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Redefining Success in AmericaA New Theory of Happiness and Human Development$
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Michael Kaufman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226550015

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226550299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

The Stability Model

The Stability Model

(p.87) Chapter 5 The Stability Model
Redefining Success in America

Michael B. Kaufman

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 5 presents a model of human development that accounts for long-term stability in intrapsychic brightness and darkness, the dominant longitudinal pattern of well-being observed by the study. Participants show the interaction of their psychologies with the environment through decades-long self-reinforcing patterns of behavior in their education and career trajectories as well as relational lives. The chapter identifies a new concept derived from clinical life history interviews, namely the identity story—the story told by the person about important situations and events, important others, the world, and him or herself, which reveals values and long-term goals. The identity story serves as a lens, a narrative identity, for locating oneself in the world and reveals the central tendency of affect in the person’s experience, that is, one’s intrapsychic brightness or darkness. The model shows the influence of the identity story held about one’s early years, the Remembered Early Life (REL), which is relatively stable longitudinally. It shapes later identity stories and intrapsychic brightness and darkness both directly and through self-reinforcing patterns of behavior. The chapter illustrates these concepts and patterns with psychobiographical sketches of participants from earlier chapters.

Keywords:   well-being, human development, intrapsychic brightness and darkness, stability, longitudinal, identity story, Remembered Early Life, education, career

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