Postconventional Personality, The: Assessing, Researching, and Theorizing Higher Development

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Cutting-edge volume devoted to optimal adult development.

Postconventional stages of personality development involve growth well beyond the average, and have become a rapidly growing subject of research not only in developmental psychology circles but also in areas such as executive leadership development. This book is the first to bring together many of the major researchers in the field, showcasing diverse perspectives ranging from the spiritual to the corporate. The contributors present research on essential questions about the existence and prevalence of high levels of personal growth, whether such achievement is correlated with other types of psychological growth, whether high levels of growth actually indicate happiness, what kinds of people exhibit these higher levels of development, how they may have developed this expanded perspective, and the characteristics of their viewpoints, abilities, and preoccupations. For anyone interested in Ken Wilber’s integral psychology, as well as those in executive coaching, this volume is an invaluable resource and will be a standard reference for years to come.

“This is an excellent resource for those interested in psychometrics collections and in transpersonal/humanistic psychology and life-span development … A solid companion to other titles in the ‘SUNY Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology.’” — CHOICE

This is a convention-breaking book that makes a much-needed contribution to the field. Its varied scholarly chapters explore the far reaches of human growth and potential—including the oft-neglected dimension of personality development. Chapters are written by veteran researchers and exemplars in adult development studies. Included are wonderfully creative theoretical explorations on personality development as well as original contributions that push the envelope of spiritual and religious development to unprecedented lengths. — Melvin E. Miller, coeditor of Self and No-Self: Continuing the Dialogue between Buddhism and Psychotherapy

“This book is the best place to go for current views on late-stage ego-development theory, practice, and measurement. It clarifies the promise and importance of these methods and models that stem from Loevinger (and H. S. Sullivan), casting an eye over a fascinating array of topics. But the book also explores the limitations and blind spots inherent in these methods. This is an excellent contribution to scholarly literature about the further reaches of human potential.” — Zachary Stein, Harvard University
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About the author

Angela H. Pfaffenberger has a PhD in psychology and is an independent researcher in personality theory. She maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist and acupuncturist in Salem, Oregon. Paul W. Marko has a PhD in psychology from Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center. He is a developmental psychologist who works with both organizations and individuals. Allan Combs is Professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. His many books include Consciousness Explained Better: Towards an Integral Understanding of the Multifaceted Nature of Consciousness.
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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Apr 1, 2011
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Pages
274
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ISBN
9781438434667
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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How does his social environment change an individual, and why do these changes occur? Can social institutions be shaped and molded profoundly enough to afford each member of a society his maximum potential for happiness, effective functioning, and complete development? In this new work a distinguished psychologist evolves a theory of personality and society designed to help guide the work of institutions responsible for individual growth and development. Drawing on his vast experience--as an educator, a prison psychologist, a practicing psychoanalyst, and as the director of major studies in child development, personality assessment, the social psychology of higher education, and alcoholism and related problems--Professor Sanford has designed a developmental model intended to guide work in institutions which mold the individual: from family through schools, colleges, child guidance clinics, and mental hospitals. With exceptional lucidity, he examines the central issues in furthering desirable change through intervention in individual and group processes. He achieves notable advances in integrating personality theory and sociological theory: he joins psychoanalytic "ego psychologists" and other personality theorists in developing a dynamic-organismic theory broader than that of classical psychoanalysis and more in keeping with contemporary social theory. The author's clear style and firm grasp of his subject add further to the significance of Self and Society. It will be a stimulating textbook in social psychology, personality, and culture, and personality, and will make indispensable reading for behavioral scientists, psychiatrists, and educators, as well as for all professionals who work to promote mental health, education and social welfare. Nevitt Sanford (1909-1995) was professor of psychology and education at Stanford University and director of the Institute for the Study of Human Problems. After leaving Stanford in 1968, he founded the Wright Institute. He has been president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and president of the Division of Personality and Social Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He has been author or coauthor of close to 200 scholarly journals as well as more than a dozen books.
A tribute to the visionary contributions and prophetic writings of Thomas Berry, spiritual ecologist and father of environmentalism

• Contains 10 essays by eminent philosophers, thinkers, and scientists in the field of ecology and sustainability, including Matthew Fox, Joanna Macy, Duane Elgin, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Ervin Laszlo, and Allan Combs

• Calls for a transformation of consciousness to resolve today’s global ecological and human challenges

• Includes a little-known but essential essay by Thomas Berry

When cultural historian and spiritual ecologist Thomas Berry, described by Newsweek magazine as “the most provocative figure among the new breed of eco-theologians,” passed away in 2009 at age 94, he left behind a dream of healing the “Earth community.” In his numerous lectures, books, and essays, Berry proclaimed himself a scholar of the earth, a “geologian,” and diligently advocated for a return to Earth-based spirituality.

This anthology presents 10 essays from leading philosophers, scientists, and spiritual visionaries--including Matthew Fox, Joanna Macy, Duane Elgin, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Ervin Laszlo, and Allan Combs--on the genius of Berry’s work and his quest to resolve our global ecological and spiritual challenges, as well as a little-known but essential essay by Berry himself. Revealing Berry’s insights as far ahead of their time, these essays reiterate the radical nature of his ideas and the urgency of his most important conclusion: that money and technology cannot solve our problems, rather, we must reestablish the indigenous connection with universal consciousness and return to our fundamental spontaneous nature--still evident in our dreams--in order to navigate our ecological challenges successfully.
This book represents the best of the first three years of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology conferences. While chaos theory has been a topic of considerable interest in the physical and biological sciences, its applications in psychology and related fields have been obscured until recently by its complexity. Nevertheless, a small but rapidly growing community of psychologists, neurobiologists, sociologists, mathematicians, and philosophers have been coming together to discuss its implications and explore its research possibilities.

Chaos theory has been termed the first authentic paradigm shift since the advent of quantum physics. Whether this is true or not, it unquestionably bears profound implications for many fields of thought. These include the cognitive analysis of the mind, the nature of personality, the dynamics of psychotherapy and counseling, understanding brain events and behavioral records, the dynamics of social organization, and the psychology of prediction. To each of these topics, chaos theory brings the perspective of dynamic self-organizing processes of exquisite complexity. Behavior, the nervous system, and social processes exhibit many of the classical characteristics of chaotic systems -- they are deterministic and globally predictable and yet do not submit to precise predictability.

This volume is the first to explore ideas from chaos theory in a broad, psychological perspective. Its introduction, by the prominent neuroscientist Walter Freeman, sets the tone for diverse discussions of the role of chaos theory in behavioral research, the study of personality, psychotherapy and counseling, mathematical cognitive psychology, social organization, systems philosophy, and the understanding of the brain.
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