Personality Theory Essays

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Personality Theories Personality vs Situation Personality Refers Essay

Words: 1580 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 45035209

Personality Theories


Personality refers to the unique set of relatively constant behaviors and mental processes in a person and his or her interactions with the environment (Kevin 2011). It is generally accepted that personality is influenced by genetics in the form of dispositions or temperament at 40-60% and by the environment. The tasks of the psychologist are to characterize and describe personality traits, investigate the relationship between these traits and behavior, and understand and predict behavior from these traits. The approaches to the study of personality are descriptive; biological or genetic; learning; psychodynamic; and humanistic, existential or phenomenological (Kevin).

Existentialism vs. Humanism

Existentialism is difficult to define as those who conceived it denied they started it or it even started (Corbett, 1985). It can be vaguely described as a spirit or atmosphere of one's response to human existence. Among its precursors were Soren Kierkegaard and Fredrich Nietzsche. They were later joined by Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger and Albert Camus (Cobertt). Existentialism uses phenomenology as philosophical approach. This refers to the careful and thorough study of phenomena, the creation of Edmund Husserl. Phenomena consist of the contents of consciousness one experiences and allows to reveal experiences to consciousness without bias. This method has been used to investigate emotions, psychological pathologies, and varied experiences (Boeree, 2003). Existentialism sees the essence of humanity as the lack of that very essence, nothingness and freedom. No philosophical system or theory can capture human consciousness or reduce it to simple processes. The future of existence cannot be predicted by statistics. The circumstances and other raw materials of existence differ substantially. But these are not as important as how each of us chooses how to live. It is the only thing, which makes each person what he or she is. Existentialism says that each person actually creates himself or herself. Yet it sees most individuals live their lives in denial of their full humanity with anxiety, guilt and death. These are inauthentic lives. These lives ignore freedom by…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
- (2003). Individual, existential and humanistic psychology. General Psychology. Retrieved on May 31, 2011 from

Corbett, B. (1985). What is existentialism? Philosophy Department: Webster University.

Retrieved on May 31, 2011 from
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Personality Theories and Assessments Though Essay

Words: 596 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 53496899

Personal interviews -- especially what the respondent actually says in them -- can be extremely useful to humanist practitioners. They also share a reliance on objective tests -- where the respondent attempts, in a guided way, to assess their own behavior and/or personality, with the two remaining branches of personality assessment.

Trait-based and social-learning psychology have vastly different approaches to assessing personality, but there are also some commonalities insofar as how they assess personality. Trait-based theorists believe that people exhibit specific behavioral traits, and that these can be analyzed to determine personality. Tests like the Big Five indicator are trait-based assessors. Social-learning theorists, on the other hand, believe that certain cognitive patterns are set early on, and that behavior (and personality) is determined by these unique cognitive processes working with the sum experience as well as the current environment and interactions. For this reason, social-learning theorists do not see behavior as consistent, but rather see the underlying cognitive rules that determine an individual's behavior in a given situation as consistent. Both use objective tests to asses personality, however, with social-learning theorists also using simple observation as a measure.

The Jungian word test at appears to be a mostly objective test, though I suspect it of some projective applications as well (especially given the repetition of certain words in the context of different surrounding words). In general, I tend to trust objective test more when it comes to me, but less when it comes to other people -- the arrogance of being an Architect (INTP) I guess. I think this test was very accurate; it matches up with the other Jungian-type indicator tests I've taken, and the description is spot-on.… [Read More]

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Personality Theories of Personality This Paper Analyses Essay

Words: 1355 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 7638137


Theories of Personality

This paper analyses the process of personality development in detail. It discusses how various genetic, environmental, cognitive, unconscious and socioculture factors affect the process of personality development in different individuals.

Theory of Personality

Personality can be defined as the sum total of all the characteristics that make an individual unique and different from other individuals. In order to analyze one's personality you do not necessarily need a psychologist to speculate and observe it. In our day-to-day dealings we refer to a large number of personality traits that various individuals possess. Different authors and playwrights usually use key figures and role models in their novels and plays to attract people. The word 'personality' is frequently used in day-to-day conversations nowadays. All of us develop our own theories of personality, each and every time we answer the question ' how is he or she like?'. There are five major dimensions of personality development, namely; 1) The genetic perspective, 2) The environmental perspective, 3) The unconscious perspective, 4) The cognitive perspective and 5) The sociocultural perspective. (Houston, 2005)

Impact of Genes on Personaity

Recent studies have shown the impact of genes and heredity on personality development. It has been reported by a number of studies that the unique combination of genes that is being inherited by all the siblings, has some influence on their personality and as some elements of these genes are similar, therefore, siblings are reported to have a similar personality. An evidence supporting the impact of genes on the personality development is the 'Twin Study'. Loehlin and Nicholls, in the year 1976, examined and analyzed the personality traits of 800 pairs of twins. This analysis was done on the basis of self report personality questionnaires. It was being determined that all the personality traits showed a moderate influence of genes on personality traits. It was also being observed that monozygotic, or identical twins, had more identical personality traits as compared to the dizygotic or non-identical twins. In addition to that, a study of non-genetically related family members, the adopted family members, showed that they did not possess similar personality traits, such as extraversion, temperament etcetera. This shows that the family members do not instill personality traits in each other instead it is the genes, that they inherit, which influence their personality. (Houston, 2005)

It can, therefore, be concluded…… [Read More]

Houston, D. Islamic Azad University, (2005). Personality. Retrieved from Islamic Azad University website:

Keltikangas-Jarvinen, L., & Jokela, M. (2010). Nature and nurture in personality. The Journal Of Lifelong Learning In Psychiatry, 8(2), 180-184. Retrieved from
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Personality Development Most Personality Theories Essay

Words: 644 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 77661972

shame and doubt; initiative vs. guilt; industry vs. inferiority; identity vs. role confusion; intimacy vs. isolation; generativity vs. stagnation; and ego integrity vs. despair. Like Piaget, Erikson's theory also explains the factors that influence personality development albeit through a framework of psychosocial factors. Thus, this theory too is immensely valuable as it enables parents and teachers to help a child successfully negotiate each psychosocial crisis and thereby develop a healthy sense of self.

Piaget and Erikson's work is valuable but is limited since the focus is on explaining the process through which personality develops. Thus, both theories stop short of explaining final personality outcomes and their functioning. For this reason, I agree with Carl Jung's personality theory more than any other since it offers an explanation of how the individual psyche works, by itself, and in terms of its relation to the universe. In fact, I find that Jung's personality typology explains my own personality accurately as a "ESFJ" or "Extroverted Feeling with Sensing" type. With a score of extroverted 56%, Sensing 22%, Feeling 56%, and Judging 33%, the test results describe my personality as a highly expressed extrovert and feeling person, a slightly expressed sensing person, and a moderately expressed judging person. This matches my knowledge of myself as a person whose feelings are always transparent even while enjoying social interactions of all kinds. In line with the personality type description, I also agree that I have a strong sense of right and wrong. But since I like harmony, this often creates a great deal of internal conflict when I am forced to reconcile transgression with my desire for peace.

Thus, while Piaget and Erikson's work may help explain how personality develops, Jung's theory allows for understanding how various aspects of a psyche influence the final personality outcome. To that extent, I believe that Jung's theory takes a more comprehensive approach.… [Read More]

AllPsych. (2004, March 21). Personality Development. Psychology 101. Retrieved Nov. 10, 2004:
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Personality Theories Including Evolutionary and Dispositional Essay

Words: 988 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 74900828

Dispositional and Evolutionary Theories

What makes some people extraverted and others introverted? Why are some people mellow and calm, while others lose their tempers at the drop of a hat? Personality psychology tries to answer questions like these by performing a twofold role. The first role of personality psychology is to explain how clusters of traits work together to cause behavioral or cognitive effects, and the other role is to simply explain individual differences or classify people according to clusters of traits (American Psychological Association, 2015). There are several schools of personality psychology, including dispositional and evolutionary theories. Dispositional theory is quite common in popular psychology and has been a prevalent mode of thinking in the history of philosophies throughout different societies. According to dispositional theory, people have immutable traits and personality "types." Occasionally a person might act out of character, but generally people have strong, innate personalities that remain with them throughout their lives. The two major assumptions of personality psychology are that personality is stable across the course of a person's life, and the other is that people with different personality types are inherently different from one another ("Personality: Theories and Perspectives," 2007).

Evolutionary theory of personality acknowledges that there are certain personality traits, but attributes those traits to biological or genetic factors. The underlying assumption of evolutionary theory is that genetics determines personality, but human personality and behavior can be changed when there are changes to the organism's biology such as through neurochemicals or hormones. Evolutionary theory is less concerned with traits and categories, but is concerned with cognition, behavior, and affect as it pertains to the ways people cope with stress or express themselves. Both personality and evolutionary theory are deterministic in nature, meaning individuals are not believed to be in control of their personality. Both also believe that personality is something that people are born with, but evolutionary theory believes that people are born that way due to genetics and human evolution. Both theories allow for situational variables to impact behavior or cognition,…… [Read More]

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Application of Personality Theories to Counseling and Therapy Essay

Words: 2507 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 86383313

Personality Therapy

Personality is very complex. Individuals can differ considerably from one another, because of the wide variety of traits possible. In addition, a person can act a certain way in one situation and completely different in another, or have internal processes that manifest themselves through very different external actions and behaviors. Because of this diversity and complexity, psychologists have developed a number of theories to explain personality phenomena, as well as suggest yet unknown possibilities. This report, based on the book Perspectives on Personality by Charles Carver will discuss these theories and how they can be applied for behavioral change through therapy.

Two theories fall under the dispositional perspectives category, which emphasize that people display consistency or continuity in their actions, thoughts and feelings: The "trait and type" theory and the "needs and motives" theory. The first concludes that people can be divided into different types or categories. Nomothetic personality traits are those that are relevant to every person, and ideographic ones are unique to some individuals. Professionals who specialize in dispositional perspectives, use self-report inventories as a means of personal assessment -- helping people better understand their unique qualities as well as similarities and differences with others.

Although the trait approach is somewhat negative regarding the ability to change one's personality and resulting behavior, a person who better knows his/her strengths and weaknesses can be helped through therapy to learn how to avoid entering situations where relevant stresses are likely to occur. Keeping away or reducing involvement with such environments as well as finding situations and jobs, etc. that fit with one's personality can also be positive support.

The basic idea with the needs and motives theory is that human behavior is best understood as a reflection of needs. A need is an internal state that is less than satisfactory, a lack of something that is necessary for well-being. Primary needs are based on a person's biological nature -- air, food, water, etc. Secondary or psychogenic needs are derived from biological needs or inherent in a person's psychological…… [Read More]

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Personality Theories Determinants of Behavior Essay

Words: 627 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 12720253

Personality and Behavior: Changing for the Better

Hundreds of thousands of years of instinctive programming influence the behavior of modern humans in ways they do not fully understand, and in many cases, people may not even be aware of these influences on their behavior. This is not to say, of course, that modern humans are incapable of thoughtful and purposeful action, but it is to say that such unconscious influences on behavior can cause problems if they are not recognized and dealt with in a meaningful fashion. To gain additional insights in this area, this paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning personality and behavior, followed by a discussion concerning how behavior can be influenced by personality in ways that can cause individual problems such as risky behaviors that lead to substance abuse or unprotected premarital sex. Finally, an examination concerning how the interactionism view of personality can be used to help people overcome this problem. A summary of the research and important findings are presented in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

The specific determinants of behavior that influence humans have been of interest to personality theorists for some time, but there remains some debate over which are most salient and how these determinants operate (Livesley, 2001). Despite this controversy, the powerful effect of personality on behavior is well documented and most psychologists and laypersons alike attribute human behavior to "stable underlying dispositions" (Aizen, 2005, p. 1). One personality attribute in particular that may lead to problems is fixation. According to Carver and Sheier, for instance, "An adult who is fixated at the oral stage might smoke more or eat or drink more when stressed at work. . . . The stronger the fixation, the more likely is the person to regress under stress to the mode of functioning that characterizes that stage" (p. 182). Consequently, even when…… [Read More]

Aizen, I. (2005). Attitudes, personality and behavior. Maidenhead, England: Open University

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Personality Theories Essay

Words: 1182 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 21028139

Jet Li-Psychological Personality Analysis

The Image of Jet Li: Development of a Wu-Shu Master

For many years, Asian actors have not been given enough opportunities to break into the entertainment industry in the United States, popularly called the Hollywood. Only few Asian actors have made it big in Hollywood, of which the famed martial arts master Bruce Lee is considered as the first Asian who brought fame in the Asian entertainment industry through his martial arts movies. Jackie Chan, similarly, shares Bruce Lee's glory but in a different genre, where Chan uses martial arts not as a form of physical violence, but a form of art movement. Also, Chan's movies are mostly humorous, illustrating Chan's penchant for a feel-good movie for his audience.

Another name that has emerged as another potential Asian martial arts actor is Jet Li, a wu-shu expert who hailed from Beijing, China. Jet Li is popularly known for his movies Once Upon a Time in China, as the Triad leader and villain in Lethal Weapon, and once again as the 'fighter against evil forces' -- with the movies The One and The Hero. Apart from these movies, Li had also been other movies that were originally marketed and shown in Hongkong. It was only after his success in Lethal Weapon did he receive acclaim as the "next Bruce Lee" of martial arts genre of movies.

This paper discusses Jet Li's life, starting from his childhood, where his interest in wu-shu began, until he emerged as a movie actor incorporating martial arts in his films, becoming both an acclaimed Hongkong (Asian) and American actor. In addition to Li's biography, this paper also discusses the psychological development of Li's life (from childhood to present life) and how his life can be contextualized based on Erik Erikson's Socioemotional theory of human development.

Jet Li's development to his current image as a martial arts expert and actor was greatly influenced with his childhood, where at a young age of 8, he was enrolled in Chaingquiao Primary School of Beijing to study wu-shu. Wu-shu is a form of martial arts where the movement is used as a form of defense, not just physical violence. In effect, wu-shu is not merely a martial arts form, but rather a kind of…… [Read More]

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Self and Personality Theories Ethics Essay

Words: 1518 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 89122867

The causes of human actions and behavior are generally sought for in the psyche of the individual or in the social environment.… [Read More]

Ewen Robert B. ( 1998) An Introduction to Theories of Personality. 5th ed. Mahwah,

NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories Worksheet Abraham Essay

Words: 462 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 72938416

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories Worksheet

Abraham Maslow proposed the Hierarchy of needs theory of personality.

According to Maslow, self-fulfillment and realization of one's full potential are examples of self-actualization needs.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs proposes that basic needs must be satisfied before secondary/higher level needs will become motivators for behavior.

The belief that matter evolves from simpler to more complex forms is evolution.

The ideal self according to Rogers, is one's view of self as one wishes to be.

Carl Rogers believed that conditions of worth, incongruence, defensiveness, and disorganization are all considered undifferentiated.

Rogers believed that counselor congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathy are necessary elements of psychotherapy.

Intentionality is the structure that gives meaning to experience and allows people to make decisions about the future.

May proposed that existential freedom is the freedom of action, whereas essential freedom is the freedom of being.

10. The basic concepts of existential theory are freedom and responsibility.


Match the following theoretical components with their correct theorist or theorists.

Theoretical component


1. Unconditional positive regard

B. Carl Rogers

2. Eros

C. Rollo May

3. Love and belongingness needs

A. Abraham Maslow

4. The self-concept

B. Rogers

5. Guilt

C. May

6. Levels of awareness

B. Rogers

7. Self-actualization

B. Rogers and A. Maslow

8. Neurotic anxiety

C. May


1. According to Maslow, what are the characteristics of self-actualizing people?…… [Read More]