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Personality Therory Paper

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Personality Theory Paper

Carey B. Pittman


December 17, 2012


Personality Theory Paper Introduction

The theories that most influenced my understanding of personality theories and behaviors of people in our society and in the workplace will include my interactions with clients were psychosocial development (ages and stages of development from the work of Erik Erickson) and the psychodynamic theory according to Sigmund Freud. These theories have greatly influenced my understanding of the clients whom I deal with and treat in my daily work life. How these theories influence my role in society and in the workplace, including my interactions with others will be explored as well. Using the correct theory to fit your client's needs is essential in order to most effectively communicate with each client and to see where he or she is developmentally

(BSM Consulting, Inc. 2011).

Psychodynamic Theory/Sigmund Freud

The theory of Psychodynamics was originally created by Sigmund Freud with the help of three others. The study of the unconscious mind is what Freud is most known for. He hypothesized that the conscious part of a person's mind composed only a fraction while the unconscious mind established and controlled the person's feelings and actions on an unconscious level. Thus, the person acted unaware that the mind was making decisions without the conscious knowledge of the individual. At the time of its conception, this idea was not widely acceptable and yet Freud managed to make his theory popular (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).

Essentially, Freud's theory of personality is a theory of mind. It is a methodical representation of the whole design of mental process and makeup. The psychoanalytic theory states there are extensive differences in the extent to which humans are conscious of mental phenomenon. According to Freud, three levels exist. The first is the conscious level. This level comprises feelings we are conscious of at any time. The second level is the preconscious level. This level includes mental contents we can effortlessly turn into conscious thoughts if we focus on them. The last level is the unconscious. In this level the mental contents are the areas of the mind where we have no conscious awareness of and do not have the ability to become aware of them except under special circumstances (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).

Freud also believed that dreams and the content of these dreams intensely reveal that the mind has many unconscious thoughts that are dramatically different than those in our conscious thoughts. In his psychoanalytic theory, Freud states that "dreams have two levels of content: a manifest content, which is the storyline of a dream, and a latent content, which consists of the unconscious ideas, emotions, and drives that are manifested in the dream's storyline" (Cervone & Pervin, p. 79, 2010).

I am a firm believer in dreams having a deeper meaning. I always remember my dreams and often times wake up with some very enlightening information. I have used my dreams to make decisions in my life. I have used the basis of my dreams to analyze people in my life to think of different solutions to problems stated or suggested in my dreams. I have noticed that my dreams include people I was unaware I care about until I wake up thinking of someone from my past that I had not thought about for years. The unconscious mind is an amazing thing to project these thoughts into a conscious mind by way of my dreams. A dream journal is an organized way to keep track of nightly dreams.

Psychosocial Stages of Development/Erik Erikson

Cherry (2010), "Erik Erickson's theory of Psychosocial Development is one of the best-known theories of personality in psychology (Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Early Childhood, para 2). Cherry (2010), "Erickson's Psychosocial Theory focuses on how society shapes and influences a person's growing sense of ego and the quest for identity. Society is seen as a positive force that fosters the growth and development of the self. Each stage pointed out by Erickson represents a crisis in form of gradually increasing conflicts (Cherry, 2010). Each stage represent a time where problems have to be resolved so one may continue to mature. If the crisis's are dealt with in a satisfactory way their ego can move on to the next stage with competence and self-confidence. If the ego doesn't develop in a healthy way it can lead to mental illnesses and maladjustments. Psychosocial theory focuses on human development through one's lifespan from birth to death. The psychosocial development theory

influences my understanding of the personalities and behaviors of people in society and in the workplaces wile it influences my role in society and within the workplace along with my interactions with others (Cherry, 2010).

Ages & Stages/Erickson

Psychosocial theory is comprised of eight stages: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame and doubt, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, and integrity vs. despair. I have experienced each stage in his exact order so far through generativity vs. stagnation. These stages put life/developmental stages in progressive order, which in turn helps me to understand a person better and where each person may lie and what



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