In this chapter we will discuss the most prominent stage theories in regard to motor and cognitive, social development, development, and moral development. Most of these stage theories are progressive, although in some, such as Erikson’s psychosocial and Freud’s psychosexual, a person can fail to complete the stage while still continuing. This failure, however, will result in difficulties later in life according to the theories. The following offers an overview of development according to the principles of psychology.
Biospheric model of personality · Cognitive-affective personality system · Constructivism (psychological school) · Distressed personality type · Ego psychology · Hypostatic model of personality · Nature versus nurture · Personal construct theory · Personality Assessment System · Personality systematics · Personology · Phenomenal field theory · Positive Disintegration · Psychological behaviorism · Self monitoring · Situationism (psychology) · Trait theory · Two-factor models of personality
Personality theory, then, has concentrated upon the factors which explain why an individual is as he is, how he has become so, and how these factors maintain him so, despite circumstances, fortunes, and opportunities. Such explanatory concepts of content and structure tell us what prevents an individual from being changed by experience, what factors will force him forever (by dennition) to miss or distort everything that might change him unless (as we commonly say) his personality (somehow) changes first.
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For the next two decades, the changing zeitgeist made publication of personality research difficult. In his 1968 book Personality and Assessment , Walter Mischel asserted that personality instruments could not predict behavior with a correlation of more than . Social psychologists like Mischel argued that attitudes and behavior were not stable, but varied with the situation. Predicting behavior from personality instruments was claimed to be impossible. However, it has subsequently been demonstrated empirically that the magnitude of the predictive correlations with real-life criteria can increase significantly under stressful emotional conditions (as opposed to the typical administration of personality measures under neutral emotional conditions), thereby accounting for a significantly greater proportion of the predictive variance.