Profile

Profile

Dan McAdams

Dan P. McAdams

The Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology
Professor, Human Development and Social Policy


Annenberg Hall
Room 209
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-0001
Phone: (847) 491-4174

Biography

Dan P. McAdams is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University. McAdams is currently working on a book titled, The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump: A Psychological Reckoning (Oxford University Press), which derives from his June 2016 cover article in The Atlantic magazine, “The Mind of Donald Trump.”

McAdams is most well-known for formulating a life-story theory of human identity, which argues that modern adults provide their lives with a sense of unity and purpose by constructing and internalizing self-defining life stories or “personal myths.” A leader in the recent emergence within the social sciences of narrative approaches to studying human lives – approaches that place stories and storytelling at the center of human personality – McAdams has been funded by major grants from The Spencer Foundation and the Templeton Foundation. He directed the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University from 1997 to 2019, a project funded by the Foley Family Foundation.

The author of nearly 300 scientific articles and chapters, numerous edited volumes, and seven books, McAdams specializes personality and life-span developmental psychology. His theoretical and empirical writings focus on concepts of self and identity in contemporary American society and on themes of power, intimacy, redemption, and generativity across the adult life course.

His previous books include George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait (Oxford University Press, 2011) and The Art and Science of Personality Development (Guilford Press, 2015). He also is author of The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By (Oxford University Press, 2006/2013), which integrates 15 years of research he collected with students and charts a new psychology of American identity as expressed in cultural and historical American texts and images and in the life stories of caring and productive American adults in their midlife years. The book won the 2006 William James Award from the American Psychological Association and the 2007 Association of American Publishers Award.

McAdams is the 1989 winner of the Henry A. Murray Award from the American Psychological Association for research on personality and the study of lives, the 2006 Theodore Sarbin Award for contributions to theoretical and philosophical psychology, and the 2012 Jack Block Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for career contributions to personality psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 8) and the American Psychological Society, has served on the Executive Committee of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and is a founding member of the Association for Research in Personality (ARP), for which he served as president 2016-17.

His work has been featured in many national publications and media outlets including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, Psychology Today, Self magazine, and Good Morning America.

Curriculum Vitae

Adobe Acrobat PDF View Dan McAdams's CV.

Awards/Honors

  • 2008 - Theodore Sarbin Award Committee for the American Psychological Association
  • 2008 - Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) - Honorary Degree, Valparaiso University
  • 2007 - The Jack Block Award Committee
  • 2007 - New York Times; Work featured in "Birth Order: I am Worm, Hear Me Roar," by Benedict Carey (July 1, 2007)
  • 2007 - New York Times; Work featured in "This is Your Life, and How You Tell It," by Benedict Carey (May 22, 2007)
  • 2007 - The Edward Diener Award Committee
  • 2007 - Association of American Publishers Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing in the area of "Psychology and Cognitive Science"
  • 2006 - The Theodore Sarbin Award, from Division 24 of the American Psychological Association, for contribut
  • 2006 - The William James Award, from the American Psychological Association, for best book published in psy
  • 2005 - Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award, Gerontological Society of America, with Karen S. Hooker

Research/Scholarship

Education

Year Degree Institution
1979 PhD, Psychology and Social Relations Harvard University
1976 BS, Psychology and Humanities Valparaiso University

Selected Publications

McAdams, D. P. (Working Paper/In Press/Under Review). The psychological self as actor, agent, and author. Perspectives on Psychological Science: 8, 272-295.

McAdams, D. P. (Working Paper/In Press/Under Review). Three lines of personality development: A conceptual itinerary. European Psychologist: 20, 252-264.

McAdams, D. P. (2019). First we invented stories, then they changed us: The evolution of narrative identity . Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture: 3, 1-18.

McLean, K. C., Syed, M., Pasupathi, M., Adler, J., Dunlop, W., Drustrup, D., Fivush, R., Graci, M., Lilgendahl, J., Lodi-Smith, J., McAdams, D. P., & McCoy, T. (2019). The Empirical Structure of Narrative Identity: The Initial Big Three. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

McAdams, D. P. (2019). “I am what survives me”: Generativity and the self in Frey, J. A., Vogler C. (Eds.) , Self-transcendence and virtue: Perspectives from philosophy, psychology, and theology  (pp. 251-273 ). London: Routledge.

McAdams, D. P., Shiner, R. L., & Tackett, J. L. (Eds.) (2019). The Handbook of Personality Development. New York: Guilford Press.

Jones, B. K., McAdams, D. P., & Destin, M. (2018). Telling Better Stories: Competence-building narrative themes predict adolescent persistence and academic achievement. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology: 76, 76-80.

Adler, J. M., Dunlop, W. L., Fivush, R., Lilgendahl, J. P., Lodi-Smith, J., McAdams, D. P., McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Syed, M. (2017). Research methods for studying narrative identity: A primer . Social Psychological and Personality Science : 8, 519-527.

McAdams, D. P. (2017). The appeal of the primal leader: Human evolution and Donald J. Trump. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture.

McAdams, D. P (June, 2016). The Mind of Donald Trump. The Atlantic: 76-90.

Carroll, J., McAdams, D. P., & Wilson, E. O. (2016). Darwin's Bridge: Uniting The Humanities and Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press.

McAdams, D. P. (2015). The Art and Science of Personality Development . New York: Guilford Press.

McAdams, D. P., & Guo, J. (2015). Narrating the generative life. Psychological Science: 26, 475-483..

Manczak, E., Zapata-Gietl, C., & McAdams, D. P. (2014). Regulatory focus in the life story: Prevention and promotion as expressed in three levels of personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: 106, 169-181.

McAdams, D. P. (2014). Psychological science and the Nicomachean Ethics: Virtuous actors, agents, and authors in in N. Snow (Ed.) , Cultivating virtue: Multiple perspectives  (pp. 307-336 ). New York: Oxford University Press.

McAdams, D. P. (2013). The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By. New York: Oxford University Press.

McAdams, D. P., & McLean, K. C. (2013). Narrative identity. Current Directions in Psychological Science: 22, 233-238.

McAdams, D. P. (2013). The positive psychology of adult generativity: Caring for the next generation and constructing a redemptive life in  J. Sinnott (Ed), Positive psychology: Advances in understanding adult motivation (pp. 191-205).  New York: Springer.

McAdams, D. P. (2011). George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cox, K. S., Wilt, J., Olson, B., & McAdams, D. P. (2010). Generativity, the Big Five, and psychosocial adaptation in midlife adults. Journal of Personality, 78: 1185-1208.

McAdams, D. P., & Cox, K. S. (2010). Self and identity across the life span in A. Freund and R. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of lifespan development: Vol. 2 (pp. 158-207). New York: Wiley.

McAdams, D. P., & Olson, B. D. (2010). Personality development: Continuity and change. in S. Fiske, D. Schacter, and R. Sternberg (Eds.), Annual review of psychology, Vol. 61 (pp. 517-542). Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews, Inc.

McAdams, D. P. (2009). The person: An introduction to the science of personality psychology (5th Ed.). Wiley.

McAdams, D. P., Albaugh, M., Farber, E., Daniels, J., Logan, R. L., & Olson, B. (2008). Family Metaphors and Moral Intuitions: How Conservatives and Liberals Narrate Their Lives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: 978-990.
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McAdams, D. P., & Albaugh, M. (2008). What if there were no God? Politically conservative and liberal Christians imagine their lives without faith. Journal of Research in Personality: 1668-1672.

Adler, J.M., Skalina, L.M., & McAdams, D.P. (2008). The narrative reconstruction of psychotherapy and psychological health. Psychotherapy Research, 18(6): 719-734.

Selected Presentations

McAdams, D. P. (2008). Generativity and the redemptive self: Narratives of social commitment at midlife.. Invited keynote address, Japanese Society for Personality Psychology. Tokyo, Japan.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). A new Big Five: Fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality. . Japanese Society for Personality Psychology. Tokyo, Japan.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). Narrative identity and the redemptive self.. Invited keynote address, Yale and Penn Philosophy Departments Conference on Narrative and the Construction of Self, University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). The redemptive self: Stories Americans live by.. The Marial Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life, Emory University. Atlanta, GA.

Albaugh, M., & McAdams, D. P. (2008). Politically engaged Christians imagine life without faith. . Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Albuquerque, NM.

Adler, J., Skalina, L., & McAdams, D. P. (2008). Stories of psychotherapy: Narrative identity and psychological health.. Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Albuquerque, NM.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). Identity in emerging adulthood: Qualitative approaches to research.. Society for Research in Adolescence. Chicago, IL.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). The redemptive self and the psychology of life stories: A workshop. . Michigan Group Psychotherapy Conference. Augusta, MI.

Bauer, J. J., & McAdams, D. P. (2008). Eudaimonic growth in emerging adulthood. . American Psychological Association. Boston, MD.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). My business, my story: Building a lasting legacy for the future.. Loyola University Family Business Center. Chicago, IL.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). Narrative identity, the redemptive self, and human development. . Conference on Self, Play, and Human Development, Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Berkeley, CA.

Research Interests

Narrative psychology; the development of a life-story model of human identity; generativity and adult development; themes of power, intimacy, and redemption in human lives; modernity and the self; autobiographical memory; psychological biography.

Teaching/Advising

Committees (PhD)

Start End Name Position Description
2007 2007 Adler, Simons Chair
2007 2007 Person Member

Service/Recognition

Professional Service

Year Organization Position Description
2006 Society of Midland Authors Member
2006 Society for the Study of Human Development Member
2006 Society for Personology Member
2006 Society for Personality Assessment Member
2006 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Member
2006 Society for Dialogical Science Member
2006 Midwestern Psychological Association Member
2006 Association for Research in Personality Member
2006 American Psychological Society Fellow
2006 American Psychological Association Fellow
2005 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Nominated to run for President of SPSP

Editorial Boards

Year Journal Name Position
2007 Theory and Psychology Editorial Board
2007 Psychological Inquiry Editorial Board
2007 Motivation and Emotion Editorial Board
2006 Theory and Psychology Board Member
2005 Personality and Social Psychology Review Editorial board
2005 Motivation and Emotion Editorial board
2001 Psychological Inquiry Editorial board


Last Updated: 2019-11-07 10:20:24