Transcending the Trait Paradigm

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 801–802. Reviews the book, Individuality: Human Possibilities and Personal Choice in the Psychological Development of Men and Women by Leona E. Tyler (1978). This is a remarkable and stimulating book because Tyler is a person fully immersed in the discipline of individual differences, yet has the passion and perspective to examine critically the assumptions and historical context of the field, to probe deftly and wisely many of its central issues, and to offer fresh insights, integrations, and directions. Her goal is not to repudiate the dominant tradition of trait psychology and the knowledge base it has developed. Rather, she wishes to free our thinking and methodology from the narrow tracks that have been grooved so deeply. In this book a senior psychologist has presented a reconstructive analysis of her discipline which is sufficiently probing and far reaching to approach a paradigm shift. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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