Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 14
Positive Psychology/ Maslow: Empirically, some researchers describe pathology from a trait perspective as extreme scores on various traits (e.g., Eysenck 1994(1); Markon, Krueger and Watson 2005(2); O’Connor 2002(3)).Purely descriptive trait measures, of course, beg the question of whether the developmental origins and dynamic implications of those measured traits are comparable in the normal and abnormal populations. Humanists, including Abraham Maslow (1976)(4), advocated studying the healthy personality, not only those who are disturbed. Recent trends mark a fulfilment of this mandate. The popular movement called positive psychology continues the theme from humanistic psychology, focusing on healthy and creative human potentials (Gable and Haidt 2005(5); Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi 2000(6)). The approach strives to understand and promote such individual strengths as happiness and creativity, and desirable societal conditions such as peace.


1. Eysenck, H. J. 1994. Normality-abnormality and the three-factor model of personality, in S. Strack and M. Lorr (eds.), Differentiating normal and abnormal personality, pp. 3–25. New York: Springer
2. Markon, K. E., Krueger, R. F. and Watson, D. 2005. Delineating the structure of normal and abnormal personality: an integrative hierarchical approach, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88: 139–57
3. O’Connor, B. P. 2002. The search for dimensional structure differences between normality and abnormality: a statistical review of published data on personality and psychopathology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83: 962–82
4. Maslow, A. H. 1976. The farther reaches of human nature, 2nd edn. New York: Viking
5. Gable, S. L. and Haidt, J. 2005. What (and why) is positive psychology?, Review of General Psychology 9: 103–10
6. Seligman, M. E. P. and Csikszentmihalyi, M. 2000. Positive psychology: an introduction, American Psychologist 55: 5–14


Susan Cloninger, “Conceptual issues in personality theory”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Maslow, Abraham
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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