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Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • January 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-93348-2
  • 7.9 × 9.6 in / 757 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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The Personality Puzzle

Fifth Edition (See all editions)


David C. Funder (Author, University of California, Riverside)


The Personality Puzzle explores the past, present, and future of the discipline to show students why personality psychology matters.

Organized according to the six main domains of modern personality psychology, David Funder’s market-leading text shows students the field as it exists in the present. By incorporating significant coverage of the great theorists of personality psychology throughout, the book helps students understand how the field developed. And by showcasing the questions driving the research of today, The Personality Puzzle enables students to see the exciting future of the discipline.

For the Fifth Edition, every chapter has been updated. A new illustration program supports visual learners with updated versions of the book’s much-loved cartoons and new in-text features to help students visualize and remember concepts. The text covers classic theories of personality as well as all the latest findings, including up-to-date coverage of the biological domain, new material on cross-cultural psychology, and expanded treatment of positive psychology.

As always, The Personality Puzzle is a book that students will read, enjoy, and remember, with a writing style that is engaging, distinctive, and humorous.

New illustration program supports visual learners.

All of the art, cartoons, and photos in The Personality Puzzle reinforce important points made in the narrative. The new edition features an update of the much-loved cartoons, new data graphics that support research findings, and photos to help students visualize key concepts. A new feature, “Try for Yourself,” highlights excerpts from questionnaires and scales from actual studies that students can fill in on their own, giving them a taste of the real world of personality psychology.

Up-to-date coverage of the biological domain.

In recent years there has been an explosion of research in the biological basis of personality. The Personality Puzzle covers these advances to give students the most accurate and contemporary portrait of the field. New material includes an updated summary of personality neuroscience using fMRI and other brain-imaging techniques, with an emphasis on the relevance and applicability of this work.

Expanded treatment of positive psychology.

Interest in positive psychology has grown since the Fourth Edition, and The Personality Puzzle contains more coverage of this area of research than ever before. Examples include a new discussion of self-determination theory and how it contributes to our understanding of happiness, and new coverage of recent research on the role of rumination in affecting well-being.

Revised coverage of the latest methods and theories in cross-cultural psychology.

The revised Chapter 14 discusses ways in which psychological processes may be common to people of different cultures, even when the visible outcomes might be different. This chapter also includes new research on how the self concept might vary across cultural contexts.

    1. The Study of the Person

    Part I Research Methods

    2. Clues to Personality: The Basic Sources of Data

    3. Personality Psychology as Science: Research Methods

    Part II How People Differ: The Trait Approach

    4. Personality Traits, Situation, and Behavior

    5. Personality Assessment I: Personality Testing and Its Consequences

    6. Personality Assessment II: Personality Judgment in Daily Life

    7. Using Personality Traits to Understand Behavior

    Part III The Mind and the Body: Biological Approaches to Personality

    8. The Anatomy and Physiology of Personality

    9. The Inheritance of Personality: Behavioral Genetics and Evolutionary Theory

    Part IV The Hidden World of the Mind: The Psychoanalytic Approach

    10. Basics of Psychoanalysis

    11. The Workings of the Unconscious Mind: Defenses and Slips

    12. Psychoanalysis after Freud: Neo-Freudians, Object Relations, and Current Research

    Part V Experience and Awareness: Humanistic and Cross-Cultural Psychology

    13. Experience, Existence, and the Meaning of Life: Humanistic and Positive Psychology

    14. Cultural Variation in Experience, Behavior, and Personality

    Part VI What Personality Does: Learning, Thinking, Feeling, and Knowing

    15. Learning to Be a Person: Behaviorism and Social Learning Theories

    16. Personality Processes: Perception, Thought, Motivation, and Emotion

    17. What You Know About You: The Self (New Chapter)

    18. Disorders of Personality (New Chapter)

    19. Conclusion: Looking Back and Looking Ahead