A Comparison of the Main Approaches to Personality Psychology

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A Comparison of the Main Approaches to Personality Psychology Psychology of personality is a difficult concept to define and quantify, therefore most personality theories, however different they may be in other respects, share the basic assumption, that personality is a particular pattern of behaviour and thinking, that prevails across time and situations and differentiates one person from another. Most theories attempting to explain personality represent part of the classic psychological Nature verse Nurture debate. In other words, is personality “inherited”, or developed through our interactions with the environment. In addition, we shall compare and contrast two of the main approaches to personality psychology by concentrating on Psychoanalytical Theory (Freud) and Social Learning Theory (Bandura). By looking at the Psychodynamic approach, developed by Freud, we can argue that it emphasizes the interplay of unconscious psychological processes in determining human thought, feelings, and behaviours. The basis of this approach is that psychological factors play a major role in determining behaviour and shaping personality. Freud argued that personality is composed of three major systems the id, the ego, and the superego. The id (biological part of personality) is present at birth and consists of inherited instincts and all psychological energies. The id operates according to the pleasure principle, seeking to reduce tension, avoid pain and obtain pleasure. The ego (executive part of personality) is conscious part of the mind, the “real” us. The function of the ego is to express and satisfy the desires of the id in accordance wit... ... middle of paper ... ...ogist, 33, 344-358t Bandura, A. (1982). Self- efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 33, 334-358 Mischel, W. (1984). Convergence and challenges in the search for consistency. American Psychologist, 39, 351-364 Rotter, J. B. (1966) Social learning and Clinical Psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Practice Hall Rotter, J.B. (1966) Generalized expectancies for internal verse external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80 (1, Whole No. 609) Alfred, A. (1927) The practice and theory of individual Psychology. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Carlson, R. Neil and Martin, Neil, and Buskit, W. (2004) Psychology (2nd European edition). Essex: Pearson Education Limited Gross, R (1996).Psychology, The Science of mind and behaviour (3rd Ed). London: Hodder & Stoughton

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