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Title: Implicit person theories and Q-sort : personality change in emerging adults
Author: Pruneddu, Alessio
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of this PhD project was to investigate personality change in a sample of emerging adults. Change is examined considering both a variable centred and a person centred approach (prototypes obtained from Q-sort). Data were collected using Q-sortware, a web application designed to administer Likert scale tests and Q-sort. To test the equivalence between the paper version and the online version, a study (Study 1) was conducted (N=61). The results revealed that the test retest coefficient (.79) from the answers given via the Q-sortware was satisfactory. To examine personality change, a longitudinal study included an initial sample of 163 emerging adults (Study 2). Participants were tested again after one year (Study 3). In order to find out what determines change, implicit person theories were taken into account. Implicit theories are naïve assumptions about the malleability (incremental theory) versus the fixedness (entity theory) of personal attributes. It was expected that incremental theory subscribers also experience significant personality change. The nature of the association between implicit person theories and personality, and between implicit person theories, Self-esteem and well-being was also investigated. These topics were addressed in Study 2 (N=163). The results showed that support for an incremental theory was associated with higher scores on Extroversion, Openness to Experience, and Emotional Stability. Support for an incremental theory was also associated with higher scores on Self-esteem and Life satisfaction. Returning participants (Study 3, N=118) showed a mean level increase in Extroversion and a decrease in Conscientiousness, together with high ipsative and rank order continuity. With respect to the prototypes obtained from the Q-sort, "Achievement oriented" individuals showed a significant mean level increase in Conscientiousness, and tended to support an incremental theory of personality attributes.
Supervisor: Zentner, Marcel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available