NPR posted “Invisibila: Is Your Personality Fixed, Or Can You Change Who You Are?” on 6-24-26. This very thorough article, part of NPR’s Invisibilia series, which reviews the work of Harvard psychologist Walter MIschel, Ph.D., his research about personality, and other research trends in the field. Dr. Mischel’s famous, or even infamous, “marshmallow experiment,” was original interpreted to find that personality is established early in life and is maintained into adulthood.
Dr. Mischel, and other personality researchers, are now taking the opposite view; our personality actually is responsive to our environment, learning and the state of our own mind. Another leading personality researcher, the creator of the infamous “obedience” experiments, is quoted as saying, “People can use their wonderful brains to think differently about situations. To reframe them. To reconstruct them. To even reconstruct themselves.”
mhconcierge’s take: this is a remarkable article about a remarkable shift in thinking about one of the foundations of psychology – personality theory.