Same basic structure to organization of psychological knowledge, all of the material learned
reduces to two dimensions – one dimension to questions of population, is the subject matter at
hand specific to particular population or is it population general? The other dimension is basic
research vs. applied research. All of the sub-disciplines in psychology are organized in the same
way. Personality offers unique position of a sort of knowledge broker.
Personality does not reduce to a single construct or a set of constructs, hierarchical pluralism, we
exist at multiple levels of description and inquiry and we need multiple constructs to describe
how a person is and how they differ from other people. Discipline of personality defies a
McAdams & Pals definition: personality is an individual’s unique variation of the general
evolutionary design for human nature expressed as a developing pattern of dispositional traits,
characteristic adaptations, and integrative life stories complexly and differentially situated in
Core human nature that we all share and that is our evolutionary and genetic legacy ach of
represents unique variation on basic psychological design. What is personality? Conclude with
general sense that personality is unique variation we show on universal design
Personality psychology can reduce to blue and green (earth example), if take vantage point that is
far away for the many constructs everything can be reduced to two basic themes.
Agency and communion, two aspects characterize much of human nature
Dimensions of Human existence
Agency: reflects lives as individuals, all of us are at some level basic organisms and we are
motivated to enhance and protect ourselves as organisms. All of those motivations and concerns
that reference ourselves as single organisms reflect agentic aspect to human condition. This
represents fundamental aspect of human predicament.
Communion – we are also a social species, and participate in families, relationships, institutions,
they don’t reduce to single individuals. Communion manifests itself on the focus we have on
others, way we form bonds and connections with other members and with our concerns with and
striving for contact, congregation and community with others.
These two things summarize much of what it means to be human.
Attachment system, idea that any species that doesn’t care for its young is likely not for this world.
The attachment system concerns itself with safety and maintenance of proximity and presumably
consists of a series of evolved mechanisms or strategies of the kind.