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(The prefix “homo” means something like the “same” in Greek.) For example, researchers might ask whether stress reaction or the tendency to become easily distressed by the normal challenges of life exhibits homotypic stability from age 25 to age 45.The assumption is that this attribute has the same manifestations at these different ages.I will make an important distinction between heterotypic and homotypic stability.
The shy adult, on the other hand, may avoid making eye contact with strangers and seem aloof and distant at social gatherings.
It would be highly unusual to observe an adult burst into tears in a crowded setting.
For example, it is possible to investigate whether the average 40-year-old adult has a lower (or higher) level of stress reaction than the average 20-year-old.
The answer to this question would tell researchers something about typical patterns of personality development.
This module describes different ways to address questions about personality stability across the lifespan.
Definitions of the major types of personality stability are provided, and evidence concerning the different kinds of stability and change are reviewed.Nonetheless, the important point is that the patterns of behavior observed in childhood sometimes foreshadow adult personality attributes.Homotypic stability concerns the amount of similarity in the same observable personality characteristics across time.) or at the group level (e.g., how are most 18-year-olds different than most 38-year-olds? [Image: Ken Wytock, https://goo.gl/G1qfc O, CC BY-NC 2.0, https://goo.gl/Vn Kl K8]Absolute stability refers to the consistency of the level of the same personality attribute across time.If an individual received a score of 45 on a hypothetical measure of stress reaction at age 20 and at age 40, researchers would conclude there was evidence of absolute stability.Do people become more self-controlled and better able to manage their negative emotions as they become adults?What mechanisms explain personality stability and what mechanisms account for personality change?As it stands, there is evidence that attributes such as shyness and aggression exhibit heterotypic stability across the lifespan (Caspi, Bem, & Elder, 1989).Individuals who act shy as children often act shy as adults, but the degree of correspondence is far from perfect because many things can intervene between childhood and adulthood to alter how an individual develops.The observable behaviors typically associated with shyness “look” different at different ages.Researchers can study heterotypic continuity only once they have a theory that specifies the different behavioral manifestations of the psychological attribute at different points in the lifespan.