Troubador Zigzag

Released: 28/01/2018

ISBN: 9781788038867

eISBN: 9781788030663

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book


Reversal and Paradox in Human Personality


The conventional assumption in psychology is that our personalities consist of fixed traits that endure over time.  The present book takes issue with this over-simple idea and suggests something much more interesting and surprising, known as Reversal Theory. This proposes that we tend to switch back and forth between opposing personalities in the course of our everyday lives. For example, sometimes we are serious and sometimes playful, sometimes we are conforming and sometimes rebellious. And we switch (reverse) backwards and forwards, from one to another, over time. 

Our personalities are therefore dynamic rather than static and can even be self-contradictory. Personality is about the characteristic ways we navigate such change and contradiction: we are dancers rather than statues and dance to our own music. This can lead to puzzling paradoxes and problems but can also, handled appropriately, help us to achieve productive and happy lives, because it shows how rich in possibilities we all are. It has been said that Reversal Theory liberates rather than limits, and in this respect goes beyond most self-help theories.

Illustrated with case histories of well-known celebrities and historical figures, with the results of psychological studies, and with personal anecdotes, Apter brings the provocative ideas of Reversal Theory to life and is a highly relevant contribution to the contemporary psychology of motivation and personality. In the process he deals coherently with a variety of interesting topics including: risky sport, terrorism, domestic violence, art and humour.

5.0 out of 5 stars
January 26, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition from Amazon US

Want to know why people aren't as predictable as you expect and act in contradictory ways?
Here's a book that makes sense of the unexpected things people do and say. WHY and HOW did your spouse surprise you after thirty years? And, why was THAT so much fun for you? Why did your brilliant friend do something apparently stupid? Your serious friend act funny? Life is full of paradoxical experiences and we thrive on those experiences. We seek them out and sometimes pay to have others help create them for and with us. This book explains what's going on.

I have read every word Michael Apter has written that was possible for me to find. His earlier papers and books were strictly academic and scientific in nature although even then his personal tone was evident. He's got an engaging style that makes you feel like you've gotten smarter when you're done. I believe that his writing over the last few years is even more personal, anecdotal, and of a story-telling style. How he looks at the World and interprets it for sense-making keeps me coming back for more.

If you're looking for an accessible and entertaining, science-based explanation of why people do the surprising things people do, when people do them...this is it!

by Dr. Jay Lee

  • Buy as a printed
  • £13.99
  • Get £2 off with your discount code!

  • 1 customer reviews
  • Buy as an ebook
  • £5.99
  • Find this ebook at your favourite retailer
Also by Michael J. Apter / Related Books