Preparation of this article and the research reported in it were supported by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Grant MH 01293. I wish to thank Alice Epstein, John Kihlstrom, Howard Tennen, and David Watson for their constructive criticism of an earlier draft of this article.
This I Have Learned from Over 40 Years of Personality Research
Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 65, Issue 1, pages 3–32, March 1997
How to Cite
Epstein, S. (1997), This I Have Learned from Over 40 Years of Personality Research. Journal of Personality, 65: 3–32. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1997.tb00527.x
- Issue online: 28 APR 2006
- Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
ABSTRACT During the over 40 years in which I have conducted personality research, I have had a number of insights about the research process that I thought would be worth sharing: an awareness of the human side of science; lessons from the person-situation debate; lessons from comparing research on highly ego-involving natural events, such as sport parachuting, with laboratory analogues; the realization of what is wrong with the concept of the Freudian unconscious and what should be done to replace it; and awareness of pervasive biases in the journal-reviewing process. Perhaps the one most general lesson I have learned is that the advancement of psychology as a cumulative, integrative science is hampered not so much by its conceptual complexity as by the difficulty of humankind to view itself objectively, with honesty, courage, and a willingness to surrender illusions.