skip to main content skip to footer

Personality Dynamics

London, Perry; Rosenhan, David L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Literature Reviews, Personality, Personality Theories, Personality Traits


This chapter discusses recent developments in theories of personality and the methodology of studying them. It then reviews current research on several topics including: needs and defenses, especially aggression, achievement and impulse control; awareness, especially perceptual defense and the role of awareness in learning; learning, emphasizing studies of verbal conditioning and social learning; studies of the self concept; anxiety; and, quite briefly, recent studies of hypnosis. The section on theories of personality includes discussion of affect, models of the mind, behaviorism, cognitive dissonance, and computer simulation of personality. The section on methodology discusses important recent developments in subject characteristics and selection, instrument selection, the significance of significance tests, control of experimental contexts, and interpersonal and situational influences. The discussion of aggression includes studies concerning the relationship of frustration to aggression, the concomitants of aggression and the acquisition of aggressive responses. The discussion of achievement motivation and impulse control includes specific studies of male and female subjects and the Atkinson model of risk-taking behavior. The section on verbal learning includes discussion of personality variables and reinforcement, dependence and reinforcement, and conditioning complex verbalizations. The section on social learning includes discussion of specific studies and modeling. The section on self-concept considers stability, consistency and change; self concept and performance; self concept and interpersonal attitudes; and self and other personality traits. The section on anxiety includes discussion of the meaning of anxiety, non- traumatic origins of anxiety, anxiety and defensiveness, anxiety and conditioning and anxiety and conflict resolution. The interrelationship of personality structure and personality dynamics is discussed in the conclusion. (JGL)

Read More