Personality is one of the most fascinating and controversial of all the subjects in psychology. One reason for this is that each psychologist who describes personality sees it from a different reference point. This book approaches personality from the point of view of ideas, experiences, and processes where subjectivity, individuality, and uniqueness matter. This book is different from other personality books in that it emphasizes the importance of the historically excluded work of women theorists. Traditionally, men have dominated the development and presentation of personality theories. These male theorists promoted the belief that men and women's personalities develop in basically identical ways. However, more and more female psychologists have begun to assert that male and female personalities have observable and relevant differences. Therefore, throughout this book, there are discussions of the similarities and differences between male and female personalities. In addition, this book is constructed in a way that allows easy comparison between how male and female theorists differ in their views of the personality. This book is powerful and unique because its main focus is on what makes the personality healthy. While there is certainly discussion of those life experiences that can damage the personality, every effort is made to discuss t only how damage can be repaired, but how all of us can learn to have a positive, dynamic approach to optimal personality growth. Every chapter discusses different ways personality can change. Every chapter discusses different ways the reader can move from potential to fully actualized and authentic ways of being. Finally, it is hoped that this book, will challenge every reader to take his or her own personal journey to self-actualization.
Roger Harnish is a professor of psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 1974 and has been teaching psychology for forty years.