Self and IdentityDynamics of Persons and Their Situations

Jennifer Crocker and Amy Canevello

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398991
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940905 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Self and IdentityDynamics of Persons and Their Situations

Show Summary Details


In this chapter, we examine how the self both creates and results from experience—both its high points and low points. At a metatheoretical level, we consider how social and personality psychologists typically conceive of and study the self, drawing on the topic of self-esteem to illustrate typical views of the self as dispositional characteristics of persons, the product of situations, or the interaction between them. This person × situation framework has stimulated a great deal of research and had considerable heuristic value for social and personality psychologists who study the self and identity. However, because it views both the person and the situation as static rather than the result of dynamic processes, it fails to account for how people and situations mutually create each other in a process that unfolds over time. Through dynamic processes of reciprocal influence between persons and situations, self and identity can change surprisingly rapidly—change sustained by the situations people create for themselves over time. We consider methodological approaches in personality and social psychology to test these dynamic models of self and identity.

Keywords: self-esteem; relationships; goals; motives; contingencies; self-transcendence; compassion

Article.  18873 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.