Personality Theories: Personality Disorders and Their Diagnoses
Personality theorists often differ on how the term personality should be used. In fact, Gordon Allport, one of the first psychologists to focus on personality, had more than fifty different definitions for the term. According to Engler (2014), Allport's basic idea was that personality is the true nature of an individual that influences the way they behave and think. Carl Rogers, another influential psychologist, believed that personality is the organized and persistent individual perceptions that determine their experiences. Sigmund Freud, popularly referred to as the father of psychoanalysis, argued that personality is often concealed and it is not conscious or easily known. In light of all these conflicting definitions, one thing is evident: there are a variety of personality theories which attempt to define what personality is and how it influences the lives of people. The American Psychological Association, APA (2015) defines personality as the differing characteristic thought patterns that individuals possess, which influence the way they feel, think, and behave. APA posits that psychologists first have to learn differences in personality traits before they understand how these traits combine to make the individual. This text takes a look at three personality theories: the psychodynamic, humanistic, and social cognitive theories, and how they help us understand human personalities. It also examines psychological disorders and their diagnoses and whether people with these disorders should be given psychiatric labels.
How the psychodynamic, humanistic and social cognitive theories help in understanding human personality
Two examples of these theories are the psychosocial development stages by Erik Erikson and Freud's psychosexual stage theories. Freud believed there are three basic structures in the personality anatomy: the id, the superego, and the ego (Schultz and Schultz, 2013). The id determines the urges and needs a person has and the ego influences their ideals and socially accepted behavior. The superego determines our unconscious beliefs of what is right and wrong. On the other hand, Erikson believed that personality is formed through different stages that conflict. Only when conflicts at one stage are handled can it be termed successful. Psychodynamic theories are important because they emphasize the importance of a person's childhood. They also help in understanding defense mechanisms, which stem from conflicts between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
Humanistic theories focus on how unique each person is. They take a holistic approach -- that self-concept, individual experiences, and free will are essential in the development of the personality of a person (Schultz and Schultz, 2013). Human theorists such as Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers held that a person's behavior is motivated by their need for personal growth, which is brought about by self-actualization (Engler, 2014). The humanistic approach is important in understanding human personality because it focuses on the individual as…
Personality Theory Describe and discuss the basic characteristics, tenets and methods of investigation/research for psychodynamic and cognitive perspectives regarding personality psychology, and the benefits/strengths and limitations/weaknesses of each approach. The challenge that the researchers and personality theorists will face is to parsimoniously capture the process-oriented and dynamic nature of personality. Dweck (1996) in an earlier study asserts that "trait theorists have addressed some of the more static, descriptive aspects of personality-how people
It is more common than many would like to think. It is a disorder which affects behavior in a way which goes against typical norms of social acceptance, and it is also a disorder which has no reliable treatment. This disorder separates afflicted individuals from the behavior of normal people, "Antisocial Personality Disorder is a condition characterized by persistent disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins
Personality Theory and Why It Matters Introduction What shapes the human personality? What factors impact the development of the individual’s cognition, behaviors, and outlook? These questions have longed been considered by psychologists and researchers. Early on, some believed nature played a more dominant role; later, psychologists began to examine the role of a nurturing environment in the formation of the personality. Over the decades, it has become more and more evident that
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Personality theories and PTSD Alternative Theoretical Positions and Applications The idea of personality is broadly accepted as being fundamental in psychology, but its dynamics as well as the ways that it may be identified and assessed are questions in which psychologists have been in substantial disagreement. Millon had been focused on perpetually creating a systematic program to describe standard as well as abnormal personality functioning and also to determine various kinds of
Myers Briggs Evaluating the Myers Briggs Type Indicator The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, introduced in 1943 by the social scientists from which it draws its name and revised frequently thereafter, is a questionnaire-based instrument designed to provide personality profiling data on its respondents. As the discussion hereafter will demonstrate, it can be used to produce useful general personality trait outlooks or for diagnostic purposes where mental illness may be present. Characteristics, Uses and