In three studies employing over 350 community adults and college students, participants wrote or told narratives of personally important scenes in their lives. The autobiographical accounts were coded for themes of agency and communion, the two general content dimensions in lives and life stories that have been identified by many theorists and researchers. The four agentic themes of self-mastery, status, achievement/responsibility, and empowerment were positively associated with Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) measures of achievement and power motivation, self-report scales of dominance and achievement, and personal strivings concerning being successful and feeling strong. Similarly, the four communal themes of love/friendship, dialogue, care/help, and community were positively associated with intimacy motivation, needs for affiliation and nurturance, and personal strivings concerned with warm and close relationships. The results suggest a thematic coherence in personality across the arenas of key autobiographical memories, social motives, and daily goals.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||39|
|Journal||Journal of Personality|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology