The Hidden Genius of Emotion: Lifespan Transformations of Personality

The Hidden Genius of Emotion: Lifespan Transformations of Personality

The Hidden Genius of Emotion: Lifespan Transformations of Personality

The Hidden Genius of Emotion: Lifespan Transformations of Personality

Synopsis

This book is about emotion and personality, focusing on how emotion powerfully influences moment-to-moment thoughts, behaviors, and interpersonal interactions. Though emotion is continually present, it is seldom in consciousness, and thus affects lives in a covert manner. This hidden influence is revealed through the example of the lives of three famous mid-century psychologists: Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, and Fritz Perls. Carol Magai and Jeanette Haviland-Jones show how each person has his or her own unique "emotional organization," that exerts a distinct and unique bias on what we see, feel, and think.

Excerpt

In this book we use concepts from emotions theory, dynamic systems theory, complementarity, and attachment theory to model the complex process of personality development and change. Like other accounts of complex systems from the time of Freud and Allport, through Skinner, Erikson, and Block, we use the individual as the unit of discovery and understanding. in the introductory chapter, we examine the thesis that affect is the central organizing force in individual personality and the integrative link between domains of psychological functioning. in doing so, we briefly present the historical context of research on emotion.

Even though the field of psychology has seen many recent and significant advances in emotions theory over the last two decades, much of the contemporary work on human development, clinical work, and personality development is still fragmented. in this book, we take advantage of the new understandings from emotion theory and research to forge a more integrated view of human development. Additionally, there are lessons to be learned from the hermeneutic, the postmodern, and dynamic systems approaches to knowledge that have arisen in recent times to challenge Cartesian methods of thought and analysis. Years ago, John Bowlby dared to integrate the seemingly disparate theoretical paradigms of psychoanalysis, ethology, and general systems theory in building a model of how and why humans form attachments. It has proven to be a richly generative theory that has grown beyond its own beginnings. Similarly, psychology might well profit from perspectives from today's newer epistemological and scientific models. We bring these perspectives to bear in the present project.

We view the emotion system as providing the linchpin for a more integrated science of human development. Eminent emotions scholars – most notably Silvan Tomkins, Carroll Izard, Paul Ekman, and Robert . . .

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