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The Coherence of Personality

Social-Cognitive Bases of Consistency, Variability, and Organization

Edited by Daniel Cervone and Yuichi Shoda

Hardcover
Hardcover
March 29, 1999
ISBN 9781572304369
Price: $67.00 $56.95
413 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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This volume reveals how social-cognitive structures and processes serve as a basis of personality coherence—the unique patterns of experience and action that make each of us who we are. In doing so, the volume demonstrates how a personality theory can be built on psychology's broader foundation of knowledge about cognitive and affective systems and the interactions between persons and the sociocultural environment. Presenting novel theoretical developments from leaders in personality, social, cultural, and developmental psychology, chapters show how personality coherence arises from the ways people assign meaning to social information, gain causal agency over their lives through self-knowledge and self-reflective processes, and organize multiple life events within a framework of goals and life tasks. The book stands as the most definitive presentation to date of the social-cognitive theories of personality.

“In this important contribution, leaders in personality psychology and related disciplines address the phenomenon of the coherence of personality; that is, how the parts of the person fit into an organized, dynamic whole. No question is more fundamental to the field of personality! In returning to historical issues, new insights are offered that promise to advance the field.”

—Lawrence A. Pervin, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University


“This milestone volume is a 'must-read' for anyone seriously interested in personality psychology. It reports cutting-edge conceptualizations and research that cast new and exciting light on the very core of personality. From leading theorists and researchers, chapters show how personality can be 'genotypically' coherent despite seemingly endless 'phenotypic' inconsistencies across situations. The volume demonstrates, furthermore, how context, culture, and cognition interact in shaping 'the way we are' as individuals and as members of society.”

—Arie Kruglanski, PhD, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California


“This volume offers a masterly overview of the social-cognitive approach to the study of personality. Creatively treating such topics as life tasks and the ontogeny of coherence, chapters forge a new union between personality and developmental psychology. Truly a treasure.”

—Paul B. Baltes, PhD, Director, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany


“Do people have coherent personalities? Although to the layperson such a question might seem absurd—isn't there an obvious difference between extroverted Aunt Estelle and shy Uncle Larry?—scientific investigation does not reveal a stable set of attributes representing an individual's character in all social settings. Nonetheless, there is something unique about individuals, and Cervone and Shoda have gathered together an all-star cast to address just what it might be. This volume contains the wisdom of the leading personality psychologists and what they view as the essential elements of human uniqueness: mental representations of the self and others, strategies for processing information, personal goals and strivings, and the embodiment of a cultural context.”

—Peter Salovey, PhD, Professor of Psychology and of Epidemiology and Public Health, Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology, Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

1. Social-Cognitive Theories and the Coherence of Personality, Cervone and Shoda

II. Knowledge Structures and Encoding Processes as a Source of Coherence

2. Dispositions and Coherence in a Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS) Theory of Personality, Mischel

3. Persons and Situations: Separate Variables or Variability in General Principles?, Higgins

4. Personality Development from the Bottom Up, Zelli and Dodge

5. Relational Schemas: Research into Social Cognitive Aspects of Interpersonal Experience, Baldwin

6. Behavioral Expressions of a Personality System: Generation and Perception of Behavioral Signatures, Shoda

III. Self Processes and Personal Agency as a Basis of Personality Coherence

7. Social Cognitive Theory of Personality, Bandura

8. Yin and Yang of the Japanese Self: The Cultural Psychology of Personality Coherence, Kitayama and Markus

9. Bottom-Up Explanation in Personality Psychology: The Case of Cross-Situational Coherence, Cervone

IV. Goals and Life Tasks as a Source of Personality Coherence

10. A Goal Analysis of Personality and Personality Coherence, Grant and Dweck

11. A Life Task Perspective on Personality Coherence: Stability versus Change in Tasks, Goals, Strategies, and Outcomes, Sanderson and Cantor


About the Editors

Daniel Cervone, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned his doctorate in psychology from Stanford University in 1985. He is a former Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA.

Yuichi Shoda, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington, Seattle, was born in Japan and studied geophysics at Hokkaido University. He then studied psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Stanford University, and Columbia University, and received his doctorate at Columbia in 1990.

Audience

Researchers, instructors, and students of personality, social, and developmental psychology.

May serve as a supplemental text in advanced undergraduate and graduate-level courses.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in advanced undergraduate and graduate-level courses.