ABSTRACT The formation of ego identity through exploration of alternatives and formation of commitments is a central issue in the transition from adolescence to adulthood (Erikson, 1959, Waterman, 1982) In 59 adults ranging in age from 18 to 30, independent identity scales were found to be positively correlated with age The construct of openness to experience was hypothesized to account for individual differences in identity development As predicted, openness to experience was positively correlated with ratings of current and past identity exploration, and negatively related to intensity of identity commitment A comparison of two methods of measuring ego identity showed that identity rating scales provide a more differentiated assessment of psychosocial development than does the identity status scoring method