The Social Investment Theory : Personality Is Shaped With Time And Influenced By Our Social Contexts

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Para 1: According to the social-investment theory, personality is shaped with time and influenced by our social contexts and life events (Roberts, Wood, & Caspi, 2008; Heatherton & Nicholas, 1994; Roberts & Mroczek, 2008). Particularly, this is evident within the social roles people occupy (Lehnart, Neyer, & Eccles, 2010). Here, individual’s have a core responsibility in selecting and managing their social environment. Subsequently, such a distinct environment directly affects their personality (Srivastava, John, Gosling, & Potter, 2003). For example, Lenhart et al. conducted a study that found that investing in a romantic relationship in turn increases an individual’s emotional stability. Being a romantic partner is essentially a social…show more content…
Such results support the idea that life experiences induce new personality traits. In Luhmann et al. (2015) own words, “In early unemployment stages, there may be incentives for individuals to behave agreeably in an effort to secure another job or placate those around them, but in later years when the situation becomes endemic, such incentives may weaken.” Thus, this challenges the idea of personality being fixed. Para 3: Furthermore, personality change can occur as the result of an individual’s goals and motivation for such change (Hudson & Fraley, 2015). In a recent study, it was found that less than 13% of people express desires for their personality to remain the same (Hudson & Roberts, 2014). Accordingly, Hudson and Fraley (2015) conducted a longitudinal experiment to determine whether “people’s goals to change their personality traits (were) associated with subsequent growth in their personality traits over time.” This was investigated using university participant’s. Here, the participants self-reported their individual personality change goals each week over a period of 16 weeks. Overall, the study found that participants who wanted to become more extraverted, tended to experience a subsequent increase in the trait-extraversion. As such, this demonstrates that personality can in fact change, especially if it is a desired outcome by the individual. Para 4: However, such understandings contrast that of McCrae and Costa’s (1988) ‘set in

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