Monday, March 5, 2012

Personality Theories

The study of personality has never been something without great debate, and with such uncertainty comes a number of possible theories. From what I've been looking at, the theories can be categorized as follows; Genetics : Many psychologists have attributed personality to genetics, suggesting that we are born with a set personality that is predetermined by our DNA. Psychologists such as  Hans Eysenck believe that personality traits can be linked to biological processes that go on in our bodies.  Behavioral: Those that believe that personality is purely based on behavioral experiences are stating that personality is determined by our experiences with others and our environment, dismissing any possibility of any internal or biological factors. Psychodynamic: Very well published, psychodynamic theories believe personality comes from within being driven by our subconscious mind and our childhood experiences. Freud and Erikson were believers in this theory, however Freud believed the personality could be divided into three parts ( ego, superego, Id) and Erikson thought that the personality was determined by a series of obstacles that we had to overcome before maturing any further.  Humanist: this theory revolves around the idea of personal experience, self actualization and free will.  Trait theory: This theory is a very broad area of study, focusing on the personality made up of a number of traits that make us who we are.  John Castaldi

1 comment:

Hye-Jin said...

Among the five personality theories suggested in the post, I found Erikson's Psychodynamic theory fascinating. I believe most of our personalities are formed during the childhood, and what kind of good or bad experiences a person has gone through, and how successfully he/she has managed them make who the person is. According to Erikson's Psychosocial Development theory, a child develops trust, autonomy, initiative, industry, and identity through successful social interactions and personal explorations. On the other hand, a child develops mistrust, shame and doubt, guilt, inferiority, and confusion when he/she fails in the experiences. The traits a person develops after grown up are determined by those traits that had been developed during the childhood. A person who has strong sense of personal identity is likely to develop intimate relationships, while a person who has poor sense of self will have less committed relationships and suffer emotional isolation during the early adulthood. Also, how a person becomes and feels during the old age is related to how much the person accomplished and contributed to the world by being active in his/her home and community during adulthood. A person who was successful during his/her life-time will feel a sense of integrity and satisfaction, while a person who was unsuccessful will experience many regrets and despair.