World View Paper
University of Akron
Throughout history, psychological theories have been shown shape and impact people’s thoughts, behavior, and worldview. Theories such as those introduced by Karen Horney, George Kelly, and Abraham Maslow are prime examples. Horney presented the interpersonal psychoanalytic theory, which carried a modern view of biological roles and interpersonal relationships. Kelly offered up his own theory called the personal construct theory; the focus lies on an individual’s constructs or cognitions, which branch out to apply to emotions and behavior as well. The final theory comes from Abraham Maslow called the need hierarchy theory. This theory emphasizes the necessity of lower-order and higher needs to be fulfilled, aiding in development. Each of these theories in turn have the capacity to play an important role in the daily lives of individuals and their interactions. Similarly, the theories of Horney, Kelly and Maslow have distinct concepts and points with which either fall in accord or opposition with my own view of personality. These similarities and differences will be discussed along with the theories and sub-points of each psychologist. The interpersonal psychoanalytic theory presents a unique perspective on the traditional view taken by psychoanalytics. Karen Horney believed that social and cultural influences play an important role in personality. Cloninger notes that that for Horney, love and nurture are key in development, especially in childhood; without it a child will likely develop basic anxiety or hostility (2008). She also found that defense mechanisms in people hinder insight, but self-examination can stem into growth (Cloninger, 2008). Horney’s emphasis on childhood safety coincides with my own beliefs, but has limitations. There are two main areas where I have differing opinions from Horney: safety needs and having basic needs fully met. She viewed healthy development as the ability to obtain safety and love from a parent, while unhealthy as the opposite. While I agree with Horney that safety needs are universally important in children, I do not view them as the sole factor that determines healthy development or preventing basic anxiety. In my experience, I have known a few people who, although they have not had all of their basic safety needs met, such as having a consistent home or losing a parent at a young age, still grew up into well-developed young-adults. The second point of contention I have with Horney is where she stated that no individual ever had their needs fully met, and listed ten core neurotic needs (Waehler, 2013). Personally, I think that Horney was correct about her neurotic needs list, however her focus remained on the negative aspect. None of the needs included any positive aspects or aspect of change, which could stem from her difficult life experiences and bouts of depression. I mainly disagree with Horney’s viewpoint that people will never experience complete fulfillment of needs. In my opinion, people’s needs are different than their wants; in everyday life one can observe an individual’s needs being fully met. A baby in most families, for example, has its needs met daily; food, shelter, love, while the needs may or may not be met. If needs never get met to completion, this poses the question of how then, so many people develop healthily through this daily life challenge. Horney’s concept about the self, however, coincides with my personal beliefs. She noted that individuals carry different aspects of themselves, or the self within them. A person’s real self is who they truly are, while their idealized self is who they strive to be (Cloninger, 2008). She also mentions the idea of the tyranny of the shoulds, in which a person is overrun negatively by what they should do in order to achieve their idealized self (Cloninger, 2008). The appearance of the self can be found in all individuals. Each person has...
References: Cloninger, S. C. (2008). Theories of personality: understanding persons. (5th ed.). Pearson: Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Waehler, Charles A. (2013, June & July).
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