KEY FEATURES: A student-friendly writing style makes the content more approachable for readers to retain. Personal stories from fellows of the Association of Psychological Science (APS) convey to readers that even the most distinguished experts make mistakes that can be avoided through examination. Critical thinking questions give students the opportunity to reflect on preceding essays. Stories from all areas of psychology appeal to learners beyond subfields of psychology.

Beware of Popular Premises

Beware of Popular Premises

Jerome Kagan

Readers must first appreciate the ideological commitments held by many psychologists during the 1950s in order to understand the mistake I made in selecting a test of personality to administer to young adults. My assignment was to create a battery of measures designed to evaluate select personality traits in young adults on whom extensive longitudinal data were available. The details of the study can be found in the book Birth to Maturity (Kagan & Moss, 1962). The concepts of motive and conflict were important to both behaviorism and Freud’s psychoanalytic ideas, both of which were popular at the time. Many psychologists assumed that measurement of personality traits required indirect methods because people were ...

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