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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 4 February 2008
This book was recommended reading on my course. It was suggested along with a number of other personality books, but is far the better book. The number of topics covered by this book outnumber the other texts, and the level of detail is much greater. I agree with the other reviewer that this text gives the students loads of essay material.

The book covers all the major personality theories, and provides a good critique of each one. The book also covers all the intelligence areas needed. Finally the book covers some more 'current' areas such as optimism, embarassment, social relationships. The book covers in depth all the other areas of the BPS accreditation exam and therefore should be useful on many psychology degrees.

Most of all I found the text incredibly easy to read. The authors cover exciting areas of psychology, but also some of the more difficult areas. For example, there are biological explanations of some behaviors, but the authors don't bamboozle you with technical terms, but rather breakdown the area for you so it is easily understandable. Infact some of the terms I find so hard to understand in biological psychology modules are much better explained here.

There are also hidden depths to this book. There is an online website that has example essay questions, multiple choice questions and further reading. There are additional chapters at the back on argument and a kind of 'bluffers guide' to statistics, which again are better explained than many statistics books.

I do recommend this book. It helped me enormously with my work across a number of modules on my psychology degree not just my personality and individual differences modules.
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on 11 December 2006
Got this today. Really easy to read and lots of information. Covers two areas in psychology, personality and intelligence which I get taught for two different units in our first and second year on our psychology degree. Good outlines and criticisms of all the major personality theories, so good essay material ;). Intelligence theory and research is always little hard going, this text makes intelligence seem quite straightforward and has again has lots of material that I can use for my essays. Don't plan to use the third part of the book except to read it, but has lots of interesting areas, such as optimism and relationships theory, that I enjoy reading about.
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on 16 October 2009
This book was recommended for my course on personality theory and intelligence, and definitely blew away any alternatives I could find in terms of sheer amount of information. The level of detail that Maltby goes in to is very good for an undergraduate course, and the layout of competing theories based on their relevence to todays literature is very helpful.

As the title suggests, the book covers all of the major theories of personality, with essay-grade critiques of each, but also more information throughout the book that can be used in conjunction with the theories, such as the information on factor analysis and the nature/nurture argument. The section on intelligence is equally detailed, and explains much of what happened in intelligence research over the years. Individual differences are prevalent throughout the text, and we are constantly reminded that they will always play a role in pscyhological constructs.

Overall, this book was a saving grace for the personality module, but I still find myself refering to it time and again in other lectures, as personality and intelligence along with individual differences play a major role in many areas of psychology, and this book is definitely one I wouldn't want to be without.
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on 6 December 2014
This is recommended reading for my course. Personally I find it dull and uninspiring and hate the layout with its tiny writing and flimsy paper so you cannot use highlighters. I think there is a much shorter and better book inside this one. However, it has to be said that most psychology textbooks are exactly the same. They seem to be able to suck the life (interest) out of the subject or offer anecdotes and 'jokes' to prolong the agony leaving you with 2 options: phone Nighine or repeatedly bang your head on your desk until you lose consciousness or your eyes drop out. I sometimes think reading these textbooks and research papers is like chewing cardboard - except you can choose not to do that.
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on 13 July 2010
If there is a definite guide to the complex world that comprises personality, individual differences and intelligence, then John Maltby's book is it. A 'must-read' for the interested lay-person and the professional alike, this book does for personality and the field of psychometrics what Steven Hawking did for Black Holes and the field of astrophysics.
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on 15 April 2014
This is probably the most informative and useful textbook I have ever read; it is easy to read, with helpful diagrams to illustrate key points and theories, as well as providing plenty of additional tools such as historic background on key theorists, discussion points, exercises to complete and practice essay questions. At the end of each chapter the authors also give some suggestions of other resources including books, journals, websites and films relating to each chapter with a summary of how each resource relates to the material in the book. There is also a handy chapter on psychometric testing with tips for developing surveys and using statistical analysis which might be helpful for any students who are new to the study of psychology (unfortunately it was too late for me to make use of this chapter, as a final year student, but I wish this book had been available in my first year). Overall this is an engaging book and quite enjoyable to read as the writing is not overly technical but goes into enough depth to give a good basic understanding of each topic, which can then be explored further using the resources listed at the end of each chapter.
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on 30 September 2015
Where most books simply present theories, Maltby begins by pointing out why going with our initial, gut feelings about a theory can lead to misunderstanding, and what we can do to become more scientifically rigorous in our outlook. The book is well written and easy to read.

However, the real-life examples are only relevant to those studying for their first degree in their early adulthood. If you are a mature student, doing an MSc, for instance, and have a greater store of life experience, the examples may not be very engaging.
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on 9 November 2009
This book is wonderful for psychology students taking modules in this field. Explains core principles well and helps you to understand material from lectures. Has interesting side topic boxes for further reading and interests. Also has good definition and concepts. This is a good book for personality in general, also worth looking at for introductions to personality instead of other recommended reading books.
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on 10 January 2010
This book is a must have for every Psychology student, even if you don't have personality as one of your subjects. What is very useful that the first chapter overview on how to read critically and how to evaluated research methodologies! This is something I haven't found anywhere else. In addition to this at the end of each chapter the subject is critically evaluated according to these principles. You can basically cope/ paste these evaluations to your essays! (not literally of course!!)
It also invites to read beyond your given topics.
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on 10 April 2009
Excellent selection of topics to cover the area with very clear explanations and consistent reviewing throughout. Thorough summaries and explanations of terms, with added recommendation's for thinking and further reading Good examples from everyday life,literature and film. A very good source book for learning about personality on a higher level. I would particularly recommend it to postgrads' and teachers.
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