CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

PERSONALITY AND CONFLICT

Sandra V. Sandy

Susan K. Boardman

Morton Deutsch

Throughout literary history, many novelists and playwrights have defined personality as “destiny,” poignantly illustrating the “inevitability” of their protagonist’s fate as a consequence of character traits that relentlessly determine his or her choices in life. Even as naive observers, if we look deeply enough within ourselves, we are often surprised by the extent to which we are ruled by needs and strivings that defy commonsense logic. Although many social scientists agree with the fiction writers on the power of personality to shape the course of our lives, scientists focus on predictability rather than inevitability. The task of science is to observe ...

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