The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By by Dan McAdams
Dan McAdams, author of The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By
About Dan McAdams


Dan McAdams Projects
Foley Center for the Study of Lives

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.


Biography
Dan P. McAdams is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy. Currently, he also serves as the Chair of the Psychology Department. Professor McAdams received his B.S. degree from Christ College, Valparaiso University in 1976, and his Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University in 1979. Professor McAdams teaches courses in Personality Psychology, Adult Development and Aging, Theories of Personality and Development, and the Psychology of Life Stories.

Author of over 200 scientific articles and chapters, numerous edited volumes, and 6 books, Professor McAdams works in the areas of 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. Professor 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.” Professor McAdams is 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. He has been funded by major grants from The Spencer Foundation and the Templeton Foundation. Beginning in 1997, he continues to be funded by the Foley Family Foundation to direct the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University. Professor McAdams is also the author of a leading college textbook in personality psychology, The Person (Wiley).

Professor McAdams is the author of The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By (Oxford University Press, 2006). Integrating research he and his students have conducted over the past 15 years, The Redemptive Self 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 for best general-interest book in psychology, across all subfields, and the 2007 Association of American Publishers Award for excellence in professional and scholarly publishing. His latest book is entitled George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Professor McAdams is also 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. 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. He lives in Wilmette, IL, with his wife, the Hon. Rebecca R. Pallmeyer.
Education
Year Degree Institution
1979 PhD, Psychology and Social Relations Harvard University
1976 BS, Psychology and Humanities Valparaiso University

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

McAdams, D. P. (2008). Personal narratives and the life story in John, O., Robins, R., & Pervin, L. A., Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 241-261). Guilford Press.
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McAdams, D. P. (2008). Foreword in H. A. Murray, Explorations in personality: 70th anniversary edition (pp. vii-xxxvi). Oxford University Press.
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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. (2008). American identity: The redemptive self. The General Psychologist: 43, 20-27.
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Bauer, J. J., McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2008). Narrative identity and eudaimonic well-being.. Journal of Happiness Studies: 9, 81-104.
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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.

McAdams, D. P. (2008). Generativity, the redemptive self, and the problem of a “noisy” ego in American life. in Wayment, H. and Bauer, J. J. (Eds.), Transcending self-interest: Psychological explorations of the quiet ego (pp. 235-241). American Psychological Association Press. .

Adler, J.M. & McAdams, D.P. (2007). Telling stories about therapy: Ego development, well-being, and the therapeutic relationship in Josselson, R., McAdams, D.P., & Lieblich, A. (Eds.). , The Meaning of Others: Narrative Studies of Relationships (pp. 213-236). American Psychological Association.
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Josselson, R., Lieblich, A., & McAdams, D. P. (Eds.) (2007). The meaning of others: Narrative studies of relationships. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.

McAdams, D. P. (2007). On grandiosity in personality psychology. American Psychologist, 62: 60-61.

Adler, J.M., Wagner, J.W., & McAdams, D.P. (2007). Personality and the coherence of psychotherapy narratives. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(6): 1179-1198.

Adler, J.M. & McAdams, D.P. (2007). Time, culture, and stories of the self. Psychological Inquiry, 18(2): 97-99.

McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2007). The role of theory in personality research in R. Robins, C. Fraley, and R. Krueger (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in personality psychology (pp. 3-20). New York: Guilford Press.

McAdams, D. P. (2007). Autobiographical narratives in R. F. Baumeister and K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social psychology (pp. Vol. 1, pp. 83-85). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

McAdams, D. P. (2006). The redemptive self: Stories Americans live by. Oxford University Press.

McAdams, D. P., Josselson, R., & Lieblich, A. (2006). Identity and story: Creating self in narrative. APA Books.

McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2006). A new Big Five: Fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality. American Psychologist: 204-217.
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McAdams, D. P., Bauer, J. J., Sakaeda, A., Anyidoho, N. A., Machado, M., Magrino, K., White, K. W., & Pals, J. L (2006). Continuity and change in the life story: A longitudinal study of autobiographical memories in emerging adulthood. . Journal of Personality: 1371-1400.
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McAdams, D. P. (2006). The redemptive self: Generativity and the stories Americans live by. Research in Human Development: 81-100.
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Adler, J.M., Kissel, E., McAdams, D.P. (2006). Emerging from the CAVE: Attributional style and the narrative study of identity in midlife adults. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 30(1): 39-51.
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McAdams, D. P. (2006). The role of narrative in personality psychology today. Narrative Inquiry: 11-18.
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McAdams, D. P. (2006). The problem of narrative coherence. Journal of Constructivist Psychology: 109-125.
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McAdams, D. P., & Logan, R. L. (2006). Creative work, love, and the dialectic in life narratives of selected academics in McAdams, D.P., R. Josselson, and A. Lieblich (Eds.), Identity and story: Creating self in narrative (pp. 89-108). APA Books.

McAdams, D.P. & Adler, J.M. (2006). How does personality develop? in D. Mroczek & T. Little (Eds.), Handbook of Personality Development (pp. 469-492). Lawrence Erlbaum.
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McAdams, D. P (2006). An American life story. in M. R. Schwehn and D. C. Bass (Eds.), Leading lives that matter: What we should do and who we should be  (pp. 471-480). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Bauer, J. J., McAdams, D. P., & Sakaeda, A. (2005). Interpreting the good life: Growth memories in the lives of mature, happy people.. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: 88, 203-217..
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Bauer, J. J., McAdams, D. P., & Sakaeda, A. R (2005). The crystallization of desire and crystallization of discontent in narratives of life-changing decisions. Journal of Personality: 73, 1181-1213.
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McAdams, D. P (2005). What psychobiographers might learn from personality psychology in W. T. Schultz (Ed.), Handbook of psychobiography (pp. (pp. 64-83)). New York: Oxford University Press.
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McAdams, D. P (2005). A psychologist without a country, or living two lives in the same story in G. Yancy and S. Hadley (Eds.), Narrative identities: Psychologists engaged in self-construction (pp. (pp. 114-130)). London: Jessica Kingsley.
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