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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Marvin Zuckerman
Affiliation:
University of Delaware
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Summary

The first edition of Psychobiology of Personality, published in 1991, provided a comprehensive treatment of a subject about which most psychologists have only a fragmentary knowledge, if any. Most behavior geneticists know a lot about the genetics of personality but little about its psychophysiology or psychopharmacology. Conversely, most psychopharmacologists know a lot about the psychopharmacology of personality and psychopathology but little about behavioral genetics. Most social and many personality psychologists know a lot about traits and their assessment but little about the psychobiology of traits. The first edition was based on a levels approach to personality (see Figure 7-1) that attempts to explore all levels of personality, from the genetic to the trait with stops at the neurological, biochemical, physiological, conditioning, and behavioral levels of explanation. The goal was not reductionism but a connectivism that respects the mode of explanation at each level and attempts to understand, as much as possible, the connections between phenomena at all levels. Although causation is usually assumed to work up from the more basic levels to the behavioral ones, it can work in the opposite direction. Only experimentation can decide the issues of causation; correlation cannot do this, as we patiently explain to students in introductory psychology (although clinicians sometimes forget this).

The psychobiology of personality has been explored by “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches. The top-down approach is to identify basic personality traits in humans and then see what correlates of these traits can be found in physiology, biochemistry, neurology, and genetics.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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  • Preface
  • Marvin Zuckerman, University of Delaware
  • Book: Psychobiology of Personality
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511813733.001
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  • Preface
  • Marvin Zuckerman, University of Delaware
  • Book: Psychobiology of Personality
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511813733.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Marvin Zuckerman, University of Delaware
  • Book: Psychobiology of Personality
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511813733.001
Available formats
×