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The Stories We Live: Personal Myths And The Making Of The Self [Paperback]

Dan P. McAdams.
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

10 Feb 1997
'Who Am I?' 'How do I fit in the world around me?' From early childhood, we are all faced with key questions of human identity. This revealing and innovative book demonstrates that each of us discovers what is true and meaningful, in our lives and in ourselves, through the creation of personal myths. Challenging the traditional view that our personalities are formed by fixed, unchanging characteristics, or by predictable stages through which every individual travels, The Stories We Live By persuasively argues that, strange as it may seem, we are the stories we tell. Based on more than 10 years of research and hundreds of first-hand interviews, the book accessibly links scientific investigation to the struggles and joys of real people. Sensitively told anecdotes and mini-life stories draw readers into exploring the intimate connection between our personal myths and our perceptions, relationships, and life choices. Providing an integrative view of human beings as evolving story-tellers whose tales deepen and broaden with age, The Stories We Live By describes an ongoing process that allows us, within limits, to develop and revise our stories and open up new possibilities for our lives. This book will be value for all those who are interested in enhancing their self-understanding. It will also serve as useful classroom text for undergraduates and advanced students in personality and social psychology, counselling and psychotherapy.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Guilford Press; 1 edition (10 Feb 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572301880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572301887
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 15.4 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"There's a quiet revolution taking place within psychology and at its forefront is a young personologist named Dan McAdams. To understand ourselves, he says, you have to go beyond 'objective' data to the myths we create about our lives. Here at last is a book that will introduce you to the revolution, and here is a social scientist--a storyteller, too--who will guide you through the intricacies of your own myths. You'll welcome the chance to spend some time with him." --John Kotre, PhD, Coauthor of" Seasons of Life," Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan "McAdams looks beyond the narrow confines of academic psychology and sheds light on the mysteries of the life cycle. He calls to his aid the contemporary scientific visionaries Erikson, Jaques, and Levinson, and shows how the life stories we create and revise can lead to genuine self-discovery." --Peter M. Newton, PhD, Professor of Psychology, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, California "This wonderful and readable account of the ways in which we use stories across the life cycle and through history provides important new insights into the ways in which we maintain our identity. A compassionate and informed discussion of life-story and life-history, the book will have wide appeal to both students and those working with or studying personality." --Bertram J. Cohler, PhD, William Rainey Harper Professor of Social Sciences in the College and the Departments of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Education, University of Chicago "This the first exciting theory of adult personality development as seen through the eyes of the person, and expressed through the ideas each man and woman tells. A 'must' read for those of us entering mid-life and beyond, who seek to better understand where we came from, where we are now, and where we are going." --Robert Emmons, PhD, University of California at Davis "Dan McAdams' wonderful book is a major event....McAdams has the gift of being able to express comp

About the Author

Dan P. McAdams, PhD, is Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, where he is also Director of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives. He has published 12 books and over 100 articles and chapters in the areas of personality and developmental psychology.

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and lucid 14 Aug 2007
By Self-help junkie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent text on the importance of stories in our lives - stories not only create our world, but we are created by the stories that are 'allowed' in our culture. A fascinating overview - with some practical ways of understanding better your own life-story, its origins, its limitations, and how to change it.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Seminal Work 26 Sep 2005
By Frank Markow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want to understand narrative psychology in a developmental framework here is where to start. It is not overly technical, which is actually a bit of a drawback for those of us who would like more background and theory. But, it is an excellent intruduction to the field, very readable, and many people cite McAdams in their subsequent reserach (which I certainly will be doing).
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time for Dan McAdams 5 Jun 2007
By Lightwright - Published on Amazon.com
A dear friend and life long student of Psych, who is about to become a doctor of Psych gave me this book several years ago. She'd written so many notes in it, which to me translates into value and reverance for what one reads. I always meant to read it, life just kept getting in the way. Finally it was time for me to meet the mind of Dan McAdams, at least as it was when he wrote this book, I think perhaps, slightly before it's time, maybe. It helped me to foster insights that have been like donning good reading glasses in a life with some patches of fog.

It's always so refreshing to relearn something we already knew at a deep unconcious level and be able to resonate with that on a higher level. This is what this book does for me. I highly suggest it to those who are interested in writing (anything) or learning more about them selves and how we all effect each other as well. No man is an island we are simutaneosly land and water to each other. Thank you Dr. McAdams and Dr. Sunshine my friend for giving me this ray of light.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Communicating who we are 26 Feb 2014
By Elisabet Helander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An interesting book, clearly written, about the development of identity and presentation of self. A good read for anyone who studies and writes about people.
4.0 out of 5 stars An Important Book 20 Jun 2014
By Elaine Light - Published on Amazon.com
I really like this book, and consider McAdams to be an engaging theorist. I'd have liked a little more clarification on how we determine our own personal myths, but the book is a smooth and worthwhile read.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Stories We Live By 4 Jan 2012
By Thomas Baynham Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dan McAdams' book is a powerful book that helps the reader understand the importance of one's personal story. While the book is essential for all Christians, it is an essential resource for clergy and those in ministry leadership. Mc Adams highlights two major themes in the book; that individuals are their stories, and the need for revising and claiming our personal stories. The book includes significant research to support McAdams' thesis.
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