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The Normal Personality


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Table of Contents

1. My wife thinks something is wrong with me; 2. The sixteen basic desires; 3. Intensity of basic motivation; 4. Normal personality types; 5. Overcoming personal troubles; 6. Six reasons for adolescent underachievement; 7. Self-hugging and personal blind spots; 8. Relationships; 9. Reinterpretation of Myers-Briggs personality types; 10. The sixteen principles of motivation; Appendix A. Dictionary of normal personality traits; Appendix B. Reiss Motivation Profile Estimator; Appendix C. The sixteen basic desires at a glance.

Promotional Information

In this book, Reiss shows how normal motives - not anxiety or traumatic experiences - underlie many personality and relationship problems.

About the Author

Steven Reiss was educated at Dartmouth College as an undergraduate, at Yale University for his doctorate, and at Harvard University for his clinical internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has published scientific and clinical studies on the co-occurence of intellectual disabilities and mental illness. This work has been recognized with five national awards, two for scientific research, two for national impact on clinical services, and one for national leadership, and received two certificates of recognition for volunteer work. In 1985, Professor Reiss and then graduate student Richard J. McNally published the construct of anxiety sensitivity as an early risk factor for Panic Disorder. Anxiety sensitivity has been translated into more than 35 languages and is used to help diagnose many thousands of patients throughout the world. Professor Reiss's theory of motivation is an expansion of some of the ideas underlying anxiety sensitivity to motives other than anxiety.


"...In a time when children, and even household pets, swallow Prozac, Reiss revives a neglected diagnosis for worrywarts, wallflowers, daydreamers, pessimists, and eccentrics alike: normal. He broadens normality by outlining how abnormal behaviors can arise when life motives are obstructed or personal values contradicted. Reiss lists how various combinations of 16 basic desires lead to dilemmas that eventually bring people to counseling. He offers a way to manage personal problems, without cracking the medicine cabinet or the skeleton closet." --Science News "...this book advances a scientific theory of psychological needs, values and personality traits. Reiss' research shows how the motivational spectrum produces different personality traits and values, and how that correlates to the way we handle/deal our personal relationships. " --Lenore Skomal,

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