chapter  9
26 Pages

Personality Problems and Disorders

Like news reporters, behavioral scientists have often been criticized for focusing more on the negative than the positive features of human experience-on illness rather than health, tragedy rather than triumph, and conflict rather than community. If this is so, there is good reason for it. Success and happiness are rarely viewed as problems requiring solutions, but failure and sadness are. When things go well, people seldom ask for help and none is needed, but when things go wrong in either a personal or societal sense, the human community must be informed so it can direct its resources toward solutions and assistance. Among the difficulties that confront almost everyone at one time or another are those concerned with human relationships, illness and accidents, injury and loss, and how to use one's abilities to obtain what is needed and desired in the time that is available. This chapter is concerned with the personal and social misfortunes that confront people. It focuses on three topics in which personality characteristics play a role: illness and accidents, mental disorders, and crime. These are social as well as personal matters, but personality is shaped by social interactions.