Theorists

Theorists | Major Personality Theory | Notes from Class |
Carl Jung | * Freud??™s disciple-turned dissenter * Placed less emphasis on social factors and agreed with Freud that the unconscious exerts a powerful influence. * But believed that the unconscious contains more than our repressed thoughts and feelings. * Believed that we also have a collective unconscious, a common reservoir of images derived from our species??™ universal experiences. * Said that the collective unconscious explains why, for many people, spiritual concerns are deeply rooted and why people in different cultures share certain myths and images, such as mother as a symbol of nurturance. | |
Alfred Adler | * Struggled to overcome childhood illnesses and accidents * Said that much of our behavior is driven by efforts to conquer childhood feelings of inferiority, feelings that trigger our strivings for superiority and power. * Proposed the still-popular idea of the ???inferiority complex??? | |
Karen Horney | * Said childhood anxiety, caused by dependent child??™s sense of helplessness, triggers our desire for love and security. * Countered Freud??™s assumptions that women have weak superegos and suffer ???penis envy??? * Attempted to balance the bias she detected in this masculine view of psychology. | |
Gordon Allport | * Described personality in terms of fundamental traits-people??™s characteristic behaviors and conscious motives (such as the professional curiosity that actually motivated Allport to see Freud). * Defined personality in terms of identifiable behavior patterns. * Concerned less with explaining individual traits than with describing them. | |
Hans and Sybil Eysenck | * Believe that we can reduce many of our normal individual variations to two or three genetically influenced dimensions, including extraversion-introversion and emotional stability-instability. * Their Eysenck Personality Questionnaire uses these two primary personality factors as axes for describing personality variation. * Varying combinations define other, more specific traits. | |
Jerome Kagan | * Attributes differences in children??™s shyness and inhibition to their autonomic nervous system reactivity. * Given a reactive autonomic nervous system, we respond to stress with greater anxiety and inhibition. * Attachment theory- an emotional tie with another person, shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation. * The brain, mind and social-emotional behavior develop together. | |
Raymond Cattell | * Credited with developing an influential theory of personality * Created new methods for statistical analysis * Contributed to developing the theory of crystallized and fluid intelligence. * Crystallized intelligence-one??™s accumulated knowledge as reflected in vocabulary and analogies tests- increases up to old age. * Fluid intelligence- one??™s ability to reason speedily and abstractly, as when solving novel logic problems- decreases slowly up to age 75 or so, then more rapidly, especially after age 85. | |
Carl Rogers | * Believed that a growth-promoting climate required three conditions- genuineness, acceptance, and empathy. * People nurture our growth by being genuine- by being open with their own feelings, dropping their facades, and being transparent and self-disclosing. * People also nurture our growth by being accepting- by offering us what Rogers called unconditional positive regard- an attitude of grace, an attitude that values us even knowing our failings and an attitude of total acceptance towards another person. * People nurture growth by being empathic-by sharing and mirroring our feelings and reflecting our meanings. * A central feature of personality is one??™s self-concept- all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question, ???Who am I??? | |
Albert Bandura | * Came up with a later version of social learning theory, which was called social-cognitive theory * Recognized the importance of children??™s emerging gender conceptions * Also believed that what determines whether we will imitate a model is reinforcements and punishments- those received by the model as well as by the imitator. * By looking, we learn to anticipate a behavior??™s consequences in situations like those we are observing. * By watching TV programs, children may ???learn??? that physical intimidation is an effective way to control others, that free and easy sex brings pleasure without later misery or disease, or that men are supposed to be tough and women gentle. * We are especially likely to imitate those we perceive as similar to ourselves, as successful or as admirable. * Proposed the social-cognitive perspective, which emphasized the interaction of persons and their situations. * Believed that we learn many of our behaviors either through conditioning or by observing others and modeling our behavior after theirs. * Called the process of interacting with our environment reciprocal determinism-proposes that our personalities are shaped by the interaction of personal/cognitive factors (our feelings and thoughts), our environment and our behaviors. | |


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