Mischel’s critique of personality

1. What was Walter Mischel’s critique of personality? Provide at least two arguments from his critique. Explain one example of modern research that supports his critique.

2. Briefly describe the two broad types of self-healing personalities. How do behaviors provide a link between personality and health? What is one other link, as discussed in the textbook?


It is useful to think about two major types of self- healing personalities. The first is the more active, zealous type. This includes the busy but confident lawyer and the hard-working, productive executive. These people seek out stimulation, are extroverted, and tend to be spontaneous and fun-loving.

The second type of self-healing personality is the calmer, more relaxed type—active, alert, involved, and responsive, but calm, philosophical, and bemused. Although these people also enjoy the presence of others, they tend to prefer the company of a few close friends.

In studying self-healing, personality researchers have drawn much inspiration from the humanistic and existen- tial approaches, which consider positive aspects of human functioning. The self-healing personality is a cluster of health-promoting traits and emotional styles that involves a good person-environment fit; these traits enhance flexi- bility in coping with stressors and promote homeostasis in the face of challenge, allowing individuals to maintain a trajectory towards good mental and physical health. There are two major types of self-healing personalities.



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