The Psychology of Character: With a Survey of Temperament

The Psychology of Character: With a Survey of Temperament

The Psychology of Character: With a Survey of Temperament

The Psychology of Character: With a Survey of Temperament

Excerpt

The appearance of a book on character should require no apology, although as may easily be seen from the bibliography, there is no dearth of such books. The subject of character or, in the wider sense, personality has within the last decade come to occupy the forefront of the psychological sciences and has been receiving the earnest attention of psychiatrists and social workers as well as of personnel experts.

The announcement of courses on personality, which at one time would have been greeted not without a perceptibly amused expression, is now rather welcomed by educators, at least in the United States; and the students themselves often find that such courses broaden their outlook and reveal to them a sphere which the psychological textbook, even with its ready assimilation of psychoanalytic material, barely touches upon. The great handicap, however, has been the lack of a comprehensive volume which might be used as a suitable text showing what contributions have been made to the field of character in its widest sense, at the same time offering a tentative plan for handling the subject scientifically, so that the term "character" would be employed unambiguously and the concept analysed in such a way as to provide the reader with a workable criterion of character and a guide for its measurement.

Whether this work bears out the anticipation of the author is a matter to be judged later. I have at least spared myself no pains to follow religiously the project conceived. In order to illumine the numerous angles from which the subject has been approached, it was necessary to compress practically a whole library into the compass of a single volume, and, substituting the word "vocable" for that of "syllable" in the couplet of Cowper, "Chase a panting vocable through time and space"; and even if this hunt involved making excursions . . .

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