Skip to main content

The Person: An Introduction to the Science of Personality Psychology, 5th Edition



The Person: An Introduction to the Science of Personality Psychology, 5th Edition

Dan P. McAdams

ISBN: 978-0-470-12913-5 December 2008 624 Pages


Drawing on cutting-edge scientific research, classic personality theories, and stirring examples from biography and literature, The Person presents a lively and integrative introduction to the science of personality psychology. Author, Dan McAdams, organizes the field according to a broad conceptual perspective that has emerged in personality psychology over the past 10 years. According to this perspective, personality is made up of three levels of psychological individuality - dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations (such as motives and goals), and integrative life stories. Traits, adaptations, and stories comprise the three most recognizable variations on psychological human nature, grounded in the human evolutionary heritage and situated in cultural and historical context. The fifth edition of this beautifully written text expands and updates research on the neuroscience of personality traits and introduces new material on personality disorders, evolution and religion, attachment in adulthood, continuity and change in personality over the life course, and the development of narrative identity.

Related Resources


View Instructor Companion Site

Contact your Rep for all inquiries

Preface xix

Part I The Background: Persons, Human Nature, and Culture 1

Chapter 1 Studying the Person 2

Chapter 2 Evolution and Human Nature 31

Chapter 3 Social Learning and Culture 67

Part II Sketching the Outline: Dispositional Traits and the Prediction of Behavior 105

Chapter 4 Personality Traits: Fundamental Concepts and Issues 106

Chapter 5 Five Basic Traits—In the Brain and in Behavior 155

Chapter 6 Continuity and Change in Traits: The Roles of Genes, Environments, and Time 205

Part III Filling in the Details: Characteristic Adaptations to Life Tasks 253

Chapter 7 Motives and Goals: What Do We Want in Life? 254

Chapter 8 Self and Other: Social-Cognitive Aspects of Personality 301

Chapter 9 Developmental Stages and Tasks 345

Part IV Making a Life: The Stories We Live By 385

Chapter 10 Life Scripts, Life Stories 386

Chapter 11 The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today 429

Chapter 12 Writing Stories of Lives: Biography and Life Course 475

Glossary 511

References 525

Credits 575

Name Index 579

Subject Index 588

The text reflects new findings obtained with respect to the correlates of personality traits, the dynamics of motives and goals in human lives, and the meanings and manifestations of life stories.
The person uses stories and biographies to illustrate personality concepts.