Positive Links Speaker Series
Authoring a Good Life in America: Narrative Identity and Redemptive Life Stories
Dan P. McAdams
November 19, 2018
Free and open to the public
Michigan Ross Campus, Ross Building, 701 Tappan, Robertson Auditorium, Ann Arbor
Dan P. McAdams
The Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology
About the talk
Beginning in the adolescent and emerging adult years, many people create stories to make sense of their lives. Narrative identity is the internalized and evolving story of the self that explains how a person has come to be the unique person he or she is becoming.
In this talk, McAdams will describe recent psychological research on narrative identity, with an emphasis on stories of personal redemption (triumphing over adversity and suffering) and their strong connections to mental health, psychological well-being, and positive societal engagement.
In various forms such as narratives of upward mobility, atonement, recovery, and personal liberation, the redemptive life stories told by American men and women today, especially in their midlife years, reprise important cultural ideals that have traditionally been associated with living a good life in America.
Dan P. McAdams is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Author of nearly 300 scientific articles and chapters, numerous edited volumes, and seven books, 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.
McAdams is the author most recently of The Art and Science of Personality Development and The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By. He also wrote a psychological biography entitled George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait. In 2016, The Atlantic commissioned him to write an extended psychological essay on the life and mind of Donald J. Trump, which appeared as the cover article for the June 2016 issue of that magazine.
Julia Lee, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations
The Center for Positive Organizations thanks University of Michigan Organizational Learning, Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lisa and David (MBA ’87) Drews, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2018-19 Positive Links Speaker Series.