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The Normal Personality: A New Way of Thinking about People
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The Normal Personality: A New Way of Thinking about People

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Many Psychologists regard personality and mental illness as closely related. The shadow of Freudian analysis looms over modern psychopathology, driving many psychologists to try to understand their clients' personal troubles and personalities using constructs developed to study mental illness. They believe that dark, unconscious mental forces that originated in childhood c ...more
Hardcover, 201 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 28th 2008)
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One of psychology’s greatest shortcomings is that, although typically positioned as such, it is not a science. In fact, psychology is, by and large, best guess. What Steven Reiss does in “The Normal Personality” is cast aside the causational model of unconscious drives—a “best guess” model generally unsupported by empirical evidence—suggested by Freudian psychodynamic theory and the general misapplication of Fechner’s perspectives on psychology, commonly known as Fechner’s Law.

Reiss instead sugg
I'm stunned. Having studied a Psychology module a year ago that included a chapter on personality studies, here is a book all about a theory of personality that I have never heard of.

The premise is that personality is the result of how 16 universal motivations - which everyone has to varying extent - interact. The motivations that are very strong (or very weak) have a large effect on personality.

Reiss does a good job of defending his theory, which is clearly the result of extensive study. He sho
May 31, 2009 Jeroen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone interested in psychology and/or psychiatry
Although Steven Reiss doesn't really go into the details of personality per se, he does outline a new and profoundly exciting way of thinking about personality in general. Too much of personality research has focussed on 'abnormality' and this is the first time since The Big Five model of personality, that someone has come up with an easy and clear new model. For obvious reasons Reiss cites his own work, which is profound, and thereby shows the validity (both face and construct) and reliability ...more
Wydaje mi się, że gdybym wiedział nieco więcej w tym temacie a nie był nowicjuszem w zakresie psychologii motywacji to wystawiłbym książce niższą ocenę. Mam przeczucie, że jest w niej nieco nieuprawnionych tez, ale są one postawione w taki sposób, że w razie czego łatwo byłoby wykazać ich nieprawdziwość. Stopień zakorzenienia w danych empirycznych jest dość mały. Lista 16 motywacji sprawia wrażenie nieco arbitralnej. Zgaduję jednak, że w działach psychologii takich jak psychologia osobowości, tr ...more
I have not read a lot of other books on personality out there but I found this one quite normalizing (i.e. we all don't have some psychopathology) That said I wonder about the author's methodology when he uses his undergraduate psych. class to test his inventory. I was also concerned by how subjective his classifications seemed to be; I imagine that I might have a different construction of what personality trait fit into one of his 16 categories. His writing was also repetitive. He could have ac ...more
I change my mind. After reading about numerous other personality theories out there... the 'originality' value of this book simply went down a notch.
good insights but seriously negative in attitude. also, the author comes off as a little arrogant. I gave it up.
Interesting topic. Tries to break apart what motivates people. Not a simple extrinsic/intrinsic motivation split
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