November 15, 2014
Personality theory is a large area of psychological research, and there exists many different ideas concerning how personality is formed. A theory will present a systematic way of understanding behaviors and employs specific factors that are considered important. Despite there being a multitude of these theories, there are four theorists who had the largest influence in the development of personality theory. Those theorists include Freud, Jung, Rogers, and Maslow (Coon & Mitterer, 2013).
The most well-known and one of the earliest personality theories were posited by ...view middle of the document...
Much of Freud’s theory was based on observation or case study research which is difficult to replicate (Boeree, 1997-2009). As well, modern trait theories such as “Big Five” provide substantial evidence that traits and behavior have significant biological influences (Boeree, 1997-2009).
Another highly influential psychological theorist was Carl Jung. Jung was originally a protégé of Freud, and Jung’s approach to personality was based largely on Freud’s theory of the subconscious mind. Jung would develop a school of psychiatry called Analytical Psychology (Boeree, 1997-2006). According to Jung the study of dreams, myth, art and philosophy were essential to understanding the mind because these subjects provided a window into the unconscious realm. In contrast to Freud’s views, Jung rejected that behavior and personality were largely driven by sexual desire and would instead embrace the idea that the human psyche was largely founded in religious notions and that the subconscious and conscious minds were separated and linked through religiosity (Boeree, 1997-2006). Jung’s form of psychiatry combined elements of medicine and spirituality (Boeree, 1997-2006). A large part of Jung’s philosophy was steeped in dreams and symbol interpretation. According to Jung’s theory, dreams were a means of viewing the unconscious thoughts and in order for people to develop, they must learn to integrate the unconscious with the conscious mind in a process he called individuation (Boeree, 1997-2006).
Much like Freud, Jung’s theories were largely based on subjective and observational data. Jung’s theories have little evidence to support them, but they do expand on Freud’s belief in unconscious or subconscious motivations impacting behavior. Jung is also credited with expanding the view of social interaction as being important to personality development by virtue of archetypes such as having parents or desiring a mate (Coon & Mitterer, 2013).
Another influential theorist was Carl Rogers. Rogers who developed a theory of personality which was based on the idea that all organisms are born with innate capacities, capabilities, or potentialities, it was considered a sort of genetic blueprint, to which substance is added as life progresses (Coon & Mitterer, 2013). Rogers believed that the genetic blueprint underpins all life and acts as a means of focusing personality and behavior. Rogers based this concept on the observation that all animals are born and fulfill a pattern of growth and development that there is also individual patterns that emerged due to variations in organisms. For example, a dog may have puppies, and while the puppies are relatively the same in terms of physical similarity, they will have variations such as coat color, size, and temperament. Rogers saw these variations as a difference in individual blueprints (Coon & Mitterer, 2013)....