- Hardcover: 757 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 5 edition (January 22, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393933482
- ISBN-13: 978-0393933482
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 124 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Personality Puzzle (Fifth Edition) 5th Edition
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About the Author
David C. Funder is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and former chair of the department at the University of California, Riverside. Winner of the 2009 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality, he is a former editor of the Journal of Research in Personality, and a past president of the Association for Research in Personality as well as the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. He is best known for his research on personality judgment and has also published research on delay of gratification, attribution theory, the longitudinal course of personality development, and the psychological assessment of situations. He has taught personality psychology to undergraduates at Harvey Mudd College, Harvard University, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and continues to teach the course every year at the University of California, Riverside.
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Top customer reviews
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I have found the text an enjoyable, thorough, interesting, and most of the time, reasonably easy read especially if you have been exposed to a general psychology course. I especially enjoy Dr. Funder's remarks and clarifications. He often includes comments and discusses personal feelings and life experiences and sometimes you feel you are having a conversation with the man behind the text instead of reading a text. This is very rare, and for me, a highly enjoyable experience! Makes the text read more human, more personably, which validates and encourages my ideas and opinions.
The text covers many areas so well that one might be tempted to believe this text is too easy, too fundamental for college level relevance or credit. I fell into that trap at first.
I was reading a couple of other texts which were more pedantical and cumbersome to fathom, believing that this to be a sign of true rigor. I guess I have the habit from reading too many math, engineering and business texts and the academic stoicism advocated by the physical sciences. Gotten too use to reading fundamentals texts which seemingly are written not to assist those trying to assimulate new skills, but primarily to prove the scholarly merit and aid psychological fulfillment and satisfaction of the author.
Texts by such like authors written for students who sadly endorse the philospohy "if there is no excrutiating pain from sorting through the nearly unreadable and nearly undeciperable then there can be no possibility of profound knowledge gain nor feelings of emotional and intellectual satisfaction".
For me such texts (yes, still fight the habit of such an deeply ingrained attitude from my early academic world) ultimately resulted in much time consumption, much, much effort and needless frustration and "pain". Sadly my experience has been the gains made this way, when any, were only on a few rare occassions worth the cost.
Back to Dr. Funder's text. As noted, I was reading two other texts on personality, which were not bad but noticed a curious pattern. In addition to being more cumbersome and a slower read, every time I became bored or the other texts bogged down, were unclear or ambivalent, I kept referring to Funder's text for clarification and understanding. Most of the time with very nice results. Hmmmm, ...
Eventually the light remained on and Dr. Funder's text became my text of first choice using the others as references for contrast, occassional clarity and a sense of pedgogical gain and completeness.
I have taught mathematics and statistcs as a part time instructor at community colleges and four year colleges in California to business, engineering, social and natural science majors for about 15 years. So being a hybrid instructor, high tech engineer/manager and life long student dedicated to knowledge pursuit, I appreciate a text which covers material well. the text is readable, covers agreed upon important topics in the field, and is written for people. Yes, written for "PEOPLE" who desire to walk away from a course or book feeling that they may have learned something, (imagine that), will motivate them, challenge them and make them aware of the many interesting questions are not yet answered and perhaps give them some insights.
Certainly not all aspects of life, knowledge and wisdom can be grasped easily without effort or many years of dedicated study, but this text covers an area where such is possible and has done a good job facilitating the learning process - grounding us in a solid presentation of the fundamentals of Personality Theory.
So, I highly recommnend this text at least as a supplemtary read for anyone making their first contact with formal personality theory. If you decide personality theory is an area of expertise you will pursue, you will probably end up retaining this text and using it in a course you may teach.
Weakness: For all practical purposes no text will or can please everyone. There are too many required trade off's between topics, depth of coverage and size and tempered of course by the bias of the author's personal tastes and expertise.
Dr. Funder's text does not cover subjects such as East-West Psychology, nor Transpersonal Psychology and the neo-freudian chapter could have been expanded a bit(I am discussing the first and second editions). I would have liked to seen a bit on Jung, Adler, Rank, Alan Watts and Reich, etc. in the humanistic sections and some examples of regression and models in the expeirmnental sections might be more clatifying but you have to draw a line somewhere.
So a possible critque could be that like many undergraduate texts in psychology this text has incomplete coverage of key areas, lacks rudimentary quantitative examples in the experimental sections at least to assist clarity sake(although the section on regression does have a couple neat snipets dealing with relating correlation coefficient to contingency tables). Further the text sticks to the conventional well defined lines of study presenting what is the "accepted" paradigms to instruct at most universities(which isn't necessarily bad).
Summary: Overall this is an extemely readable and well done text. The author adds some nice personal life stories (sometimes humorous) which gives the text a genuine "personable" flavor in addition to its scholarly merit.
As an instructor or student I give it a grade of A for use as a primary text or supplemtary reading for undergraduate psychology, social work or sociology, marketing, education, counseling, and management and project management majors (if you are dealing with people you are dealing with personalities!).
As the text reads easily it is also a worthy for self growth or solid for preparation for graduate work in psychology, counseling, marketing, education etc..
It would also make an excellent graduate text for non-psychology majors in education, management, marketing, nursing, social work or sociology who need some understanding of the field and ideas of Personality.
God, I wish more managers in high tech would read this type of text!
Thank-You Dr. Funder for the effort.