Dan P. McAdams (born February 7, 1954) is a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University.
McAdams is the author of The Person: An Introduction to the Science of Personality Psychology, a classroom textbook. He co-edited, with Amia Lieblich and Ruthellen Josselson, the eleven-book series "The Narrative Study of Lives". He is a member of The Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group at the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.
Three Levels of Personality
His three level model of personality has been widely cited and was used in The Happiness Hypothesis book. The three levels are :
- Dispositional traits, a person’s general tendencies. For example, the Big Five personality traits lists: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism.
- Characteristic adaptations, a person’s desires, beliefs, concerns, and coping mechanisms.
- Life stories, the stories that give a life a sense of unity, meaning, and purpose. This is known as Narrative identity.