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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 May;74(5):1266-77.

Temperament, activity, and expectations for later personality development.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-4235, USA.


Temperament is assumed to be the biologically based, emotional core of personality. Adult personality is presumed to emerge developmentally from temperament. One mechanism that may link temperament to subsequent personality development involves caregiver expectancies. Stability in personality may be associated with caregiver expectancies about the meaning of temperament-based behavior. The expectancies, in combination with implicit theories of personality development, support stability and patterned change. This multimethod study examined the relations among motor activity differences, temperament, and expectations about future personality characteristics in preschool children. It was hypothesized that motor activity and temperament differences would be linked to teachers' expectations about later personality development. The hypothesis that expectations about such links would be moderated by the sex of the child was also examined. Outcomes generally corroborated hypotheses. Results are discussed in terms of personality development and age-related adaptations to social contexts.

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