Henry A. Murray Explorations in Personality

ISBN 13: 9780471625834

Explorations in Personality

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9780471625834: Explorations in Personality

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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About the Author:

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

"It is just grand to have Henry A. Murray's seminal book in print once again. When it first came out in 1938, this book had a provocative and insightful effect, urging psychologists to study personality holistically and in depth and emphasizing the complex interactions between individual, social, and cultural characteristics. As underscored by McAdams' insightful foreword, Murray's book is as important now as it was then." --Salvatore R. Maddi, Professor, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine

"This is a long overdue publication of one of the true classics in the history of personality psychology. It describes a viewpoint on personality that has remained alive despite the ups and downs of personality psychology as a subdiscipline, a view that captures the entirety of a person. What a delight to see the book now once again available outside the library. And Dan McAdams' masterly foreword puts the book in context and reminds the reader why it is so important in the history and current life of our discipline." --Drew Westen, Professor, Department of Psychology, and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University

"A re-issue of the classic Explorations by Murray and his associates-now with McAdams' excellent introductory map of the personal, intellectual, and institutional landscape-is welcome and useful. In the seventy years since its first appearance, many of the book's path-breaking concepts and methods, especially those related to motivation, have become established and well-charted landmarks in the field of personality. Nevertheless, 21st century students of the person will still find many worthwhile uncharted topics that merit continued exploration: concepts such as 'need-integrate,' 'gratuities, ' 'fusion and subsidization of needs,' 'time-binding,' and 'regnant processes,' among others. At the same time, historians of the social sciences will welcome access to this sprawling archive of interdisciplinary excitement, created by an extraordinary group of pioneers who worked in a unique historical time and place." --David G. Winter, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

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