Hrm Personality Theories

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There are five general perspectives, or schools of thought, on personality: psychodynamic, trait, life-span, social learning/behavioral, and humanistic/existential. Summary explanations are provided here regarding each of the five perspectives. Psychodynamic is used here as a blanket term to include any theory that stresses the role of the unconscious in analyzing personality. Generally, the major focus of such theories is on emotions and psychological conflict. The psychoanalytic theories of Freud and the analytical theories of Carl Jung through the neo-psychoanalytic, including social- and individual psychological theories, respectively, within the works of Karen Honey and Alfred Adler, are included in this category. According to psychoanalytic theories, unconscious thoughts from time to time threaten to overcome the effort to restrain them. When repression cannot be maintained, defense mechanisms arise. Examples of defense mechanisms include repression, reaction, sublimation, projection, regression, rationalization, displacement, fantasy formation, denial, and introjection. Sometimes the temporary (non-neurotic and non-psychotic) use of a defense mechanism is appropriate to the circumstances or necessary to resolve a source of anxiety, at least temporarily. Adler’s principle that human beings know more than they understand is philosophically similar to Jung’s approach discussed below. According to Adler, self-realization is the primary goal in life. The trait approach to personality classifies people in terms of the levels of characteristics they possess. Trait theorists generally believe that everyone possesses all traits but that each is exhibited in individuals in varying degrees from very low to very high. The trait theory most commonly referred to in current literature is the Big Five. Many trait theorists refer to three aspects of behavior as temperaments—activity level, mood or sociability, and emotional responsiveness. Those three temperaments are...
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