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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Preface to the second edition


The first edition of this book was motivated by the authors' perception that research on personality traits had reached a ‘critical mass’ that would justify a textbook focusing on the trait as an organising construct for understanding personality. We are gratified by the success of the first edition, which satisfied the need for a book on personality based on modern scientific research. Since the publication of the first edition, other authors appear to be distancing themselves from the traditional Hall of Fame text that we criticised initially. It is a relief to see the Hall of Fame approach receding into the distance so that the teaching of personality can be based on empirical data rather than historical relics.

We appreciate the feedback that we received from colleagues concerning the first edition. These comments helped to shape both the content and organisation of this new edition. We encourage academic faculty, practitioners and students to continue to share their opinions of the text with us. So far as content is concerned, the challenge has been to keep pace with the surge of new data and theorising on traits. In consequence, all chapters have been updated, and readers will note that a high proportion of the studies cited are recent. To better keep up with new developments, we invited a new author to join the original duo: Dr Whiteman brings expertise in health, epidemiology and lifespan aspects of personality.