top-rated free essay

Personality Paper

By Nekishea-Burkhalter Apr 09, 2014 1023 Words


Personality
Nekishea Burkhalter
PSY/211
May 28, 2013
William Powers

Personality is defined as an individual’s unique and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. (Aronson, 2012). Personality is also defined as the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character or qualities that make someone interesting or popular. Personality is all about our different ways of being human. According to (Barry, 2009), personality can be defined as consistency in a person’s way of operating. For instance, some people tend to operate in the same way day after day and year after year. These are not just specific behaviors being repeated over and over, but overall patterns, tendencies, and inclinations. Someone who has been quiet and reserved in the past will probably continue to be quiet and reserved in the future. (Barry, 2009). A personality theory is an attempt to describe and explain how people are similar, how they are different, and how they are unique. (Aronson, 2012). A personality theory tries to explain the whole person. (Aronson, 2012). There are several different personality theories, but they can generally be grouped into four basic perspectives: the psychoanalytic, humanistic, social cognitive, and trait perspective. The psychoanalytic perspective of personality emphasizes the importance of unconscious processes and the influence of early childhood experience. Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is the theory of personality that stresses the influence of unconscious mental processes, the importance of sexual and aggressive instincts, and the enduring effects of early childhood experience on personality. Freud’s theory gradually evolved during his first 20 years of private practice. He used observations of his patients as well as self -analysis to base his theories. Freud developed his own technique called free association to help his patients recover forgotten memories. Free association is a psychoanalytic technique in which the patient spontaneously reports all thoughts, feelings, and mental images as they come to mind. (Freud, 1925). Through free association the cause of the forgotten memories was easier to find. Freud saw personality and behavior as the result of a constant interplay among conflicting psychological forces. (Freud, 1940). These psychological forces operate at three different levels of awareness: the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious. All the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that you’re aware of at this moment represent the conscious level. The preconscious level contains information that you are not currently aware of, but can easily bring to conscious awareness. According to Freud, most of the psychological thought process is made up of the unconscious. Freud believes that you are not aware of your unconscious thoughts, feelings, wishes, and drives; but the unconscious has an enormous influence on your conscious thoughts and behavior. Freud thought that unconscious material made its way to the conscious mind through distorted, disguised, or symbolic images; therefore, he carefully analyzed his patient’s dreams for evidence of unconscious wishes, fantasies, and conflicts. Freud also thought that the unconscious could be revealed in unintentional actions like mistakes, accidents, forgetting, or slips of the tongue. (Freud, 1904). The humanistic perspective of personality emphasizes free will, self-awareness, and psychological growth. The two most important contributors to the humanistic perspective were Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Unlike Freud, who believed that people were driven by unconscious sexual and destructive instincts, Rogers and Maslow saw people as being innately good. They chose to focus on the healthy personality rather than psychologically troubled people. Both Maslow and Rogers believed in an individuals need to fulfill their potential and capabilities. Rogers developed his personality theory from his clinical experiences with his patients, whom he referred to as clients to emphasize their active and voluntary participation in therapy. In observing his patients, Rogers found that the most basic human motive is actualizing tendency. Actualizing tendency is the innate drive to enhance and maintain the human organism. (Bohart, 2007; Bozart and Wang, 2008). During these observations Rogers also formed the cornerstone of his personality theory; the idea of self-concept. The self-concept is the set of perceptions and beliefs that you have about yourself. Rogers believed that believed that people are motivated to act according to their self-concept. The social cognitive perspective of personality stresses conscious thought processes, self-regulation, and the importance of situational influences. According to the social cognitive perspective, people actively process information from their social experiences. The most influential personality theorists to embrace the social cognitive perspective was Albert Bandura. The social cognitive perspective differs from the psychoanalytic and humanistic perspectives in several ways. First, the social cognitive perspective relies heavily on experimental findings instead self-analysis or instincts derived from psychotherapy. Second, the social cognitive perspective emphasizes conscious, self- regulated behavior rather than unconscious mental influences and instinctual drives. Finally, the social cognitive perspective emphasizes that our sense of self can vary, depending on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in any given situation. Trait theories of personality focus on identifying, describing, and measuring individual differences. While psychoanalytic, humanistic, and social cognitive theories focus on the similarities of individuals, the trait approach to personality focuses primarily on describing individual differences. (Funder and Fast, 2010). Trait theorists view the person as being a unique combination of personality characteristics or attributes called traits. Raymond Cattell was a strong advocate of the trait approach to personality. Personality is assessed in several different ways, however, the two most basic assessments are projective test and self-report inventories. Projective testing is a type of personality test that involves a person’s interpreting an ambiguous image. It is used to assess unconscious motives, conflicts, psychological defenses, and personality traits. The benefit of projective tests is that they provide a wealth of qualitative information about an individual’s psychological functioning. Self-report inventory is a type of psychological test in which a person’s responses to standardized questions are compared to established norms. With self-report inventories, people answer specific questions or rate themselves on various dimensions of behavior or psychological functioning. The benefits of self-report inventories are their standardization and their use of established norms. Personality assessments are generally useful in providing insight into the psychological makeup of people, however; no personality test by itself can provide a definitive description of an individual.

Aronson, 2012
Barry, 2009
Bohart, 2007
Bozard, 2008
Fast, 2010
Freud, 1904;1940
Funder, 2010
Wang, 2008

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Personality

    ...Personality Instructions: Be sure to read each question carefully and answer each part of each question completely. 1. What does it mean to say that a perspective on personality is inherently deterministic? Give an example of a perspective we discussed in class that has, at its core, a deterministic worldview. Support your assertion b...

    Read More
  • Personality

    ...Personality – is the unique way in which each individual th.0inks, acts, and feels throughout life. * Character – value judgments of a person’s moral and ethical behavior. * Temperament – the enduring characteristics with which each person THEORIES OF PERSONALITY * Perspectives/Theory Different ways of viewing and expl...

    Read More
  • BEH 225 PERSONALITY THEORIES PAPER

    ... PERSONALITY THEORIES Russell T. Stade BEH/225 MAY 10, 2015 MELODIE MILLER PERSONALITY THEORIES Have you ever wondered why each person acts and behaves so differently from each other? The reason behind each person’s behavior is through their qualities and characteristics that make them who they are. This combination of qualities and c...

    Read More
  • Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories Paper

    ...Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories Matrix Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories Matrix Theorists have invested years of research into learning the dynamics of one’s personality. Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories offered perspectives that have proved to be v...

    Read More
  • Personality Paper

    ...Personality Paper Jo Hanousek University of Phoenix Karen Wilson Personality Paper Just as no two people are alike, no two personalities are alike. Each person’s personality is unique to the individual to whom it belongs. A person may share the same traits as others, such as family members, and while there may be similarities in traits...

    Read More
  • Personality Paper

    ... Personality Paper 1. According to Hockenbury and Hockenbury (2014), (Chapter 10 Personality ). There are four perspectives of personality they are humanistic, social cognitive, trait, and psychoanalytic. Humanistic Psychology emphasizes unique characteristics as free will and self-awareness. Fraud had a different perceptive on...

    Read More
  • Introduction to Personality Paper Psy405

    ...INTRODUCTION TO PERSONALITY PAPER 1 Introduction to Personality Paper By PSY 405 Theories of Personalities Instructor – Jerry Mote September 15th, 2012 INTRODUCTION TO PERSONALITY PAPER 2 Introduction to Personality The word personality is one of ancient roots. Based out of the Latin word, perso...

    Read More
  • Personality Theories Paper

    ...Personality Theories Paper Peggy Pena PSY/211 December 7, 2012 Dr. Joy Womble Personality Theories Paper To begin assessing personality theories, there are five personality theories to consider. The five theories of approaches to personality are as follows, Psychodynamic, Trait, Learning, Biological and Evolutionary, and Humanistic. T...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.