The Normal Personality: A New Way of Thinking about People

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 28, 2008 - Psychology - 201 pages
9 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 cause personality traits, personal troubles, and mental illnesses. Steven Reiss thinks problems are a normal part of life. In The Normal Personality, Reiss argues that human beings are naturally intolerant of people who express values significantly different from their own. Because of this intolerance, psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes confuse individuality with abnormality and thus over-diagnose disorders. Reiss shows how normal motives, not anxiety or traumatic childhood experiences, underlie many personality and relationship problems, such as divorce, infidelity, combativeness, workaholism, loneliness, authoritarianism, weak leadership styles, perfectionism, underachievement, arrogance, extravagance, stuffed shirt-ism, disloyalty, disorganization, and overanxiety. Based on a series of scientific studies, this book advances an original scientific theory of psychological needs, values, and personality traits. Reiss shows how different points on motivational arc produce different personality traits and values. He also shows how knowledge of psychological needs and values can be applied in counseling individuals and couples. The author describes new, powerful methods of assessing and predicting motivated behavior in natural environments including corporations, schools, and relationships.

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

User Review  - Rob - Goodreads

Interesting topic. Tries to break apart what motivates people. Not a simple extrinsic/intrinsic motivation split Read full review

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

User Review  - Adam - Goodreads

I have not read a lot of other books on personality out there but I found this one quite normalizing (ie we all don't have some psychopathology) That said I wonder about the author's methodology when ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Professor Steven Reiss is the executive director of the newly formed World Society of Motivation Scientists and Professionals. He produced an influential scientific model of anxiety, called anxiety sensitivity (AS), that facilitated early identification of people at risk for various anxiety- and stress-related disorders. AS created new opportunities for ongoing large-scale NIH-funded research projects on prevention, military research on possible inoculation methods for post-traumatic stress disorder, and new psychological research on chronic pain and substance abuse. He constructed the Reiss Profile, an assessment instrument for determining what motivates someone, and published the first ever scientifically validated taxonomy of life motives (psychological needs). His motivation methods have been successfully used by major league professional teams, an Olympic gold medalist, a world champion team, and a growing clientele of human resource managers and executive job coaches.

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