Subjectifying the Personality State: Theoretical Underpinnings and an Empirical Example

Gal Lazarus*, Haran Sened, Eshkol Rafaeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Recent developments in personality research highlight the value of modelling dynamic state-like manifestations of personality. The present work integrates these developments with prominent clinical models addressing within-person multiplicity and promotes the exploration of models centred on state-like manifestations of personality that function as cohesive organizational units. Such units possess distinct subjective qualities and are characterized by specific affects, behaviours, cognitions, and desires that tend to be co-activated. As background, we review both theory and research from the fields of social cognition, psychotherapy, and psychopathology that serve as the foundation for such models. We then illustrate our ideas in greater detail with one well-supported clinical model—the schema therapy mode model, chosen because it provides a finite and definite set of modes (i.e. cohesive personality states). We assessed these modes using a newly developed experience-sampling measure administered to 52 individuals (four times daily for 15 days). We estimated intraindividual and group-level temporal and contemporaneous networks based on the within-person variance as well as between-person network. We discuss findings from exemplar participants and from group-level networks and address cross-model particularities and consistencies. In conclusion, we consider potential idiographic and nomothetic applications of subjective states dynamic personality research based on intensive longitudinal methods.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1017-1036
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 European Association of Personality Psychology


  • idiographic methods
  • network analysis
  • personality dynamics
  • personality states


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