New Directions in the Conceptualization and Assessment of Personality—A Dynamic Systems Approach

Joanna Sosnowska, Peter Kuppens, Filip De Fruyt, Joeri Hofmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
214 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we demonstrate how an integrative approach to personality—one that combines within-person and between-person differences—can be achieved by drawing on the principles of dynamic systems theory. The dynamic systems perspective has the potential to reconcile both the stable and dynamic aspect of personality, it allows including different levels of analysis (i.e. traits and states), and it can account for regulatory mechanisms, as well as dynamic interactions between the elements of the system, and changes over time. While all of these features are obviously appealing, implementing a dynamic systems approach to personality is challenging. It requires new conceptual models, specific longitudinal research designs, and complex data analytical methods. In response to these issues, the first part of our paper discusses the Personality Dynamics model, a model that integrates the dynamic systems principles in a relatively straightforward way. Second, we review associated methodological and statistical tools that allow empirically testing the PersDyn model. Finally, the model and associated methodological and statistical tools are illustrated using an experience sampling methodology data set measuring Big Five personality states in 59 participants (N = 1916 repeated measurements).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-998
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • experience sampling
  • personality change
  • personality dynamics


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