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Friday, May 1, 2015

Theories of Personality


I reviewed for comprehensive examinations using this blog and aced it. I am now reviewing for psychometrician board exam. First agenda. THEORIES OF PERSONALITY. 



Source: http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologystudyguides/a/personalitysg_3.htm


Biological Theories

Biological approaches suggest that genetics are responsible for personality. 

One of the best known biological theorists was Hans Eysenck, who linked aspects of personality to biological processes. 

Eysenck reported that two-thirds of therapy patients improved significantly or recovered within two year, regardless of whether or not they received psychotherapy. He was also a vocal critic of psychoanalysis, dismissing it as unscientific. 

The greatest controversy surrounding Eysenck was his view of the heritability of intelligence, more specifically his view that racial differences in intelligence could be partially attributed to genetic factors. 

Behavioral Theories

Behavioral theories suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and the environment. Behavioral theorists study observable and measurable behaviors, rejecting theories that take internal thoughts and feelings into account. Behavioral theorists include B. F. Skinnerand John B. Watson.

B. F. Skinner was an American psychologist best-known for his influence on behaviorism. Skinner referred to his own philosophy as 'radical behaviorism' and suggested that the concept of free will was simply an illusion. All human action, he instead believed, was the direct result of conditioning.

In this operant conditioning process, actions that are followed by good consequences are reinforced and therefore those behaviors are more likely to occur again in the future. Behaviors that result in negative consequences, on the other hand, become less likely to occur again.

According to John Watson, psychology should be the science of observable behavior. "Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness," he explained (1913), The "Little Albert" Experiment.

Psychodynamic Theories

Psychodynamic theories of personality are heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud, and emphasize the influence of the unconscious mind and childhood experiences on personality. Psychodynamic theories include Sigmund Freud's psychosexual stage theory and Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development. 

Freud believed the three components of personality were the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is responsible for all needs and urges, while the superego for ideals and moral. The ego moderates between the demands of the id, the superego, and reality. Erikson believed that personality progressed through a series of stages, with certain conflicts arising at each stage. Success in any stage depended upon successfully overcoming these conflicts.

Age Range: Birth to 1 Year

Erogenous Zone: Mouth

During the oral stage, the infant's primary source of interaction occurs through the mouth, so the rooting and sucking reflex is especially important. 

Age Range: 1 to 3 years

Erogenous Zone: Bowel and Bladder Control

During the anal stage, Freud believed that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowel movements. 

Age Range: 3 to 6 Years

Erogenous Zone: Genitals

During the phallic stage, the primary focus of the libido is on the genitals.


Age Range: 6 to Puberty

Erogenous Zone: Sexual Feelings Are Inactive

During the latent period, the libido interests are suppressed. The development of the egoand superego contribute to this period of calm. The stage begins around the time that children enter into school and become more concerned with peer relationships, hobbies, and other interests.

Age Range: Puberty to Death

Erogenous Zone: Maturing Sexual Interests

During the final stage of psychosexual development, the individual develops a strong sexual interest in the opposite sex.

What is Psychosocial Development?

Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development is one of the best-known theories of personality in psychology. Much like 

Sigmund Freud, Erikson believed that personality develops in a series of stages. Unlike Freud's theory of psychosexual stages, Erikson's theory describes the impact of social experience across the whole lifespan.



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