Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Within-Person Variability of Personality and Individual Differences

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1355-1



Within-person variability in personality and individual differences is the question whether fluctuations in people’s behavior are predicted by a latent personality or individual difference variable. Personality psychologists long struggled with this issue, particularly those who advocated for stable personality traits. The issue of within-person variability was raised by numerous psychologists over the years. Recent work on density distributions of personality states has proposed a way in which personality is stable over time and can vary from moment to moment.


Within-person variability in personality and individual differences refers to the underlying question of whether fluctuations in people’s behavior are predicted by their underlying personality or individual difference. This issue has been largely tied to the issues around trait theory, but the concern regards individual differences as a...

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA