Great Myths of Personality

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Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2021-03-16
Publisher(s): Wiley-Blackwell
List Price: $85.95

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Great Myths of Personality teaches critical thinking skills and key concepts of personality psychology through the discussion of popular myths and misconceptions.


  • Provides a thorough look at contemporary myths and misconceptions, such as: Does birth order affect personality? Are personality tests an accurate way to measure personality? Do romantic partners need similar personalities for relationship success
  • Introduces concepts of personality psychology in an accessible and engaging manner
  • Focuses on current debates and controversies in the field with references to the latest research and scientific literature

Author Biography

M. Brent Donnellan is Associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University.  He investigates research topics at the intersection of personality psychology and developmental psychology. He currently serves as Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Research in Personality and previously served as Associate Editor for Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.  His current research focuses on personality development and evaluating the connections between individual differences in personality and functioning in family relationships.  He is co-editor of Secondary Data Analysis (2010).

Richard E. Lucas is Associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of subjective well-being. In particular, he studies the associations between personality and well-being, and he examines the extent to which people adapt to major life events and life circumstances. He is Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Research in Personality and has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He is co-author of the book Well-Being for Public Policy (2009) and co-editor of Secondary Data Analysis (2010).

Table of Contents


Myth #1:  Situational Factors Overwhelm Personality When Predicting Behavior

Myth #2:  Personality Measures Do Not Predict Consequential Outcomes (Like Health, Wealth, and Divorce) Well Enough to Be Useful

Myth #3:  There is a Single Gene for a Single Personality Trait

Myth #4:  Evolutionary Perspectives Are Not Relevant for Personality

Myth #5: People Come in Discrete Personality Types

Myth #6: Personality Is Too Complicated to Be Measured

Myth #7: Personality Measures Can Be Faked So They Are Not Valid

Myth #8: The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator Is the Best Approach for Assessing Personality

Myth #9:  Projective Tests Are the Best Approach for Measuring Personality

Myth #10:  Unstructured Interviews are the Best Approach for Measuring Personality

Myth #11: Most Personality Quizzes in Magazines and on Websites Provide Accurate Information About Your Personality

Myth #12: Personality Traits Do Not Have Much Consistency Across the Life Span

Myth #13: Personality Is Completely Stable (or Set Like Plaster) After Age 30

Myth #14: Traumatic Life Events Dramatically Reshape Personality

Myth #15:  Adolescence Is the Most Significant Period of Personality Development

Myth #16:  Birth Order Is an Important Influence on Personality

Myth #17:  Parenting Practices Are the Major Source of Personality Differences

Myth #18: Happiness Is Completely Determined by Situational Factors

Myth #19: Happiness Is Unrelated to Major Life Events

Myth #20: Happiness Results Primarily From Person–Environment Fit

Myth #21:  There Is a 3-to-1 Positivity-to-Negativity Ratio for Flourishing

Myth #22:  Personality Trait Similarity Matters for Romantic Relationships

Myth #23:  Spouses Are Especially Similar in Terms of Personality Traits or Spouses Have Complementary Personality Traits

Myth #24:  High Self-Esteem and Narcissism Are the Same Attribute

Myth #25: Perceptions of National Character Reflect “Real” Group Differences

Myth #26. Personality Is Radically Different From Culture to Culture

Myth #27:  Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (Men and Women Have Dramatically Different Personalities)

Myth #28: Clinicians Can’t Treat Personality Disorders


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