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: Compare and Contrast the Psychodynamic and Humanistic Approaches to Understanding Personality.

  • Date Submitted: 02/03/2016 05:56 AM
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Individual Differences and social Psychology 1
Essay 1: Compare and contrast the psychodynamic and humanistic approaches to understanding personality.
Personality has a vast and diverse history and numerous personality theories have been proposed. This essay will compare and contrast the two main theories guiding personality: Sigmund Freud’s Psychodynamic theory and Carl Rogers Humanistic theory. The topics covered are general explanations of both theories, how they define personality and the research undertaken. It will debate that the two theories although very different are still very influential to the field of personality psychology.

Freud’s theory is the more complex of the two.   His assumption is the foundation for personality lies mainly within the unconscious mind through thoughts and emotions which stem from childhood traumas and experiences. His theory is focused on three essential structures of the mind, the conscious, subconscious and the unconscious. He claims that within these states there are three functional structures to the mind which are in operation. They are the Id which is most dominant and lies in the unconscious mind; it is motivated by our desires, wants and needs. The superego is responsible for our morals and values learnt from parents and society and operate at all levels of consciousness, and the ego which acts as the mediator between id and superego finding logical and rational solutions and operates at different levels of consciousness.

Rogers’s theory on the other hand focuses on the conscious mind of the individual and proposes that people are born with actualising tendencies which motivates them to achieve. People’s interactions with the social environment and others contribute to form a structure of the self. This theory highlights the importance of congruence and harmony of the self-concept. He divided the self-concept into two categories; the Perceived self (how we see our self) and the Ideal self (how we would like...


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