Perception: An Approach to Personality

Perception: An Approach to Personality

Perception: An Approach to Personality

Perception: An Approach to Personality

Excerpt

This book presents the view that the study of perceptual activity provides a basic approach to an understanding of personality and interpersonal relations. Perceptual activity supplies the materials from which the individual constructs his own personally meaningful environment. This concept is employed in this volume as the frame of reference for interpreting and interrelating data from many diverse fields of personality investigation.

The advances being made in the perceptual approach to personality at a dozen different research centers are here combined in organized form. Following a general orientation to this approach, the book discusses the physical and chemical determinants of perception, the social and developmental factors which influence the individual's perceptual activities, and the role of perceptual constructs in unconscious processes, behavior pathology, and psychotherapy. So fruitful has been the impact of the perceptual approach upon the investigation of personality organization that, in the authors' view, it provides the means for constructing a comprehensive theory of personality.

In addition to the total contribution which the studies included in this book make to perceptual theory in the field of personality, each one records recent thinking and developments in the particular area which it covers. Throughout the book it is evident that the perceptual approach lends itself to the formulation of testable hypotheses in the field of personality research.

The thirteen papers comprising this volume were delivered in substance at the 1949-1950 Clinical Psychology Symposium held at the University of Texas, an undertaking which received financial support from a grant awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health of the United States Public Health Service. The book itself is an outgrowth of the Symposium, which was organized and directed by Robert R. Blake and Glenn V. Ramsey.

In the effort to achieve continuity and integration of the discussion, each author was provided with an outline of the theoretical framework of the Symposium at the start of the project. The speakers were scheduled at intervals of two or three weeks, so that each one had time to familiarize himself with the contributions of those who had preceded him. Each author likewise was given the opportunity to revise his chapter after all of the papers had been pre-

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