data from 58,748 participants from a nationally representative German sample, we tested preregistered hypotheses about factors that impact concerns about the environment over time. We found that environmental concerns increased modestly from 2009 to 2017. Individuals in middle adulthood tended to be more concerned and showed more consistent i...
Article
Childhood lead exposure has devastating lifelong consequences, as even low-level exposure stunts intelligence and leads to delinquent behavior. However, these consequences may be more extensive than previously thought because childhood lead exposure may adversely affect normal-range personality traits. Personality influences nearly every aspect of...
Preprint
Childhood lead exposure has devastating lifelong consequences, as even low-level exposure stunts intelligence and leads to delinquent behavior. But these consequences may be more extensive than previously thought, because childhood lead exposure may adversely affect normal-range personality traits. Personality influences nearly every aspect of huma...
Article
Withstanding the climate crisis will depend in part on individuals behaving in a more environmentally sustainable manner. However, relatively little is known about the individual factors that promote sustainable attitudes and behaviors (SABs). Although there are established cross-sectional associations between personality traits and SABs, it is unc...
Article
Are five-factor traits and borderline personality symptoms the same features with different names? The existing literature offers reasons to think they are the same and reasons to think they are different. We examined longitudinal associations between these variables in a sample of patients assessed 12 times over 24 years using latent curve models...
Preprint
Objectives Although researchers have linked sense of purpose to working status, there are few studies examining how specific characteristics of work may correlate with sense of purpose. The aim of the current study is to extend prior research by assessing the degree to which objective and subjective forms of career success—occupational prestige and...
Preprint
Are five factor traits and borderline personality symptoms the same features with different names? The existing literature offers reasons to think they are the same and reasons to think they are different. We examined longitudinal associations between these variables in a sample of patients assessed 12 times over 24 years using latent curve models...
Article
Objectives: Although researchers have linked sense of purpose to working status, there are few studies examining how specific characteristics of work may correlate with sense of purpose. The aim of the current study is to extend prior research by assessing the degree to which objective and subjective forms of career success-occupational prestige a...
Article
Comments on the target article by M. C. Ashton and K. Lee, who argue in favor of the six-factor HEXACO model over the Big Five (see record 2020-19340-001). Although the HEXACO model offers some specific advantages over the Big Five, both suffer from limitations common to universal, broad-bandwidth models of personality structure. The precedence of...
Article
Full-text available
We created a facet atlas that maps the interrelations between facet scales from 13 hierarchical personality inventories to provide a practically useful, transtheoretical description of lower-level personality traits. We generated this atlas by estimating a series of network models that visualize the correlations among 268 facet scales administered...
Preprint
Personal concerns about climate change and the environment are a powerful motivator of sustainable behavior. People’s level of concern varies as a function of a variety of social and individual factors. Using data from 58,748 participants from a nationally representative German sample, we tested preregistered hypotheses about factors that impact co...
Preprint
Although individuals vary in how optimistic they are about the future, one assumption that researchers make is that optimism is sensitive to changes in life events and circumstances. We examined how optimism and pessimism changed across the lifespan and in response to life events in three large panel studies (combined N = 74,886). In the American a...
Article
Objectives: Researchers have hypothesized that using Information and Communications Technology (ICT), such as email and social media, may buffer older adults from normative age-graded declines in psychological adjustment. However, past intervention research has been unable to conclusively evaluate this proposition, and no studies to date have exam...
Article
Although individuals vary in how optimistic they are about the future, one assumption that researchers make is that optimism is sensitive to changes in life events and circumstances. We examined how optimism and pessimism changed across the lifespan and in response to life events in three large panel studies (combined N = 74,886). In the American a...
Preprint
Objectives: Researchers have hypothesized that using Information and Communications Technology (ICT), such as email and social media, may buffer older adults from normative age-graded declines in psychological adjustment. However, past intervention research has been unable to conclusively evaluate this proposition, and no studies to date have exami...
Article
Life span theories of human development assert that people prioritize emotional values over informational values when they believe their time is limited. This process unfolds naturally as people age but may be accelerated by life-threatening events. We tested whether the experience of serious health adversity leads to changes in value orientation....
Article
Full-text available
Health, the environment, and animal rights represent the three main reasons people cite for vegetarian diet in Western societies. However, it has not been shown that these motives can be distinguished empirically, and little is known about what kind of people are likely to be compelled by these different motives. This study had three goals. First,...
Preprint
We created a facet atlas that maps the interrelations between facet scales from 13 hierarchical personality inventories to provide a practically useful, transtheoretical description of lower-level personality traits. We generated the atlas by estimating a series of network models that visualize the correlations among 268 facet scales administered t...
Preprint
Lifespan theories of human development assert that people prioritize emotional values over informational values when they believe their time is limited. This process unfolds naturally as people age but may be accelerated by life-threatening events. We tested whether the experience of serious health adversity leads to changes in value orientation. U...
Preprint
The purpose of this study was to chart changes in self-esteem before and after marital dissolution to identify the factors that shape individuals’ self-esteem during this life transition. To do this, we analyzed 10 annual waves of self-esteem data from 291 divorcees from a nationally representative panel study of the Netherlands (N ~ 13,000). We ch...
Article
Objective: The purpose of this study was to chart changes in self-esteem before and after marital dissolution to identify the factors that shape individuals' self-esteem during this life transition. Method: We analyzed 10 annual waves of self-esteem data from 291 divorcees from a nationally representative panel study of the Netherlands (N ~ 13,0...
Article
Numerous studies have demonstrated long-term benefits of optimism for physical and mental health. However, little research has examined how optimism develops across the life span and how it is shaped by positive and negative life experiences. In this study, we examined the normative trajectory of optimism development from ages 26 to 71 in a longitu...
Preprint
Objective: Although numerous studies have demonstrated that personality traits predict important love and work outcomes, there is mixed evidence for the relevance of openness to experience to love and work. We sought to better understand the long-term consequences of openness in these two domains.Method: We examined associations between openness an...
Article
Objective Although numerous studies have demonstrated that personality traits predict important love and work outcomes, there is mixed evidence for the relevance of openness to experience to love and work. We sought to better understand the long‐term consequences of openness in these two domains. Method We examined associations between openness an...
Preprint
Numerous studies have demonstrated long-term benefits of optimism for physical and mental health. However, little research has examined how optimism develops across the lifespan and how it is shaped by positive and negative life experiences. In this study, we examined the normative trajectory of optimism development from ages 26 to 71 in a longitud...
Article
We examined the course of self-esteem during the transition to retirement in a sample of 690 retirees (ages 51–81) and a propensity-score matched-comparison group of 515 nonretirees drawn from a nationally representative longitudinal study in the Netherlands. The average retiree decreased in self-esteem in the 5 years before retirement and remained...
Preprint
We examined the course of self-esteem during the transition to retirement in a sample of 690 retirees (ages 51-81) and a propensity-score matched comparison group of 515 non-retirees drawn from a nationally representative longitudinal study in the Netherlands. The average retiree decreased in self-esteem in the five years before retirement and rema...
Article
In this study, we examined trajectories of Big Five personality development in the 5 years before and after retirement. Our sample was composed of 690 retirees (ages 51–81) and a propensity-score matched comparison group of 532 nonretirees drawn from a nationally representative longitudinal study of the Netherlands. Participants contributed data ac...
Chapter
The term emerging adulthood has been introduced to describe an extended period of development between adolescence and full-fledged adulthood. This chapter examines two hypotheses about the nature and shape of personality trait change during this period. Specifically, based on theory and research on emerging adulthood, it can be predicted that, in c...
Preprint
In this study, we examined trajectories of Big Five personality development in the five years before and after retirement. Our sample was composed of 690 retirees (ages 51-81) and a propensity-score matched comparison group of 532 non-retirees drawn from a nationally representative longitudinal study of the Netherlands. Participants contributed dat...
Article
We examined the life span development of openness to experience and tested whether change in this personality trait was associated with change in cultural activity, such as attending the opera or visiting museums. Data came from the Dutch Longitudinal Internet Study for the Social Sciences panel, which includes 5 personality assessments across a 7-...
Article
Objective: A precise and comprehensive description of personality continuity and change across the lifespan is the bedrock upon which theories of personality development are built. Little research has quantified the degree to which individuals deviate from mean-level developmental trends. In this study, we addressed this gap by examining individua...
Preprint
Objective: A precise and comprehensive description of personality continuity and change across the lifespan is the bedrock upon which theories of personality development are built. Little research has quantified the degree to which individuals deviate from mean-level developmental trends. In this study, we addressed this gap by examining individual...
Preprint
We examined the lifespan development of openness to experience and tested whether change in this personality trait was associated with change in cultural activity, such as attending the opera or visiting museums. Data came from the Dutch Longitudinal Internet Study for the Social Sciences panel, which includes 5 personality assessments across a 7-y...
Article
The present longitudinal study used data from 187 newlywed couples to examine the impact of the birth of the first child on self-esteem over the course of the first 5 years of marriage. Results suggest that the birth of the first child is associated with changes in parents’ (especially mothers’) self-esteem. For the average parent, these changes we...

Citations

... However, in order to fully understand and accurately measure psychological maturation and maturity-relevant traits it is necessary to clearly Age Differences in Personality and Social Desirability 32 define the meaning of maturity, especially in terms of personality traits below the level of broad domains. There has been little research into facet-level personality maturation (e.g., Schwaba et al., 2022), not to mention the scarcity of studies going below the level of facets. Without a specific and non-circular conceptualization of psychological maturity with maturation defined independently of aging to start with (so that people at the same age could also differ in their maturity), it is also difficult to evaluate its overlap with related concepts (e.g., healthy personality; Bleidorn et al., 2020). ...
... Also, we were unable to gauge the duration of lead exposure in early childhood. Cumulative exposure impedes development in ways that one-time exposures do not (32). Different birth cohorts may have experienced dramatically different levels of exposure across childhood. ...
... Personality traits are reliably correlated with SBs (Bamberg & Möser, 2007;Brick & Lewis, 2016;Hines et al., 1987;Hopwood et al., 2021;Markowitz et al., 2012;Milfont, 2021;Nielsen, 2017). Soutter et al. (2020) meta-analytically synthesized this literature. ...
... Participants were 984 alumni from the Rochester Adult Longitudinal Study (RALS; Whitbourne et al., 2009). The RALS is a long-running study of Eriksonian development and has been the subject of many published manuscripts, dissertations, books, book chapters, and projects on diverse topics not directly related to optimism (e.g., on career success and sense of purpose, psychosocial development, and generativity; Lodi-Smith et al., 2021;Weston et al., 2020;Whitbourne et al., 2009;Whitbourne & Waterman, 1979). More study details are available at the OSF site for the RALS (https://osf.io/ya4ph/). ...
... The second objective of our study was to explore the proposed relationship between boredom, curiosity, and exploration (Hunter et al., 2016). To assess the relationships between these three dimensions, we estimated a Gaussian graphical model (GGM) with the Extended Bayesian Information Criterion Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (EBICglasso) algorithm , a method from the field of network psychometrics (Fried & Cramer, 2017;Golino & Epskamp, 2017) that has recently been employed with personality trait questionnaires (e.g., Christensen et al., 2019;2020;Martarelli et al., 2020;Schwaba et al., 2020). Simulation studies have shown that Exploratory Graph Analysis (EGA) is equivalent and in some cases outperforms Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) . ...
... In line with these theoretical models, most existing longitudinal research evaluating changes in optimism suggests evidence of an inverted U-shaped pattern across adulthood. Among American, Mexican/Mexican-American, and Dutch participants, optimism increases throughout younger adulthood, plateaus around midlife, and decreases in older adulthood Chopik et al., 2020;Schwaba et al., 2019). However, these changes are not seen in every sample. ...
... Not all older adults use digital media to keep in touch with traditional family groups and neighbors even if they are not networked individuals [19]. Unlike young adults, they are less adept at leveraging the advantages of communication technology to connect more effectively and overcome the barriers of time and space to discover new life experi-ences [20] This could be due to lack of technology skills, economic constraints, or lack of community initiatives. ...
... To our knowledge, there is currently no experimental research comparing the effects of animal welfare-, environmental-, and health-focused video documentaries on consumers' intentions to reduce meat consumption and motivations to consume meat. Given that recent work has identified animal welfare, environmental, and health concerns as the primary motivations for considering vegetarian diets (Hopwood et al., 2020), there is utility in assessing and comparing the effectiveness of these appeals. ...
... It's tempting to say that researchers should only measure attributes that represent one domain; however, it's unlikely that attributes of a personality trait will exist independently of other trait domains (Schmittmann et al., 2013;Schwaba, Rhemtulla, Hopwood, & Bleidorn, 2020;Sočan, 2000). An item like "enjoys talking to people," for example, certainly represents the domain of extraversion but it may also represent the domain of agreeableness. ...
... This can lead people to struggle without the interdependence structure that previously supported them (Gomillion et al., 2015;Slotter et al., 2010). Thus, not only does the end of a relationship spark change to the self-concept (Bleidorn et al., 2021;Mattingly et al., 2020) but so too does falling in love (Luciano & Orth, 2017;Wagner et al., 2015). ...