[Book Cover]

Personality Psychology: Science of Individuality, 1/e

Nathan Brody, Wesleyan University
Howard Ehrlichman, Queens College, City University of New York

Published August, 1997 by Prentice Hall Humanities/Social Science

Copyright 1998, 446 pp.
ISBN 0-13-146903-7

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This text presents personality from a research perspective. It is written to be challenging and rigorous. Students are encouraged to explore the relationship between research and an understanding of their own personalities. It prepares students for reading the primary source literature in personality psychology. It attempts to show how empirical data are used to try to answer difficult questions in the area of personality.


Research is emphasized, rather than forced to fit existing theories. Professors benefit from a text that reflects how they actually think about the field. Students benefit from the elimination of forced and sometimes inaccurate connections to historical theories.
Includes sustained and challenging discussions of important content often neglected in other texts. These include entire chapters on intelligence and cognitive style, the unconscious, and evolutionary personality psychology. There are also extensive sections on topics rarely treated in other texts, such as emotions, work, therapy, and health. With the groundwork laid in the text, professors can take discussions to a higher level. Students benefit from learning important areas in enough depth to appreciate the issues and complexities.
Introduces methods and discusses empirical work in detail with a significant number of charts and graphs. The text always attempts to make clear why a particular study is important. Instructors benefit from the ability to discuss empirical studies without requiring additional primary source reading of students. Students benefit with an easier transition into the type of material in journals that may facilitate their comfort with the material in advanced seminars or when writing papers.
A short personality questionnaire, designed to measure the Big Five factors, is provided in chapter two. Much of the discussion of methodology and of content throughout the text refers back to the Big Five factors. Instructors benefit from this point of continuity throughout the course. Students benefit from a personal involvement through their questionnaire scores. It also helps to make some of the material more personally relevant.

Table of Contents

    1. Personality and Personality Psychology.

      What Is Personality? What's Ahead in This Book?

    2. Personality Measurement.

      Correlation and Experimentation. Understanding Correlation. Cause and Correlation. The Need for Measurement. Reliability. Validity. Threats to Validity. Social Desirability. Varieties of Personalities Measures. BFT. The Big Five Test.

    3. From Words to Traits: The Nature of Dispositions.

      Traits and Dispositions. Are Traits Mythical? Situational Specificity. The Principle of Aggregation. Does Aggregation Solve the Situation-versus-Trait Debate? Person-Situation Patterning. When Traits Predict Behavior. Cross-Situational Aggregates. Longitudinal Continuity. Stability and Change in Adult Personality.

    4. The Big Five: Are We Finished?

      The Lexical Hypothesis. Organizing the Lexicon. Factor Analysis. What Do We Know About the Big Five? Beyond the Big Five.

    5. Genetic and Environmental Influences.

      The Concept of Heritability. Methodological Issues in the Study of Genetic and Environmental Research. Types Of Genetic and Environmental Influences. Results of Twin and Family Studies: Personality Traits. Results of Twin and Adoption Studies: Attitudes. Results of Twin and Adoption Studies: Intelligence. Intelligence and Personality Compared. Do Parents Influence Personality and Intelligence? Implications of Research on Genetic and Environmental Influences. The Future.

    6. Personality and the Brain.

      Direct and Indirect Biological Influences. Studying Biological Contributions to Personality. Is a Biological Role in Personality Plausible? Extraversion. Neuroticism. Hemispheric Asymmetry and Individual Differences in Emotions. Temperament in Childhood. Change and Stability in Temperament. Childhood Temperament and Adult Personality. Environment and Biology in Temperament. Gender Differences.

    7. Personality and Evolution.

      Individuality and Human Nature. What Is Evolutionary Psychology? The Nature of Human Nature. "Why?" Questions. How Evolution Works. Why Is Sugar Sweet? The Concept of Fitness. Sexual Selection. Testing Evolutionary Hypotheses: Sex Differences in the Psychology of Mating. Is It Convincing? Evolutionary Analysis of Jealousy. Considerations and Caveats. Gender Differences and Similarities. Science and Politics.

    8. Motives and Goals.

      Expectancy-Value Theory. What Are People's Motives? Freud's Theory of Motivation. Henry Murray. Contemporary Research on Needs. Motive Incentives. Achievement Motivation. Implicit and Self-attributed Motives. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. Power Motivation. Affiliation and Intimacy Motives. Content Analysis of Archival Data. Goals. Personal Strivings. Life Tasks. Motives, Goals, and Traits.

    9. Unconscious Processes.

      Acts and Reasons: Can We Explain Why We Do What We Do? Responses and Awareness. Conscious and Unconscious Processes Compared. The Unconscious and Personality. Conclusion.

    10. Cognitive Form.

      Intelligence as a Dimension of Personality. The Social Relevance of Intelligence.

    11. Our Thoughts, Our Feelings, Our Selves.

      Self-Esteem. Attributions. Self-efficacy. Self- consciousness. The Self in the Social Context. Cognition and Affect. Concluding Thoughts.

    12. Applications.

      Personality and Therapy. Personality and Work. Personality and Health.

    13. Conclusion: Personality in the Twenty-First Century.

      Biological Integration. Cross- method Integrations. Conclusion.

    Author Index.
    Subject Index.


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