Methodological comment: Temporal stability of older person’s spontaneous self-definition

Examined in the present study were questions about short-term temporal stability. Theory suggests that measures of the self may better reflect intraindividual variability than personality tests. Free-response and card-sort versions of the “Who am I?” were completed twice over an 8-wk period by a volunteer sample of 104 older persons (aged 69-92 yrs). Low temporal stability of self-definition was found on an intraindividual level and on the level of interindividual differences. Measures of personality showed high stability. Although the “Who am I” may not be the best instrument for assessing the content aspects of self-definition that are stable over time and across situations, it may provide a measure of situation-related variability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)