Structure and Personality

The research project entitled ‘Social Structure and the Psychological Functioning of Individuals under Conditions of Social Change’ (original Polish title: Struktura społeczna a psychologiczne funkcjonowanie jednostki w warunkach zmiany społecznej), funded by the State Committee for Scientific Research (KBN), was conducted in 1992–1994. The project was headed by Prof. Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, with Prof. Krystyna Janicka acting as his deputy.

The core of the project was focused on studying the effects of a person’s position in the social structure on personality traits. Conducted in 1992 in Poland, the project was run in collaboration with Prof. Melvin Kohn. It was designed as a follow-up and extension of earlier research conducted under his supervision or with his involvement, first in the U.S., and then in Poland in 1978.

The 1992 study is connected with the early days of POLPAN in three ways: (1) some researchers took part in both projects, which enabled the transfer and accumulation of research experience, (2) elements of the research instrument developed for ‘Social Structure and the Psychological Functioning of Individuals under Conditions of Social Change’ were later incorporated into the POLPAN questionnaire, (3) the findings from the 1992 study revealed important social changes occurring as a result of the economic transformations and systemic transition, which, in turn, encouraged researchers to continue their studies on the social structure in the form of a panel survey, known today as POLPAN.


Kohn, Melvin L. and Kazimierz M. Slomczymski, in collaboration with Carrie Schoenbach. 2006. Social Structure and Self-Direction: A Comparative Analysis of the United States and Poland. Warsaw: IFiS Publishers.  [An earlier version of that book was published under the same title in 1990 by Basil Blackwell, London.]

Slomczynski, Kazimierz M., Krystyna Janicka, Bogdan W. Mach, and Wojciech Zaborowski.  1996.  Struktura spoleczna a osobowosc: psychologiczne funkcjonowanie jednostki w warunkach zmiany społecznej [Personality and Social Structure:  Psychological Functioning under Conditions of Social Change].  Warszawa: Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii PAN.

Slomczynski Kazimierz M., Melvin L. Kohn i in. 1988. Sytuacja pracy i jej psychologiczne konsekwencje: polsko-amerykanskie analizy porownawcze. Wroclaw: Ossolineum.