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Personality Psychology

Personality Psychology
A Student-Centered Approach

Second Edition
  • Jim McMartin - California State University, Northridge, USA


February 2016 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Personality Psychology: A Student-Centered Approach organizes the field of personality psychology around basic questions relevant to the reader’s past, present, and future selves. Answers to the questions are based on findings from up-to-date research and shed light on the validity of personality theories to help students deepen their understanding of their own personalities. Concise, conversational, and easy-to-understand, the Second Edition is enhanced with new chapters, new research that reflects the latest scholarship, and new photos and illustrations throughout.

Part I: Basic Issues in Personaility Psychology
Chapter 1: Using Theory and Research to Understand Personality
Basic Questions about Theories

Five Personality Theories

Chapter 2: Research Methods and Personality Assessment
Research Methods

Personality Assessment

Ethical Issues In Research And Assessment

Summing Up: How Should I Interpret My Score On A Personality Test?

Part II: My Past Self
Chapter 3: Genetic and Temperamental Influences
Behavioral Genetics: The Seeds of Personality


Chapter 4: Cultivating Personality
Ingredient #1: Parenting Styles

Ingredient #2: Attachment

Ingredient #3: Identification

Part III: My Present Self
Chapter 5: Identity and Self- Esteem

Psychosocial Theory Of Identity

Humanistic/Narrative Approaches To Identity And Self-Esteem

Single-Variable Research Programs

Chapter 6: Needs, Motives, and Goals
Alfred Adler’s Fundamental Human Motive

Three Humanistic Approaches to Motivation

Evolutionary Psychology’s View Of Motivation

Dispositional Approaches To Motivation

Cognitive Approaches To Motivation

Chapter 7: Stress And Coping
Interpretational Approaches

Dispositional Approaches

Psychodynamic Approaches

Positive Psychology And Coping

Chapter 8: Disorders Of Personality
What Is A Personality Disorder?

Thinking About Personality Disorders: Syndromes or Dimensions?

Ten Personality Disorders

Syndromes Vs. Dimensions: Strengths And Weaknesses

Sources For Diagnosis

Personality Disorders Over The Life Span

Part IV: My Future Self
Chapter 9: Expectations, Plans, And Self- Regulation
The Psychology Of Personal Constructs

Expectancies And Internal Working Models

Self-Regulation: Threats And Theories

Chapter 10: Continuity And Change Over The Life Course
Personality Stability And Change

Levels Of Personality

Humanistic And Existential Approaches

Psychodynamic Approaches to Continuity and Change



Instructor Resource Site
The instructor resource site features a test bank created by the author.

Provides in-depth insight into the history and concept of personality. In particular, I like the dividing of sections by self.

Dr Mary Kinahan
Faculty of Business, Technological University Dublin
March 3, 2023

A great book explaining pshycology and personality, a discovery for learners on how theory denotes personality and can be applied to a variety of issues. Recommended as part of thier study programme for reference and research.

Miss Sam Ford
Psychology, Southend Adult Community College
July 18, 2019

Well-written book which grasps the essentials of personality psychology. I chose selected chapters of this book to adopt in my class.

Dr Stephanie Hanke
Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-University Bochum
September 27, 2019
Key features

  • A new chapter on research methods (Chapter 2) facilitates students’ understanding of contemporary personality research and helps them evaluate the various approaches to understanding personality.
  • A new chapter on disorders of personality (Chapter 8) offers a unique approach to understanding disorders of personality by directly comparing the traditional medical syndrome counting method with current psychological research that conceptualizes disorders in terms of extreme positions on personality traits.
  • Up-to-date research—with the majority of citations from 2010 to 2016—reflects the most recent scholarship in the field.
  • A focus on student-relevant research includes scholarship on such topics as Facebook, “hook-ups,” procrastination, and coping with stress.
  • Two additional theoretical orientations—trait theory and evolutionary theory—broaden the book’s scope.
  • Motives especially interesting to students, including mating, belonging to a group, and the dark triad, have been added to Chapter 6.
  • Chapter-ending Internet Resources allow students to take various personality tests online, encouraging engagement with the material.
  • New graphics, including a photograph of a major theorist, tables, graphs, illustrations, and two to three cartoons in every chapter, engage visual learners and highlight key concepts.
  • New coverage of the Identity Fusion Theory (e.g., suicide bombers) introduces students to a topic extremely relevant to today's world. 

  • A question-and-answer format invites students to approach personality psychology with an active attitude of critical inquiry in their search for knowledge and self-discovery.
  • Extensive coverage of evolutionary psychology helps students understand this important contemporary theory.
  • Real-world examples in each chapter help students relate to the material on a personal level.
  • Easy-to-understand coverage of five major theoretical orientations to personality—including  psychodynamic, trait theory, cognitive/social learning, humanistic/existential/narrative, and evolutionary—helps students evaluate each theory in terms of how much it contributes to an understanding of their own personalities and lives and come to a deeper understanding of the personality theories.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Sage College Publishing

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Go To College Site

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