We do not see those who act out of character as stand up chameleons, as superficial role players or as annoying error variance. On a Big Five trait inventory, assume George has an exceptionally high score on openness to experience, somewhat elevated scores on neuroticism, middle level scores on conscientiousness and agreeableness, and an extremely low score on extraversion. Personal Projects and Free Traits: Personality and Motivation Reconsidered. For women, a work place facilitating social connection had a particularly salutary effect; for men, there was very little linkage at all, with one exception: the ideal work climate was one that facilitated the unimpeded pursuit of projects (Phillips, Little, & Goodine, 1997). Murray, H. A. 2. I will examine these hypothetical characters from the perspective of a social ecological model of human development (Little, 1987, 1996, 1999a; Little & Joseph, 2007; Little & Ryan, 1979). Bono, J. E., & Vey, M. A. For example, openness to experi- ence predicts being engaged in creative projects (Melia-Gordon, 1994) and optimism predicts efficacious project pursuit ( Jackson, Weiss, Lundquist, & Sonderlind, 2002). Although used to make more evocative the social ecological framework, there is at least some warrant for using such individual level exemplars to address issues more often examined at a normative level. The measurement and meaning of personal projects creativity. But, according to personality and motivational psychologist Brian R. Little, there’s a third: projects. On the way to the hospital, the superstar George is feeling decidedly less than awesome, and the amazing Elizabeth is just barely keeping it together. 59, 762–769. But evidence to date suggests that it offers a viable extension to and in some senses alternative to orthodox trait theory. 205–244). Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Administrative Science Quarterly, 36, 245–268. Personality reconsidered: A new agenda for aging research. Under such conditions, sustainability becomes untenable. Traq regards itself a team, a matter of major consequence to their success as a firm (Hackman, 2002). These are PAC units (Little, 1989, 1996) and have been growing in prominence as explanatory constructs in a diversity of fields (Hooker, 2002; Hooker & McAdams, 2003; Little, 1989; Little, Salmela-Aro, & Phillips, 2007). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. Personal projects, life stories, and happiness: On being true to traits. (2007). He lives in an upper middle class area of a thriving city in an apartment that he shares with Elizabeth. Little, BR (1999a) Personal projects and social ecology: Themes and variation across the life span. Imprint Psychology Press. Personality and emotional performance: Extraversion, neuroticism, and self-monitoring. Little, B. R., & Gee, T. L. (2007b). Another more subtle cost of free-traited behavior is reputational confusion (Craik, 1993). Brian R. Little, Personal Projects and Motivational Counseling: The Quality of Lives Reconsidered, Handbook of Motivational Counseling, 10.1002/9780470979952, (73-87), (2011). The book examines both the internal and external dynamics of personal goals and projects and clearly demonstrates that human flourishing is enhanced when individuals are engaged in the pursuit of personal projects. Third, she has become increasingly good at acting out of character over the past 2 years; she has learned how to ‘work a room’ and keep people’s attention on Traq. I review a social ecological model of human development that stimulates recon- sideration of some traditional views in personality and motivational psychology. The saturation of color in this figure represents the relative degree of fixedness, or difficulty in changing the source, with greater saturation representing greater resistance to change. But unless there is an initial realistic appraisal of affordances and constraints, including knowledge of one’s own internal resources, the person runs the risk of being blindsided by the vicissitudes of life. Melia-Gordon, M. (1994). We are making the following tools available for research and testing purposes only: Please email any comments, suggestions, bug reports or feature requests to hilarylittle@gmail.com. You have a personal project right now, but nobody may know it here. Stunningly good. In L. A. Pervin & O. P. John (Eds. Brian R. Little Carleton University Personal Projects Analysis (B. R. Little, 1983) was adapted to examine relations between participants' appraisals of their goal characteristics and orthogonal happiness and meaning factors that emerged from factor analyses of diverse well-being measures. . By these criteria, George is certifiably creative, and his relatively fixed traits contribute in part to his success. Ironic processes of mental control. ), Action & Self-Development: Theory and Research Through the Life Span (pp. Chambers, N. C. (2007). In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D. Phillips (Eds.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 55, 419–427. These are depicted in Boxes G-1 and G-2 with Elizabeth as a concrete exemplar. …our audience so thoroughly enjoyed your oustanding approach to speaking, injected with humour and wit, that they were talking about it for days. ), Personal Project Pursuit: Goals, Action and Human Flourishing (pp. Personal projects as compensatory convictions: Passionate pursuit and the fugitive self. On the dynamic covariation between interpersonal behavior and affect prediction from neuroticism, extraversion, and agreeableness. Just doing it: Affective implications of project phrasing. Little, B. R. (1972). Need satisfaction and involvement in personal projects: Toward an integrative model of well-being. (Eds.). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. A more restorative niche for this person would the pulsing delights of a packed nightclub. (2007). (1992). Areas of current research interest: Personal Projects Analysis Little created Personal Projects Analysis (PPA) as a general methodology for examining the daily pursuits of individuals and groups. Lippa, R. (1976). In E. T. Higgins & R. M. Sorrentino (Eds. In this respect, he is right; she supports him utterly. When one’s core project pursuits are no longer sustainable, the quality of life becomes seriously compromised. Personal projects analysis. White, R. W. (1959). Personal projects and other PAC units, since their inception, have been effective predictors of human well-being and flourishing (Little, 1989; Palys & Little, 1983). Personal Project Pursuit is the first book to feature Brian Little's highly respected personal projects analysis (PPA), one of the pioneering theories in contemporary personality and motivational psychology. Empirical, theoretical and practical advantages of the HEXACO model of personality structure.Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 150– 166. And in those rare moments when he actually reflects on such matters, he would say life is wonderful, at least on this particular Wednesday. Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior. Another key proposition of our approach is that free traits may enhance life quality by promoting core projects, but protracted free-traited behavior may compromise emotional and physical health. Second, this has a positive impact on Traq – the team is a clear beneficiary when Liz is ‘on’. Elizabeth’s sudden illness will illustrate how engaging in free traits can exact such a cost. An analysis of personal project commitment. You are especially likely to be happier if your personal projects feel attainable. Box I exhibits some restorative resources that might mitigate the ongoing costs of free traits. They are frequently regarded as ‘goal units’, but I have argued that they are better regarded, as discussed previously, as PAC units (Little, 2007). In D. Buss & N. Cantor (Eds. Self-monitoring (Bono & Vey, 2007) and agreeableness (Little & Joseph, 2007) should facilitate free trait adoption. McGregor (2007) makes an interesting case that passionate project pursuit may be compensatory in nature, a reaction to the terror of uncertainty and under specifiable conditions can transform the project into an excessively myopic enterprise. Adam says little, nods often, and is wondering whether he really is grad school material. We have also proposed that sustainable pursuit of core projects should be based on an accurate reading of one’s eco-setting resources and constraints (Little, 1999b). Little, B. R., & Joseph, M. F. (2007). Personal Project Pursuit is the first book to feature Brian Little’s highly respected personal projects analysis (PPA), one of the pioneering theories in contemporary personality and motivational psychology. Emmons, R. A. Little, B. R., & Grant, A. Free traits are a more recent unit of analysis, and although the empirical yield is still small, it is encouraging (Bono & Vey, 2007; Little, 1996; Little & Joseph, 2007). If you are sitting in the adjacent booth in the cafeteria, would you linger a bit, intrigued by the differing styles, contrasting concerns, and singular stories you hear emerging in the snatches of conversation? (1991). Idiogenic sources are different. Personality and the environment. A biogenic introvert acting in an extraverted manner so as to advance a core project of ‘keeping our clients happy’ is engaging in free-traited behavior. In so doing, they stimulate a reconsideration of conventional approaches to motivational and personality psychology. This section includes anything that is published at regular intervals—be it a blog, a print publication, a podcast, or a newsletter! They are typically the product of self-reflection and therefore require some degree of conscious deliberation. Contrary to appearances, however, she is not a natural extravert, and here is where some of the challenges originate. Hooker, K., & McAdams, D. P. (2003). Goodine, L. A. Elliot & Sheldon, 1997; Karoly, 1999) can be seen as primarily cognitive, internal constructs, but when they are examined in terms of their pursuit, they are more conative constructs, similar but not identical to personal projects (Little, 1999b). Sometimes, clients find George, well, curious. Figure 1: PPA Rating Matrix: What do you think about what you are doing? What drives the choice of core projects? Those who only see her when she is ‘on’ will be skeptical of those who talk about her quieter, more introverted nature. Both George and Elizabeth are starting to learn this. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 668–678. But today, she is in the hospital emergency room seeking help for something she can’t quite understand. Or it could be your mom. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. As shown in Figure 2, research on the link between personal projects and quality of life has consistently shown that having meaningful, manageable projects that are supported by others and are not too stressful is conducive to human well-being (Little, 1989). The costs of free-traited behavior can be mitigated by the provision and use of restorative resources. Personal projects can both change and be changed by the quality of life experienced by a person and have themselves been used as measures of quality of life (McGregor & Little, 1998; Omodei & Wearing, 1990). 79–88). It relates to your kid — you've been back three times to the hospital, and they still don't know what's wrong. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Human Performance, 18, 331–341. The social ecological framework and the constructs of personal projects and free traits provide a perspective on aspects of personality and motivation that are somewhat different from conventional views. Unpublished master’s thesis, Carleton University, Social Ecology Laboratory, Ottawa, Canada. Personal projects and other PAC units, since their inception, have been effective predictors of human well-being and flourishing (Little, 1989; Palys & Little, 1983). Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Personal Project Pursuit: Goals, Action, and Human Flourishing at Amazon.com. He is also realizing that his other core project, growing Traq, is at risk. Free traits are culturally scripted patterns of conduct that are strategically crafted to advance projects about which a person cares deeply. Specialization and the varieties of environmental experience: Empirical studies within the personality paradigm. The methodology of personal projects analysis: Four modules and a funnel. To be adored or to be known? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Similarly, Vallerand et al. 81–116). What people don’t realize is that her energy and enthusiasm are not boundless. Brian R. Little* Carleton University and McGill University Abstract I review a social ecological model of human development that stimulates recon-sideration of some traditional views in personality and motivational psychology. He has many projects on the go, perhaps too many. Edition 1st Edition. In the case of Traq, had George and the rest of the team known that Elizabeth needed solitary time as much as George did, they might have arranged for someone more naturally extraverted to take on some of the interpersonal projects for the team. His personal traits are conducive to his working on creative projects and his Traq colleagues provide a con- genial context in which he can be somewhat odd and definitely audacious. Truly outstanding. There seem to be no major distortions in how he perceives the eco-settings of his life and their objective reality. Idiogenic sources are the valued concerns that people pursue in their lives and comprise their personal constructions, commit- ments, and core projects. Person-oriented individuals, for example, engage in a high frequency of sociable pursuits and they both generate and attend to expressive cues that stimulate further interaction (Little, 1972, 1976; McGregor, McAdams, & Little, 2006). Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). That George is a successful entrepreneur, there can be little doubt. But such an environment would hardly be restorative for a biogenic extravert, who has been engaging in introverted free trait behavior. Kelly, G. A. 7. Vallerand, R. J., Salvy, S. J., Mageau, G. A., Elliot, A. J., Denis, P. L., Grouzet, F. M. E. et al. Your message and delivery style are original and mind-expanding. In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D. Phillips (Eds. Côté, S., & Moskowitz, D. S. (1998). Journal of Personality, 75, 505–534. Klinger, E. (1977). Maintaining norms about expressed emotions: The case of bill collectors. Box D represents idiosyncratic and flexible representations of the contexts within which individuals express their traits and enact their projects (Little, 1996). How do we negotiate our fidelity to three compelling and potentially conflicting sources of the self? Salmela-Aro, K. (1992). His pioneering research on how everyday personal projects and ‘free traits’ influence the course of our lives has become an important way of explaining and enhancing human flourishing. The marvel is that while you made us fall about in laughter, you left us knowing that we had heard something quite profound. Speaking animatedly and downing her third cup of coffee, Eve declares that she is only applying to her top three choices and she’s looking forward to dragging her boyfriend to Ann Arbor. Elliot, A. J., & Sheldon, K. M. (1997). 193–212). Figure 2: Traits, contexts and personal projects: The case of George. His perception of these affordances, his personal context, is generally veridical. Positive and Negative Affect in Personal Projects: Exploring Hot Pursuits in Portugal and Canada. The field of personality psychology is flourishing. Figure 3 focuses only on extraversion, although with some modification the theory applies to other traits. This is not just of theoretical significance; it has important impli- cations for the initial stages of empirical explorations. And potentially conflicting sources of free traits and that has precipitated the crisis deci E.! D., Little, B. R., Lecci, L. a Laboratory, Ottawa, Canada of optimists pessimists. 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