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Theories on Personality of individuals




Theories on personality of individuals is explained as “Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristics behavior and thought.” (Allport, 1961).The definition emphasizes more on uniqueness of the individual and has adapted and idiographic view. According to the idiographic view, each person has a unique psychological structure and that some traits are possessed by only one person. There are times when it is impossible to compare one person with other thus, case studies are used to gather information. According to the nomothetic view pays attention to the comparability among individuals. They see traits as having some psychological meaning in everyone. The approach also uses self-report personality assessments, factor analysis, etc. People differ in terms of continuum in the same set of traits

Personality is the interplay of nature and nurture.

Trait theories of personality imply that personality is a biological based whereas the state theories such as Bandura’s 1977 Social Learning Theory emphasizes upon nurture and environment influences.

Freud’s Personality Theory: according to Freud, personality involves specific factors like: Instinctual drives like food, sex and aggression;  unconscious processes and childhood influences ( psychosexual stages).

The Levels of Personality: mind is divided into three levels, the conscious involves all he sensations and experiences the person is aware. Preconscious, this level is the store house of the mind where all the perception, thoughts and experiences are stored. Information can be accessed to consciousness, Lastly, in unconscious involves instincts, drives and desires.

The Structure of Personality: the structure of personality is divided into three parts, id is made up of animal instincts consists of animal instincts and works of pleasure principles. It works on instant gratifications. The ego is based on the reality principle which involves gratifying desires based on reality. The superego is the moral compass which works on moral principles.

The Psychosexual Stages of Development: To Freud, the oral, anal, phallic, and genital stages through which all children pass. In these stages, gratification of the id instincts depends on the stimulation of corresponding areas of the body.

Oral Stage of psychosexual development, pleasure is in sucking, biting, and swallowing.

Anal Stage Freud believed that the experience of toilet training during the anal stage had a significant effect on personality development.

Phallic Stage : Abnormal family set up leading to unusual relationship with father and mother.

Latency Stage: the period from approximately age 5 to puberty, during sex instinct is dormant, sublimated in school activities, sports, and hobbies, and in developing friendships to the membersof the same sex.

Genital Stage: The genital personality type is able to find satisfaction in love and work, the latter being an acceptable outlet for sublimation of the id impulses.

Eyesenck’s Personality Theory

Eyesenck in 1947 provided dimensions of personality 1) Introversion and extraversion 2) Neuroticism/stability. Each trait is responsible beacuase of the biological class.

Extraverts:  they posses under aroused nervous system thus seeks to restore the level  of optimum stimulation by being social and crave excitement.

Introvert: they have over aroused nervous system and shun sensations, they are quiet and reserved. They tend to be serious, reliable and pessimistic.

Neuroticism and stability: Neurotic individuals have an ANS that responds quickly to stress and are very reactive in nature. A stable person’s nervous system will generally be less reactive.

Psychoticism and normality:  individuals who are high on psychoticism are cruel, aggressive and troublesome.

Cattell’s 16PF Trait Theory

Cattell in 1965 disagreed with Eysenck’s view and thought to add larger number of traits. He made distinction between source and surface traits. The surface traits are those traits which is obvious about the individual and can be easily notice whereas source trait are the hidden factors of individual. he developed 16 PF personality inventory consisting of 160 questions, 10 questions for each personality.

Gordan Allport’s Trait Theory

The trait theory emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual and the internal cognitive and motivational processes that influence behavior. For example, intelligence, temperament, habits, skills, attitude and traits. Environment and genotype constructs personality

Big Five Personality Theory

Lewis Gordon gave this theory, it is also known as Five Factor Model. It is the most widely accepted personality theory and the acronym for the factors include CANOE or OCEAN.

Conscientiousness: impulsive, disorganized vs discipline, careful. Agreeableness: Suspicious, uncooperative vs trusting, helpful. Neuroticism: Calm, confidant vs anxious, pessimistic. Openness to Experience: Prefers routine, practical vs imaginative, spontaneous. Extraversion: reserved, thoughtful vs sociable, fun loving.

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