Psychodynamic Theory Of Personality

1532 Words 7 Pages
Psychodynamic Theories Sigmund Freud believed that human personality is a reflection of the emotions and thoughts that we are unaware of, known as the unconscious. He theorized that the personality is made of the id, ego and superego. This id is present at birth and consists of sexual and aggressive instincts driven by the pleasure principle which demands immediate fulfilment of desires without pain. The ego tries to pleasure this id, but through the reality principle which acts on reasoning and only fulfils the id’s desires when it is safe to do so in the real world. The superego, or conscience acts on morals absorbed through culture. Freud stated that when the ego does not satisfy the id and superego, an individual experiences anxiety and …show more content…
However, these theories, especially Freud’s Oedipus and Electra complexes as well as penis envy, are likely a result of cultural norms. Despite this, some studies have indicated that the unconscious is likely to exist, but they have failed to identify a link between the unconscious and personality development.
Humanistic Personality Theories The humanistic idea that human nature is inherently good and that humans have the capacity to grow and change motivates individuals to strive for perfection within themselves and society contrasts the psychodynamic theorist’s idea that personality is a reflection of unconscious conflicts.
Carl Rogers speculated that human personality is influenced by their biological potential in the sense that humans develop into what they are capable of, known as the actualization tendency. In addition, the self actualization tendency is the human attempt to satisfy the conscious sense of self. An individual is defined as fully functioning when their self concept is similar to or matches their biological potential. People who are fully functioning are raised with love and acceptance no matter their emotions and behavior. This is known as unconditional positive regard. Conversely, individuals raised with conditional positive regard, or acceptance of only some traits by the caregiver, diverge from their biological potential and
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Studies conducted using the five factor model suggest that these traits are universal and can be applied to culture across the world.
The problem with trait theories is that they do not explain the development of personality, they only describe it. A positive attribute to these theories is that they are fairly easy to test experimentally. Data does suggest that the five factor model has some validity, but some people argue that it is not good to reduce and individual down to five traits.
Cognitive-social learning theories explain behavior as a result of past experiences as well as present environment. Albert Bandura proposed that expectancies dictate a person’s attitude and behavior about a certain situation. These expectancies result in performance standards, an individual’s determination of their capability within a certain situation. Individuals who meet their performance standards expect success and develop self efficacy. Julian Rotter identified the locus of control as a type of expectancy. Those with an internal locus of control believe that their actions dictate their fate while those with an external locus of control believe that their fate is determined by luck of the actions of

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