Changing for the Better? Longitudinal Associations Between Volitional Personality Change and Psychological Well-Being

Nathan W. Hudson, R. Chris Fraley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent research has found that a vast majority of people want to change their personality traits—and they may be able to find some degree of success in doing so. However, desires for self-change have been theoretically and empirically linked to reduced well-being. The present study utilized a longitudinal design to better understand the associations between people’s desires and attempts to change their personality traits and their psychological well-being. Results indicated that possessing change goals did not necessarily predict growing deficits in well-being over time. In contrast, people who were able to change their personality traits in ways that aligned with their desires tended to experience increases in well-being over time. These findings are consistent with theory that dissatisfaction can precipitate change goals, and successful change can ameliorate dissatisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-615
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • personality development
  • volitional change
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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