Personality Type Theories
Personality types are distinguished from personality traits, which come in different levels or degrees as introversion and extraversion are part of a continuous dimension and basic psychological orientations in connection with two pairs of psychological functions.
Carl Jung theory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Perceiving functions: intuition and sensing (trust in conceptual/ abstract models of reality or concrete sensory-oriented facts). Judging functions: thinking and feeling (thinking as the prime-mover in decision-making or feelings as the prime-mover in decision-making). This personality typology has some aspects of a trait theory, explains behaviour in terms of opposite fixed characteristics. Four are considered basic personality types with the other two factors in each case, including extraversion, as less important : N or S personality types (the intuition factor is considered the most basic) N is guided by the thinking habit, or feelings, and divided into NT (scientist) and NF (human- oriented leader) personality. S is guided by the perception axis, and divided into SP (performer) and SJ (accountant) personality.
Meyer Friedman’s Type A/B theory. Type A and Type B behaviour patterns and Type AB mixed profile. They theorized that
* Type A personalities are intense, hard-driving, stress junkies, have the hostility component and higher risk of coronary disease.
* Type B personalities tended to be relaxed, less competitive, and lower in risk.
The theory tends to oversimplify the many dimensions of an individual's personality.
Psychoanalytic theories explain the human behaviour in terms of the interaction of various components of personality.
Sigmund Freud and psychodynamics, proposed that psychic energy could be converted into behaviour.
Freud's theory places central importance on dynamic, unconscious psychological conflicts.
Ego, Superego, and Id
Three significant components of personality: the ego, superego, and id.
The personality is based on the interaction of these three components.
The id is the source of sexual energy, builds up of and needs to be released or expressed. The id is motivated by the pleasure principle.
The ego is the structure that helps the id to express itself, emerges in order to realistically meet the wishes and demands of the id in accordance with the outside world; operates according to the reality principle.
The superego exercises moral judgement and societal rules in keeping the ego and id in check, it is the last function of the personality to develop and may be seen as an outcome of the interactions during the long period of childhood dependency.
Adult personality is determined by early childhood experiences, as a result of some events, a person develops a fixation during one of these five stages and is unable to develop further.
Freud's broad understanding of sexuality included all kinds of pleasurable feelings experienced by the human body. Freud proposed five psychosexual stages of personality development:
* Oral Stage - birth to approximately age one;
* Anal Stage- two years of age;
* Phallic Stage - between three and six;
* Latency Period - about seven years old to puberty;
* Genital Stage - occurs during adolescence.
Alfred Adler theory
Birth order and early childhood experiences may influence personality development. The oldest one sets high goals to achieve to get attention back, the middle one is competitive and ambitious to surpass the first-born’s achievements, the last born would be more dependent and sociable but be the baby. The only child is the centre of attention and matures quickly, but in the end fail to become independent.
Heinz Kohut theory
Heinz Kohut extended Freud's theory of narcissism: idea of transference (similar to Freud’s idea), narcissism as a model of development the sense of self, the self- object transferences of mirroring and idealization. Children need to idealize and identify with the idealized competence of admired figures such as parents, need to have their self-worth mirrored by these people, this experience allow them to thereby learn the self-soothing and other skills that are necessary for the development of a healthy sense of self. Narcissism is the exaggerated sense of one self in order to protect one's low self esteem and sense of insignificance.
Karen Horney theory
Karen Horney theory of the development of the “real self” and the “ideal self”. The “real self” is how you really are with regards to personality, values, and morals; the “ideal self” is a construct you apply to yourself to conform to social and personal norms and goals.
Margaret Mahler and Klein's theory
Margaret Mahler and Klein's theory of linking relationships children with their mothers, opposite reactions may have the outcome of the mental disorder as strong attachment, obsession, keeping “Oedipus” or “Electra” complex (schizophrenia) or non-interest in their mother (autistic children).
The theories related to Freud's psychodynamics
Object Relations Theory
In Object Relations Theory the object is the aim of “relational needs” in human development. Freud used the term “object” to refer to any target that an infant uses to satisfy his or her needs. These objects are significant others. For the child, the transitional object provides a connection between the child's inner and outer worlds, the child learns about separateness between subjective and objective; individuals seek to develop human relationships and form attachments that may aid or hinder their development.
Interactionist approach to personality
An Interactionist approach to personality has the common focal elements of the social situations in which personality traits are learned be related conceptually and empirically to the major trait dimensions used. A solution is proposed which treats social situations as having Task, Other Person, and Self as common foci; and the complementary personality structure is made in terms of task competences, interpersonal competences, intra-psychic competences, plus a dimension of extraversion. It is argued that this solution is compatible with personality research results in many fields.
An Interactionist Approach to Social Psychology involves participants in groups. Its aim is to help development of an orderly perspective, a consistent point of view from which to see his/her own conduct and that of his/her fellows.
Drawing on the two great intellectual traditions of pragmatism and psychoanalysis, the interactionist approach integrates them into a single, consistent approach, and helps the reader understand them in thoroughly behaviouristic terms.
Behaviourist theories explain personality in terms of the effects external stimuli have on observable behaviour. B. F. Skinner’s model. Three term contingency model emphasized the mutual interaction of the person or “the organism” with its environment. The child behaviour obtains attention that serves the reinforcing consequence. People's behaviour is formed by processes as operant conditioning. Stimulus - Response - Consequence Model helped promote analysis of behaviour. Richard Herrnstein extended this theory by accounting for attitudes and traits. An attitude develops as the response strength, the tendency to respond, in the presences of a group of stimuli become stable. Traits have a large genetic or biological component. John B. Watson, The Father of American Behaviourism, made four major assumptions about radical Behaviourisms:
* Evolutionary Continuity (the laws of behaviour are applied equally to all living organisms);
* Reductionism (behaviours are linked to physiology);
* Determinism (biological organisms respond to outside influences);
* Empiricism (actions are observable evidence of the personality; psychology should involve the study of observable behaviour).
Behaviourist theories have not emphasis on unconscious motives, internal traits, introspection, or self analysis. Behaviour modification is a form of therapy that applies the principles of learning to achieve changes in behaviour.
Cognitive theories of personality
Cognitive theories of personality explain behaviour as guided by cognitions, e.g. expectations, about the world. They emphasize cognitive processes such as thinking and judging.
Albert Bandura theory. The forces of memory and emotions worked in conjunction with environmental influences.
Locus of control theory of Lefcourt and Rotter. People have different beliefs about whether their worlds are controlled by themselves or external factors.
Attributional style approach of Abramson, Seligman and Teasdale. People have different explanation of events in their lives.
Locus of control theory is extended by specific characteristics as stable/ variable causes, global/specific causes.
Walter Mischel cognitive approach to personality considers affect and cognition, referred factors: encoding of stimuli, affect, goal-setting and self-regulatory beliefs.
Albert Ellis’ A-B-C theory of personality. A is the activating event which is followed by B. B is the belief system that the person holds. C is the emotional consequence. A does not cause C, B causes C. The emotional consequences are caused by what the person believes in.
The Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), basis of the Rational Therapy (RT), was developed by Albert Ellis, the grandfather of cognitive-behavioural therapy. Thinking and emotion have a cause and effect relationship. Majority of people create their own emotional consequences. The therapy gives emphasis to the act of the client’s understanding that his personality contains common irrational beliefs leading to his own emotional pain.
The Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) was developed by Aaron Beck. Psychological dilemmas can be redirected in a positive (helpful) manner with the changing of the suffering individual's thought processes.
Personal construct theory is a theory of personality development that has clear clinical roots, examining the possibilities of assessment and therapy. Personal construct theory indicates that all people learn particular ways of understanding their own experience, and use these 'personal constructs' to anticipate the future. People appear to develop a set of constructs that demands a particular understanding of themselves and other people. Sexual offenders can alter these constructs through psychotherapy.
Humanistic theories. The principles underlying humanist approach. Humanistic theories suggest positive and optimistic proposals which stress the tendency of the human personality toward growth and self-actualization, effort to reduce the acceptance of hopeless redundancy. Emphasis on people’s free will and their own determination of the behaviour; focus on subjective experiences of persons as opposed to forced, definitive factors that determine behaviour. Combs and Snygg theory of phenomenal field.
Abraham Maslow theory states that self-actualizing persons, fulfilling themselves and doing the best that they are capable of doing, interested in growth move towards self-actualizing (growth, happiness, satisfaction), a trend in dimensions of their personalities. Characteristics of self-actualizers include four key dimensions:
1. Awareness and peak experience (maintaining constant enjoyment and awe of life, having knowledge of peak experience). A peak experience is intensification of any experience to the degree that there is a loss or transcendence of self, when an individual perceives an expansion of his/herself, and detects a unity and meaningfulness in life; intense concentration on an activity one is involved in, such as running a marathon, may invoke a peak experience.
2. Reality and problem centred (tendency to be concerned with problems in their surroundings).
3. Acceptance /Spontaneity (accept their surroundings and what cannot be changed).
4. Friendly sense of humour /democratic (have friends of all backgrounds and religions and hold very close friendships).
Maslow and Rogers approach. The person as an active, creative, experiencing human being lives in the present and subjectively responds to current perceptions, relationships, and encounters. This progressing self is the centre of its constantly changing structure, which helps to mould the self. Humanistic therapy typically relies on the client for information of the past and its effect on the present, therefore the client dictates the type of guidance the therapist may initiate. It is an individualized approach to therapy.
Carl Rogers’ approach to therapy stresses the response:
* Evaluative Response (place a value judgment on person’s feelings);
* Interpretive Response (tells the person what they’re really thinking or feeling);
* Reflective Response (captures how someone is feeling right now about the situation).
Brain analysis tools such as Electroencephalography (EEG), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) are used for personality psychology.
Richard Davidson approach focused on the role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hemispheric asymmetry of activity, and amygdala in manifesting human personality. Individuals NLD (non-verbal learning disorder), with the impairment of nonverbal information controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain, demonstrate inability to organize visual-spatial relations, interpret non-verbal cues, or adapt to novel social situations.