Objectives

• In what important way does the interpersonal perspective differ from the psychody-namic and biological perspectives?

• Explain Sullivan's contribution to the study of personality.

• List and explain Leary's levels of personality.

• What is the interpersonal circumplex?

• Explain the principle of complementarity.

• Explain Benjamin's Structured Analysis of Social Behavior model.

• What are cognitive styles?

• What are cognitive schemata? How do they differ from cognitive styles?

• What are cognitive distortions?

• What is the five-factor model?

• Describe the major principles of an evolutionary theory of personality.

• What are the domains of personality?

Chapter 1 focused on classical theories and foundational issues, covering the nature of personality disorders, their relationship to abnormal behavior through the multiaxial model, and their character and temperament—the two great historical concepts of the person.

Personality study is not limited to the classical psychodynamic and biological models. As noted in Chapter 1, the history of the social sciences has a contingent structure: Given no strong experimental method by which to falsify reasonable alternatives, the most important perspectives on the field do not emerge all at once, but instead make their appearance at different points in history. In this chapter, our focus shifts from the study of those early perspectives to those that have matured more recently, namely, the interpersonal, the cognitive, the trait and factorial, and the evolutionary. At the end of the chapter, we present an integration of these perspectives. Just as personality is concerned with the patterning of characteristics across the total person and personality disorders with failures in the adaptation of these characteristics to the environment and its challenges, it is the total organism that either survives and reproduces to go forward or else succumbs to disease or predatory threat. To enhance their survival chances, organisms have developed sophisticated ways of relating and communicating with one another, as well as complex information-processing strategies that allow them to prioritize, analyze, and optimize solutions to pressing environmental problems and survival concerns.

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