Friday, October 24, 2014

Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality

          Feist and Feist, (2009), “although no single definition is acceptable to all personality theorists, we can say that personality is a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior” (p. 4). There are varying aspects that determine personality. Also, there are varying different approaches concerning the development of personality in psychology. An approach is a certain perspective involving particular assumptions; that is, in regard to personality for instance, the development of personality and what aspects affect such development. In regard to such approaches to personality, two approaches in particular, that is, biological and humanistic approaches provide explanations as to the development of personality. Not only do these two approaches explain the development of personality, but also does the use of Maslow's hierarchy of needs in explaining the extent of growth needs have on influencing the formation of personality. Also, influencing the formation of personality are particular biological factors; which also have a relationship with Marlow’s theory of personality. However, biological explanations of personality are incompatible with basic aspects of the humanistic theory.
Growth Needs Influencing Personality Formation
          American psychologist, Abraham Harold Maslow was famously known for creating a hierarchy of needs; referred to as Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Such hierarchy of needs can explain the extent of influence that growth needs have on the formation of personality. Therefore, Maslow would divide organismic needs into groups of needs. First, there are physiological needs, including shelter, sex, water, and food. Therefore, moving to the next level of needs requires meeting these lower levels of needs first. Second, there are safety needs; incorporating security and safety; therefore, seeking safety through other individuals and striving to find protection is a necessity. Growth will only continue when meeting such goals in regard to thinking about needs of a higher level. Third are love and belonging needs; including a need for belonging, acceptance, and love. Once such needs are met seeking out friendships brings about feelings of belonging.
          Also focus is on desires of being accepted, fitting in, and a sense of belong. Fourth, esteem needs, including the need for respect, competence, education, and achievement. Therefore, what occurs is a focus of energy on a sense of accomplishment, respect for other individuals, self-respect, and respect from other individuals also. Last is the need for self-actualization; therefore, realizing one’s fullest potential. In Maslow’s belief was that self-actualization was the highest form of need. In his hierarchical of needs, lower needs have to be largely satisfied in order for higher needs to become of importance (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). Indeed, the formation of personality is under the influence of growth needs.
Biological Factors Influencing Formation of Personality
          In regard to biological factors and personality, it is clearly evident that genetic makeup has a critical influence on the formation of personality; and in such a complex means. Biological theorists hold the belief that genetics have a role in determining or have a significant role in the formation of personality. Genes along with intelligence are determining factors in the formation personality. However, if biological factors do not have a direct effect on personality then how a human looks affects how they perceive themselves and how other humans interact with them. In regard to the indirect affect, that is, a determining factors of how a human will develop into adulthood. Therefore, the formation of personality indeed relies on biological factors.
Relationships between of Biological Factors and Maslow’s Theory
            Indeed there is a relationship involving Marlow’s theory of personality and biological factors. To a particular extent, Maslow’s hierarchy of personality relate to biological factors because biological factors such as physical characteristics, heredity, and the brain are a necessities during levels of growth. Every behavior and action such as enlightenment, security, the needs for basic needs, and others are behaviors and actions resulting from internal and biological instincts. Also, physiological needs such as sex, sleep, food, and breathing are significantly biological requirements. In particular ways the relationship between Marlow's theory of personality and biological is critical.   
Humanistic Theory Incompatibility with Biological Explanations
          Humanistic theories’ basic concepts and biological explanations or theories differ significantly. Also, the subject matter and ideology of humanistic theories’ approach to personality differ from biological theories. Humanistic theories allow for self-fulfillment, heroism, true creativity and for free will in regard to personality development. In regard to self-fulfillment that is, becoming not being or moving towards self-fulfillment in regard to a healthy personality. Self-actualization is the innate process that allows humans to realize self-potential and develop spiritually (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). Humanistic theories focus on the present tense instead of looking toward the future or past; therefore, the more so important aspects of human personality are self-worth and what occurs presently. Humans that are healthy are responsible for taking responsibility for oneself; regardless of behavior.
          Also, every human possesses inherent worth; as well as the goal of life is achieving understanding and personal growth. Humanistic theories follow beliefs in regard to every human relying not on thought processes but rather on feelings. Humanistic theories derive from dynamic and complex inner motives that do not hold compatibility with the biological explanations in regard to human personalities; such as with biological theories focusing on thought processes instead of a sense of self-worth, and with biological or genetic influences or structures that determine personality; therefore, biological theories follow beliefs in regard to personality being under the control of genetics (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). Humanistic and biological theories differ tremendously.
            Approaches such as biological and humanistic provide assumptions in regard to the development of personality. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as previously seen is necessary when discussing the extent that personality formation is under the influence of growth needs. Also, as particular biological factors have an effect on influencing the formation of personality as well. Examining such biological factors assists in understanding the relationship to Maslow’s theory of personality. Also, as previously explained, particular aspects of the humanistic theory are not compatible with personality’s biological explanations.  

Friedman, H.S., & Schustack, M.W., (2011). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

Have you ever attempted to break a habit? How successful or unsuccessful were you? What was the biggest impediment to or cause of your success?

          Yes, I have previously attempted to break an unhealthy and harmful habit. Such a habit was smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes was an unhealthy habit with short-term and long-term adverse health effects that are often irreversible. This particular habit did not stem from impulsivity, low self-esteem, alienation, aggressiveness, or rebelliousness because I had an addiction to a stimulus; which, was the biggest impediment to my success (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). I understood the harmful effects of such a habit and because of the concerns of my children I knew this habit had to stop. In regard to success or unsuccessfulness, I was very successful at breaking this habit and have not smoked a cigarette in over three years. One of the reasons for such success was because I switched from real cigarettes to smoking an electronic cigarette. From first-hand accounts, I often meet other individuals who have stopped the habit of smoking cigarettes by switching to electronic cigarettes for either a short-term or for a long-term. 

Friedman, H.S., & Schustack, M.W., (2011). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Personality Traits

          The Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) is of particular interest for Shura Steven Whitaker in regard to testing for personality traits. The development of the TIPI occurred as for the purpose of assessing the constellation of traits that the Five Factor Theory of Personality defines (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). In regard to rating as for the Big 5 Personality traits: openness to experiences, emotional stability, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion scoring were as follows. First, extraversion: 7.00, there is the appearance of being an extrovert; characterized by the tendency for seeking stimulation and the company of other individuals and positive emotions. Second, agreeableness: 6.50, is a high score for agreeableness suggesting being more cooperative and compassionate toward other individuals. Third, conscientiousness: 7.00, is a high score in conscientiousness; which, suggest there is great value in aiming for achievement, acting dutifully, and self-discipline (PsychCentral, 2014).  
          Fourth, emotional stability: 7.00, is quite of a high score for emotional stability; which, suggest being far less emotionally reactive to painful or stressful individuals or situations, and rarely easily upset. Lastly, openness to experiences: 7.00; is quite a high as for openness to experiences and suggesting a general appreciation for a variety of experience. Also, in regard to curiosity, imagination, unusual ideas, adventure, emotion, and art.
Propose Solutions for Working Together
            Steven understands that putting together individuals in teams allows different personality types opportunities for developing, combining, and implementing differing ideas critical for completing team goals.
Synopsis of the Reliability and Validity of Personality Measurements
          In regard to reliability and validity, the TIPI is a reliable and valid personality test because achieving the same results occurred after retesting. Also, it indeed measures personality traits as it claims, and there was an ability to interpret test scores in a meaningful way with the purpose of measuring personality traits. This assessment indeed depicts accurate results in regard to personality traits of Steven, and he agrees with the findings of the TIPI.  

PsychCentral. (2014). Retrieved from

When do you think you can see someone's biological influences? As an infant? As a toddler? As an adult?

          I believe that an individual’s biological influences manifest during infancy and progress during development. Often during infancy in regard to the interactions of infants with parents, infants often display biological influences of one parent or the other or sometimes a combination of both. Such interactions even with caregivers other than biological parents and with biological parents help personality develop along with biological influences. Therefore, I believe personality development is a combination of biological influences and the environment. Friedman and Schustack (2011), “the existence of many environmentally based biological influences on personality is another reason to be cautious about assuming hereditary causes of personality” (p. 171). As a father of three children I often saw during infancy how my oldest son and daughter displayed behavior similar to that of myself, while my youngest son often displayed behavior similar to that of my ex-wife.
Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W., (2011). Personality. Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon. 

Why might the biological approach to personality be controversial for some people?

     The biological approach to personality may be controversial for some individuals    for numerous reasons, but one reason in particular is that it has become evident that personality does not solely develop as a result of biological and genetic factors. The environment or environmental influences also have a significant role in the development of personality, and may have a greater role than biological and genetic factors. Personality develops as a result of the interplay between biology, genetics, and the social environment. Indeed, biological and genetic factors influence personality; however, humans possess the capacity for challenging and sometimes overcoming biological tendencies (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). For instance, biological tendencies of aggressive behavior can be overcome by means of environmental influences.
Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W., (2011). Personality. Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

How does the study of personality shed light onto behavior change for you?

          The study of personality has shed light or provided me with knowledge into behavior, why behavior occurs, and why behavior changes. Also, I study or observe the behavior of other individuals and myself as well as now more so than ever before, because I have an understanding why behavior occurs; therefore, I have the need to know why individuals behave as they do. I believe that understanding behavior is like understanding personality, or understanding what is occurring to an individual at that or previous moment in time therefore, I try to understand other individuals more so as to not make judgment about any other individual but regard them by their behavior and try to understand why such behavior is occurring. For instance, understanding why behavior changes can ensure that I do not label an individual unnecessarily because of a behavior change, and instead helps me to show a level of empathy, compassion, and understanding for the particular individual as in trying to find out what has occurred to that particular individual or in his or her life in regard to the change in behavior.  

Friedman, H.S., & Schustack, M.W., (2011). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Psychoanalytic Personality Assessment

          Personality theorists such as Sigmund Freud, Carl G. Jung, and Alfred Adler developed theories to explain personality. Comparing and contrasting such psychoanalytic theories will help decide what characteristics of these theories to agree and disagree with. Also, of importance are the stages of Freud’s theory and Freudian defense mechanisms.
Comparing and Contrasting the Psychoanalytic Theories of Freud, Jung, and Adler
            Freud, Jung, and Adler developed critical and important psychoanalytic theories in regard to the development of personality. Freud held the belief that the development of personality occurred in stages related to erogenous zones, and that failure of completion of any stage successfully resulted in personality problems in adulthood. Also, Freud held the belief that the development of personality was barely by choice or of no choice. Jung also held the belief that personality developed in stages that peaked with individuation or self-realization, also referred to as analytical psychology; however, Jung disagreed with Freud’s beliefs (Feist & Feist, 2009). Of importance was ages of 35 to 40 or the second half of life; whereas, opportunities arose to use particular elements of personality for obtaining self-realization. Also, in disagreement with Freud, Adler held the belief that individuals held the responsibility who they were or who they became in regard to personality.
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
          In regard to Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory it takes into account that the mind occurs at differing levels, that is, the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious levels. The unconscious level possesses drives and instincts that individuals are unaware of; however, they are motives for actions, that is, in regard to words and feelings. In this regard, individuals possess consciousness of unconcealed behaviors, but they are unaware of the mental processes involved with behaviors that are overt. The preconscious level contains elements that are not conscious thoughts at first; however, such elements may manifest into consciousness willingly or with a level of difficulty. Consciousness has a minuscule role within Freud’s theory; however, consciousness involves mental elements that individuals have awareness of at no particular moment-in-time.
            In regard to provinces of the mind, Freud’s belief was that three elements, that is, the id, the ego, and the superego were the elements of personality. Freud believed that the id was the center of personality and was an unconscious psychical region. The id is without a means of connecting with reality; however, the id constantly exerts an effort toward the reduction of tension by satisfying basic or essential needs and desires (Feist & Feist, 2009). Although, when the goal of satisfaction is unattainable a state of anxiety or tension are the end results. The id maintains the function of servicing the pleasure principle; therefore, pleasure seeking is the sole purpose of the id. In regard to the ego, governed by the reality principle, which is the pleasure principle of the id makes an effort toward substituting for the pleasure principle of the id. Also, secondary functioning processes occur in the ego. The ego is the sole region of the mind making contact with any notion of reality and develops in infancy as a result of the id.
          The ego develops into the sole means of communication between the mind and reality. Therefore, because of this connection, the ego possesses the ability of being the decision-maker of personality. It makes decisions on the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious levels of personality because it is partially unconscious, preconscious, and conscious. In regard to the superego, it is a depiction of personality’s moral and ideal elements (Feist & Feist, 2009). Governed by moralistic and idealistic principles, the superego develops as a result of the ego; however, the superego does not possess the energy or lacks energy unlike the ego. The superego demands perfection that is unrealistic because it lacks a connection with reality, also unlike with the ego. The subsystems of the superego are the ego-ideal and conscience. As a result of receiving rewards for ideal behavior the ego-ideal develops and it relays what behavior should occur.
          As a result of experiences of punishment in regard for abnormal behaviors, conscience develops and it is as a reference for guiding what behavior should not occur. The superego’s purpose is as for a means of control for sexual and aggressive impulses. However, it cannot produce processes of repression; therefore, it orders the ego to do so (Feist & Feist, 2009).  
Jung’s Analytic Psychology
          In regard to Jung’s Analytic Psychology, he took into account that the psyche or mind was split into three areas; the conscious ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). The ego developed around four years age is similar to Freud’s belief of the ego, and is conscious element of personality embodying a sense of self. The personal unconscious holds feelings as well as thoughts that are not aspects of the conscious awareness; although, thoughts are accessible (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Friedman and Schustack (2012), “the personal unconscious contains thoughts and urges that are simply unimportant at present as well as those that have been actively repressed because of their ego-threatening nature” (p. 109). The collective unconscious consists of unconsciousness that is at deeper level and comprised of archetypes or emotional transpersonal symbols that are powerful.
          Friedman and Schustack (2012), “the presence of such archetypes or emotional patterns predisposes us to react in predictable ways to common, recurring stimuli” (p. 109). Adler developed Individual Psychology because of his beliefs that individuals’ motivations were unique and because of how important individuals’ perceived niche is in society (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).
Adler’s Individual Psychology
          Adler believed that striving for superiority is personality’s central core. Therefore, individuals will feel inferior when overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness, and when experiencing events that leave them with a sense of powerlessness. An inferiority complex will develop when feelings become pervasive (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Individuals may fabricate a superiority complex to maintain a sense of self-worth when they struggle to overcome an inferiority complex. In regard to human motivations Adler’s beliefs changed over time; therefore, his theory changed. Alder developed the concepts of organ inferiority, aggression drive, masculine protest, and perfection striving; as well as the identifying fundamental social issues such as occupational, societal, and love tasks with the evolution of his theory.
Agreed and Disagreed upon Characteristics
          In regards to agreement of characteristics of theories, agreement occurs with Jung’s notion that development of personality still occurred into adulthood, and partially with Adler in regard to individuals being responsible for their own personality. Disagreement occurs with Freud’s notion that stages of development related to erogenous zones and with the notion that the development of personality was without choice. 
The Stages of Freud’s Theory and Characteristics of Personality
            In regard to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, he developed stages of personality development; whereas he assumed the development of personality indeed occurred in stages. The more so crucial developmental stage is the infantile stage that occurs in the first four or five years of development; whereas, infants possess a sexual life. During this stage an infant will progress through a developmental period of sexuality referred to as pregenital. Three phases occur during this stage referred to as the oral, the anal, and the phallic phases. What occurs in the oral, anal, and phallic phases is that the main erogenous zone progresses through salient development. The mouth is the particular erogenous zone during the oral phase. While the anus is the particular erogenous zone during the anal phase and the penis is the particular erogenous zone during the phallic phase. The infantile stage yields insight into how personality develops through each phase and why particular behaviors occur.
Uses of Freudian Defense Mechanisms
          Freudian defense mechanisms are processes distorting reality as a means of protecting the ego (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). One defense mechanism is repression; which is a means of using the unconscious to store threatening thoughts. For instance, rape victims who do not seek psychological help after instances of rape repress instances of rape as a means of forgetting what occurred to not relive the instance of rape. Another defense mechanism is reaction formation; which is a means of pushing away threatening impulses through overemphasis the opposite in actions and thoughts. For instance a married man would overemphasis the meaning of commitment within marriage to other individuals, but however he or she may be partaking in an extramarital affair(s). Also, denial is another defense mechanism; which is a means of refusing to acknowledge stimuli that provoke anxiety. For instance, individuals may deny that instances of gambling provokes anxiety but continue to do so as a means for personal gain.     
            Psychoanalytic theories, such as those developed by Freud, Jung, and Adler serve a critical purpose of explaining the development of personality for varying perspectives. These theories provide insight into understanding personality. To gain further insight into Freud’s thoughts of personality development, understanding the stages of his theory is a necessity. Repression, reaction formation, and denial are instances of defense mechanisms that individuals use for real-life purposes as a means to distort reality in order to protect the ego in regard to Freud’s work as well. 

Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W., (2011). Personality. Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.