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 facets or 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, and sexual orientation as well as 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 theories 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. Social and cultural influences on the theorists’ beliefs about human nature are also described.
The sections on personality research have been updated with more than 350 new references to maintain the emphasis on current issues. Research findings have been summarized throughout the text in Highlights boxes; this new feature presents bullet point lists to help the student organize and compare the results of research studies.
Considerable material has been added on the effects of child-rearing practices, gender, ethnicity, and culture on the issues of personality development, test performance, and the broader conceptions of human nature.
We present the results of cross-cultural research and a diversity of samples of research participants from nearly 50 nations worldwide, not only English-speaking countries but also countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. We have expanded coverage of ethnic issues in personality assessment among African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American populations.