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Personality Theories

Personality Theories
Critical Perspectives

August 2008 | 720 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Personality Theories: Critical Perspectives is the groundbreaking, final text written by Albert Ellis, long considered the founder of cognitive behavioral therapies. The book provides students with supporting and contradictory evidence for the development of personality theories through time. Without condemning the founding theorists who came before him, Ellis builds on more than a century of psychological research to re-examine the theories of Freud, Jung, and Adler while taking an equally critical look at modern, research-based theories, including his own.

Features and Benefits:
  • Helps students develop the scientific thinking required to evaluate current and forthcoming theories
  • Encourages the reader to re-examine preexisting theories
  • Provides the missing link between previously disparate disciplines of abnormal and normal personality theories, a feature especially important to students in graduate clinical programs 
  • Prepares the upper-level student for the growing trend in clinical programs to link human behavior, personality, and psychopathology to the neurological substrates
  • Encourages more focus on relevant theories than on the biographies of those who developed them

Intended Audience:
This enlightening text will provide insight into personality theory for students in courses on personality. It should be required reading for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, counseling, and social work.

Student Study Site:

Ch 1. The Study of Personality: Introduction
Ch 2. Historical Perspectives on Personality
Ch 3. Personality Research
Ch 4. Freud and the Dynamic Unconscious
Ch 5. Psychoanalysis in Theory and Practice
Ch 6. Freud's Followers
Ch 7. Psychiatric and Medical Models
Ch 8. The Neo-Freudians
Ch 9. Personality and Traits
Ch 10. Behaviorist Views of Personality
Ch 11. Humanistic Views of Personality
Ch 12. Carl Rogers and Humanist Psychotherapy
Ch 13. Early Cognitive Views of Personality
Ch 14. Biology, Genetics, and the Evolution of Personality
Ch 15. Abnormal Personality and Personality Disorders
Ch 16. Albert Ellis and the Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory of Personality
Ch 17. Religious, New Age, and Traditional Approaches to Personality
Biographical Index
About the Authors

"Finally, an empirically based, critical examination of personality theories."

Richard W. Williams, Ph.D.
SUNY Potsdam

This book is comprehensive yet accessible for undergrad students, and the critical insights provided are extremely important to help them develop their own critical thought, as well as better understanding personality theories.

Dr Maria Francisca Rebocho
Psychology, Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique
August 29, 2019

Excellent compilation of the main used theories to study personality. Matchless historical perspective about the development of the study of personality. Very good book.

Dr Florbela Soares Teixeira
Education, Coventry University College
October 24, 2016

This is an excellent text book offering a comprehensive view of personality theories. My opinion is that this may be the only text book required for anyone studying not just psychology but other topics such as counselling, mental health and nursing.

Ms Victoria Louise Booth
H.E Care, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
December 6, 2015

All of students attending psychology course have to read this book. People who want to read this book do not have any trouble to understand what it says. Eventually, it is well designed and qualified.

Mr Azkan Çikrıkci
Educational Sciences, Artvin Coruh University
February 15, 2014

Easy to follow and teach from

Ms Maritza Santana
Psychology Human Ecology Dept, Cameron University
August 2, 2013

The book is well-written and accessible, but is a bit dated - for example doesn't really acknowledge current thinking about 'subpersonalities'.

Mr John Perry
School of Medicine, Southampton University
June 28, 2012

I adopted it for last semester (spring) & will be using it again this fall 2012 because it has contents for graduate level students.

Dr Mojisola Tiamiyu
Psychology Dept, University of Toledo
June 16, 2012

An excellent and in-depth text that provides information across a wide range of perspectives. Recommended for general wider reading to students.

Mrs Jackie Chivers
Adult Continuing Education, Swansea University
May 21, 2012

This textbook is reasonably priced and has excellent, up to date content.

Dr Colleen McDonough
Arts and Sciences, Neumann University
January 6, 2012
Key features
  • Strongly based on current research
  • Presents an entirely new theory of personality theory
  • Written with the developing clinician in mind
  • The only personality theory text to provide a chapter on personality pathology
  • An excellent review of neuropsychology of personality
  • Focus on theories of personality as opposed to the personalities of the theorists
  • Practical vignettes provided in each chapter
  • Instructor's Resources
  • Companion Website


Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.