How do we come to be who we are? Why do we differ in our personalities? How do these differences matter in life? This textbook on Individual Differences and Personality aims to describe how and why personality varies between one person and the next. Unlike books that focus on individual theorists, this book focuses on current research and theory on the nature of personality and related individual differences. The book begins by discussing how personality is measured, the concept of a personality trait, and the basic dimensions of personality. This leads to a discussion of the origins of personality, with descriptions of its developmental course, its biological causes, its genetic and environmental influences, and its evolutionary function. The concept of a personality disorder is then described, followed by a discussion of the influence of personality on life outcomes in relationships, work, and health. Finally, the book examines in detail the important differences between individuals in the realms of mental abilities, of beliefs and attitudes, and of sexuality.
Intended for courses in personality and individual differences, this book may also serve as a useful overview of personality research for academics in related fields. Singly authored for consistency of breadth, depth, and presentation, Individual Differences and Personality will engage students with its interesting boxed asides. Sample boxes describe a wide variety of topics, including such issues as cross-generational differences, personality in animals, personality and occupational choice, the role of the womb environment, and many others. In addition to covering the Big Five and HEXACO models of personality structure, the book also includes topics often left out of other personality books, including individual differences in mental abilities, religion, politics, and sexuality. There is also deep coverage of the biological bases of personality, including discussions of neurotransmitters, brain structures, and hormones. The explanation of genetic and environmental influences is made clear and straightforward, and the discussion of evolutionary function is unique among personality texts.
Table of Contents: Introduction; Basic Concepts in Psychological Measurement; Personality Traits and the Inventories That Measure Them; Personality Structure: Classifying Traits; Developmental Change and Stability of Personality; Biological Bases of Personality; Genetic and Environmental Influences on Personality; The Evolutionary Function of Personality; Personality Disorders; Personality and Life Outcomes; Mental Ability; Vocational Interests; Religion and Politics; Sexuality; Conclusion.
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How did I come to be who I am?
Why am I similar to or different from my friends and relatives?
How will personality impact my life choices and satisfaction?
Individual Differences and Personality, 2e provides a comprehensive overview of research regarding what personality is and how and why it differs between people. The book begins with a description of the study of personality, basic principles of personality measurement, the concept of personality traits, and the major dimensions of personality variation. Further chapters review personality change and stability, biological causal mechanisms, genetic and environmental influences, and evolutionary adaptive function. Personality disorders are examined as well as "life outcomes" (e.g., relationships, work, health, etc.) that are predicted by personality characteristics. The book additionally examines important individual differences such as mental abilities, religious beliefs, political attitudes, and sexuality.
The 2e contains a new chapter on vocational interests, a revised chapter on personality disorders per DSM-5, streamlined descriptions of measurement concepts and heritability research, and updated literature reviews reflecting research in the intervening time since the first edition. The book is suitable as a text and may serve as a reference to those with academic research interests in the field. Boxes containing interesting asides help engage readers to relevant applications of the material that are unique and or of special interest, without distracting from the flow of the material.
Michael C. Ashton is a professor of psychology at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1998. As a grad student in the late 1990s, together with Kibeom Lee, he did some cross-cultural research to find out whether the “Big Five personality dimensions found in North America could be recovered in other cultures. Using their own work and that of other researchers, they found that there were actually six personality dimensions. The “new one was the H factor, or the Honesty-Humility Factor, was discovered and is now considered one of the six dimensions of human personality. In addition to the second edition of the textbook, Individual Differences and Personality, he is the author of numerous articles in scientific journals, and co-authored with Kibeom Lee The H Factor of Personality.
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