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Personality Theories: Types and Overview Essay

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Psychodynamic Theory

Main Ideas

The psychodynamic perspective emphasizes the processes of psychological unconsciousness, such as fears and wishes that individuals are unaware of (Schultz & Schultz, 2016). The theory asserts that people’s behaviors are determined by their past experiences.

Assessment

The procedures used in the assessment of the psychodynamic theory are systematic and consistent with Freudian psychology (Schultz & Schultz, 2016). The procedures help to expose individuals’ unconscious perceptions by revealing their inner personality aspects.

Major Issues with This Perspective

According to Schultz and Schultz (2016), the theory concentrates more on the psychological factors but ignores the biological factors that can cause mental issues.

Your Thoughts on This Perspective

Although the psychodynamic theory is appealing and has intriguing ideas, its scientific evidence is scarce; therefore, difficult to test. For example, the unconscious mind cannot be researched through observation.

Humanistic Theory

Main Ideas

The humanistic theory focuses on an individual’s worth, human values’ centrality, and the active, creative human beings’ nature (Schultz & Schultz, 2016). The humanistic theory focuses on the positivity of people which helps them overcome despair, pain, and hardship.

Assessment

According to Schultz and Schultz (2016), the humanistic theory’s assessment is performed through understanding the subjective experience of a person. The theory asserts that people’s subjective experience is more important than their objective one.

Major Issues with This Perspective

Schultz and Schultz (2016) explain that the humanistic theory contains vague concepts which make it difficult to objectify subjective ideas. For example, an experience might be real to one individual but be unreal to another.

Your Thoughts on This Perspective

Although humanistic theory helps professionals focus on an individual’s subjective experiences, it might not be effective when treating mental health concerns. Moreover, the theory might reject some significant behavior concepts which might benefit individuals.

Social-Cognitive Perspective

Main Ideas

According to Schultz and Schultz (2016), the theory focuses on people’s dynamic interaction, behavior, and surroundings. The Reciprocal determinism construct evaluates the interaction between individuals and their behavior towards the environment.

Assessment

The social-cognitive perspective assessment involves evaluating the cognitive process of individuals, such as judging and thinking (Schultz & Schultz, 2016). The cognitive processes are essential because they help individuals develop learned behavior which builds their personality.

Major Issues with This Perspective

The social-cognitive perspective is not unified, meaning that the theory’s different aspects might not be related. For example, according to Schultz and Schultz (2016), the connection between self-efficacy and observational learning within the social-cognitive perspective has not been determined to date.

Your Thoughts on This Perspective

Social cognitive theory is critical because it helps the self-system to become prominent. As a result, individuals can control how they act, feel, and think.

Trait Perspective

Main Ideas

According to Prentice et al. (2019), the trait perspective suggests that traits are personality aspects which become stable with time, vary across people, are consistent, and influence individuals’ behaviors.

Assessment

Prentice et al. (2019) explain that the traits’ perspective assessment is conducted through projective and objective tests. Ambiguous stimuli are used in projective measures to identify a person’s inner personality aspects, while objective tests depend on an individual’s responses and are bias-free.

Major Issues with This Perspective

Critics believe that traits cannot predict a person’s behavior satisfactorily; therefore, the theory might in some cases be unjustifiable to use (Prentice et al., 2019). Additionally, an individual might obtain high scores in assessing a particular trait but fail to behave the same in all situations.

Your Thoughts on This Perspective

Although trait theory show how people might behave in various situations, explaining why they might behave in a particular way is not explained.

References

Prentice, M., Jayawickreme, E., & Fleeson, W. (2019). . Journal of Personality, 87(1), 56-69. Web.

Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2016). Theories of personality. Cengage Learning. Eleventh Edition.

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