96 Introduction to Personality

Chapter Outline

  • What Is Personality?
  • Freud and the Psychodynamic Perspective
  • Neo-Freudians: Adler, Erikson, Jung, and Horney
  • Approaches to Personality
  • Trait Theorists
  • Cultural Understandings of Personality
  • Personality Assessment
A greyscale photograph shows two children standing in falling snow. The child on the left has their mouth open, catching snowflakes on their tongue. The child on the right has their palm open and is looking at snowflakes on their mitten.
Figure P.1 What makes two individuals have different personalities? (credit: modification of work by Nicolas Alejandro)

Three months before William Jefferson Blythe III was born, his father died in a car accident. He was raised by his mother, Virginia Dell, and grandparents, in Hope, Arkansas. When he turned 4, his mother married Roger Clinton, Jr., an alcoholic who was physically abusive to William’s mother. Six years later, Virginia gave birth to another son, Roger. William, who later took the last name Clinton from his stepfather, became the 42nd president of the United States. While Bill Clinton was making his political ascendance, his half-brother, Roger Clinton, was arrested numerous times for drug charges, including possession, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and driving under the influence, serving time in jail. Two brothers, raised by the same people, took radically different paths in their lives. Why did they make the choices they did? What internal forces shaped their decisions? Personality psychology can help us answer these questions and more.


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Introduction to Psychology & Neuroscience (2nd Edition) Copyright © 2020 by Edited by Leanne Stevens, Jennifer Stamp, & Kevin LeBlanc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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