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Book Chapter

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individual differences, social behavior, personality variables


The Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior provides a relatively comprehensive examination of nearly 40 personality variables that have been studied by behavioral researchers. Dozens, if not hundreds, of personality attributes have been studied, and, by necessity, we had to be selective. But we hope that the Handbook includes the personality variables that researchers currently find to be the most interesting, important, and useful. Some of these variables—such as extraversion, neuroticism, and achievement motivation—have been studied extensively for decades. Other variables—such as desire for control, self-compassion, and embarrassability—have been examined in fewer studies. The literature on each is summarized by an acknowledged expert—the researcher who either first popularized the construct, developed a commonly used measure of it, or conducted influential research. Although the study of individual differences is sometimes regarded as the purview of personality psychology, researchers cutting a wide swath across the social and behavioral sciences have in fact shown an interest in dispositional factors. Individual differences have been studied not only by social and personality psychologists, but also by researchers in developmental, clinical, educational, counseling, health, organizational, political, cognitive, and sport psychology, as well as by researchers in marketing, management, law, education, political science, sociology, psychiatry, nursing, and social work. We hope that this book serves as an invaluable resource for scholars and students across all areas of social and behavioral science.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Self-esteem, in M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior, p. 527-546