Theories of Personality (PSY 225-A01)/Chapter 9

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page dwells on the Existential and Humanistic Aspects of Personality.

Existentialism[edit | edit source]

Non-deterministic: Emphasis on free will and the individual's willingness to determine their personality, applies to humanism as well

  • Rooted in philosophy (who we become as a person = search for meaning in life)
  • Positivism vs. non-positivism - objective, focusing on the objective nature of the world governed by laws (law of physics); subjective, focuses on the subjective nature of the world (philosophy comes into play). Both contribute to our understanding.
    • Self cannot exist without the world, the world cannot exist without a being to perceive it.
  • Phenomenological view - Subjective experiences are valid data (my own perception of something DOES matter; it might be discrepant from somebody else's).
  • Teleological approach - Each person's life has an overarching grand plan or purpose.

Humanism[edit | edit source]

Personality is a result of our spontaneous, active nature. We have free will into how we develop.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi suggested the concept of creativity and flow: creative people possess opposing traits --> tension created --> creativity (dialectical tension). People who are highly creative have higher energy (contributes to accomplishments).

Relations with Others[edit | edit source]

...our personality is largely determined by our relationships with other people. Martin Buber suggested that our relationships are:

  • mutual (I-Thou dialogue) - "eye-value" (means... "You have a direct and mutual relationship with another person.").
  • utilitarian (I-It monologue) - "so I can get something from you"

We strive to reach our own potential through small groups. We can self-disclose in a non-judgemental group that allows us to develop: Human potential movement.

Love as a Central Focus: Erich Fromm[edit | edit source]

Fromm suggested that personality is derived from loving in unique human ways. This requres maturity and work. Love does not happen, it is created.

We have lost the art of love. Freedom has became a burden. We can either fight this by working to love again or give up.

  • Dialectical humanism - one way of describing this. We have opposing forces (biological/societal forces vs. free will and transcendes forces). We need to be making money but we also need attention to love. Without working to maintain will & love, we end up neglecting them.
  • He suggests that we experience existential alienation - we become alienated and it results in mental illnesses/social problems. There is evidence that this has some truth, but causation does NOT equal correlation. To escape this, Fromm would suggest that we should be volunteering on a crew maintaining hiking trails.

Burden of freedom = lose the art of loving --> leads to alienation.

Rollo May said that the alienation --> anxiety. Feelings of anxiety result when our values are threatened; he also really touted the role of personal choice. Growing and developing involves challenges that can lead to anxiety.

We can choose to control what we can control.

Posttraumatic growth vs. PTSD - regardless of what happens to us, we can try and see the purpose behind it.

Both Maslov and Fromm believed that the element of selflessness in the type of love they viewed as ideal.

Carl Rogers[edit | edit source]

Actualizing tendency - we have a natural tendency to strive towards growth. Over a period of time, people tend to grow and their positive traits develop further. Self-acceptance is key.

Rogers says that you are allowed to feel however you feel. You should accept yourself and continue to find ways to grow. Dissatisfaction in a famil-iar job would be caused by confirming to the family's expectations and not fulfilling your own job aspiration.

Rogerian therapy[edit | edit source]

Client centered - rather than trying to figure out what's wrong, they are trying to support the individual. They will repeat what the client say in order for them to be understood (empathy): said in a non-judgemental way.

Positive unconditional regard: love.

The goal of this is to mature, accept "the-self", and to look for the humanity in others.

Self actualization[edit | edit source]

Jung was the first person to use self-actualization. Becoming a whole person happening at the subconscious level. The integration between the positives and negatives (within us) were taking place in the sub-conscious.

Maslow is more associated with this principle. He talks about peak experiences, very positive, self-fulfillment vibes. This is more common for the person that is closer to self-actualization. Similar to our biological drive, occurs as a driving force/motivator for us. He believes few people are self-actualized.

Hierachy of needs is distributed into D-needs (deficit needs: necessary for survival (may not be actually necessary): physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness, self-esteem) and B-needs ("being": cognitive/cosmetic/self-actualization needs; "not" necessary for survival). Necessary to meet physiological needs/safety needs --> belongingness/esteem needs --> cognitive/aesthetic needs. This is the path to self-actualization. Now we understand we can achieve the higher needs first before the lower needs are met. Starving children still seek belonging-ness.

Hard to measure self-actualization. Creativity is hard to measure. This is subjective and may be taking place in different individuals.

Happiness and positive psychology[edit | edit source]

Positive sychology - incoporates Rogers and Jung. Pushes away the "hardness" and "aggressive struggles" (neoanalytic). Rogers saw the positive in his patients. Looks at things which make us happy.

Logotherapy, as developed by Victor Frankl, is a therapy approach focused on helping individuals find their meaning in life.

American paradox - more we get in possessions, the less happy we become.

Flourishing (Seligman) - PERMA approach (positive emotions, engagement, relationships, m[working towards things], accomplishments): stable family, improved emotions, improved engagement.

Evaluating? - PSYCHOAN: very different approaches, but similar in inner motivations (unconscious; still something within us that drives us something); BEHAVIORISM: reduced human experience to reinforcements, biological approach is similar in then.

Acknowledges free will and is an ideographical approach.