Goals to change personality traits: Concurrent links between personality traits, daily behavior, and goals to change oneself

Nathan W. Hudson, Brent W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Across four studies, we developed and validated a measure of people's goals to change their personality traits. In doing so, we explored the prevalence and correlates of such change goals. We found that the vast majority of people want to change aspects of their personalities, and that these desires are organized around the big-five personality dimensions. Change goals were related to theoretically relevant predictors, including life satisfaction and current personality traits. In three subsequent daily-diary studies, we found that change goals were discriminant from more generalized trait-relevant motives, and that change goals were negatively correlated with daily behavior, to the extent that traits and behavior covaried. Implications for studying people's goals and attempts to change their personality traits are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014



  • Change goals
  • Personality development
  • Volitional personality change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this