Six Major Tenants of Personality Theory

Topics: Psychology, Nature versus nurture, Sigmund Freud Pages: 7 (2494 words) Published: December 13, 2014

Six Major Tenants of Personality Theory
Karissa Stuart
Liberty University

This paper will review the six major tenants of personality theory. The first discussed are the foundations of psychology, which are: nature versus nurture, the unconscious, and view of self. Each of these foundations are important to the development of a psychologically healthy person. Nature versus nurture is a long time debated concept within psychology that argues whether a person’s behaviors are derived from genetics and what are derived from the things we learn. The unconscious is a part of the mind that humans are unaware of, but it is responsible for dreams, sexual desires, and even aggression. The view of self is important because it is how an individual sees themselves. Second the progression of psychology such as development, motivation, and maturation will be discussed. Each of these plays a huge role in the field of psychology and that role will be discussed. Finally, in this paper we will delve into how these things are biblically integrated and how each principle is connected with biblical ideals and principles.  

Six Major Tenants of Personality Theory
            Psychology as a whole is founded on several major tenants. Each of these things plays key roles in the development of a psychologically healthy person. There are three foundations of personality; Nature versus nurture, the unconscious, and the view of self. There are also three progressions of personality; development, motivation, and maturation. Even though there are many theorists who have different ideas on each of these, they all simplify to the same basic principles.  

Foundations of Personality
Nature versus Nurture
            The first foundation of psychology is nature versus nurture. Nature versus nurture is one of the oldest debated principles in psychology. The main idea behind nature versus nurture is basically a debate on what aspects of our behaviors are genetic and what aspects are learned characteristics. The idea of nature versus nurture was coined by Francis Galton the first cousin of Charles Darwin in the late 1800’s (Gottlieb, 1992). He came up with this during a conversation about the influence of heredity and environment on the advancement of people. Obviously our DNA is what determines physical characteristics such as eye color, height, and body structure, but Nature versus nurture addresses the more complex issues like where did an individual’s athleticism come from? Or why does this person love books and has a sarcastic sense of humor? These are the things that the great nature versus nurture debate seeks to discuss. Many theorists believe that things such as personality are determined by genetic predisposition, where as many other theorists believe that one’s behavior stems from everyday life, the environment one grows up in, and the way a person is taught i.e. nurture. So if a person graduates college with a degree and gets recruited by the NFL to play professional football would nature or nurture account for this?  Both sides of this argument have valid points, but so far there is no winning side. It is simply a matter of opinion. The bible says that we are made in the image of God in Genesis 1:27. This means that before genetics, before environmental influences or anything else God first designed us in his likeness. This debate was created without God in mind so it’s hard to take a stand with either side. I believe that we were created in the image of God, but because we are in a sinful world there are tons of negative environmental influences we encounter daily. The choice to have character in our daily actions and to live according to the Word of God is a daily decision we have to make and then God will bless our lives. The Unconscious

The next foundation of psychology is the unconscious. The unconscious as described by Sigmund Freud is the reservoir of all the thoughts,...

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