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Where is the Person in Personality Research?

Carlson, Rae
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Literature Reviews, Personality Studies, Research Methodology, Research Problems


Constraints upon inquiry in personality imposed by current research methods were examined by (a) a survey of empirical work published in two major personality journals and (b) a consideration of methodological and ethical issues raised in recent research criticism. Review of samples, research procedures, and social-psychological context in 226 empirical studies revealed that current methodological practices are incapable of approaching questions of real importance in personality and involve serious problems beyond those noted in recent research criticism. Recent proposals for methodological reforms, largely directed toward control of unwanted variance and improvement of subject-experimenter relationships, offer only partial solutions and require further consideration of the "personology of science."

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