Psychology of Change : Life Contexts, Experiences, and Identities
This volume tackles the critical question of whether people change or whether they remain relatively constant across the lifespan. Much existing literature in psychology has largely endorsed the concept of stability. Indeed, in many people’s minds, the person is understood to be set in stone, as a function of early socialization and reaching a particular stage of development, evolutionary processes, or traits that are hard-wired from the beginning by genes and biology.
However, in recent years, important scientific developments in theory and research concerning the psychology of change have emerged. In contrast to the commonly held conception of the individual as fixed, this research illustrates how malleable people are—showing much behavioral plasticity. The chapters in this volume, written by scholars at the cutting-edge of research into the psychology of change, showcase these developments with the aim of advancing knowledge of the field and encouraging further research. Topics addressed include brain function, cognitive performance, personality, psychological well-being, collective action to achieve social change, responses to life stressors, and political change. The message is clear—the culture we live in, what happens to us along the way, and who we think we are and want to be, can all change people.