Theories Of Personality in Psychology

  1. Freud’s theory(Sigmund Freud)
  2. Trait theory( Allport and Cattel’s theory)
  3. Bandura’s social cognitive theory
  4. Humanistic approach

1. Psycho analytical theory (Sigmund Freud theory)

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the founding father of psycho analytical theory. This theory for treating mental illness and explain human behavior. He purpose that there are three level of mind :

  1. The conscious mind
  2. The pre/sub conscious mind
  3. Unconscious mind

Sigmund Freud believes that each of these parts of the mind played an important in influencing human behaviour. Sigmund Freud said that the mind could be divided into 3 abstract categories.

  • The ID ( seeking pleasure):

The Id is the raw, savage and immoral basic stuff of a man’s personality that is hidden in the deep layers of one’s unconscious mind.

  • The Ego (judging reality):

It follows the principle of reality and acts with intelligence in controlling, selecting and deciding what appetites have to be satisfied and in which way they are to be satisfied.

  • The super Ego (morality):

It is the ethical moral arm of the personality. It is idealistic and does not care for realities.

2. Traits Theory ( Allport and Cattel’s theory)

In trait approach the personality is viewed in terms of traits. In our day to day conservation we label our friends and near ones with traits such as being honest, shy, aggressive, lazy, dull, dependent, etc. In real sense, traits are defined as relatively permanent and relatively consistent general behavior patterns that an individual exhibits in many situations.

B. Allport was the first personality theorist who adopted trait approach in providing a theory of personality. According to him, an individual develops a unique set of organized tendencies or traits, generally, these traits are organized around a few primary traits.

Raymond B. Cattell, a British born American researcher. He has defined trait as a structure of the personality inferred from behavior in different situations and describes four types of traits:

  1. Common traits
  2. Unique traits
  3. Surface traits
  4. Source traits

3.Bandura’s social cognitive theory

Albert Bandura and Richard Walters in 1963 gave altogether a new approach to personality in the shape of a social learning theory.

This theory emphasizes that what on represents through his personality is very much acquired through a process of continues structuring and restructuring of his experience through social learning.

Such types of learning takes place in the shape of observational learning when one gets opportunity to observe the behavior of others considered as models.

Bandura and Walters, in his theory of social learning emphasized that people acquire personality characteristics by observing and imitating real life and symbolic models.

4. Humanistic approach

The humanist approach to personality has been developed by famous theorists like Rogers, Kelly and Maslow. The connection between humanistic perspective and personality is relatively modern compared to cognitivist and behaviorist views.

Maslow’s humanistic theory of personality states that people achieve their full potential by moving from basic needs to self-actualization.

Carl Rogers’ humanistic personality theory emphasizes the importance of the self-actualizing tendency in forming a self-concept.

Carl Rogers was an influential humanistic psychologist who developed a personality theory that emphasized the importance of the self-actualizing tendency in shaping human personalities.

Rogers believed that humans are constantly reacting to stimuli with their subjective reality ( phenomenal field ), which changes continuously. Over time, a person develops a self- concept based on the feedback from this field of reality.

In the development of self-concept, positive regard is key. Unconditional positive regard is an environment that is free of preconceived notions of value. Conditional positive regard is full of conditions of worth that must be achieved to be considered successful. Human beings develop an ideal self and a real self based on the conditional status of positive regard.

How closely one’s real self matches up with their ideal self is called congruity. Rogers believed that fully functioning people could achieve “the good life,” in which they constantly aim to fulfill their potential and allow their personalities to emanate from their experiences. Like Maslow’s theories, Rogers’ were criticized for their lack of empirical evidence in research.