Personality Overview (Week 4) Steven Byrd Psy/405 March 25, 2013 Psychodynamic and Humanistic theory There are many different theories involved in the development of personality and some have certain things in common and others have drastic differences. Theories include existential, dispositional, learning or the two that will be discussed which are psychodynamic and humanistic. According to (Feist & Feist, 2009), personality is something that is viewed in several ways but does not have one simple definition.
There are many theorists who have their own definition of what personality actually is, but most can agree that personality is something that makes up who a person is, who they are inside and where they come from. Personality is a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior. (Feist & Feist, 2009). Personality consists of traits, which are contributors to individual differences in behavior over a period of time essay writers wanted.
Characteristics are defined as unique qualities of an individual which include intelligence, physique and temperament. Theory is defined as a set of related assumptions that allow scientists to use logical deductive reasoning to form a hypotheses. (Feist & Feist, 2009) Psychodynamic theory Psychodynamic theory derived from one of the most famous psychologists in history, Sigmund Freud. Freud’s name has been linked to psychoanalysis, which is the most famous of all personality theories.
Freud developed his understanding of human personality from his experiences with patients he had and also by analyzing the dreams that he had himself. Psychodynamic theory talks about ego’s. The ego is the region of the mind that is connected with reality and becomes a person’s sole source of communication with the outside world. (Feist & Feist, 2009). Egos are a big factor when it comes to interpersonal relationships. An example would be a person’s ego would onsciously motivate a person to be a certain way and have a lot of trouble steering away from it. In a relationship, if people have conflicting egos, there is a higher likelihood that they will clash, or won’t get along because they are two different people with two different personalities. It is very hard to change who you are, especially after many years and in relationships, usually people find something they want to change about the other person but as mentioned before, you can’t convince many people to change who they are and where they come from.
The superego has more to do with the effects of a relationship because it represents the moral and ideal aspects of personality. A person who is egotistical may become violent or very hateful if their needs are not met or they feel like they can’t perform a task. In a relationship, a person who is egotistical may have a hard time keeping a relationship together because they start acting out if they do not get their way and can easily push their partner away.
The superego aims for perfection and people who are obsessed with being perfect, usually end up alone because other people do not meet their expectations as well, or they will just find reasons to not be with someone because of their imperfections. It is very difficult to be in a relationship with someone who believes they are perfect in every way or someone who expects you to be perfect as well. Aggression and anxiety or also part of the psychodynamic theory and these are things that can put a strain on a relationship.
Aggressive people are also more likely to push people away because of their aggressiveness and being anxious can cause people to be impatient and not have the patience to even bother being in a relationship. People who are labeled under the psychodynamic theory could be egotistical, aggressive, impatient, and anxious among other things and all of those things can make a relationship more difficult. In psychoanalysis, defense mechanisms are mentioned and these defense mechanisms include repression, which is the most basic defense mechanism.
Repression forces threatening feelings into the unconscious (Feist & Feist, 2009) and those feelings can pop back up at any time. Someone may think they are interested in someone but once they find out that person has some type of resemblance to something that hurt them before, the relationship is over before you know it. Humanistic theory The personality theory of Abraham Maslow is more commonly known as the humanistic theory or the transpersonal theory. This theory states that a person is motivated to needs and self-actualization.
In order to achieve self-actualization a person must satisfy things like hunger, safety and love. When talking about interpersonal relationships and the humanistic theory, they are very much the same as a person under the humanistic theory needs the attention and love of someone else to fulfill true happiness. According to (Feist & Feist, 2009), Erikson, in contrast to Freud who believed that anatomy is destiny, he suggested that there could be many other differences as to why men and women can be so different. Erikson believed there is a life cycle that is determined by external forces.
In a way both theories suggest that our environment molds us to be who we are but they are in different styles. Freud was more of an adult theorist but Erickson believed that life has a cycle and we develop into who we are over a very long period of time. Although personality is modeled by our cultures and our history, people do retain some control of their own destiny such as the ability to make choices. Psychodynamic and humanistic theories each have many different sub theories beneath them and some of them are very similar in context while others are very different.
The main difference between psychodynamic and humanistic theories would be that humanistic theories seem to be based on a longer period of time while psychodynamic theories start at a later point in life. Both theories have their impact on interpersonal relationships and personality as psychodynamic theories include things such as the super-ego, which can cause a strain on a relationship because of a power struggle and the expectations of perfection while the humanistic theory suggests that we all need love in life in order to be happy and enjoy fulfillment.
A person who is “needy” or has to have a relationship may sometimes become desperate and lower their expectations just so they can be with someone which could then, in turn cause a pseudo relationship, or one that is based off of false pretense. If two people who both feel the same way about being in a relationship end up together and they both feel they need each other, that relationship will obviously have a better chance of lasting.
In conclusion, all theories, including the ones previously listed, make up some part of a person’s personality in a certain way, whether it being a needy personality, a forceful one, very outgoing and loving, very egotistical and angry, etc. Odds are someone’s personality will fit in to one of the categories and will have the same basis but the most important thing to remember is that deep down, no two people are alike and it is hard to classify anyone into one group as many of us could fall into several different theories. References: Feist, J. , & Feist, G. J. (2009). Theories of personality (7th ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.