• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This textbook examines major theories of personality as they apply to an understanding of our past, present and future selves. Unlike traditional personality textbooks that merely present a succession of different theories, this student-centred volume examines how theories of personality have a bearing on questions that are relevant across the lifespan. A question-and-answer format invites students to approach personality psychology with an active attitude of critical inquiry in their search for objective knowledge and self-discovery. Throughout the text, students are encouraged to evaluate each theory in terms of how much it contributes to an understanding of their own personalities and lives. An instructor's manual is ava

Using Theory and Research to Understand Personality: What are Theories of Personality and Why are They Important?
Using theory and research to understand personality: What are theories of personality and why are they important?

A theory is like a map. Theories are devices to help us get from here (our present ignorance) to there (a better understanding of nature). Thus the primary question one asks about any map or any theory is: Is it useful? Does it represent nature accurately enough so we can make sense of where we are now? Does it help us get to where we want to go?

Why is it important to know theory? The simplest and most direct answer is that every person is a complex system of feelings, thoughts, goals, ...

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