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A History of Personality Psychology
Theory, Science, and Research from Hellenism to the Twenty-First Century

  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511685859

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About the Authors
  • In this book Frank Dumont presents personality psychology with a fresh description of its current status as well as its prospects. Play, sex, cuisine, creativity, altruism, pets, grieving rituals, and other oft-neglected topics broaden the scope of this fascinating study. This tract is imbued with historical perspectives that reveal the continuity in the evolving science and research of this discipline over the past century. The author places classic schemas and constructs, as well as current principles, in the context of their socio-political catalysts. He further relates this study of the person to life-span developmental issues and to cultural, gender-specific, trait-based, genetic/epigenetic, and evolutionary research findings. Personality psychology has recently reconciled itself to more modest paradigms for describing, explaining, and predicting human behaviour than it generated in the 19th and 20th centuries. This book documents that transformation, providing valuable information for health-service professionals as well as to teachers, researchers, and scientists.

    • Presents a current personality psychology with a fresh description of its status as well as its prospects
    • Written in a clear, accessible way with all technical terms defined
    • Includes an examination of the changes and transformations of studying personality through broad historical contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'I found this a thrilling book. I am full of admiration for the scope of Dumont's learning, leaping as he does across two millennia, and shifting effortlessly from literature to theology to science. It is a really stunning intellectual tour de force and must reading for anyone interested in the genesis of personality and its disorders.' Edward Shorter, Hannah Professor of the History of Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

    Review of the hardback: 'This erudite but surprisingly readable account of scholars' attempts over centuries to understand the essence of human individuality plumbs the depths of what it means to be human, and does so with an amazing awareness of the breadth of writings relevant to the subject. Professor Dumont documents the rise of a scientific approach to the study of personality, the contributions of statistics, of the mental health industry, of trait theory, and of sophisticated test-construction methodology, but does not neglect the cultural, political, economic, and scientific context of these developments - even discussing such topics as play in middle and later adulthood, food preparation practices, illness and wellness models of personality, 'positive psychology', and the role of religious practices. The creative originality, thoughtfulness, breadth, superb writing, and meticulous scholarship of this book make it a significant contribution to the psychology of personality, the history of psychology, and indeed to intellectual history in general.' Michael Wertheimer, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511685859
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Historical overview of personality psychology
    2. From illness models to wellness models of human nature
    3. Developmental perspectives on personality: from youth-based to lifespan models
    4. The biological substrate of personality
    5. Trait theories and the psychology of individual differences
    6. The puzzle of the self
    7. Culture and personality
    8. Gendered personality
    9. Emotions and rationality: a definition of the human
    10. Taking the measure of the human: benefits and inherent limitations of personality measures
    11. Personality change: means and possibilities
    12. Disordered personality: evolution of nosological systems
    13. Eight appendices: at the margins of personality psychology.

  • Author

    Frank Dumont, McGill University, Montréal

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