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Psychol Rev. 2004 Jan;111(1):183-204.

The architecture of personality.

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  • Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607-7137, USA. dcervone @ uic.edu


This article presents a theoretical framework for analyzing psychological systems that contribute to the variability, consistency, and cross-situational coherence of personality functioning. In the proposed knowledge-and-appraisal personality architecture (KAPA), personality structures and processes are delineated by combining 2 principles: distinctions (a) between knowledge structures and appraisal processes and (b) among intentional cognitions with varying directions of fit, with the latter distinction differentiating among beliefs, evaluative standards, and aims. Basic principles of knowledge activation and use illuminate relations between knowledge and appraisal, yielding a synthetic account of personality structures and processes. Novel empirical data illustrate the heuristic value of the knowledge/appraisal distinction by showing how self-referent and situational knowledge combine to foster cross-situational coherence in appraisals of self-efficacy.

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