Personality, 8th Edition
I’ve always enjoyed the story about the man who claims to own Abraham Lincoln’s axe. “The head has been replaced several times,” the man admits. “And this is the third or fourth handle. But it’s the same axe that Honest Abe used.” I was reminded of this story recently when I thumbed through the first edition of this book. Gradually, over the course of eight editions, much of the book has changed. There are new topics, new learning aids, new examples, and hundreds and hundreds of new references. But, like Lincoln’s axe, the essence of the book remains intact. Briefly, here’s what’s new this time around, as well as what’s stayed the same.
As in previous revisions, each chapter has been updated to reflect new research findings and new developments in the field. More than 250 references have been added to this edition. I’ve also made a few additions and deletions to reflect some of the changes I see in the field. You’ll find an expanded discussion of theory and research on the behavioral activation system (BAS) and behavioral inhibition system (BIS) in Chapter 9. Chapter 14 now includes a section on unmitigated communion as part of the discussion of individual differences in gender-role behavior. I’ve also added a personality scale for students to assess their own level of unmitigated communion. That same chapter includes a new section on the effects of playing violent video games, a topic of particular relevance for many college students. I’ve added a new research topic to Chapter 16—cognitions and aggression. I’ve presented the general aggression model and discussed the research on reactive aggression in elementary school and middle school boys.
I have also dropped some material from the previous edition. I no longer discuss self-esteem stability in depth, although I do include some of the concepts taken from that research in the section on contingencies of self-worth in Chapter 12. I have dropped research on gender schema from Chapter 14, and replaced the research on cognitive interpretations of Freudian concepts found in Chapter 16 of the previous edition. Finally, feedback from users persuaded me to drop the Appendix. The Appendix in the seventh edition summarized various places in the book where culture and gender were mentioned. Of course, those two topics are still discussed frequently throughout the book.
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