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INTRODUCTION

Personality theory, experimental personality research, and assessment have quite different histories and their mutual implications have not been explored thoroughly. Courses on personality theory usually review the concepts advocated by different authors and offer omnibus surveys of psychological conceptions of man. Personality assessment, on the other hand, typically is relegated into the "how to do it" practical domain, and is inserted as an applied, independent course on assorted measurement techniques. Especially distressing, most approaches to personality still remain largely separated from developments in behavior theory and experimental research, in spite of many protests and some major efforts to the contrary ( Bandura & Walters, 1963; Rotter, 1954).

Progress in the area of personality psychology and assessment has been hindered by the failure to apply relevant principles about the conditions that produce, maintain, and modify social behavior. The principles that emerge from basic research too often have not been seen as directly relevant to the understanding of the determinants of test responses in the clinic or the assessment project. It is as if we live in two independent worlds: the abstractions and artificial situations of the laboratory and the realities of life. In part this dualism between research and practice has resulted from the failure of basic psychological research to deal with social problems relevant to persons. Until fairly recently most experimental research offered as an aid in the understanding of human social behavior was not only nonsocial, in the sense of not dealing with interpersonal conditions, but also nonhuman, the subjects usually being rats, pigeons, or monkeys. Research with persons was confined largely to correlational studies, most frequently interrelating the checking responses of college students on different

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Personality and Assessment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction to the Republished Edition xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Consistency and Specificity in Behavior 13
  • 3 - Traits and States As Constructs 41
  • 4 - Personality Correlates 73
  • 5 - Utility 103
  • 6 - Principles of Social Behavior 149
  • 7 - Behavior Change 193
  • 8 - Assessment for Behavior Change 235
  • 9 - Personality and Prediction 281
  • References 303
  • Author Index 339
  • Subject Index 347
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