Theories of Personality by Jess Feist & Gregory J. Feist – 7 ed.
What makes people behave as they do? Are people ordinarily aware of what they are doing, or are their behaviors the result of hidden, unconscious motives? Are some people naturally good and others basically evil? Or do all people have potential to be either good or evil? Is human conduct largely a product of nature, or is it shaped mostly by environmental influences? Can people freely choose to mold their personality, or are their lives determined by forces beyond their control? Are people best described by their similarities, or is uniqueness the dominant characteristic of humans? What causes some people to develop disordered personalities whereas others seem to grow toward psychological health?
These questions have been asked and debated by philosophers, scholars, and religious thinkers for several thousand years; but most of these discussions were based on personal opinions that were colored by political, economic, religious, and social considerations. Then, near the end of the 19th century, some progress was made in humanity’s ability to organize, explain, and predict its own actions. The emergence of psychology as the scientific study of human behavior marked the beginning of a more systematic approach to the study of human personality.
Early personality theorists, such as Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Carl Jung, relied mostly on clinical observations to construct models of human behavior. Although their data were more systematic and reliable than those of earlier observers, these theorists continued to rely on their own individualized way of looking at things, and thus they arrived at different conceptions of the nature of humanity.
The seventh edition of Theories of Personality continues to emphasize the strong and unique features of earlier editions, namely the overviews near the beginning of each chapter, a lively writing style, the thought-provoking concepts of humanity as seen by each theorist, and the structured evaluations of each theory.
The seventh edition of Theories of Personality uses clear, concise, and comprehensible language as well as an informal writing style. The book is designed for undergraduate students and should be understood by those with a minimum background in psychology. However, we have tried not to oversimplify or violate the theorist’s original meaning. We have made ample comparisons between and among theorists where appropriate and have included many examples to illustrate how the different theories can be applied to ordinary day-to-day situations. A glossary at the end of the book contains definitions of technical terms. These same terms also appear in boldface within the text.
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