Free «Personality Study» Essay

Personality Study

People have different personalities. In a bid to understand these characteristics, we fail to understand how they differ from each other. Our judgments on how people behave or misbehave are similar to the psychologist’s views. Our informal assessments of personality focus is more frequently carried out on individuals. The psychologists employ conception of personality applicable to each individual. Various conducted researches have led to emergence of multiple theories. They in turn explain emergence of different personal traits. They give us reasons why they differ among diversity of people. This study focuses on trait, biological and genetic approaches. Cognitive approaches provide a backup on the current research. We study the psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches to the start and history of personality theory, which assist us in understanding different people.

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People have unique features brought about by the discrepancy in way of thinking, respond to changes in environment, and feelings towards each other. It arises from within a specific individual and is constant throughout the individual’s life. Personality is a dynamic organization inside the person and a psychological system that makes up individual’s characteristic patterns, such as behavior, thoughts and feelings. There are factors, which make an individual’s behavior consistent after a long period of time. Consequently, a person behaves differently from the way other people would behave under similar situations. It is termed as a collection of emotional, decisive and behavioral structures, unique to a person and consistent over a long period.

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Theoretical Approach

There are many theories developed by psychologists to explain reasons behind different kinds of behavior. They are distinct in explanations and principles. The theorists tend to disagree at some point. Everyone aims at supporting his points of view and make more people adopt it. Modern and traditional theories aim at driving the same opinion at individual personality. Understanding of personality is at times a complex process. The following theories will explain and simplify this fact.

Psychoanalytic Theory. It is a theory referring to the definition and dynamics of personality development underlying psychoanalytic studies. The theory came into full prominence as a critical force in the 20th century as part of flow, which shows how human beings’ behavior differs. Freud concentrated on the mind and brain, and he related the psychological attributes making up the consciousness. He supported his theory through the deep study of the Id, ego and superego. The ideas consisted in the assertion that one’s activities are directed by satisfaction of Id’s impulses and ego, as well as fully controlled by superego. He divided instincts into death instincts and life instincts. While the death instincts show up the aggression, life instincts seek pleasure in various ways.

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Trait Theory. Modern theorists developed this speculation. It is highly regarded as the most recent hypothesis, which captures reasons for difference in human behavior. The theorists aim at measuring human traits classified into behavioral patterns, emotions and thoughts. Traits are constant overtime, differently developed in each individual and influence behavior. Gordon Allport stated that central traits define individual personality but secondary traits are peripheral and more important. The common traits recognized in one’s culture differs from one place to another. Cardinal traits make an individual gain high recognition. Researchers argue that humor, richness and physical appearance describe one’s personality. The Ancient Greek philosophy includes extraversion and introversion as a personality measure. Neuroticisms are a vital trait in personality study. The focus of the theory is to learn about how people differ in traits, how to measure traits and organization of traits. It has five factors. They are neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Heredity plays important role in personality through neuroticism, shyness, aggressiveness and novelty-seeking. 

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Social Learning. Theory came up in a more modern times as compared to the trait and psychoanalytic theories. This theory is highly based on learning of one’s behavior. It suggests that most people acquire their personality through learning process in schools. It goes beyond the traditional behaviorism connected with one’s birth and growth. With Albert Bandera, reciprocal determinism helps in understanding cognitions, behaviors, as well as environmental factors that influence human character and patterns. Observational learning helps to acquire efficacy expectations like the self-efficacy. The theory helps understand behavior, environmental factors and behavior therapy. It broadens to cognitive behavioral therapy. The theory fails since it does not include unconscious influences and heredity. It has little focus on subjective experience, which fails to capture all aspects.

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Humanistic Theory. The theory helps to comprehend goodness and respect of humankind. It pays attention to existential psychology or understanding and acceptance of individual responsibility. Two great researchers, namely Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, created an understanding of personality and improvement of individual satisfaction. Humanistic theory gives an understanding of each unique character. It is a simple theory though it has become more popular. Ideas behind humanistic theory are not complicated but clearly detailed to help readers understand people’s identity. They belief that the main goal of life should be an achievement of personal growth and insight, which is possible through self-improvement and self-knowledge. They argue that human being possesses an inherent worth, and despite the fact that some actions may not always be positive, this should not negate one’s personality. They understand that the present is most vital aspect of an individual and, thus, the theory focuses on the aspect of contemporary moment ignoring the past and not forecasting the future. The theorists base it on reality so that psychologically healthy people take responsibility of themselves neglecting the fact that one’s actions are positive or negative.

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Abraham Maslow’s Holistic Theory. Abraham Maslow was not only involved in motivational areas. He also came with a unique theory of understanding one’s personality. He proposed a hierarchy of needs. Humanists do not believe that human beings are either pushed or pulled by mechanical forces, stimuli or reinforcements. Humans look for the frontiers of creativity and highest attainments of consciousness and brightness. Maslow describes such person as self-actualizing.

Abraham formulated a theory of personality, which is included into a number of different fields and education. The great influence is due to the uppermost level of Maslow’s theory. It briefly describes many facts about personal experience and exposure. He suggested a large list of behaviors that included orientation towards reality, self-acceptance, creativeness, democratic decisions, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, rich interpersonal experience, self-respect, and personal improvements among others. He set up a hierarchy of requirements necessary to analyze one’s personality, namely physiologic requirements, safety requirements, requirements of love, belonging and tenderness, requirements for self-actualization, and needs for regards.

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Factors Affecting Personality

This is a process involving grooming and enhancing one’s inner and outer personality to bring a positive change in an individual’s life. There are many factors affecting this development. They include parenting, environment at home, self-image, inner desire, sex difference, nervous system, intelligence, heredity, biological peculiarities, social environment, language, self-concept, social role, physique, body chemistry, psychological aspects, and education. These factors make people possess different characters from each other.

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