Major Theories Of Personality : Psychodynamic, Five Factor Model, Humanistic, And Social Cognitive

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Personality is an aspect of psychology that is especially difficult to measure. There are four major theories of personality: psychodynamic, five-factor model, humanistic, and social-cognitive. The psychodynamic theory, which was developed by Sigmund Freud and carried on by his followers, rests on the ideals that all psychological events have both a cause and a symbolic meaning and our behavior and feelings are powerfully affected by unconscious motives. The five-factor model relies on factor analysis that has produced five traits that have surfaced repeatedly in personality measures: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Humanistic psychologists believe that the core motive in personality is self-actualization, which is the drive to develop our innate potential to the fullest possible extent. The social-cognitive theory of personality proposes thinking as a cause of personality. All four of these theories have been scientifically evaluated and have advantages and disadvantages. As mentioned earlier, the psychodynamic theory promotes the idea that all psychological events have both a cause and a symbolic meaning and our behavior/feelings are motivated by our unconscious mind. Freud believed that personality is made up of three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. The id and the super-ego are part of the unconscious mind and in constant conflict with the ego in the conscious mind. This conflict creates anxiety, which could be dealt with by the ego’s use of defense mechanisms. In this theory, personality is shaped as the sexual and aggressive drive are modified by different conflicts at different times in childhood. The psychodynamic theory also had its critics. Many hypotheses of Fre... ... middle of paper ... ...m of learning in addition to classical and operant conditioning. Social learning theorists believed believe in reciprocal determinism, which is the tendency for people to mutually influence each other’s behavior. Critics of this theory pointed to the fact that the effects of shared environment on adult personality is weak or non-existent to refute the social-cognitive claim that observational learning exerts a powerful influence over our personalities. Clearly there are many approaches to attempting to determine the causes and aspects of personality. The psychodynamic, five-factor model, humanistic, and social cognitive theories each present their own reasonable view of personality. However, these theories are not without critics. The advantages and disadvantages of these four theories show that personality is a highly controversial topic in the world of psychology.
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