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Psychology of Personality Essay

Psychology of personality is a branch of psychology that focuses on the study of personality and the individual differences. The main areas of focus are usually looking at individual’s psychological processes, the individual differences and studying how human behavior is similar. Personality is usually defined as well organized and dynamic set of characteristics possessed by a person that distinctively influence the cognitions, behavior in various situations and motivations.

Since personality is complex and dynamic, various psychologists have come up with different theories to explain the different personality types. For the purpose of this paper, Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and Jung’s theory of personality shall be used to analyze the personality of a lady friend by the name Ann. Since most people have various personality disorders, Ann’s personality disorder shall also be analyzed. Freud’s Theory of Personality The Freud’s theory of personality illustrates that personality of a human being is made up of three structures namely; the ego, superego and id.

The id contains instincts and it is usually unconscious. The ego develops after the id and is considered to be the executive branch of personality since it uses reasoning to make decisions. Both the ego and id have no morality but the superego is the structure that contains morality as it takes into account whether something is right or wrong. The superego is also referred as the conscience since it has the ability to judge whether something is right or wrong. According to Freud’s theory of personality, personality is established at around five years of age.

Studies suggest that the early childhood experience influence human behavior and continue to do so through out the whole life (Mitterer & Coon 2008). Further studies illustrate that behavior of a person develops through a series of childhood stages and the driving force during the stages is usually the psychosexual energy. Incase all the stages are completed successfully, healthy personality develops and if not, fixation occurs which leads to a personality disorder. These stages of development include the anal, oral, phallic, latent, and genital stage.

Some of these stages shall be discussed comprehensively while analyzing Ann’s personality. Jung’s Theory of Personality Jung is psychologist who accomplished much but his personality theory of introversion and extroversion gained a lot of recognition and overshadowed the rest of his work. His theory suggests that introversion and extroversion are opposing attitude types that make a person to behave in a particular way. According to this theory of personality, human behavior is controlled by the introversion and extroversion attitudes.

He defines an introvert as someone who is quite aware of the inner world and does not give much thought to the external world. An introvert attitude is usually more concerned with the subjective appraisal and considers dreams and fantasies more. On the other hand, an extrovert is usually characterized by the outside movement of the psyche energy. An extrovert attitude places more importance on the objectivity and at the same time gains a lot of influence from the outer environment than the inner cognitive processes.

Nonetheless, the theory suggests that it is still possible for one person to have both attitudes though more often than not one must be overshadowed by another. The four functions of the personality theory namely, thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition were combined so as to come up with the eight personality types. Discussion Ann is a twenty five year old lady who currently works as a research scientist. She is very competent and productive, and since she was employed two years ago, she has received a number of awards due to her competency.

She happens to be the first born in the family of four and has been brought up by very strict parents. Though she loves people, she mostly prefers to be alone and in social functions she prefers to remain calm and only talks with people close to her. She spends most of her leisure time reading or watching television when she is not studying. She can make a very good friend but once angered she reacts aggressively and she can put up a fight very first. In addition, she is quite independent and barely shares her things with other people.

However, many people usually complain of her reserved and cold nature but she is quite orderly and maintains high level of cleanliness. In application of the Jung’s theory of personality, Ann displays more of an introvert attitude than that of an extrovert. While making decisions, Ann takes her time analyzing the available options and is not easily influenced by the outside factors which display an introvert attitude as illustrated by Jung’s theory of personality. She often makes a decision which suits her best, without giving much consideration to what others may think of her.

Moreover she works best while alone and does not prefer social functions unless when it is very necessary. A person with such behavior is classified as an introvert by the Jung’s theory of personality (Gelpi 1993). While applying the Freud’s theory of personality, some of the behavior that characterizes Ann’s personality can be attributed to the experiences she passed through during the early childhood stages. The fact that she holds a lot of mistrust toward people illustrates that the care takers did not feed her on demand during the oral stage.

However, during the anal stage, she received the appropriate toilet training hence the reason why she is quite competent, productive and orderly (Dumont, Wedding & Corsini 2007). Personality Disorder A personality disorder is often described as an enduring pattern of inner experiences and behavior that seems to deviates from individual’s culture and sets in during early adulthood or adolescence stage (Dobbert 2007). Since most of these behaviors are pervasive and also chronic they usually cause impairment in the daily life.

A study of Ann’s life shows that she most probably suffers from a paranoid personality disorder. It is a disorder that is characterized by agoraphobia, depression and substance abuse as illustrated by the studies of (Dobbert, 2007). Ann displays most of the symptoms associate with paranoid disorder because she does not trust people, gets angry quickly especially if she thinks that she is being deceived, thinks that people are untrustworthy, she is always serious and secretive, and always analyzes every gesture and conversation to look for the hidden meaning.

The above mentioned Ann’s personality traits illustrate that she suffers from paranoid personality disorder since the same symptoms characterize the disorder are part of the diagnostic criteria of the disorder. Conclusion and Recommendation Psychology of personality is very important since it helps in understanding different personalities as illustrated by the different behaviors. In psychology, there are many theories that have been established to explain different personalities. Despite the fact that all have the same goals some contain controversial ideas.

However, they are still very helpful. In this study, the Freud’s theory of personality which illustrates that early childhood experiences shape the behavior of a person has helped in understanding the personality of Ann. It was possible to deduce that her mistrust originates from her oral stage as her caretakers did not feed her on demand. Such an experience makes an infant to lose trust on people. Jung’s theory of personality helps in understanding that the reserved nature of Ann is a result of an introverted attitude.

In addition, the study has been of great help since it was possible to realize that Ann’s pervasive behavior of excessive mistrust is as a result of a paranoid personality disorder.

References Dobbert, L. D. , (2007). Understanding personality disorders: an introduction. Westport, Greenwood Publishing Group. Dumont, F. , Wedding, D. & Corsini, J. , (2007). Current Psychotherapies. Stamford, Cengage Learning. Gelpi, D. L. , (1993). Committed Worship: Adult Conversion and Initiation. Collegeville, Liturgical Press Mitterer, J. O. & Coon, D. , (2008). Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior. Stamford, Cengage Learning.


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