What Are the Main Differences Between Trait and Psychodynamic Theories of Personality?

Topics: Personality psychology, Psychology, Sigmund Freud Pages: 4 (996 words) Published: April 1, 2013
PSY1011 ESSAY COVER SHEET

Essay Title:
What are the main differences between trait and psychodynamic theories of personality?

Student Name: Amna Saleh

Student Number: M00374478

Word Count (Excluding Title and Reference Section): 832

Personality, in a human being, is a collection of psychological traits and mechanisms that tend to influence a person’s interactions and changes to social, psychological and physical environment which surrounds them (Lee, 2012). Personality is a factor that distinguishes one person from another. It is psychological but also physiological since it helps you deal with day-to-day challenges you may face. Research has suggested that biological processes and needs influence your personality (Lee, 2012). There are two types of theories of personality, which are the psychodynamic, and trait theory approach. This essay will explain the two types of theories with examples and later on distinguish between them two. Three main psychologists that introduced psychodynamic theories of personality were Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson and Carl Jung. Psychodynamic Theories focus on a person’s internal mechanism of personality which can be inner conflicts or struggles (Valdez, 2012). Freud had divided the mind into levels of consciousness, preconscious and unconsciousness. He stated that the consciousness level is where all of our thoughts are perceived and understood. The pre-conscious is where memories and thoughts can threaten the conscious process. While the unconscious level is where the past experiences, wishes, and memories lie it usually weakens the mind of an individual (Stevenson, 1998). He had also divided the mind into three conflicting tendencies: Id, ego, and superego. Id responds immediately to instincts hence it is unreasonable. Ego tries to have a balance between the Id and the Superego. Superego usually takes account of values that an individual has learnt from their parents or society ("Simply psychology," 2008). These...


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Lee, K. (2012, March). Agreeableness. Retrieved from http://www.123test.com/personality/
Simply psychology. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/psyche.html
Stevenson, D. (1998). Freud. Retrieved from http://www.victorianweb.org/science/freud/levels.html
Stevenson, D. B. (2001, May 27). Victorian web. Retrieved from http://www.victorianweb.org/science/freud/develop.html
Theories of Human Personality (2012). Retrieved from
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Unknown. (2012) Personality. [e-book]. Retrieved from http://isite.lps.org/jcampel/web/documents/Ch15.pdf
Valdez , A. (2012). The four theories of personality. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_7745856_four-theories-personality.html
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