A model for personality at three levels

William Revelle*, David M. Condon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


People differ. How and why they differ are the fundamental questions for personality psychologists. In this article we address three levels at which people differ: within individuals, between individuals, and between groups of individuals. A dynamic model of personality is considered where traits are seen as rates of change in states in response to environmental cues. Within individuals, motivational and behavioral states show inertial properties and lead to an analysis of rates of change and latencies of behavior. Between individuals, the analysis is one of frequency and duration of choices. When individuals self select into groups reflecting shared interests and abilities, the structure of these group differences reflects the consequences of the self selection. Examples of the dynamic model are given for each level of analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-81
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Affect
  • Behavior
  • Cognition
  • Desire
  • Dynamics of action
  • Goals
  • Motivation
  • Multi level model
  • Personality traits
  • Reinforcement sensitivity theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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