The sourdough model of conscientiousness

Brent W. Roberts, Patrick L. Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Conscientiousness is a spectrum of constructs that describe individual differences in the propensity to be self-controlled, responsible to others, hard-working, orderly, and rule abiding. This chapter discusses the factors that are critical for the development of conscientiousness. It introduces a bread-making analogy, stating that the creation and development of conscientiousness is akin to making sourdough bread. The analogy identifies the key ingredients that serve as the basis to conscientiousness, the environmental conditions under which conscientiousness is fostered, and the timing issues critical to the full development of the trait. The chapter also discusses the implications of this transactional model of the development of conscientiousness for interventions intended to foster conscientiousness in students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBuilding Better Students
Subtitle of host publicationPreparation for the Workforce
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780199373222
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Conscientiousness
  • Effortful control
  • Mutually reinforcing orientation
  • Snares
  • Sourdough

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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