Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 205–216 | Cite as

Continuity of the prototypes of social competence and shyness over the life span and across life transitions

  • Marcel A. G. van Aken
  • Jens B. Asendorpf
Article
  • 65 Downloads

Abstract

The continuity of the prototypes of two personality traits, social competence and shyness, over the life span and across life transitions was studied. Teachers who were either familiar with children in a particular life phase, or who were themselves in a certain transitional or stable life phase, were asked to give a description of a prototypical socially competent person and a prototypical shy person in that specific life phase. Results showed almost no change across the life phases in the extent to which specific behaviors or personality characteristics are regarded as typical for social competence or for shyness. Social competence and shyness therefore can be assessed by the same judgmental instruments at different ages and in different kinds of life phases.

Key words

Construct continuity Q-sort method personality traits social competence shyness 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel A. G. van Aken
    • 1
  • Jens B. Asendorpf
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institute for Psychological ResearchMunichGermany

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