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Departmental Seminar: Personality-environment transactions across the lifespan: A complex interface, Professor Jaap Denissen, Tilburg University

Location: H1.48 Humanities Annex

Professor Jaap Denissen

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Host: Professor Anu Realo

Biog: Jaap conducts research on the interface between the fields of personality, social relationships, and development and his work aims to integrate methodological and theoretical perspectives, for example by incorporating motivational tendencies into models of personality. He has been an Associate Editor of several reputable journals in the field and is currently serving as the President of the European Association of Personality Psychology.

Abstract: Does the environment determine the way that our personalities are shaped, or do we instead shape our environment? This basic question has been at the center of much scientific debate. The talk will contrast static models of personality traits with more dynamic-interactionist models. In the first part of the talk, a selection of research findings will be presented to demonstrate that traits are affected by situational influences (e.g., social relationships and social norms). Evidence is also presented that traits are partly shaped by dynamic fluctuations of daily social-emotional processes. While this evidence favours an interpretation of personality as an open system, it is also clear that the malleability of personality is not unlimited. Some promising moderators of personality change are presented that are investigated in ongoing research.>

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