The Self Explained – Why and How We Become Who We Are

Ten years in the making, Baumeister’s magnum opus on the self is being published in 2022!

The e-book is ready and available for download right NOW. Due to COVID-related supply chain issues, the print version will not be available until JULY 2022 (but you can pre-order now).

Brief summary:

The idea of the self is immediately familiar to everyone, yet elusive to define and understand. From pioneering researcher Roy F. Baumeister, this volume synthesizes a vast body of knowledge to provide a panoramic view of the human self—how it develops and functions, why it exists, and what problems it encounters on the journey through life. What are the benefits of self-knowledge, and how attainable is it? Do we have one self, or many? What is the relationship of self and society? In 28 concise chapters, Baumeister explains complex concepts with clarity and insight. He reveals the central role played by the self in enabling both individuals and cultures to thrive.

Advance comments:

“Not since William James has anyone contributed more to the study of the self than Roy Baumeister. Trenchant and insightful, this book integrates an enormously broad and interdisciplinary literature to offer a novel take on what makes us who we are. As Baumeister convincingly shows, it is our social and cultural nature that has given us a self, and this guides what our selves are ultimately for.”

—Steven J. Heine, PhD, Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Social and Cultural Psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada


“Before Baumeister’s analysis of the self, I found myself telling my students that whenever you see 'self followed by a hyphen' (e.g., self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-control), hold on to your wallet. Baumeister’s brilliant book shows us how the self only makes sense as a product of the culture it lives in, how it changes over epochs, how difficult it is to 'know thyself,' and, most important, the indispensable reality of the self.”

—Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD, Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania


“Baumeister is the world’s leading expert on the self. He provides a new model of the self and offers a staggering amount of evidence that supports this framework. This book is unique in its breadth and depth. It touches on human development, culture, motivation, interpersonal relationships, psychopathology, decision making, self-esteem, stress and coping, and personality. This masterful, comprehensive volume will guide the future scientific study of the self, and will be wonderful for use in undergraduate or graduate seminars.”

—C. Nathan DeWall, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky



Get a discount of 20% off the already low list price when you order at Guilford Press with promotional code AF2E

(Note the promotional code AF2E carries this discount and will be automatically applied if you use this link, or you can enter the code at checkout.)

Guilford Press
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