In: English and Literature

Submitted By mardthedino
Words 11226
Pages 45


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Page 1

Chapter 1

The Study of Personality

Chapter Goals
• Provide an overview of the controversies in the field of personality
• Explain the purpose and utility of studying personality to mental health professionals
• Review the various definitions of human personality
• Offer insights into the history of personality theories
• Introduce some of the methods used to measure or evaluate personality
• Present some of the major personality theorists who have developed the concepts

we will be studying

S ubdisciplines of psychology such as social psychology, cognitive psychology, and indus-

trial psychology endeavor to find common principles that will explain everyone’s behavior.
These subfields have achieved considerable success in doing so, since we are all similar in many ways. Despite our similarities, however, there is little doubt that each human being is unique—different from every other individual on the planet. Seeking to understand human commonalities and seeking to account for individual differences are complementary, insofar as we cannot fully apprehend differences if we cannot identify our common characteristics.
Personality psychology looks for answers to numerous questions. In what ways do human beings differ? In what situations and along what dimensions do they differ? Why do they differ? How much do they differ? How consistent are human differences? Can they be measured? These are the issues that this text will explore. An important aspect of this exploration will be a critical examination of the numerous theories that have been proposed to explain personality. Some of these are competing and contradictory while others are supportive and complementary.



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