Individual Differences and Personality


  • Michael Ashton, Brock University, Ontario, Canada

How do we come to be who we are? Why do we differ in our personalities? How do these differences matter in life? Individual Differences and Personality aims to describe how and why personality varies among people. Unlike books that focus on individual theorists, this book focuses on current research and theory on the nature of personality and related individual differences. The book begins by discussing how personality is measured, the concept of a personality trait, and the basic dimensions of personality. This leads to a discussion of the origins of personality, with descriptions of its developmental course, its biological causes, its genetic and environmental influences, and its evolutionary function. The concept of a personality disorder is then described, followed by a discussion of the influence of personality on life outcomes in relationships, work, and health. Finally, the book examines the important differences between individuals in the realms of mental abilities, of beliefs and attitudes, and of behavior.
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Undergraduate and graduate level courses in personality.


Book information

  • Published: April 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-416009-5


"Ashton presents this text on personality development, assessment, and pathology… A wide variety of measurement instruments and theoretical frameworks are presented, often accompanied by illustrative diagrams or placed in supplementary text-boxes."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsPreface IntroductionChapter 1: Basic Concepts in Psychological MeasurementChapter 2: Personality Traits and the Inventories that Measure ThemChapter 3: Personality Structure: Classifying Traits Chapter 4: Developmental Change and Stability of PersonalityChapter 5: Biological Bases of PersonalityChapter 6: Genetic and Environmental Influences on PersonalityChapter 7: The Evolutionary Function of PersonalityChapter 8: Personality DisordersChapter 9: Personality and Life OutcomesChapter 10: Mental Ability Chapter 11: Vocational InterestChapter 12: Religion and PoliticsChapter 13: SexualityConclusionReferencesIndex