• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“This book, which is in its second edition, provides a provocative mirror from which to discern more clearly one's own assumptions about human nature…. I found myself reflecting on the subject matter and its impact on my own life, including relationships, teaching, research, and therapy…. The author has done a superb job of raising our consciousness about human nature in this book, an I strongly recommend it to academic and applied psychologists. If you need an invitation to examine your views about human nature, this book is it.”--C. R. Snyder, University of Kansas, Lawrence In general, are people trustworthy or unreliable, altruistic or selfish? Are they simple and easy to understand or complex and beyond comprehension? Our assumptions about human nature color everything from the way we bargain with a used-car dealer to our expectations about further conflict in the Middle East. Because our assumptions about human nature underlie our reactions to specific events, Wrightsman designed this second edition to enhance our understanding of human nature--the relationship of attitudes to behavior, the unidimensionality of attitudes, and the influence of social movements on beliefs. Psychologists, social workers, researchers, and students will find Assumptions About Human Nature an illuminating exploration into the philosophies of human nature.

Conceptualizing Philosophies of Human Nature
Conceptualizing philosophies of human nature

You can't treat a kid who grew up knife-fighting in Harlem the way you treat a blond, four-letter man from Christ Lake, Wisconsin. I don't want to fit all my players into one mold.

—AL McGUIRE, while basketball coach at Marquette University

Philosophies of human nature are attitudes about people in general—attitudes that emphasize the interpersonal qualities of people. They are expectancies that people possess certain qualities and will behave toward others in certain ways. While these attitudes may not be easily verbalized by the individuals who hold them, they seem to be learned early, held widely, and changed with difficulty. We all develop philosophies of human nature because other people play such a significant part in our ...

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