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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D. (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This introduction to personality theory using a developmental approach emphasizes various theorists' own work and how their ideas developed over time. The previous edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: The book "presents classical theories of human nature, much as each theorist might if the theorist were to teach his or her ideas to people encountering them for the first time," while highlighting "the theorist's progression of ideas, for often the sequence of the theorist's thinking and the changes embodied in the stream of ideas over time are more engaging and valuable than the final product."
Audience: Students, most likely undergraduate, are the intended audience. Robert Sollod (deceased) was a professor of psychology at Cleveland State University; Christopher Monte (deceased) was a professor of psychology at Manhattanville College; and John Wilson, professor of psychology at Cleveland State University, is cofounder of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Features: The book begins with an introduction to the study of personality, noting the many personality theories result from "the philosophy of pluralism — the notion that there are many realities and that more than one perspective may be correct." The book evaluates the theories from the perspectives of refutability, active or passive human agency, and an idiographic or nomothetic focus. The various theories are then introduced. Within psychoanalytic thinking, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Anna Freud, and Melanie Klein are discussed. Theorists in the humanistic/existential include Gordon Allport, Rollo May, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers. The cognitive tradition is represented by George Kelly and Albert Bandura. And finally, biological/evolutionary typology theorists are Hans Eysenck and Edward Wilson. Each chapter is fairly uniform, ending with a summary, reading suggestions, and a glossary of terms. Numerous tables and figures help summarize the text. In addition, shaded boxes add more information, relating theoretical constructs to personal events and/or other theories/works. A name and subject index concludes the book.
Assessment: This is an excellent book for undergraduate students in psychology. It is comprehensive, representing the major theoretical orientations. It discusses how the theories developed, especially in light of events in the theorists' lives. Chapters in this eighth edition have been modified and features added.