Compare and contrast the psychoanalytic and humanistic theories of personality: 1500 words.
Personality can be defined as the steady behaviour patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within a person (Burger, 2011; 4). These include the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people. Personality psychologists however are engaged in a continuous and never-ending discussion of how to describe human personality in the most effective way (Burger, 2011; 4). As a result there are a variety of theories of personality which try to describe the cause and effect of the human personality. This essay will briefly compare and contrast two of these theories which include the psychoanalytic and humanistic theories of personality. It is important to have an in-depth understanding of the various types of theories with respect to personality because such a discourse enables psychologists to discover more about social behaviours in daily life (Fiske et al, 2010; 365).
Both theoretical viewpoints, while being substantially different from each other, do share some common comparisons as we shall examine below. Psychoanalytical theories of personality stress the individual’s unconscious motivations which can be identified through dreams, slips of the tongue and fantasies (McCrae & Costa, 2003; 21). “The psychoanalytical theory views personality as biologically based, relatively unchangeable and determined by the need to control sexual and aggressive instincts which are unconscious in nature” (Rust & Golombok, 1989, 131). Sigmund Freud was the founder of the psychoanalytical approach to personality although many academics have expounded on his research since then (Bernstein, 2001; 125). This contrasts with the humanistic theory which was adopted by leading 20th
Century psychologists Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow (Nicholas, 2008; 226). Robert Ewen suggests that existential psychologist Rollo May also was one of the original exponents of the humanistic theory (1998,...