Personality in Classic and Modern Theories

Psychoanalytic Aspects of Personality

In this week’s learning, the subject of the greatest interest is the eight aspects of personality. In this context, the topic about traits contains intuitive information about human nature (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). The traits consist of a person’s motives, skills, and to some extent their free will. As a result, the actions of people are used to classify them and the focus is more on the individual. In the context of personality tests, everyone has a unique personality as well as personal styles (Fagerberg, Soderman, Gustavsson, Agartz, & Jonsson, 2016).

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The concept of traits as one of the personality aspects is a common phenomenon in real life. People exhibit different personalities because of their unique traits. For instance, politicians can lure the electorates in voting them through persuasive speech. In this sense, we are looking at the motives and skills. A politician’s main motive is to secure an electorate seat. To succeed, they use persuasive communication skills to lure voters into buying their ideas and finally vote for them during the election. The motives and skills differ from one person to another (Miguel & Pessotto, 2016).

Overview of biological influences on personality and the behaviorist and learning approaches to personality

In this week, the most interesting topic is the concept of the behaviorist. The theory of behaviorism is a psychological approach that emphasizes the use of scientific and objective techniques during the investigation of a phenomenon. The behaviorist movement started in the year 1913 with John Watson whose behavioral views on psychological study established various assumptions about methodology and analysis of behavior (Haslam, 2007). People learn all behaviors from the environment and that the environmental behaviors are observable as opposed to thinking and emotional feelings.

For instance, when John was a child, he lived with his parents in the suburbs of a nearby city. During the time, he developed an interest in fast driving because his peers loved riding with him. The act of driving fast became a routine because he never received speeding tickets (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). He moved to the city to seek economic opportunities after leaving college. Whenever he attempted to drive fast in the city, he would get a speeding ticket. After some time, John started to dislike fast driving and considered cautiousness as part of his etiquette when on the road. In this context, behaviorists are only interested in the change in John’s driving behavior but not the change in his mind (Estep, 2003).

Cognitive and Social-Cognitive Aspects of Personality and Trait and Skill Aspects of Personality

In this week’s learning, the cognitive framework known as the Schema was the most interesting topic. The Schema, as stated earlier is a cognitive concept, is used to explain the organization and interpretation of the information (Arnon et al., 2013). The main importance of Schema is that it allows an individual to use shortcuts in the interpretation of the vast amount of information available within the environment. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the mental frameworks used in this concept resulted in the exclusion of pertinent information. It makes the mind only focus on things that tend to confirm the preexisting beliefs and views (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).

Schemas often contribute to stereotypes and the inability to retain new information, which takes a different perspective from the already established ideas of the worldview. For instance, a boy can develop a schema for their family horse. As the boy becomes older, the only thing he knows is that a horse is an animal with four legs and hair on the body as well as a tail. During the first encounter with a donkey, he might call it a small horse because it fits the characteristic schema of a large horse (Dumont & Fitzpatrick, 2001). By the time his parents tell him that a donkey is a kind of animal, he will adjust his existing schema for the family horse and create a new one for the donkey.

Humanistic, existential, and person-situation interactionist aspects of personality development

During the week 5 learning, the most interesting topic was the humanistic theory of personal development. The concept of humanistic emphasizes the active role of the human in shaping both internal and external occurrences in the world (Winston, 2016). The field of study was advanced by Carl Rogers who emphasized that the human is an active and creative creature. Rogers came up with the term he referred to as the actualization tendency, which is the basic instinct of a person to succeed at their highest possible aptitude (Boundless, 2016). Through the concept, Rogers explained the idea of free will and the significant reservoir of humanity’s potential for being good.

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For instance, Caroline is an IT expert at AB Company. Even though she has worked with the company for two years and her salary is good, she feels that life in the workplace is bland and boring. Based on the humanistic view, Caroline would decide to engage in a soul-searching event to determine what is missing in her life (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). It might be the IT profession in which case she can decide to change. It might be a social issue such as intimate relationships or friendship. Humanists encourage such an individual to do whatever they can to feel full self-actualization (Winston, 2016). Such actions create change and result in different things from the usual ones.

Gender-based personality differences and disease-related personality changes

The gender difference in personality development is the most striking topic for this week. The idea of gender differences tends to explain the influence of biological differences between males and females on personality development (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). In this context, the theoretical framework posits that males develop personality traits that are different from those of their female counterparts. It is because of the biological differences between the two genders. For instance, the male has dominant characteristics of aggression, risk-taking, and assertiveness. On the other hand, females tend to be sociable, emotional, and submissive. Some of these traits are believed to have been adaptive in the lives of males and females throughout the evolution of humans (Durbin et al., 2015).

For instance, men are masculine and have more physical energy than women. As a result, men have been doing heavy duties such as mining, building, and construction among other duties that require more energy. Because of the big body, men tend to be aggressive. On the other hand, women tend to fear violence and when it occurs they seek men’s protection (Kretschmann, Vock, Ludtke, & Gronostaj, 2016).

History of personality and culture research, the influence of language and thought on identity, and factors that contribute to the “personality of love and hate”

During the last week, the topic of interest was the factors that contribute to the personality of love and hate. Love and hate are two conflicting personalities and they can evoke sad or happy emotions. The early psychoanalysts argued that love and hate are linked to mental illness. In this aspect, it is important to note that in each neurosis we come across, there is a suppressed instinct behind the exhibited symptoms (Person, Cooper, & Gabbard, 2016). As a result, hatred is suppressed in the human unconsciousness by love.

Love and hate cannot occur at the same time. One is only experienced when the other one is suppressed in our consciousness and this is triggered by the people and environment where we live. For instance, when we love a person because of the good things they do to us, those good things trigger the neurosis to suppress hatred for the love to dominate. The opposite of the above activities can also occur depending on the environmental and behavioral changes (Elliott, 2002).


Arnon, I., Cottrill, J., Dubinsky, E., Oktaç, A., Fuentes, S. R., Trigueros, M., & Weller, K. (2013). Schemas, their development and interaction. APOS Theory, 5(3), 109-135.

Boundless.(2016). Rogers’ humanistic theory of personality. Web.

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Dumont, F., & Fitzpatrick, M. (2001). The real relationship: Schemas, stereotypes, and personal history. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 38(1), 12-20.

Durbin, E., Hicks, M., Blonigen, M., Johnson, W., Iacono, G., & Mcgue, M. (2015). Personality trait change across late childhood to young adulthood: Evidence for nonlinearity and sex differences in change. European Journal of Personality, 30(1), 31-44.

Elliott, A. (2002). Psychoanalytic theory: An introduction. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Publishers.

Estep, M. (2003). A theory of immediate awareness: Self-organization and adaptation in natural intelligence. Dordrecht, Nevertheless: Kluwer Academic.

Fagerberg, T., Soderman, E., Gustavsson, P., Agartz, I., & Jonsson, G. (2016). Personality traits in established schizophrenia: Aspects of usability and differences between patients and controls using the Swedish universities scales of personality. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 70(6), 462-469.

Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic theories and modern research. Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Haslam, N. (2007). Introduction to personality and intelligence. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Kretschmann, J., Vock, M., Ludtke, O., & Gronostaj, A. (2016). Skipping to the bigger pond: Examining gender differences in students’ psychosocial development after early acceleration. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 46(1), 195-207.

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Miguel, K., & Pessotto, F. (2016). Projective aspects on cognitive performance: Distortions in emotional perception correlate with personality. Psychology: Critical Reflection, 29(1), 314-328.

Person, S., Cooper, M., & Gabbard, O. (2005). The American psychiatric publishing textbook of psychoanalysis. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Winston, N. (2016). An existential-humanistic-positive theory of human motivation. The Humanistic Psychologist, 44(2), 142-163.

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