Explorations in Personality, published by Oxford University Press in 1938, set forth a provocative and comprehensive agenda for the scientific study of human personality. Blending no-nonsense empiricism with the humanistic desire to understand the whole person, the book is as relevant to students of personality psychology today as it was to its many readers 70 years ago. Assisted by such eminent colleagues as Erik Erikson and Robert White, Henry Murray set forth a full theory of human personality, illustrated a bevy of creative methods for personality assessment, and presented the results of a landmark study of fifty Harvard men. Explorations in Personality is one of the great classics in 20th century psychology. This reissue, enhanced by Dan McAdams' foreword, which provides a contemporary evaluation of Murray's achievement, will be of great interest to students and researchers in personality psychology and to many other behavioral scientists, scholars, and general readers who wish to understand the psychology of the whole person.
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Henry A. Murray was on the faculty in psychology at Harvard University from 1927 until his retirement in 1962 and Professor Emeritus from 1962-1988. He received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association and the Gold Medal Award for lifetime achievement from the American Psychological Foundation. Murray died in 1988 at the age of 95.
Dan P. McAdams is Professor of Psychology and of Human Development and Social Policy and Director of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University. McAdams is the author of over 150 scientific articles and chapters and 13 books on personality, motivation, biography, adult development, and the narrative study of lives. His most recent book is The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By, which won the 2006 William James Award for best general-interest book in psychology across all subfields.
"In 1938, Henry Murray taught us how to study personality the correct way--often the long and winding way. Seven decades later, our methods are more refined, but we are still struggling to recapture the profound and artistic vision of the person that he championed. This anniversary edition of his classic work reminds us that while our job as personologists is not yet finished, we can draw upon Murray's spirit of inquiry for inspiration as we continue our own explorations in personality." --Robert A. Emmons, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis and Editor, The Journal of Positive Psychology
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