Jennifer Pals Lilgendahl
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.A., University of Chicago
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
My research examines processes of self-definition and identity construction in adolescence and adulthood, with a specific focus on how people connect memories of past events to the present self through the narration of a life story. I am primarily interested in narratives of very negative and identity challenging life experiences. I identify individual differences in how adults interpret such experiences in relaton to self (e.g., growth, conflict, defensive minimization) and relate those differences to personality, social/cultural contexts, and important outcomes in adult life, including well-being, maturity, and physical health.
Lilgendahl, J. P., & McAdams, D. P. (in press). Constructing stories of self-growth: How individual differences in pattersn of autobiographical reasoning relate to well-being in midlife. Journal of Personality.
McLean, K. C., & Lilgendahl, J. P. (2008). Why we recall our highs and lows: Relations between memory functions, age, and well-being. Memory, 16, 751-762.
McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Pals, J. L. (2007). Selves creating stories creating selves: A process model of self-development. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 262-278.
Pals, J. L. (2006). Narrative identity processing of difficult life experiences: Pathways of personality development and positive self-transformation in adulthood. Journal of Personality, 74, 1079-1110.
McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2006). A New Big Five: Fundamental principles of a science of personality. American Psychologist, 61, 204-217.