Week Six: Personality Theories
Personality is a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, emotions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations. Psychologists have proposed various theories of personality to attempt to explain similarities and provide reasons for differences in personalities. The following approaches; psychoanalytic, humanistic, and social learning personality theories will be outlined highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses for each theory, while also comparing and contrasting the studies of Frued, Rogers, Jung, and Maslow.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung became friends and colleagues. Jung was even an admirer of Freud before and after their meeting. Theoretical differences ended the close relationship between Freud and Jung. Therefore, several similarities and differences exist between Freud’s and Jung’s theories on personality. Sigmund Freud was the main proponent of Psychoanalytic Theory but neo-Freudians such as Jung, Rogers, and Maslow are also major contributors. Freud believed that every personality has an unconscious component and that childhood experiences, even if not consciously recalled, continue to influence people's behaviors. The psychoanalytic theory states that a personality has three parts – the id, the ego, and the superego which serve to regulate instinctual energies and shapes our personalities. Through the scope of a psychoanalytic lens, humans are described as having sexual and aggressive drives.
The id is the aspect of personality that is driven by internal and basic drives and needs. These are typically instinctual, such as hunger, thirst, and the drive for sex, or libido. The id acts in accordance with the pleasure principle, in that it avoids pain and seeks pleasure. Due to the instinctual quality of the id, it is impulsive and often unaware of implications of actions. The ego is driven by reality principle. The ego works to...