Theories of Personality

Theories of personality: understanding persons/Susan C. Cloninger.—4th ed.Theories of Personality:Uderstanding Persons (pdf)  by Susan C. Cloninger – Fourth Edition

Before adopting the scholarly persona, I ask your indulgence for some personal comments. If you are like my students at The Sage Colleges in upstate New York (the women’s Russell Sage College in Troy, and its affiliated co-educational Sage College of Albany), you will oblige me. This book’s first edition was completed over a decade ago, bringing the incomparable thrill that a first book brings to one who grew up loving books and the academic track, among life’s many potentials. I’ve been pleased to see it appear in Portugese and Russian translations (thanks to the connections that Prentice Hall has made).

Its cycles of revision have become part of the rhythm of my life. The first revision (second edition) marked my son’s college graduation and the beginning of his career as an architect, and so it seemed each cycle would correspond to a personal step forward, but it was not to be. The next edition was the time when my mother died unexpectedly, plunging me into a period of personal exploration in which I came to realize that the author Susan was in large part the legacy of my mother’s potential (had life circumstance and schizophrenia not blocked her). As I write the preface for the fourth edition of this text, I am saddened that the major event during this interval is my father’s death; his “are you still writing?’’ questions are now memory.

So this edition is a bittersweet personal milestone for me, as I change the book’s dedication, as always to my parents, to the past tense. Writing pulls motivations from deep in the psyche, even in textbook form (as contrasted with the creative freedom that I imagine novelists enjoy). Sometimes those motivations inspire hard work and creativity, though they also bring writing blocks (as my patient editors have witnessed). Yet textbook writing also produces an object impersonal enough to be shared with strangers, and so I turn attention from the personal to that which I share with my mostly anonymous readers.

Personality theory and research are exciting, as an academic place to map the bridges between our biological nature (with its potential and its limitations) and the culture that, for better or for worse, we have created. On both fronts, personality theory is advancing. Current biological knowledge adds details to the vision of early personality theorists, who recognized the importance if not the mechanisms of the nature side of the nature-nurture issue. Cultural awareness, though still rather limited in our theories, points to the higher-order reorganization of our innate potential that can take us to the divine or the demonic, and to an interface of personality with social psychology and related fields in the social sciences.

This edition brings some noteworthy changes. Biological trait approaches have, after expansion in previous editions, been promoted to their own chapter, reflecting their growing importance in personality theory and research. The importance of biology to personality has been a familiar theme throughout the history of the field, but only now, with studies of heredity and of physiological correlates of personality, do we have a way to detail the way heredity’ influences personality. In addition, evolutionary’ and other biological approaches have become sophisticated enough to permit consideration of individual developmental experience (such as the effects of reward and punishment), making biological approaches more applicable to themes traditionally important in the field of personality.

Object relations theory, mentioned in earlier editions, is now given its own major section. It is placed in the Karen Homey chapter, since I consider her often neglected statements about the role of interpersonal relationships to be the clearest conceptual connection with the object relations approach, though perusal of the references cited by most papers in that area would not lead to this placement. The approach may be growing to demand its own chapter in the future (but what to displace? Ah, that’s the authors nightmare.) Positive psychology has emerged as a current focus for the debates that humanistic psychologists have long considered, and so it is added to the humanistic perspective.

In addition, I have updated content within various chapters, adding here and pruning there. Researchers have contributed to sound, empirically based developments in existing theories: empirical studies of defense mechanisms in psychoanalytic theory; developmental and adult studies of attachment; cognitive research on suppression and memory’, as some examples. The explosion of biological knowledge finds connections with diverse topics (including memory’, learning, and traits), so biological material is referenced in many places. Although I have humbly toned down some of my comments in earlier editions about moving toward a more integrated, multi-level theory, there are enough developments in our field at all levels, from biological bases of personality, to increasing interest in cultural themes, to the almost visionary’ sentiments expressed in humanistic and positive psychology, to make me optimistic about an integrated multi-level theory. In fart, the connections among various theories have always been present, though not developed and often not highlighted in textbooks, since it is easier to present beginning students with distinctions among theories than with bridges connecting them. The theories that will be complex enough to incorporate multiple levels of explanation will not have the simple, literary quality of early theories, and they move scientific psychology-farther from “pop psychology,” but they are likely- to contribute much more to our understanding….


Brief Contents

Theories of Personality/ Uderstanding Persons


  • Chapter 1            Introduction to Personality Theory

PART I:   The Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • Chapter 2        Freud: Classical Psychoanalysis
  • Chapter 3         Jung: Analytical Psychology

PART II:    The Psychoanalytic-Social Perspective

  • Chapter 4          Adler: Individual Psychology
  • Chapter 5         Erikson: Psychosocial Development
  • Chapter 6          Horney and Relational Theory: Interpersonal Psychoanalytic Theory

PART III:   The Trait Perspective

  • Сhapter 7 Allport: Personological Trait Theory
  • Chapter 8 Cattell and the Big Five: Factor Analytic Trait Theories
  • Chapter 9 Evolution, Eysenck, Gray, and Others: Biological Theories

PART IV: The Learning Perspective

  • Chapter 10 Skinner and Staats: The Challenge of Behaviorism
  • Chapter 11 Dollard and Miller: Psychoanalytic Learning Theory

PART V: The Cognitive Social Learning Perspective

  • Chapter 12 Mischel and Bandura: Cognitive Social Learning Theory
  • Chapter 13 Kelly: Personal Construct Theory

PART VI: The Humanistic Perspective

  • Chapter 14 Rogers: Person-Centered Theory
  • Chapter 15 Maslow: Need Hierarchy Theory
  • Chapter 16 Conclusion

Language: English
Format: PDF
Pages: 570
Size: 75.6 Mb
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