Monday, May 7, 2012

Understanding the Personality - Psychodynamic, Humanistic and Integrative Approaches

In the last blog we looked at the Trait theory approach to understand the personality, in today’s blog we briefly attempt to understand the psychodynamic, humanistic and integrative theories to understand the concept of personality.

The Psychodynamic Theory is based on the works of Sigmund Freud. The subject of emphasis in this theory is the influence of unconscious determinants of behavior. The theory focuses on the ongoing conflict between the "id" and the "superego". The "ego" attempts to manage this conflict which leads to compromise and thereby results in a defensive behavior - for example the denial of reality!

The Humanistic Theory proposed by Carl Rogers emphasizes the individual growth and improvement. It emphasizes the fact that, there exists a basic drive towards self-actualization which essentially signifies the individual quest to be all one can be. This approach contends that self-concept is the most important of an individual's personality.

The Integrative Approach looks at personality as having a composition of various individual psychological processes. The theory introduces the concept of "Disposition" - which means the tendencies of individuals to respond to situations in consistent ways.  These are influences both by genetics and experience. Examples of dispositions include emotions, cognition, attitudes, expectancies and fantasies.

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