Temperament is the single most pervasive aspect of us and our fellow human beings. We notice it; we gossip about it; we make judgments based on it; we unconsciously shape our lives around it.
In The Temperamental Thread, developmental psychologist Jerome Kagan draws on decades of research to describe the nature of temperament - the in-born traits that underlie our responses to experience. Along the way he answers such questions as, How does the temperament we are born with affect the rest of our lives? Are we set at birth on an irrevocable path of optimism or pessimism? Must a fussy baby always become an anxious adult?
Kagan paints a picture of temperament as a thread that, when woven with those of life experiences, forms the whole cloth of an individual's personality. He presents solid evidence to show how genes, gender, culture, and chance interact with temperament and influence a mature personality. He explains how temperament sets the stage for the many personality variations that we see all around us.
Research into temperament, powered by the new tools of neuroscience and psychological science, is enriching our understanding of others in every context, from our closest relationships to those in workplaces, schools, and even casual encounters. Jerome Kagan shows us how.
The book is published by DANA Press.
"In this marvelous book, one of the world's most distinguished psychologists synthesizes cutting-edge research to illuminate how biology and environment jointly shape human psychology. The book reveals deep erudition, yet is written in an engaging and accessible style. Anyone keen to learn what science has revealed about human nature will be captivated." (Richard J. McNally, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Harvard University, author of Panic Disorder: A Critical Analysis and Remembering Trauma)
"Jerome Kagan, with his usual brilliance, separates the biology and psychology of temperament to unravel the complexity of why we act and react the way we do. If you want to understand why you or your child is anxious, easy-going, a worrier, compulsive, feels guilty or entitled and more, you must read Kagan's discoveries about the brain's role and the factors that influence it." (Susan Newman, Ph.D., Social Psychologist, and author of Parenting an Only Child: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only)
"An excellent read - highly informative and accessible. Jerome Kagan provides a broad overview of the importance of individual differences early in life in the formation of adult personality. The book encompasses the worlds of psychology, genetics, and neuroscience - in a manner that is readily understood to readers of varied backgrounds. In addition, Professor Kagan provides in-depth discussion of the influence of temperament on achievement and psychopathology." (Professor Nathan A. Fox, University of Maryland-College Park)
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