The Art and Science of Personality Development by Dan P. McAdams PhD

By Dan P. McAdams PhD

Drawing on cutting-edge character and developmental examine, this ebook provides a brand new and extensively integrative concept of ways humans emerge as who they're over the lifestyles path. Preeminent researcher Dan P. McAdams lines the improvement of 3 precise layers of personality--the social actor who expresses emotional and behavioral qualities, the inspired agent who pursues objectives and values, and the autobiographical writer who constructs a private tale for all times. hugely readable and available to students and scholars in any respect degrees, the e-book makes use of wealthy images of the lives of well-known humans to demonstrate theoretical thoughts and empirical findings.

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I am a devout Chicago Bears football fan only because I happened to grow up near Chicago. Research has shown that people who strongly identify with sports teams will actually lose faith in their own mental and social abilities after their team loses a big game (Hirt, Zillman, Erickson, & Kennedy, 1992). This empirical finding is absurdly relevant to my life. Even at age 59, I will sink into a depressive state late on a Sunday afternoon, and conclude that I will never again publish an article or successfully teach another psychology class, when the Bears lose to the Packers.

But examples of selfless heroism appear regularly in the world’s news sources. As I write these sentences today, the New York Times is reporting that President Obama awarded a Medal of Honor to Marine Corporal William Kyle Carpenter (Schneider, 2014). During a firefight in Afghanistan a few years back, Carpenter threw his body in the path between a fellow Marine and a live grenade. The blast blew away half of Carpenter’s face and shattered his right arm. He almost died on the spot, but fellow soldiers quickly applied pressure dressings and tourniquets to his arms and frantically yelled at him to rally against death, keeping him alive until advanced medical care could take over.

At its root, personality is expressed in those consistent and artful variations in behavior, thought, and feeling that occur in social contexts, and all that goes with that. Without doubt, the powers of mind and cognition are intricately involved in personality. Individual differences in intelligence itself affect personality development, and there are features of personality expressed in creativity, innovation, and other cognitive domains. But it is mainly in the social arena, I would argue—in the spaces between people and within human groups—that personality most clearly and powerfully reveals itself (McAdams & Olson, 2010; Sullivan, 1953).

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