February 6, 2014
Dr. Andre Watson
Individual Personality Personality is defined as the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinct character. It is what makes an individual an individual, so-to-speak. It is the core essence of an individual that separates people from one another. Although, there are people who share or have the same personality traits, not one person is exactly alike another. According to Hockenbury (2014): “Personality is defined as an individual's unique and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. A personality theory is an attempt to describe and explain how people are similar, how they are different, and why every individual is unique. In short, a personality theory ambitiously tries to explain the whole person,” (p.419 para. 1).
Four Perspectives of Personality There are four perspective of personality, which are: “psychoanalytic, humanistic, social cognitive, and trait perspectives” (Hockenbury, 2014). Each perspective is a cluster of how personalities are theorized. According to Hockenbury (2014):
“The psychoanalytic perspective emphasizes the importance of unconscious processes and the influence of early childhood experience” (p. 419).
“The humanistic perspective represents an optimistic look at human nature, emphasizing the self and the fulfillment of a person's unique potential” (p. 419).
“The social cognitive perspective emphasizes learning and conscious cognitive processes, in- cluding the importance of beliefs about the self, goal setting, and self regulation” (p. 419).
“The trait perspective emphasizes the description and measurement of specific personality differences among individuals” (p. 419).
Three Theories of Personality Development There are three perspective theories of personality development, which are the id, ego, and super ego. According to Freud (1933), each person possesses a certain amount of psychological energy, [which] “develops into the three basic structures of personality” (Hockenbury, 2014). “The id, [is] the most primitive part of [the] personality, [and] is present at birth, completely immune to logic, values, morality, danger and the demands of the external world” (Hockenbury, 2014). As Hockenbury (2014) noted, “It is the original source of psychological energy, (Freud, 1933, 1940) parts of which will later evolve into the ego and superego” (p. 422 para. 2). People are “equipped” with the id from birth (Hockenbury, 2014). When an infant is “cold, wet, hungry, or uncomfortable” the id is responsible for making sure the needs of the infant are met (Hockenbury, 2014). As the infant begins to realize that all of its needs will not be met instantaneously, another part of the personality begins to emerge, which is the ego. Hockenbury (2014) notes that, “Partly conscious (Freud, 1933), the ego represents the organized, rational, and planning dimensions of personality” (p. 423 para. 2). “As the mediator between the id's instinctual demands and the restrictions of the outer world, the ego operates on the reality principle” (Hockenbury, 2014). Hockenbury (2014) states: “The reality principle (Freud, 1940) is the capacity to postpone gratification [or to wait patiently] until the appropriate time or circumstances exist in the external world” (p. 423 para. 2). Therefore, the ego itself is or becomes more practical when dealing with situations that can be strenuous to “reduce the tension of the id's instinctual urges” (Hockenbury, 2014). The ego can also repress instinctual urges especially those of a sexual nature “or remove it from conscious awareness (Freud, 1915a). When a child reaches the age of five or six, “a parental voice” emerges internally “that is partly conscious” known as the superego (Hockenbury, 2014). “As the internal representation of parental and societal