chapter  9
22 Pages

Personality and Motivation: Hope for Success and Fear of Failure

In the research on how students learn we saw how differences in personality were associated with different 'paths' towards intellectual development. For example, Heath's 'hustlers', 'non-committers', and 'plungers' all moved towards the ideal of the 'reasonable adventurer', but along different routes. Each of the personality types had some of the favourable characteristics of the 'reasonable adventurer', but had to work hard to overcome an initial onesidedness in their behaviour and ways of thinking. Heath's picturesque labels for three different types of student represent one idiosyncratic approach to describing important contrasts in people's typical behaviour. In this chapter some of the wide variety of ways to describe personality development and personality structure will be considered. Again a separation of research traditions between developmental studies and factor analytic work leaves an unsatisfactory gap between the ideas presented. Moreover there is no consensus in either area as to the most appropriate terms with which to describe personality. To avoid an overwhelming range of contradictory ideas, therefore, only a few of the theories are presented as exemplars of the many other approaches to describing personality.