- Hardcover: 622 pages
- Publisher: Cengage Learning; 6 edition (September 19, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0495600385
- ISBN-13: 978-0495600381
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Social and Personality Development 6th Edition
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About the Author
David Shaffer is a professor of psychology, chair of the Social Psychology program, and past chair of the Life-Span Developmental Psychology program at the University of Georgia, where he has taught courses in human development to graduate and undergraduate students for the past 30 years. His many research articles have concerned such topics as altruism, attitudes and persuasion, moral development, sex roles and social behavior, self-disclosure, and social psychology and the law. He has also served as associate editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Bulletin, and Journal of Personality. In 1990, Dr. Shaffer received the Josiah Meigs award for Excellence in Instruction, the University of Georgia's highest instructional honor.
Top customer reviews
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(1) Shaffer does not summarize human longitudinal studies, which illustrate some of the most difficult problems and long-standing findings in child development.
(2) It would have been easy for him to summarize prevalence rates, age-of-onset, or effect sizes of various developmental sequences, problems, or interventions in social and cognitive development.
(3) Shaffer overemphasizes the results of multicultural interventions (because they are trendy and "easy" to support?).
(4) Only chapters 4 through 6 deal with development. The other chapters are about topical issues in development: need for achievement (but without countervailing emphasis from "newer" researchers); sex differences; aggression and antisocial conduct (what a great place to put studies of non-physical aggression like teasing and fashion-police in schools!); altruism and moral development; the family (but NOT from a developmental point of view [that is, the family develops and changes along with the child] or from an interactional point of view); and "extrafamilial influences" such as TV, computers, and peers.
(5) Shaffer stumbles on his assessment of schools, which have both poor achievement records and are sites of covert and overt student aggression.
Finally, (6) for Shaffer, personality and social development stop at the end of adolescence. There is very little on the concept of identity consolidation and life beyond 18 years old.
The result is a book with a flawed design, and it is not really from a human development perspective, other than the three chapters I noted above. It is workman-like and well-referenced, and the writing is satisfactory (but quite wordy), so it does not earn more than 3 stars. Too bad! Human development is a fascinating, live, palpitating subject, and is well worth studying. I don't think this text will help college students appreciate the light and joy of children, adolescents, families, and the knowledge that has accumulated much over the past 100 years.
Because of these problems, I found this book hard to read. A better textbook with a life-span and developmental tone is Grace Craig and Dan Baucum, Human Development, 9th Ed., Prentice-Hall, 2002. This book contains all that Shaffer's book has, is better organized, and well written.