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Submission Guidelines

High-quality contributions by many authors are published in the Great Ideas in Personality website. These contributions, in keeping with the overall emphasis of the website, deal with either existing or novel scientific research programs in personality. Published contributions are generally judged to be of high quality with reference to the rubric for evaluting papers. Contributions can take the following possible forms:
1. a peer commentary on another person's paper,

2. a paper of one's own, either

a. a critical review of the literature on a personality research program, or

b. an original theory dealing with a topic in personality.

The guidelines that follow are designed for those interested in contributing a full paper.

Critical Review of the Literature

A critical review of the literature has two components: summary and evaluation. The summary should make the important aspects of the research program stand out in bold relief, making them understandable to general readers. The evaluation should include criticisms leveled at the research program by other writers, as well as the author's own conclusions regarding the research program. Some possible research programs that could be the subject of a critical review are the following.

  1. Achievement Motivation
  2. Attachment Theory
  3. Basic Emotions
  4. Behavior Genetics
  5. Cognitive Social Theories
  6. Epstein's Theory
  7. Personal Construct Theory
  8. Five-Factor Model
  9. Intelligence
  10. Interpersonal Theory
  11. PEN Model
  12. Evolutionary Psychology
  13. Self-Determination Theory

Original Theory

An original theory paper presents an author's own theory on a topic in personality. Although the theory must have original components, it need not be developed in a vacuum; instead, every original theory should take account of existing research on the topic in question. What is more, to be considered scientific, the theory should have testable consequences. Whereas a critical review of the literature is organized by theory, an original theory paper is organized by topic. Some possible topics are the following.

  1. Accuracy of personality judgment
  2. Aggression
  3. Biology of personality
  4. The cognitive unconscious
  5. Control
  6. Criminality
  7. Emotion
  8. Emotional intelligence
  9. Heredity versus environment
  10. Moral character
  11. Motives
  12. Optimism/pessimism
  13. Person-situation debate
  14. Personality and addiction
  15. Personality and relationships
  16. Personality, depression, and anxiety
  17. Personality development
  18. Personality disorders
  19. Personality measurement
  20. Self-awareness and self-consciousness
  21. Self-concept and identity
  22. Self-efficacy
  23. Self-esteem
  24. Stress and illness

Abnormal Psychology

More recently, theoretical and review papers on abnormal psychology are being accepted. These should have the same basic characteristics described above. Some possible topics are the following.

  1. Dimensional models of personality disorders
  2. Helplessness/hopelessness theories of depression
  3. Ruminative response style theory of depression
  4. Beck's cognitive theory of anxiety
  5. Beck's cognitive theory of personality disorders
  6. Millon's evolutionary theory of personality disorders
  7. The role of stress in psychological disorders
  8. The role of insecure attachment styles in any disorder
  9. The interpersonal effects of depression on social interactions
  10. Expressed emotion as a precipitant of relapse in schizophrenia
  11. How to define hallucinations and delusions
  12. Interpersonal models of personality disorders
  13. Efficacy of differing treatments for substance use disorders
  14. Personality as a risk factor for substance use disorders
  15. Developmental models for substance use experimentation, initiation, and dependence
  16. The transtheoretical (stages of change) model for initiation and cessation of health-risk behaviors
  17. Internalizing and externalizing disorders of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood
  18. Genetic and environmental contributions to any disorder
  19. Role, identity, suggestibility, and stress in psychopathology
  20. Labeling theory of mental illness
  21. Marriage and mental disorder
  22. The family and eating disorders
  23. Obesity
  24. Prevention of psychopathology
  25. Community intervention
  26. Cross-cultural applications of psychotherapy
  27. Socioeconomic status and psychopathology
  28. Alienation and anomie
  29. Social support
  30. Debates over the definition of psychopathology
  31. Debates over the classification of psychopathology
  32. Assessment of psychopathology
  33. History of psychopathology

Other Topics

A number of other topics related to personality might interest visitors to this website. Some possible topics are the following.

  1. Piaget's theory of cognitive development
  2. Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development
  3. Kohlberg's theory of moral development
  4. J. R. Harris' theory of peer influences on development
  5. M. Lewis' theory of chance in human development
  6. Osgood's universal dimensions of affective meaning
  7. Chomsky's theory of linguistics
  8. Brunswik's lens model
  9. Vocational interests
  10. Emotional contagion
  11. Affect control theory
  12. Interdependence theory
  13. Cognitive dissonance theory
  14. Hostility
  15. Effects of observing violence
  16. The psychology of affirmative action
  17. Expectancy effects (self-fulfilling prophesies)
  18. Effects of heightened anxiety on sexual attraction
  19. Interpersonal attraction and "playing hard to get"
  20. Transactional analysis and the "games people play"
  21. Labeling theory of mental illness
  22. Emotional contagion
  23. Social roles
  24. Poverty and mental illness
  25. Cross-cultural variation in personality and psychopathology
  26. Incarceration of people in mental asylums
  27. Comparing theories of deviance
  28. Affect control theory
  29. Interdependence theory
  30. Myth, ritual, and psychotherapy
  31. Cognitive dissonance
  32. Modern society as insane
  33. Alienation and anomie
  34. Identity, character, and morality
  35. Modernity and self-identity
  36. Self-fulfilling prophesies
  37. Individualism versus collectivism
  38. Social influences in etiology and prevention of smoking and other health-risk behaviors in adolescents

Top 10 List

All of the published papers are exemplary, but based on the
rubric for evaluating papers the following should serve as models for future papers.
  1. "Psychoanalysis: Freud's Revolutionary Approach to Human Personality," Kristen M. Beystehner
  2. "The PEN Model: Its Contribution to Personality Psychology," KwangMin Jang
  3. "Ethological Attachment Theory: A Great Idea in Personality?" Patricia Pendry
  4. "Behaviorism as a Theory of Personality: A Critical Look," Payal Naik
  5. "The Dilemma of the Only Child," Alissa D. Eischens
  6. "Effects of Video Games on Aggressive Thoughts and Behaviors During Development," Thomas A. Kooijmans
  7. "The Attachment System Throughout the Life Course: Review and Criticims of Attachment Theory," Erin J. Lee
  8. "Intimate Relationships: Personality Development Through Interaction During Early Life," Maren Cardillo
  9. "Depression in Children: What Causes It and How We Can Help," Irina V. Sokolova
  10. "Defining Schizophrenia: A Testable Model for Schizophrenia Incorporating Homogeneous Subtypes," Matthew P. Rick

Further Guidelines

  1. All papers must be in APA style.
  2. At least 15 double-spaced pages are usually required to do justice to a topic.
  3. Papers must include references to published materials. Adequate documentation usually requires no fewer than 15 references. Encyclopedias, popular magazines, textbooks, dissertations, and web pages are considered less desirable than scholarly sources.
  4. Biographical material should be omitted. Papers should focus exclusively on theory and research.
  5. Headings help readers follow the text. Two to three levels are usually optimal.
  6. Grammar and spelling should be carefully checked.
  7. Some good kernels of wisdom can be found in these Rules of Argument.
  8. Writing advice can be found under Writing Articles.
  9. Everyone should carefully follow Bem's advice on How to Write a Theoretical or Review Article--the single best resource on psychological writing.
Completed papers can be sent to the editor as an attachment to an email message (preferably in rich text format), whereon they will be subjected to peer review. Those accepted for publication will be circulated for peer commentary, and the author will then have a chance to write an author response. Copyright for papers published in this website resides with the webmaster.

The Great Ideas in Personality website is widely read by persons interested in the science of personality. If you would like to share your ideas about personality with this audience, please consider submitting your work for publication here.

Last modified November 2004
Visited times since July 2001

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