Theories of Personality: A Systems Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Theories of Personality

A Systems Approach, 1st Edition

By David Lester


190 pages

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pub: 2019-03-14
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Designed as a text for both graduate and undergraduate students, this book, originally published in 1995, presents an intrapsychic explanation of human behaviour – concepts based on psychological processes and ‘structures’ within the mind. In this context, a unique treatment of personality theory is introduced. It focuses on Freud, Kelly and Angyal: Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality based on desires, Kelly’s personal construct theory for thinking, and Angyal’s holistic concepts of personality.

Each theory is given a detailed analysis in separate chapters. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory is cast as a theory of motivation, Kelly’s personal construct theory as a theory of cognition, and then it is noted that there is no comprehensive theory of personality based on emotion. Although Angyal’s holistic theory is rarely described in modern textbooks, Lester includes this because none of the other holistic theorists rival Angyal in their range of hypothetical constructs or descriptive terms. Then, in sections dealing with alternative viewpoints, the author shows how other personality theorists actually endorse and expand upon the ideas expressed by the aforementioned three, albeit with different terminology.

Recognizing the diversity of holistic views in theories of personality, several counterpoint chapters are devoted to the holistic ideas. Lester separates these into three major areas: theorists who have focused on the split in the mind between the real and ideal self; recent theorists who explore the possibility that the mind is a ‘multiplicity of selves’; and theorists who, though not having their viewpoints sufficiently articulated in the literature, are still well established in the history of psychology. Other features include a presentation of the material in modern viewpoints, instead of the precise and perhaps outdated style as written by the individual theorists, and boxed highlights in each section, providing students with practical capsule information for easy reading.

Table of Contents

Preface. 1. Introduction Part 1: Theories Based on Motivation 2. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory: A Theory About Wishes 3. Modifications to Freudian Ideas Part 2: Theories Based on Cognition 4. George Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory: A Theory of Cognition 5. Cognitive Theories: Alternative Views Part 3: Holistic Views 6. The Holistic Theory of Andras Angyal 7. The Real Self and the Façade Self 8. Concept of Subselves 9. Other Holistic Theories 10. Conclusions. References. Index.

About the Series

Psychology Library Editions: Personality

The study of personality has a long history and many different theoretical viewpoints within psychology. Psychology Library Editions: Personality (16 Volume set) presents titles, originally published between 1950 and 1997, covering many of these traditions and theories. It includes contributions from many well-respected academics and is a fascinating insight into this diverse field.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Personality