Each edition of a textbook must be as vital, dynamic, and responsive to change as the field it covers. To remain an effective teaching instrument, it must reflect the development of the field and continue to challenge its readers. We have seen the focus of personality study shift from global theories, beginning with Sigmund Freud’s 19th-century psychoanalytic theory of neuroses, to 21st-century explorations of more limited personality dimensions.
And we have seen the basis of personality exploration change from case studies of emotionally disturbed persons to more scientifically based research with diverse populations. Contemporary work in the field reflects differences in gender, age, sexual orientation, and ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural heritage.
Major changes for this edition include new biographical material for the theorists, to suggest, where warranted, how the development of their theory may have been influenced by events in their personal and professional lives. This approach shows students that the development of science through theory and research is not always totally objective.
It may also derive from intuition and personal experience later refined and extended by more rational, analytic processes. Cultural influences on the theorists’ beliefs about human nature are described.
The sections on personality research have been updated to maintain the emphasis on current problems. Considerable material has been added on the effects of gender, ethnicity, and culture on the issues of personality development, test performance, and broader conceptions of human nature. We present the results of cross-cultural research and a diversity of samples of research participants from European, African, and Asian nations throughout the world.
For Freudian theory, we have added research on defense mechanisms, including their application in Asian cultures, and on repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. For Adler, we present new findings on birth order and on social interest. The need for achievement, as developed by McClelland, has been moved from the chapter on limited-domain theories to the chapter on Murray’s theory, reflecting its origin as one of the needs identified in Murray’s initial research.
For Erikson, we describe considerable work on ego identity, generativity, and ego integrity, and we include Cross’s revised racial identity model on developmental stages of Black identity. The effects of globalization on the formation and development of ego identity are described, based on research conducted among diverse national groups.
New biographical material has become available on Allport, and we note the relationships of his life experiences to his theoretical formulations. Our coverage of expressive behavior and facial recognition, as an outgrowth of Allport’s theory, has been expanded.
We present considerable new research on the five-factor model of personality and on self-esteem. We introduce the idea of self-determination theory as an extension of Maslow’s work. More material is provided on self-efficacy, including the concept of collective efficacy, and the effects of physical attractiveness on self-efficacy.
The chapter on limited-domain approaches to the study of personality includes Rotter’s concept of locus of control, Zuckerman’s sensation-seeking studies, and Seligman’s learned helplessness research, including expanded coverage of optimism/pessimism. We also include the so-called “happy personality,” based on Seligman’s characterization of subjective well being.
This idea reflects the growth of the positive psychology movement, encompassing such issues as happiness, self-efficacy, competence, optimism, creativity, and spirituality.