An Introduction to Theories of Personality

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9780130992260: An Introduction to Theories of Personality

This introduction to the theories of personality introduces readers not only to the rich history of psychology but to practical information that helps them understand their own lives and their relationships with other people. Using a theorist-by-theorist approach, the book summarizes the major theories of personality and emphasizes that the best understanding of personality derives from a variety of viewpoints. Thus, theories representing the psychoanalytic, sociocultural, trait, learning, sociological, and existential-humanistic paradigms are offered as different—yet equally valid—ways of approaching the study of personality. Includes a series of experiential exercises. What Is Personality? Sigmund Freud. Carl Jung. Alfred Adler. Karen Horney. Erik H. Erikson. Gordon Allport. Raymond B. Cattell and Hans J. Eysenck. B. F. Skinner. John Dollard and Neal Miller. Albert Bandura and Walter Mischel. Edward O. Wilson. George Kelly. Carl Rogers. Abraham Maslow. Rollo Reese May. For anyone wanting a comprehensive understanding of personality and individual differences.

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From the Publisher:

This widely adopted introduction to theories of personality summarizes the major theories of personality and assumes that the best understanding of personality derives from a variety of viewpoints.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

In addition to numerous minor changes, several substantial changes were made in the sixth edition of this text and they are summarized below:

  • Chapter 1: The section "How Do We Find the Answers?" which includes information on the philosophy of science, was revised and expanded; suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 2: Current reactions to Freud's seduction theory and his concept of repressed memories were added; the criticisms of Freud's theory were expanded; suggested readings were revised.
  • Chapter 3: The section on synchronicity was revised; suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 4: The evaluation section was expanded to include the current debate and research concerning the effects of birth order on personality.
  • Chapter 5: The section "Horney's Explanation of Penis Envy" was revised to show Horney's early acceptance of the belief "Anatomy is Destiny" and her later rejection of that belief; suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 6: The biographical sketch of Erikson was revised to reflect current scholarship concerning the early significant events in his life; suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 7: Suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 8: The biographical information on Eysenck was updated; references in the section "Contemporary Developments: The Big Five" were updated; coverage of Eysenck's contributions to personality theory was expanded; suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 9: The section "Behaviorism" was replaced by "Skinner and Personality Theory."
  • Chapter 10: The difference between the moderate form of behaviorism accepted by Dollard and Miller and the radical behaviorism accepted by Skinner was elaborated.
  • Chapter 11: The fact that Bandura, Mischel, Allport, Cattell, and Eysenck all believed that person variables interact with situation variables to produce behavior was clarified.
  • Chapter 12: A discussion of the relationship between sociobiology and evolutionary psychology was added; the section "Nature of Human Nature" was replaced by "Evolution, Personality, and Human Nature";, recent evidence supporting the claim that males and females use different criteria in mate selection was added; the section "Rape, Incest, and Suicide" was replaced by "Suicide and Other Forms of Self-Destructive Behavior"; the criticism that sociobiology is based on adaptationism was elaborated; the fact that sociobiology emphasizes what humans have in common and neglects individual differences was added to the criticisms section; suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 13: Evidence for the continuing popularity of Kelly's theory was added; suggestions for further reading were revised.
  • Chapter 15: Coverage of Maslow's research on human sexuality was expanded; A section entitled "Self-Actualization and Gender" was added; Coverage of "positive psychology" was added to the evaluation section.
  • Chapter 16: Information concerning "narrative therapy" was added to the section "Importance of Myth"; suggestions for further reading were revised.

The sixth edition of this text continues to reflect our contention that it is in an Introduction to Theories of Personality course that the student experiences the full richness of psychology. In such a course, the student experiences everything from psychology's most rigorous scientists to its most mystical nonscientific thinkers. It is in such a course that the student reviews answers to questions such as: What, if anything, do all human beings have in common? What accounts for individual differences among people? How are the mind and body related? How much of what we call personality is inherited and how much of it results from experience? and, How much of human behavior is determined and how much of it is a function of free will? In such a course, the major theories of human motivation are reviewed and the major schools, paradigms, or "isms" within psychology are sampled: for example, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanism, and existentialism. It is in such a course that the student is exposed to the history of psychology, from Freud to the modern theorists, including Erikson, Allport, Cattell, Eysenck, Skinner, Bandura, Mischel, Wilson, Kelly, Rogers, and May. It is also in such a course that students encounter information that helps them make sense out of their own lives and their relationships with other people. Finally, in such a course, the nature of psychopathology and its treatment are explored. What other psychology course covers as much territory? Our answer is none, and therefore it is our belief that if a student were to take only one psychology course beyond the introductory course, it should be an Introduction to Personality course.

Although this text covers topics already mentioned, its main purpose is to summarize the major theories of personality. The text is built around the belief that it is misleading to search for the correct theory of personality. Rather, it is assumed that the best understanding of personality is derived from a variety of viewpoints. Thus, theories representing the psychoanalytic, sociocultural, trait, learning, sociobiological, and existential-humanistic paradigms are offered as different-yet equally valid—ways of approaching the study of personality.

We would like to express our appreciation to the following individuals whose reviews of the fifth edition of this text were helpful as we wrote the sixth edition: Seymour Feshbach, UCLA; Joan Ostrove, Macalester College (MN); Jane Hovland, University of Minnesota; James J. Johnson, Illinois State University and A. M. Prestude, University of Vermont.

We would like to express our thanks to Professors Dorothee Dietrich, R. Kim Guenther, Charles LaBounty, and Robin Parritz, and departmental assistant Alisa Miller, all of whom took on additional responsibilities in the Hamline University psychology department to provide Professor Olson the time needed to work on this text. We would also like to thank Allen Esterson for continuing to share with us his scholarship on the deception involved in Freud's formulation of, and subsequent rejection of, his seduction theory. Finally, we thank Faith Yew who processed several versions of the revised manuscript for this edition and who processed the name index. It is always a pleasure to work with Faith.

B. R. Hergenhahn
Professor Emeritus
Hamline University

Matthew H. Olson
Hamline University

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