• 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.

Relationship of Philosophies of Human Nature to Attitude, Personality, and Aptitude Variables
Relationship of philosophies of human nature to attitude, personality, and aptitude variables

If a man has a strong faith, he can indulge in the luxury of skepticism.

—FREDERICH WILHELM NIETZSCHE

Each day, near Torrington, CT, a farmer named Edmund Dean would leave a box of money, including both coins and bills, at his roadside vegetable stand. The box provided change for customers who bought eggs, vegetables, and syrups when Dean was not around. The farmer had been doing business this way for 25 years before someone emptied the money box. But Dean replenished the box with more money, and his faith was maintained. “I trust people,” he said.

Farther west, on Highway 50 near Lawrenceburg, IN, a ...

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