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date: 08 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Research on situations has been reinvigorated within social and personality psychology. This chapter argues that a developmental perspective on situations can further enrich understanding of person-situation transactions and generate interesting predictions for future empirical tests. The approach is grounded in life course theory (Elder & Shanahan, 2006), an interactionist approach that considers person-situation dynamics as critical to understanding individual lives. The chapter describes an overarching perspective and reviews principles of personality development before turning to an explicit consideration of how situational characteristics (the Situational Eight DIAMONDS; Rauthmann et al., 2014) may change with age. It then outlines how a developmental tasks perspective and socioemotional selectivity theory can be integrated with the DIAMONDS characteristics. It concludes by describing different kinds of person-situation transactions that promote consistency and change in psychological characteristics across the lifespan and suggests a few future directions for research.

Keywords: lifespan development, person-situation interactions, life tasks, personality traits, situational characteristics, stability and change

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