An Introduction to Theories of Personality

An Introduction to Theories of Personality

An Introduction to Theories of Personality

An Introduction to Theories of Personality


Robert Ewen's An Introduction to Theories of Personality helps students unravel the mysteries of human behavior through its highly readable introduction to the ideas of the most significant theorists and related new research. Engaging biographical sketches open each chapter and unique capsule summaries help students review key concepts. Theories come alive through the inclusion of quotations from the theorists' writings and numerous applications, such as dream interpretation, psychopathology, and psychotherapy. Significant changes in the sixth edition include: *A Reorganization according to the five major perspectives (psychodynamic, humanistic, trait, behaviorist, and cognitive) to help clarify the major approaches to personality for the student. *New boxes at the beginning of each chapter to highlight the theorist's objectives and what he or she was trying to accomplish. *New glossaries of key concepts and of theorists, to help students organize their studies. *New tables and charts to help clarify distinctions between theorists. *Expanded applications to everyday life. *An increased emphasis on the social cognitive perspective, with a chapter devoted entirely to Albert Bandura. *Expanded material on the factor-analytic trait theory, with new material on the "Big Five" theory and Hans Eysenck. An Instructor's Manual With Test Questions contains an overview of each objective noted in the chapter opening and three types of exam questions: multiple-choice, and short and long essay. Dr. Ewen's revised text is intended for courses on theories of personality and/or psychology of personality.


This book is an introduction to the field of personality theory. The goals are to provide a foundation for further study, to stimulate enthusiasm for this important and provocative area, and to promote interest in the primary sources on which this secondary one is based. I have tried to achieve these objectives in the following ways:

First-hand Quotations. To familiarize students with the writings of the famous theorists, numerous quotations have been integrated within the text. Also, paperback reprints are cited as well as more standard editions. Paperbacks make it possible to acquire a scholarly library at moderate cost, and my hope is that the somewhat awkward referencing system will facilitate comparisons with (and promote interest in) the original sources.

Capsule Summaries. Most personality theorists are fond (perhaps too fond) of neologisms. To help students learn the many definitions presented in each chapter, Capsule Summaries of these concepts are included throughout the text.

Theoretical Applications. In my opinion, some knowledge of the major applications of a personality theory helps to clarify its more abstruse concepts. I have therefore included an introduction to such applications as dream interpretation, psychopathology, psychotherapy, work, religion, education, literature, and areas of importance to a particular psychologist (e.g., Allport and prejudice).

Common Framework. To facilitate comparisons among the various theories, each chapter follows a common framework (described in chapter 1), and important similarities and differences among the theories are emphasized throughout the book. Each chapter stands on its own, however, so the instructor may select virtually any combination for inclusion in a given course.

Coverage. The coverage of this text was influenced by two polls of those who teach theories of personality. According to these polls (N 38), this book includes the 11 most important theorists plus 4 of the following 5.

Interest and Readability. I have tried to maintain a readable and interesting style, without sacrificing accuracy or scholarliness. I have begun most chapters with a significant anecdote from the theorist's life, and used this to lead into his or her theory.

I have avoided the use of β€œhe” to refer to people in general. But I do not feel justified in rewriting history, so I have left such pronouns intact in the firsthand quotations. At times I have made . . .

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