This paper provides an overview and critique of personality psychology. It discusses personality psychology in terms of three major movements: (1) clinical psychology; (2) trait theory; and (3) interpersonal theory. The paper criticizes clinical psychology for focusing on psychopathology, and it criticizes trait theory for being circular. It then provides an alternative, grounded in evolutionary theory and framed in terms of interpersonal processes. Next, it criticizes traditional assessment for trying to measure entities rather than predict outcomes. Finally, the paper reviews standard criticisms of personality assessment (e.g., low validity, faking) and argues that these criticisms lack merit.
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