From Types to Traits

Trait Research

Critique of Traits


Neo-Freudian Theory

Critique of Freud




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General Psychology

Scientific Approaches

to Consciousness

Social Cognition


Human Learning

and Memory


A Cognitive-Social Psychological Perspective

John F. Kihlstrom

University of California, Berkeley


This and the other chapters in this series was originally drafted as part of a textbook project with Prof. Nancy Cantor. The project morphed into a scholarly monograph, Personality and Social Intelligence, which appeared in 1987.

Links to a precis of the book, and a response to commentaries.

Link to a more recent discussion of social intelligence.

Still, these chapters afford a comprehensive picture of personality theory and research at the time they were originally drafted, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

From time to time I have added material, but have made no attempt at a comprehensive, systematic update. Nevertheless, students who are interested in more recent developments may find that this material, while perhaps dated in one sense, provides useful historical and conceptual background.

I should also note that these chapters were written from a particular point of view -- one which was highly critical of traditional trait and psychodynamic theories of personality, but favorable to more modern social-cognitive viewpoints.

This page last revised 04/07/2015.