Is Your Personality Fixed, Or Can You Change Who You Are?
Invisibilia. June 24, 2016
Walter Mischel had some basic assumptions about personality. The first was that people had different personalities, and that those personalities could be defined by certain traits, such as extroversion, conscientiousness, sociability.
personality researchers liked to argue about which traits were most important. But they never argued about the underlying premise of their field — that whatever traits you had were stable throughout your life and consistent across different situations.
he didn’t find much support for the idea that personality is stable. “I expected to find that the assumptions would be justified,” he says, “and then I started reading study after study that found that actually the data didn’t support it.”
Mischel ended up writing a book called Personality and Assessment in 1968 that challenged some of the most basic ideas we have about the role personality plays in our lives. He said that the idea that our personality traits are consistent is pretty much a mirage.
Mischel’s most famous experiment, called the marshmallow test, which he first conducted in 1960.
Talk of the Nation. 2004 (32 min)
Can you really test someone for integrity?
Adrian Furnham. Professor of Psychology at University College London
August 11, 2015