Personality development is among the important aspects of life that we have to go through to ensure a complete and healthy life mentally, physically and emotionally. In this paper the three major theories of personality development are going to be used to analyse an individual that has already been chosen. Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development, Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, and Freud’s theory of psychosexual development are going to explain the various traits of our character in an effort to try and further understand the human personality development.
The character has been chosen from the television series ‘Scrubs’; he is Dr John Michael Dorian also known as ‘JD’. JD is a 32 year old medical doctor; currently he is the residency director at St Vincent’s hospital, a position he recently acquired. He can be classified as a genuinely good doctor; this is shown by his concern for his patients while he was working at Sacred Heart Hospital. His best friend is Dr Chris Turk who is the Chief Surgeon at Sacred Heart hospital. The two of them have been together for most of their adult life; it has been frequently been confused that they are homosexual because of the closeness of their relationship.
JD has a son called Sam who he adores. He has a girl friend called Elliot also a doctor in private practice. His mentor is Dr. Perry Cox who is the current chief of medicine at Sacred Heart hospital. All of them have worked together for over 8 years; they all have various close relationships depending on their line of work, perceptions e. t. c. Lastly JD has been portrayed as a needy human being; this is shown by his sensitivity and neediness. He has been described as the neediest person in the hospital. According to Erickson’s Psychosocial Development theory, JD is in the Intimacy vs. Isolation stage.
At this stage the main virtue is love and understanding. It is at this stage that one dares to experience relationships with other people. These relationships are therefore key aspects in ones life at this stage in life (Feldman 2005). When we look at JD, we see that he has a network of relationships that actually determine how well he works as a doctor. His relationship with Dr. Turk is of more importance. The call each other using pet names; brown bear and vanilla bear, this shows that they are both comfortable with each other. This relationship is also characterised with a lot of child like games and competitions.
The two can therefore be considered as inseparable no matter what the circumstances (Dacey & Travers 2002). They depend on each other through thick and thin. There is also a lot of focus on JD career. He has been described as the residency director at St Vincent’s Hospital a position that he accepted because he would like to live near his son; he wants to spend more time with his on Sam. That is another relationship that dominates his life, in fact since both JD and Turk have children, when ever they get free time they spend it together with their children.
This shows that the relationship between the parents and the children is healthy and will be healthy in the future, another characteristic that JD is in the Intimacy vs. Isolation stage. Unfortunately, JD has had a series of bad relationships with the opposite sex; this attributed to the fact that he is not emotionally healthy at that level, very small things with the opposite sex tends to bring out the worst in him. This is not for lack of trying but because as he defines it he self sabotages all his romantic relationships, a trend that can be seen also in his social life though with varying degrees.
That is why he is mostly lonely (Dacey & Travers 2002). According to the Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, JD as a rational adult is in the Formal Operational stage. He is able to think rationally and therefore reach rational conclusions. He can speak eloquently and therefore an effective communicator. He knows the difference between right and wrong; it is part of the reason as to why he is a good doctors. According to JD patients need the extra attention so that they can heal even faster. This he reached despite constant ridiculing by his friends and at time even the doctor.
But he still feels that it is right to spend sometime to know ones patient. Some of the skills that one acquires when at this stage have also been demonstrated; JD uses his deductive skills to diagnose his patients (Leifer & Hartston 2004). This also enables him to spend more quality time with his patients. It is the same reason as to why he is very much attached to the same patients. He is able to make rational decisions; seen when he decides to take another job so that he can spend more time with his son. This is particularly a hard decision because it means moving away from his best friend Turk.
It means spending less and less time with Turk; many still don’t believe JD could make such a decision, but he does. This shows that he understands that in life one has to learn how to make rational decisions that will further enhance our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Being selfish is therefore a sign that all is not well. Life sacrifices have to be made so as to ensure that we are with those that we love and cherish. Such sacrifices come out of making rational decisions and although some may be sad, one has to look at the bigger picture.
On the other hand JD is know for making the wrong decision despite knowing what the consequences are; he has an inner monologue that is constantly telling him what he should do but he always ignores this advice only to suffer the consequences latter (Leifer & Hartston 2004). According to Freud’s theory of Psychosexual Development, JD has successfully gone through the required stages that one has to go through to ensure that he is ready and complete for life. He is an adult and has therefore managed to go through all the processes as described by Freud; he is therefore at the genital stage.
At this point in life JD is struggling to establish a balance between a lot of things going on in his life. He therefore reaches a decision that favours him moving a way from what he is used to so as to be with his son. He also makes a decision that involves him living with Elliot his girlfriend and eventually his wife. At this stage one tends to focus on the needs of others rather than their own needs and this explains why JD made such a selfless decision so that he can be with his wife and further enhance his career as a residency director.
At his point in life one also tends to be attracted to the members of the opposite sex; the decisions at this point could be self serving or simply just wrong but a relationship borne out of such a decision in this stage rarely lasts as one discovered that they were only attracted to the person because of one thing, their sexuality (Feldman 2005). In an analysis of all the theories, then it is safe to conclude that JD is in fact a normal healthy human being compared to any standards.
Despite a few flaws here and there, he is emotional stable and mentally sound. He is a hard working member of the community and in no way a perfect person. A balance is therefore necessary; a balance of all the elements of personality development. This balance means that one is tolerable and consequently of sound abilities. JD has friends and family around him who love him and appreciate him; his childish nature has been described as a very normally way to avoid getting overwhelmed since he is in a demanding career.
The fact that he is father means that he is a man who will do everything to ensure that his son never lacks anything and hopefully. In conclusion the theories of personality are meant to try and establish criteria through which a human being develops; they try and explain why human personalities are different and at times we all happen to go through the same things in life. Psychosocial characteristics are meant to establish how and why a person relates to others the way they do.
It explains person’s social characteristic within the social context. Cognitive development explains tries to understand how humans acquire knowledge and therefore deduces a person’s personality through this process of learning. In the end we have the psychosocial development that is mainly focused on the sexual drive in human beings and how people’s personalities develop as a result of undergoing these urges; a balance and control of these urges at different stages in life means that one will end up with a good personality.
But in the end a balance of almost all elements remains desirable; depending on the theories a balance of all these attributes means that one is of good nature and therefore a good human being to be with. References: Dacey John S & Travers John F. (2002). Human Development across the Lifespan. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Feldman Robert S. (2005). Development across the life Span, Upper Saddle River, N. J: Prentice Hall. Leifer G & Hartston H. (2004). Growth and Development across the Lifespan: A health Promotion Focus. St. Louis, Mo: Saunders.