Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Grishina N.V. Personality changeability: a theoretical construct and empirical phenomenology

Natalia V. Grishina, Doctor of Science (Psychology), professor, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia; bld. 7–9, Universitetskaya emb., St. Petersburg, Russia, 199034;,

Traditionally, the question of personality changes in psychology is considered through the topic of human development. At the same time, personality changes are described as variations of their characteristics in the temporal (age) and spatial (changes in the situation) dimensions. Within the framework of the processual approach, the personality changes are not reduced to developmental processes and require clarification of the concept. The proposed understanding of personality changeability is consonant with the general scientific understanding of change as “becoming something else”, “the potency of a thing to another being”. Personality changeability is defined as a theoretical construct, meaning the way of existence of an individual as a dynamic system. It is an essential, integral characteristic of its processual nature with the fundamental property of personality, which can be considered in conjunction with other personality characteristics. However, it cannot be derived from the action of any single factor or source. By operationalising the construct, the concept of the self-change potential of an individual is proposed as a set of possibilities for implementing changes related to different levels in individual’s psychical organisation.  This can be consciously actualised and initiated by changes; this concept reflects both the individual’s general ability for a self-change and the individual psychological characteristics of the self-change potential and its manifestations. The self-change potential has a dynamic nature and various contextual factors in determining its actualisation in readiness to change.  The developed and validated questionnaire was previously used in empirical studies to evaluate the self-change potential of a person. It highlights specific variations of human interaction with the challenges of changing reality. It is based on a combination of factors. Those are the severity of the need for changes and resources, and the relation to the ability of a person to implement his/her plans and the characteristics of his /her psychical rigidity and flexibility.

Key words: changeability, processual approach, self-change potential, stylistic variants

For citation: Grishina, N.V. (2021). Personality changeability: a theoretical construct and empirical phenomenology. New Psychological Research, No. 2, pp. 46–63, DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2021_01_02_03 



The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project 18-013-00703 “Potential of self-modification as a factor of human existence in the changing world”.


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keywords: changeability, processual approach, self-change potential, stylistic variants

received 22 June 2021

published 22 June 2021

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