Ravenna M. Helson
Adjunct Professor Emerita
Research Area: 
  • whatshotResearch Description

    Personality and adult development, psychology of women, creativity Ravenna Helson is Adjunct Professor Emeritus of the Department of Psychology and former long-time Research Psychologist at the Institute of Personality and Social Research and Director of the Mills Longitudinal Study, which she began. Her current interests are personality processes in life-span context, such as how enduring affective-cognitive styles are associated with life choices, roles, stresses, and satisfactions; how identity processes shape work lives and retirement; changes in the self; and the development of wisdom. Long interested in gender issues, Dr. Helson now works with students on data from the Mills Study, which has followed some 120 women for 40 years, from ages 21 to 61. The Mills Study examines long-term personality components (e.g., attachment, traits), social influences on personality (e.g., work and family roles, social networks, the women's movement, the culture of individualism), and processes of growth and development (e.g., how early marriage affects identity consolidation).

  • placeSelected Publications

    Helson, R., Jones, C.J., & Kwan, V.S.Y. (2002). Personality change over 40 years of adulthood: HLM analyses of two longitudinal samples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 752-766.

    Helson, R., & Srivastava, S. (2002). Creativity and wisdom: Similarities differences, and how they develop. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1430-1440.

    Paris, R., & Helson, R. (2002). Early mothering experience and personality change. Journal of Family Psychology, 16, 172-185.

    Helson, R., & Srivastava, S. (2001). Three paths of adult development: Conservers, Seekers, and Achievers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 995-1010.

    Helson, R., & Pals, J.L. (2000). Creative potential, creative achievement, and personal growth. Journal of Personality, 68, 1-27.

  • filter_dramaTeaching