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Research Reviews

Personality in Sport and Exercise Psychology: Integrating a Whole Person Perspective

Tristan J. Coulter, Clifford J. Mallett, Jefferson A. Singer, Daniel F. Gucciardi

The Big Idea

There is nothing easy about the study of personality.  Over the years, psychologists who do so have generated an incredible number of ways to describe and depict who or what a person is.  One of the oldest and maybe the clearest ways of looking at what personality psychologists do is this:  they study how a person is like all other persons; like some other persons; and like no other persons.  Apparently each of us is a bit of all three likes.

In this paper we have an effort to explain the significance of the contemporary research approach in integrating a whole-person-perspective.  The authors argue that the field of personality psychology has been self-limiting by focusing so heavily on individual differences, such as personality traits.  Or too, that the popularity of studying motivation or disconnected constructs are but fragments of what makes up a whole person.

Instead, these researchers strongly advocate for a non-specialising approach to the study of personality.  In the last twenty years a...

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