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(You may already know that the prefix “hetero” means something like “different” in Greek.) Shyness is a good example of such an attribute because shyness is expressed differently by toddlers and young children than adults.The shy toddler might cling to a caregiver in a crowded setting and burst into tears when separated from this caregiver.
I will also draw your attention to the important concept of individual differences in personality development.
Heterotypic stability refers to the psychological coherence of an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors across development.
Something frustrating happens when you attempt to learn about personality stability: As with many topics in psychology, there are a number of different ways to conceptualize and quantify personality stability (e.g., Caspi & Bem, 1990; Roberts, Wood, & Caspi, 2008).
This means there are multiple ways to consider questions about personality stability.
Questions about heterotypic stability concern the degree of consistency in underlying personality attributes.
The tricky part of studying heterotypic stability is that the underlying psychological attribute can have different behavioral expressions at different ages.
Nonetheless, the important point is that the patterns of behavior observed in childhood sometimes foreshadow adult personality attributes.
Homotypic stability concerns the amount of similarity in the same observable personality characteristics across time.
Do people become more self-controlled and better able to manage their negative emotions as they become adults?
What mechanisms explain personality stability and what mechanisms account for personality change?