Do ‘persons’ have a place in psychological theory? The example of the psychology of wellbeing

Moore, Kevin
Conference Contribution - published
Fields of Research
The concept of the ‘person’ has struggled to gain traction in psychological theory. While, on the margins, theories of personhood have been developed, the person rarely features as an explicit construct in the most widely adopted psychological accounts of human behaviour and experience. Despite this near-absence of a focus on persons, I argue that recent empirical and theoretical developments from a wide range of areas including cognitive neuroscience, psychology of the self, cognitive evolution, consciousness, psychometrics and perception can best be understood through incorporation of ‘persons’ into psychological theorising. I then provide a philosophically-grounded theoretical account of persons and personhood as the basis for a reinterpretation of the nature of psychological phenomena and experience. Importantly, a shift towards a psychology of persons explicitly embeds psychological phenomena in the broader social, cultural and material world both as regards their emergence and sustainability. I illustrate the advantages of such an embedded psychological perspective through considering what the outlines of a person-based theory of wellbeing would add to our understanding of the relational nature of wellbeing and its constitutive interdependencies with the social, cultural and environmental worlds. Finally, I draw some broad conclusions about the prospects for a person-based social psychology.
Source DOI
© Department of Tourism, Sport and Society, Lincoln University 2021
Creative Commons Rights
Access Rights