a. Evaluate Psychodynamic Theory and its impact on contemporary psychology.
b. Evaluate the Humanistic Perspective of personality.
c. Analyze the purpose and theories of the Trait Perspective of personality.
d. Analyze the Social-Cognitive Perspective of personality.
e. Identify various personality assessment tools.
The Psychodynamic Theory ignores the trappings of science and instead focuses on trying to get 'inside the head' of individuals in order to make sense of their relationships, experiences and how they see the world.
The psychodynamic approach includes all the theories in psychology that see human functioning based upon the interaction of drives and forces within the person, particularly unconscious, and between the different structures of the personality.
Sigmund Freud proposed a psychodynamic theory according to which personality consists of the id (responsible for instincts and pleasure-seeking), the superego (which attempts to obey the rules of parents and society), and the ego (which mediates between them according to the demands of reality).
Psychodynamic theories commonly hold that childhood experiences shape personality. Such theories are associated with psychoanalysis, a type of therapy that attempts to reveal unconscious thoughts and desires. Not all psychologists accept psychodynamic theories, and critics claim the theories lack supporting scientific data.
Humanistic Theories emphasizes that people have free will and that this plays an active role in determining how they behave. Accordingly, humanistic psychology focuses on subjective experiences of persons as opposed to forced, definitive factors that determine behavior.
Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers were among a group of psychologists that worked together for a decade to produce the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. This journal was primarily focused on viewing individuals as a whole, rather than focusing solely on separate traits and processes within the individual.
Trait Theory (also called dispositional theory) is an approach to the study of human personality. Trait theorists are primarily interested in the measurement of traits, which can be defined as habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion. Gordon Allport was an early pioneer in the study of traits.
According to this perspective, traits are relatively stable over time, differ across individuals (e.g. some people are outgoing whereas others are shy), and influence behavior. Traits are in contrast to states which are more transitory dispositions.
A wide variety of alternative theories and scales were later developed, including:
Currently, two general approaches are the most popular:• Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, (EPQ) ("the three-factor model"). Using factor analysis Hans Eysenck suggested that personality is reducible to three major traits: neuroticism, extraversion, and psychoticism.
Social Cognitive Theory is a learning theory based on the idea that people learn by observing others. These learned behaviors can be central to one’s personality. While social psychologists agree that environment in which one grows up contributes to behavior, the individual person (and therefore cognition) is just as important. This theory was advanced by Albert Bandura as an extension of his social learning theory.
People learn by observing others, with the environment, behavior, and cognition all as the chief factors in influencing development in a reciprocal triadic relationship. For example, each behavior witnessed can change a person's way of thinking (cognition). Similarly, the environment one is raised in may influence later behaviors, just as a father's mindset (also cognition) will determine the environment in which his children are raised.
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