Running head: Albert Bandura & Carl Rogers
Compare and Contrast Social Cognitive and Humanistic Theories of Personality to the case study entitled Myesha
Course: PSCY3017 Personality Theory II
Personality is an intriguing component in psychology vital for the perception of human beings. Understanding and defining personality has proven to be a difficult task. It is so complex, in fact, that no single theory can adequately define it. If one was to ask an ordinary individual to do so, some of the most common answers might be “a person’s characteristics” or “the impression (s) one makes on others”. Personality Theorists on the other hand view personality as the essence of the person, the individual’s true inner nature (Rathus, 2004). According to Carver and Scheier (2000), “Personality is a dynamic organization, inside the person, of psychophysical systems that create a person’s characteristic patterns of behaviour, thoughts, and feelings” (p.5). For this assignment the assumptions of the Social-Cognitive and Humanistic theoretical paradigms of personality will be applied to evaluate the personality of the case study, Myesha. It will also discuss personality tests- methods/instruments, used to measure whether people are sad, glad or bad and how people with certain personality traits respond to life’s demand. Before one can begin to understand and assess this individual’s personality, it is important to briefly review the Social-Cognitive and Humanistic theories of personality with their respective theorists such as Albert Bandura and for the Humanistic approach, Carl Rogers. According to Passer & Smith (2007), social cognitive theory is a perspective that was developed by Albert Bandura. It “combines the behavioural and cognitive perspectives into an approach to personality that stresses the interaction of a thinking human with a social environment that provides learning experiences” (p.467). It is proposed that an individual’s thoughts and actions originate in the social world and there is the capacity for self regulation and to engage in active cognitive processes (Bandura, 1999). The humanistic or phenomenological theories of personality view humans as innately good. Emphasis is placed on individual experiences, relationships and ways of understanding the world. Human nature includes a natural drive towards personal growth. We as humans have the ability to choose what we do regardless of environment and humans are pretty much conscious beings. We are not controlled by unconscious needs and conflicts (Engler, 2008). According to Rogers (1951) individuals possess the innate ability to know what is important to them, what is essential for a more fulfilling life. This is known as an Organismic Valuing Process. Myesha demonstrated this as she wanted to study Literatures in English, while her mother wanted her to follow in her stepfather’s footsteps and study Law instead. Rogers would have stated at this point that Myesha went against her Organismic Valuing Process and conformed to her mother’s wishes by studying Law. When significant others in an individual’s world, ( in Myesha’s case; her parents), provide positive regard that is conditional, rather than unconditional, the individual introjects the desired values, making them ones own, thus they acquire “conditions of worth” (Engler, 2008). As a result, the self concept becomes based on these standards of value, rather than on the organismic evaluation. According to Bandura (1978), while assessing an individual’s behavior, there are three interactional processes to consider; the person, the individual’s behaviour and the environmental setting. These factors all operate as interlocking determinants of each other and “it is largely through their actions that people produce the environmental conditions that affect their behavior in a reciprocal fashion” (Funder & Ozer,...
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