Assessing variability in reasoning about self-continuity: the development and testing of a Likert-scaled measure




Allen, James William

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An important component of a developing identity is an understanding of personal persistence or self-continuity—how one remains the same person throughout the various changes in their life (Chandler, Lalonde, Sokol & Hallet, 2003). Chandler et al., (2003) have suggested that individuals vary in terms of both the style (essentialist or narrativist) and the level of complexity of their reasoning regarding self-continuity. In previous research this variability has been measured using a lengthy interview process. The present study explored the feasibility of more efficiently measuring variability in selfcontinuity understanding with the creation of a new Likert scaled questionnaire. Factor analysis suggested that 20 of the newly created questionnaire items clearly displayed a 2- factor structure mirroring the “essentialist” and “narrativist” styles reported by Chandler et al. (2003). Initial evidence of convergence between the interview and questionnaire methods is also apparent in that those rated as essentialists in the interview scored higher on the first essentialist factor than narrativists and narrativists by the interview scored higher on the second narrativist factor than essentialists.



Identity, Self-perception, Life change events