Various psychologists find a wide engagement in different theoretical perspectives. Traditionally, there are various proposals of personality components such as ego, id, and superego, proposed for introversion and extraversion of character. Each of the proposed components forms part of the psychological functionality and therefore the need for combining the parts into a single unit.
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However, it is not possible to combine the elements into a single unit because of the differences on the interpretation, but analysis of various theories assist in organizing the components into an interrelated nature without a regard to their originality. The aim of the theories is to define personality using a set of components functioning as a unit. Various theories have therefore emerged in support of the psychic personality appraisal.
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
The psychoanalytic assessment of personality as presented by Freud’s influential work indicates that there are there main components namely the identity, ego and superego. The identity is a force that naturally and unconsciously expresses within a human being as either a love feeling/instinct or a destructive feeling.
The superego is also an instinctive personality vigour that is associable with the manipulation of superlative being of an individual. The superego is a tremendous conscious and is an extreme feeling as the identity. The ego on the other hand is a personality trait that maintains a balance between the two natural forces of personality identity and the superego. Freud presents the human being as a personality in crisis due to the different components.
Freud approach to development of personality indicates that there are five stages in the formation of personal traits. The development stages begin in the early phases of human maturity towards various fixations and life encounters.
According to Freud theory, failure of psychological completion and release can lead to defence mechanism due to conflicts associable with the anxiety of progressing from a stage to another in the development lifecycle (Cotton, 1995). Freud presents five stages of personality development in the psychoanalytic theory.
The stage mainly affects the infants up to two years of age. The child faces the world and is eager to explore nature. The exploring process takes place using the mouth. Therefore, they develop a personality linked to oral perspective and are often pre-occupied with eating, drinking, and biting objects in the aim of reducing the tension.
By having this personality trait, the child is therefore needy, passive and very sensitive to any form of rejection. Various ideas and actions easily carry away the conscious mind of the toddlers. The opposite to this form of personality is the orally aggressive trait. The child becomes hostile, often aggressive and possibly abusive. During this stage, the child tries out the oral fixations to acquire satisfaction. They feel that life is not complete and thus a lot is not yet met, thus the urge for exploration.
Behaviours training or ‘Anal/ Potty’ Training
In the second stage, the child undoes training to control the natural body functions such as training of the toilet procedures. The child can easily develop trauma in case of mishandling, thus becoming retentive and rigid to changes. The opposite to these results of mistreatment is development of a personality devoted to obsessive behaviours that are irrational to the norm.
The stage is associable to scenarios of being out of control or obsessively working hard to maintain order. The child may therefore develop a retentive personality that is stingy. Such children are obsessive to tidiness, but arguably stubborn due to their need for perfectionism. They may also become expulsive and will often lack control and end up being careless or messy.
The stage is associable to children between the age of four and five. The child recognizes the gender differences. Full development of personality occurs at this stage. According to Freud’s theory, the stage is classifiable through the “Oedipus and Electra Complexes (Cotton, 1995). The Oedipus represents a male child’s love for his mother and the fear/jealousy towards his father. The Electra is the female version where the female child has anger or envy toward her mother” (Cotton, 1995).
During the puberty or adolescent stage, there are very little observable personality developments because the teenagers sublimate their discoveries and urges into their hobbies or favourite sports/activities. The friends from the same gender also assist in avoiding the vibrant sexual differences and eminent need for observing the impulsive growth.
The stage begins from the age of 12 years and lasts to the climax of the puberty stage. The phase is associable to the reawakening of the sexual interests especially among opposite sexes.
Comparison of the Psychoanalytical theories
Freud’s theory specifies the stages of personality formation but faces a lot of challenges and critics. The argument basis indicates that the outline lacks substantial evidence and corroborative data (Jonson and Jonson, 1997). People still utilize the indications metaphorically to explain the observable behaviours especially in the human development phases. Evidently, I highly agree with the facts that in his psychoanalytic theory,
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Freud believes in the motivational forces of a dream in the personal wish to fulfil goals. The theory portrays power, control and love as issues that can manifest in people’s dreams as they advocate for satisfaction. From the conflicting point of view, the theory presents the manifestation of the imagery and symbols in the dreams as aspects that have sexual connotation.
Jung presents the analytical psychology or the ‘Jungian’ analysis that conflict with Freud’s psychoanalysis approach of harmonizing the conscious and the unconscious elements. Jung presents a scenario where the patient works with the analyst with the aim of increasing the patient’s conscious in a move to liberate him/her from the psychological suffering.
The theory shows the current treatment setting of finding meaning and relief form common emotional disorders such as depression or anxiety. I highly agree with Jung’s presentation of enhancing the relationship between the unconscious and conscious self, with emphasis on the supporting the continual development of the psychic self. It also presents the human urge to become unique and discover the potentials for development.
Adler’s presentation of personality assessment indicates that every person has a unique personality. I highly concur with the presentation made by Adler that the there is need to ensure consistency over character, with the aim of a achieving the set goals.
However, I disagree with the notion that unpredictable or inconsistent character traits of an individual are because people act from the unconscious mind in the aim of confusing others. Alder presents an important factor of social interest as a fundamental aspect of enhancing unity within the community. He also confers the aspect of social interest as an important measure for the psychological health, and an important factor for building a strong bond among people for sustenance.
Freudian Defence Mechanism
Although the presentation of human personality by Freud fails to address factors that link to the education sector, there are various principals from the psychological analysis utilized by other philosophers for education and training. Some of the good examples of the application include the influential approach provided by Freud towards group interaction. He assists in understanding how groups function within the context of education and training.
His analysis also forms the basis for presenting the two levels of operations; the “work group” that performs unconcealed or detailed tasks and the “basic assumption group,” which behaves in a way that indicates that people share various approaches or intentions to solve problems such as dependency, sharing or defence (Bion, 1961).
Current psychoanalytic assessment of personality points outs the need to emphasize on the power of classifying or relating to personality components. It is wise to find the differences and similarities between the affective and cognitive components.
Personality is the power to determine the personal components or trait that defines and highly affects an individual. Various theories have enormous definitions of personality and the changes involved over time. Only some of the personality components change over time, therefore it is crucial to identify important components that are more prone to change of personality.
Bion, W. R. (1961) Experiences in Groups, London, Tavistock
Cotton, J. (1995). The theory of Learning: an Introduction, London, Kogan Page
Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, F.P. (1997) Joining: Group Theory and Group Skills, (4th Edition), New Jersey, Prentice-Hall International