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Personality Psychology: Foundations and Findings

By Marianne Miserandino

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Sep 27, 2011

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Helps students relate current research in the field of personality psychology to their daily lives.


This book introduces students to the basic foundations and latest findings by presenting the fundamental questions, accumulated knowledge, and latest findings in genetics, neuroscience, traits, self and identity, intrapsychic aspects, regulation, motivation, and cognition, as well as the integration across these areas.


Personality Psychology is an undergraduate textbook for personality psychology: the study of individual differences, for identifying ways in which people are both similar and different and for explaining how they became that way. Written with an approachable, story-telling style, the author presents an evidence-based text with integrated culture references and the key building blocks of the subject matter: genetics, neuroscience, and cognition. Miserandino is an APA-award winning teacher and has placed learning tools such as self-assessments within each chapter that guide students into a complete understanding throughout the text.


Click here to view a sample chapter!


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers should be able to:

  • Analyze both the foundations and findings of the research process
  • Learn about themselves, the people around them, and how personality psychology applies to their everyday lives
  • Understand and interpret new discoveries in psychology and related fields as they occur in the future


Table of Contents




CHAPTER 1: Who Am I? Understanding the Building Blocks of Personality

CHAPTER 2: Personality Traits: A Good Theory

CHAPTER 3: Personality Traits: Practical Matters

CHAPTER 4: Personality Assessment

CHAPTER 5: Self and Identity

CHAPTER 6: Genetics

CHAPTER 7: The Neuroscience of Personality

CHAPTER 8: Intrapsychic Foundations of Personality

CHAPTER 9:  Regulation and  Emotion: Self-Determination Theory

CHAPTER 10: Cognitive Foundations of Personality

CHAPTER 11: Gender and Personality

CHAPTER 12: Sexual Orientation: An Integrative Mini-Chapter

CHAPTER 13: Resilience: An Integrative Mini-Chapter




Chapter 1: Who Am I? Understanding the Building Blocks of Personality
What is Personality Psychology?
How do Psychologists Study Personality?
Research Methods Illustrated: A True Experiment
Then and Now: The Ethics of Research with People
Chapter 2: Personality Traits: A Good Theory

What is a Personality Trait?

What do we know about Personality From the Idiographic Approach?

What do we know about Personality from the Nomothetic Approach?

Research Methods Illustrated: Factory Analysis

The Great Nomothetic Search for Universal Principles of Personality

Then and Now: The Four Temperaments and the Five Factors

Chapter 3: Personality Traits: Practical Matters

What's Missing from the Five Factors?

The Five Factors in other cultures

Research Methods Illustrated: Triangulation and Types of Data

Expression of Traits in Everyday Life

The Personality of Everyday Life: What does your online presence say about your personality?

Personality Development Over the Life Span: Continuity, Change, and Coherence

Then and Now: The Grant Study of Harvard Graduates

Chapter 4: Personality Assessment

What makes a Good Personality Test?

Research Methods Illustrated: Is the Neo-Pi-R a Good Personality Test?

Personality Tests and Selection

The Personality of Everyday Life: What can they ask you on a job interview?

Then and Now: Personality Assessment and Matchmaking

Chapter 5: Self and Identity


Then and Now: The Self

The Personality of Everday Life: Shooting Yourself in the Foot to Protect your Self-Esteem

Research Methods Illustrated: Qualitative Data and Content Analysis

Chapter 6: Genetics
Nature and Nurture as Allies
Genes and Environment as Co-Actors
Research Methods Illustrated: Correlational Designs I: The Logic of Adoption Studies and Twin Studies
Heritability of Common Personality Characteristics
Then and Now: The Science of Genetics
Genes and Environment: Adialectical Synthesis

The Personality of Everyday Life: What can Genetics do for us?
Chapter 7: The Neuroscience of Personality

What is neuroscience and how do we study it?

Research Methods Illustrated: Correlational Designs II: Scatterplots, Correlations, and the Alleged "Voodoo Science" of FMRI Studies

Neurological Theories of Personality

The Personality of Everday Life: Personality and the Guessing Penalty

Then and Now: Phrenology, the new Phrenology, and the Future of NeuroImaging for Personality and Beyond

Neurological Correlates of Personality

Chapter 8: Intrapsychic Foundations of Personality
Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis
Research Methods Illustrated: Case Study and Psychobiography
Psychodynamic Theory Since Freud Attachment Theory
Chapter 9: Self-Determination Theory
Three Fundamental Psychological Needs
How Do We Satisfy These Needs?
Then and Now: Undermining Intrinsic Interest
Connections between Self-Determination Theory and Other Theories in Personality
Research Methods Illustrated: Path Analysis
What It Means to Be Self-Regulated
Self-Determination Theory Applied
Chapter 10: Cognitive Foundations of Personality
Locus of Control
Then and Now: Locus of Control
Learned Helplessness
Explanatory Style
Research Methods Illustrated: Field Studies and Natural Manipulations
Dispositional Optimism


Chapter 11: Gender and Personality
Beliefs about Personality Similarities and Differences between Men and Women
Research Methods Illustrated: Effect Size and Meta Analysis
Personality Differences between Men and Women: Fact or Fiction?
What Causes Gender Differences?
Gendered Beliefs about Personality: What Difference Does It Make?
Then and Now: Definition and Assessment of Gender
Chapter 12: Sexual Orientation: An Integrative Mini-Chapter
Myths and Misperceptions about Sexual Orientation
What is Sexual Orientation?
How Many People are Gay, Lesbian, Straight, or Bisexual?
What Determines Sexual Orientation?
Chapter 13: Resilience: An Integrative Mini-Chapter
What is Resilience?
Characteristics of Resilient People
The 7 Habits of Highly Resilient People


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$170.20 $161.69 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-73887-8

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