Many texts attempt to bridge theory and research. They include one or two pages dealing with important theorists--Jung, Adler, Freud, et al.--inserted into chapters focused on academic studies. In most cases, the discussion fails to do justice to the theorists and the relationship between the ideas and the empirical work is often tenuous at best.
This book takes a different approach. An alternative to Ewen's An Introduction to Theories of Personality, this book features a chapter on each major type of theory followed by a separate chapter reviewing the relevant research, controversies, and emerging findings.
Although it incorporates material from the previous text, there are substantial differences. Personality: A Topical Approach devotes more attention to psychological research, and considerably less attention to the more minor and abstruse aspects of various theories. Chapters are devoted to the following theories:
While the book emphasizes major research foci (the Big Five personality factors, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and more), it also includes a chapter on research methods and coverage of issues often omitted from other texts such as dream interpretation, cognitions and the Holocaust, scientific inquiry, and near-death experiences. The book also provides study questions, a "help" section, and a glossary.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory. Psychoanalytic Theory: Controversies and Emerging Findings. Allport's Trait Theory. Trait Theory: Controversies and Emerging Findings. Cognitive Theory. Rogers's Humanistic/Self Theory. Humanistic/Self Theory: Controversies and Emerging Findings. Skinner's Radical Behaviorism. Behaviorism: Controversies and Emerging Findings. Research Methods. Conclusion.
"The book's strength is its integration of theory and research, which is difficult to achieve in personality psychology because most books in the field are focused on only one side of the theory-research connection. The presentation is very accessible for the introductory student, and each chapter includes a helpful set of study questions."
"This book clearly illustrates the author's command of the field and the abbreviated treatment of the theories in no way comes at a loss of accuracy or readability."