You are on page 1of 6


The Term "personality" stems from the Latin word persona,which was the name given to the
masks actors wore and the characters they portrayed.The meaning of the word personality
in practice has changed little since classical time for it is still quite common to hear the
comments such as "I do not know what he sees in her,she has a very poor personality ".
A Personality is a thing or quality that is possessed by all of us and we can paste such labels
as fine,good or poor on it on the basis of the physical markup,manner of their
walking,talking,dressing and a host of other similar characteristics processed by individuals.
Watson the father of behaviorism,taking clues from his behavioral studies,to conclude that
"Personality is the sum of activities that can be dis covered by actual observations aver a
long enough period of time to give information".(1930)
Morton Prince said to "Personality is the sum total of all the biological innate dispositions,in
pulses,tendencies.appetites and instincts of the individual and the dispositions and
tendencies acquired by experience".(1929)
Cattell remarked: "Personality is that which permits a prediction of what a person will do in a
given situation".(1970)
Eysenck said to,"Personality is the more or less stable and enduring organisation of a
person's character temperament,intellect and physique which determine his unique
adjustment to the environment". (1971)
a. Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality argues that human behavior is the
result of the interactions among three component parts of the mind: the id, ego, and
This "structural theory" of personality places great importance on how conflicts among the
parts of the mind shape behavior and personality. These conflicts are mostly unconscious.
According to Freud, personality develops during childhood and is critically shaped through a
series of five psychosexual stages, which he called his psychosexual theory of development.
During each stage, a child is presented with a conflict between biological drives and social
expectations; successful navigation of these internal conflicts will lead to mastery of each
developmental stage, and ultimately to a fully mature personality.
Freud's ideas have since been met with criticism, in part because of his singular focus on
sexuality as the main driver of human personality development.
Adler’s individual psychology presents an optimistic view of people while resting heavily on
the notion of social interest, that is, a feeling of oneness with all humankind.
Because of this breach in beliefs, the relationship between Freud and Adler was tenuous.
Freud saw all human motivation reduced to sex and aggression while Adler saw people as
being motivated mostly by social influences and the striving for superiority or success.
Freud assumed that people have little or no choice in shaping their personality whereas
Adler believed that people are largely responsible for who they are.

10) but it can explain the neurotic's problems and try to help them. Horney feels this is "not prompted by love for the analyst" (Self-Analysis. Pavlov’s dogs. Behaviorism In the early twentieth century. Psychoanalysis therapy is "helping people toward their best possible further development" (Self-Analysis. older people can be described as neurotic. Her theoretical approach to this is describing it towards people's personalities. The patient would feel helpless otherwise. However. responded by salivating to the sound of the bell (without the food). hobbies. However. This emphasizes that the neurotic should be aware of their environmental factors that surround them and their innerself. The goal of this analysis is to basically change the person's opinions and perception of life by seeking a person's potential of self-realization. While studying the role of saliva in dogs’ digestive processes. The personality she gave is an example of children and how parents as well as other socializing factors influence their personality. Pavlov paired the meat powder with various stimuli such as the ringing of a bell. b. whether it was by the presence of the handler or merely by a clicking noise produced by the device that distributed the meat powder. loss of decision making or interest. he had the foresight to see the importance of it. restrained in an experimental chamber. when looking at a child that is neurotic the environmental factors isolates their true self. Fascinated by this finding. afraid or obsessive-compulsive. the bell was used alone. Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov did Nobel prize-winning work on digestion[2]. 269). he stumbled upon a phenomenon he labeled “psychic reflexes. and depressed. . were presented with meat powder and they had their saliva collected via a surgically implanted tube in their saliva glands. For instance. by pairing the bell with the stimulus that did produce the salivation response. the bell itself did not produce the dogs’ salivation). Horney suggests differently.Freud’s assumption that present behavior is caused by past experiences was directly opposed to Adler’s notion that present behavior is shaped by people’s view of the future. Freud suggests that in order for people to overcome their resistance they need to deny them. as predicted. a normal child goes through life having certain characteristics of themselves when relating experiences with school. Pavlov’s dogs. Pavlov therefore demonstrated how stimulus-response bonds (which some consider as the basic building blocks of learning) are formed. Freud suggests that this therapy involves the neurotic developing love for the analyst in addition to seeking help. Freud placed very heavy emphasis on unconscious components of behavior while Adler believed that psychologically healthy people are aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it. This analysis "cannot solve the ills of the world" (Self-Analysis. the bell was able to acquire the ability to trigger the salivation response. anxiety. This means "striving toward a clearer and deeper experiencing" (Neurosis and Human Growth. and home. 20) but is the patients fear of people and their way of coping with life.” While an accidental discovery. knowing who they are. 364) with the direction of their lives. After the meat powder and bell (auditory stimulus) were presented together several times. The bell began as a neutral stimulus (i. He dedicated much of the rest of his career further exploring this finding. characterized by no selfworth. Over time..e. She thinks "the strength of the resisting forces and the strength of the self to deal with them" (Self-Analysis. he noticed that his dogs who begin salivation before the meat powder was even presented. 37). However. Also.

which Watson believed to be highly subjective and unscientific. Rotter sees personality. and to avoid unpleasant stimulation. those stimuli that the person is aware of and responding to) into account. Rotter describes personality as a relatively stable set of potentials for responding to situations in a particular way. or change the environment the person is responding to. In developing social learning theory. and the study of consciousness by Freud and others. Neither can one focus on behavior as being an automatic response to an objective set of environmental stimuli. The 1913 article is often given credit for the founding of behaviorism. One cannot speak of a personality. where each researcher served as his or her own research subject. as always changeable. Watson and other early behaviorists believed that controlled laboratory studies were the most effective way to study learning." In the article. Change the way the person thinks. The bell is a neutral stimulus until the dog learns to associate the bell with food. but it had a minor impact after its publication. to understand behavior. manipulation of the learner's environment was the key to fostering development. the meat powder is considered an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and the dog’s salivation is the unconditioned response (UCR). When Rotter developed his social learning theory. which focused on people's deep-seated instinctual motives as determining behavior. his or her life history of learning and experiences) and the environment (i. and treatment required long-term analysis of childhood experience. He believed that a psychological theory should have a psychological motivational principle. one must take both the individual (i. Watson argued that psychology had failed in its quest to become a natural science. His view of behaviorism was a reaction to introspection.. Rather than study these unverifiable ideas. In this way. Then the bell becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS) which produces the conditioned response (CR) of salivation after repeated pairings between the bell and food. Rotter combined behaviorism and the study of personality. Individuals were seen as being naive to their unconscious impulses.. With this approach. without relying on physiological instincts or drives as a motive force. The law of effect states that people are motivated to seek out positive stimulation. In response to introspection. or reinforcement. Rather. Watson urged the careful scientific study of observable behavior. His popular 1919 psychology text is probably more responsible for introducing behaviorist principles to a generation of future scholars of learning. Even learning approaches at the time were dominated by drive theory. The main idea in Julian Rotter's social learning theory is that personality represents an interaction of the individual with his or her environment. This approach stands in contrast to techniques that placed the emphasis for learning in the mind of the learner. that is independent of the environment. Watson prepared psychologists and educators for the highly influential work of Skinner and other radical behaviorists in subsequent decades. and behavior will . Rotter departed from instinct-based psychoanalysis and drive-based behaviorism.e. which held that people are motivated by physiologically-based impulses that press the individual to satisfy them. the dominant perspective in clinical psychology at the time was Freud's psychoanalysis. and therefore behavior. John B.In technical terms. internal to the individual. Watson is generally given credit for creating and popularizing the term behaviorism with the publication of his seminal 1913 article "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. largely due to a focus on consciousness and other unseen phenomena.e. Rotter chose the empirical law of effect as his motivating factor.

characters on children’s TV. This is illustrated during the famous Bobo doll experiment (Bandura. Consequently. copy) the behavior they have observed. the child is likely to continue performing the behavior. Children observe the people around them behaving in various ways. reinforcement value. Rotter has four main components to his social learning theory model predicting behavior. Individuals that are observed are called models.e. Positive (or negative) reinforcement will have little impact if the reinforcement offered externally does not match with an individual's needs. This is known as vicarious reinforcement. the people around the child will respond to the behavior it imitates with either reinforcement or punishment. Third. These are behavior potential. He sees them as being drawn forward by their goals. children are surrounded by many influential models. Theses models provide examples of behavior to observe and imitate. the more effort and intervention required for change to occur. These may be people in . the child will also take into account of what happens to other people when deciding whether or not to copy someone’s actions. Children will have a number of models with whom they identify. First. the more life experience one has building up certain sets of beliefs. If a child imitates a model’s behavior and the consequences are rewarding. but the important factor is that it will usually lead to a change in a person's behavior. At a later time they may imitate (i.g. A person learns by observing the consequences of another person’s (i. In society.e. but feeling happy about being approved of is an internal reinforcement. Her behavior has been reinforced (i. 1961). He does not believe there is a critical period after which personality is set. Reinforcement can be external or internal and can be positive or negative. A child will behave in a way which it believes will earn approval because it desires approval. but there are a number of processes that make it more likely that a child will reproduce the behavior that its society deems appropriate for its sex. models) behaviour e. Second. a younger sister observing an older sister being rewarded for a particular behaviour is more likely to repeat that behaviour herself. this is rewarding for the child and makes it more likely that she will repeat the behavior. expectancy. the child is more likely to attend to and imitate those people it perceives as similar to itself. If parent sees a little girl consoling her teddy bear and says “what a kind girl you are”.change. masculine and feminine. Rotter conceives of people in an optimistic way. such as parents within the family. seeking to maximize their reinforcement. strengthened). rather than just avoiding punishment. pro and anti-social etc. e. Reinforcement can be positive or negative. Children pay attention to some of these people (models) and encode their behavior. They may do this regardless of whether the behavior is ‘gender appropriate’ or not. But.e. and the psychological situation. this approval is an external reinforcement. If a child wants approval from parents or peers. it is more likely to imitate behavior modeled by people of the same sex. This relates to attachment to specific models that possess qualities seen as rewarding. friends within their peer group and teachers at school.g.

beliefs and attitudes of the person with whom you are identifying. Our most basic need is for physical survival. The deficiency needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet. they both involve internalizing or adopting another person’s behavior. These then become our salient needs. When a deficit need has been satisfied it will go away. Maslow (1943) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. values. For example. the need to fulfil such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. and this will be the first thing that motivates our behaviour. Identification occurs with another person (the model) and involves taking on (or adopting) observed behaviors. c. Maslow wanted to understand what motivates people. Also. He believed that people possess a set of motivation systems unrelated to rewards or unconscious desires. including divorce and loss of job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy. Life experiences. The motivation to identify with a particular model is that they have a quality which the individual would like to possess. and that some needs take precedence over others. This five stage model can be divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. The first four levels are often referred to as deficiency needs and the top level is known as growth or being needs. progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs. Our activities become habitually directed towards meeting the next set of needs that we have yet to satisfy. growth needs continue to be felt and may even become stronger once they have been engaged. not everyone will move through the hierarchy in a uni-directional manner but may move back and forth between the different types of needs. the longer a person goes without food the more hungry they will become. Identification is different to imitation as it may involve a number of behaviors being adopted. one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization. whereas imitation usually involves copying a single behavior. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us. Unfortunately. Once these growth needs have been reasonably satisfied. such as parents or older siblings. For example. and so on. whereas with Social Learning Theory the person (child or adult) can potentially identify with any other person.their immediate world. or could be fantasy characters or people in the media. However. Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of selfactualization. during the Oedipus complex the child can only identify with the same sex parent. Therefore. . The term identification as used by Social Learning Theory is similar to the Freudian term related to the Oedipus complex. 1954) hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five tier model of human needs. often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. Phenomenological Approach Maslow's (1943. One must satisfy lower level deficit needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. However.

protection from elements. prestige. intimacy. shelter. stability. dominance. selfrespect.friendship.air. 2. status.Maslow noted only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because our society rewards motivation primarily based on esteem. food. security. friends. warmth. sleep. 3. trust and acceptance. drink. law. 5. sex. seeking personal growth and peak experiences. The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes: 1. 4. being part of a group (family. Safety needs . respect from others. self-fulfillment. freedom from fear. Self-Actualization needs . Esteem needs .achievement. love and other social needs. receiving and giving affection and love. independence. order. Love and belongingness needs . work).realizing personal potential. Biological and Physiological needs . Affiliating. mastery. .