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Personality Theory Paper

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Personality Theory Paper

Jeffrey K. Kelley

University of Phoenix

Psych/504

Instructor: Shawn Davis

Personality Theory Paper

(John Forbes Nash: A Beautiful Mind)

The movie "A Beautiful Mind" is an inspiring true story that tells the fascinating account of Nobel Prize (the Fields Medal for Mathematics) winner John Nash's life long struggle with 'Schizophrenia". The movie covers the years of when he was not even aware that he had schizophrenia to the time when he and his wife work out a way in their marriage to manage his illness. This movie provides great insight into the condition of schizophrenia, its symptoms and the various treatments that were available for it at the time. Russel Crowe is the actor which plays the part of John Nash and who does a wonderful job portraying the disturbed thinking, emotion, behavior and perception that most often characterizes this disorder. This movies not only shows how difficult it is to manage or overcome this disorder but also how important it is to have social support from family and colleagues, for example his academic peers at Princeton supported him throughout much of his career and to find a place for him in the academic society. Also according to (Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, 2002) "the love and support of his wife was a significant factor in his recovery."

Karen Horney:

In a different view than most theorist in her day, Karen Horney viewed neurosis as much more common in normal life and that it is in fact an attempt to make life bearable. Each of us everyday strive to control and work through the issues we face and for the most part seem to do fine but the neurotic often feels out of control and failing. She believed that there are ten patterns associated with the needs of the neurotic personality. 1. The overwhelming need for affection and approval. 2. The strong need for a lifelong partner who will in effect take over one's life. 3. To restrict one's life, satisfied with little. 4. The need for power. 5. To get the better of others. 6. The need for social recognition. 7. Personal admiration. 8. Personal Achievement. 9. Self-sufficiency and independence. 10. Perfection, fear of being flawed.

I believe that in Karen Horney's theory John Nash would at first been considered neurotic because of his needs for power as is shown in the movie when he plays the game with a fellow colleague and loses and is greatly upset that he lost and becomes determined to not lose again. Also in his pursuit of a mate, it seemed to be an overwhelming drive within him that he achieve this goal in his life and that she would be what he needed to fulfill what he felt was lacking in his life. Then there was the strong desire within him for personal achievement that he had to be the best in that entire he did, and also his strong feeling that he didn't need other people's help to overcome his disorder, that he could handle it himself. However today after many other theorists have explored this condition, we have discovered that unlike neurosis where the disorder is an emotional problem often caused by stress or other emotional factors, schizophrenia is considered to be a form of organic brain disease, meaning that there is a physical not emotional cause as to why something is wrong. In Horney's theory his disorder would have considered a result of some form of abuse during his childhood that led to his neurotic fears and anxiety, which would not have been true in that through the movie we see that his disorder was a result of physical inadequacy within his brain that led to his delusions and other issues.

Albert Ellis developed the Rational Emotive Therapy treatment which focuses on the use of reason and rationality that will lead the client into recognizing self defeating cognitive processes and then to learn how to correct their cognitive processes. According to Ellis an individual's view of life and their expectations of the world determines how they interact with life and others. In Ellis's theory he used the acronym ABC which would offer insights on how one would overcome self-defeating behaviors and cognitive processes and then learn to show emotion

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