The Dynamics of Personality Approach (DPA): 20 Tenets for Uncovering the Causal Mechanisms of Personality

Markus Quirin, Michael D. Robinson, John F. Rauthmann, Julius Kuhl, Stephen J. Read, Mattie Tops, Colin G. DeYoung, EJP Guest Editor
2020 European Journal of Personality  
Over the last few decades, most personality psychology research has been focused on assessing personality via scores on a few broad traits and investigating how these scores predict various behaviours and outcomes. This approach does not seek to explain the causal mechanisms underlying human personality and thus falls short of explaining the proximal sources of traits as well as the variation of individuals' behaviour over time and across situations. On the basis of the commonalities shared by
more » ... nfluential process-oriented personality theories and models, we describe a general dynamics of personality approach (DPA). The DPA relies heavily on theoretical principles applicable to complex adaptive systems that self-regulate via feedback mechanisms, and it parses the sources of personality in terms of various psychological functions relevant in different phases of self-regulation. Thus, we consider personality to be rooted in individual differences in various cognitive, emotional-motivational, and volitional functions, as well as their causal interactions. In this article, we lay out 20 tenets for the DPA that may serve as a guideline for integrative research in personality science. Tenet 19 The same kind of overt behaviour may stem from different underlying functions on different occasions. Tenet 20 Computational modelling constitutes a prime method for deciphering the causal network of mechanisms underlying personality and the variability of behaviour. Note: DPA, dynamics of personality approach. M. Quirin et al. Note: DPA, dynamics of personality approach. M. Quirin et al.
doi:10.1002/per.2295 fatcat:zmr36ebxnrgtxdyeyfutvhvbtm