Concept of Humanity
The theories proposed by various psychologists are seen in the light of their concept of humanity. If I were to propose a theory, it would be characterized by my concept of humanity as one with free choice, optimism, driven by expectations of the future (Teleology), conscious thought, social relationships & environment and the uniqueness of each human being.
1. Determinism vs. Free Choice
My view on the nature of human nature would fall on free choice. There are indeed forces beyond our control but we how we behave, react or respond to these forces are purely out of our own choice. We have total control over ourselves to choose to do what we think is the right action at any given situation. This is why we were given the faculty of reasoning and free will that we may not feel as if we are mere victims of fate but are actually proactive beings capable of choosing what they think is right for them.
2. Pessimism vs. Optimism
People can “change and grow into psychologically healthy, happy, fully functional human beings (Feist, 2006).” This comes with the fact that I believe in free choice. We are not mere victims of fate. We are human beings who are capable of changing to be able to adapt to any given situation which then gives way for us to become psychologically healthy and fully functional at any given situation or environment. Again, we are beings who take action.
3. Causality vs. Teleology
Our past experiences do hold a lot of lessons but I think that people behave the way they do because of what their present actions’ consequences may bring in the future. They get something from the past, yes. But their behaviors are mainly driven by “certain expectations” of what may happen in the future.
4. Conscious vs. Unconscious
People are generally driven by their conscious thoughts. We are fully aware of what we are doing and why we are doing it. I believe that this is a characteristic of a human being; we are capable of rational thought. This is what separates us from animals because we do not act based solely on satisfying drives. We also put into perspective what is right and wrong when it comes to satisfying drives.
5. Biological vs. Social Personalities are shaped by social relationships and environment than just being mere creatures of biology. As how I would always answer the nature vs. nurture this way, “Nature could only do so much. Nurture, however, may improve on what limits nature has set.” We have seen this through a lot of experiments done through the years, where one may have thought that a child has limited brain power but given a rich and stimulating environment, changes may be seen with this child.
6. Uniqueness vs. Similarities
The study of personality should concentrate on traits that make people different. We often try hard to categorize one personality as this and that and forget to account for the individual differences of each human being. Though it might help that we sort them out through their similarities first and then work our way to understanding or accounting for the differences in these said traits.