Psy/405 – Theories of Personality
November 29, 2010
The term personality has been heard throughout history. Each individual can give a description of their personality as well as her friends. What people fail to understand is personality is the most theorized and researched aspect of psychology. Throughout the report the reader will be able to define personality, explain the theoretical approach to studying personality, and be able to analyze factors that may influence an individual’s personality development. Personality is defined as, “the relatively enduring characteristics that differentiate people- those behaviors that makes each individual unique” (Feldman, 199, p.472). According to Feist (2009), personality is defined as, “a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior. In order to get a better understanding of personality, one must be able to differentiate trait from state of personality. A trait is a permanent characteristic. Example of trait is outgoing, shy, friendly, etc. These traits are used to understand one’s personality. While state is a temporary change in one’s personality. Example of state is depressed, scared, angry, etc. States are used to describe one’s reaction. When studying personality there are many approaches that answer the question who we are and why we are alike and different. The five theoretical approaches that will be discussed in this report are psychoanalytic theory, trait theory, cognitive-social approach, biological and evolutionary approach, and humanistic approach. According to Feldman (1999), the theoretical approaches to studying personality are as follow: * Psychoanalytic theory approach developed by Sigmund Freud based his theory that unconscious motivation and needs influence behavior. Freud suggests that personality...