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HUMANISTIC COMPARATIVE

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THEORIES OF PERSONALITY: COMPARATIVE MATRIX
“HUMANISTIC/EXISTENTIAL THEORIES”
PROPONENT
THEORY
ASSUMPTIONS
COMPONENTS OF THE
THEORY
Abraham H.
Maslow
HolisticDynamic
Theory
assumes that the whole
person is constantly
being
motivated by one need
or
another and that people
have the potential to
grow
toward psychological
health – self
actualization
Hierarchy of Needs (Conative/
Basic Needs):
A. Physiological Needs:
survival needs (food, water,
oxygen, heat, etc.)
B. Safety Needs: protection
needs ( physical security,
stability, dependency,
freedom from threatening
forces)
C. Love and Belongingness
Needs: interpersonal needs
(desire for friendship, wish
for a mate and children,
the need to belong to a family,
etc.)
D. Self- Esteem Needs: selfrespect, confidence,
competence, knowledge (for
higher esteem)
E. Self-Actualization Needs:
self-fulfillment, the realization
of one’s potential, desire to
become creative
Other Categories of Needs
(according to Maslow):
APPLICATIONS OF THE
THEORY
Free association
 Transference
 Resistance
Dream Analysis
 Manifest and latent content
Freudian or Unconscious Slips
(Parapraxes)
Findings from many different
neuroscientific programs of
research have established that the
pleasure-seeking drives have their
neurological origins in two brain
structures, namely the brain stem
and the limbic system (Solms,
2004; Solms & Turnbull, 2002).
Moreover, the neurotransmitter
dopamine is most centrally
involved in most pleasure- seeking
behaviors. In Freud’s language,
these are the drives and instincts of
the id.
PERSONAL CRITICISM
Did Freud Understand
Women?
His theory of personality
was strongly oriented
toward men, Freud
acknowledged that he
lacked a complete understanding of the female
psyche.
Freud regarded women as
the “tender sex,” suitable for
caring for the household and
nurturing children but not
equal to men in scientific
and scholarly affairs. Freud
undoubtedly would have
been surprised to learn that
130 years later these terms
of endearment are seen by
many as disparaging to
women.
CARL
ROGERS
PersonCentered
A. Aesthetic Needs: need for
beauty and aesthetically
pleasing experiences
B. Cognitive Needs: desire for
knowledge and wisdom
C. Neurotic Needs:
nonproductive needs that are
usually reactive; that is, they
serve as compensation
for unsatisfied basic needs
Person-centered theory Rogers
rests on two basic
saw people as having
assumptions: (1) the
experiences on three levels of
formative
awareness: (1) those that
tendency that states that are symbolized below the
all matter, both organic threshold of awareness and are
and inorganic, tends to
ignored, denied, or
evolve
not allowed into the selffrom simpler to more
concept; (2) those that are
complex forms and (2)
distorted or reshaped to fit
an actualizing tendency, it into an existing self-concept;
which
and (3) those that are consistent
suggests that all living
with the selfconcept and thus
things, including
are accurately symbolized and
humans, tend to move
freely admitted to the
toward
selfstructure
completion, or
Needs
fulfillment of potentials. The two basic human needs are
However, in order for
maintenance and enhancement,
people (or
but people also
plants and animals) to
need positive regard and selfbecome actualized,
regard. Maintenance needs
certain identifiable
include those for
conditions must
Jon Kasler and Ofra Nevo (2005)
gathered earliest memories from
130 participants. These
recollections were then coded by
two judges on the kind of career the
memory reflected. The
recollections were classified using
Holland’s (1973) vocational interest
types, namely Realistic,
Investigative, Artistic, Social,
Enterprising, and Conventional (see
Table 3.3 for description of these
interest types). For example, an
early recollection that reflects a
social career interest later in life
was: “I went to nursery school for
the first time in my life at the age of
four or five. I don’t remember my
feelings that day but I went with my
mother and the moment I arrived I
met my first friend, a boy by the
name of P. I remember a clear
picture of P playing on the railings
and somehow I joined him. I had
fun all day” (Kasler & Nevo, 2005,
It produced many concepts
that do not easily lend
themselves to either
verification or falsification.
For example, although
research has consistently
shown a relationship
between early childhood
recollections and a person’s present style of life
(Clark, 2002), these results
do not verify Adler’s notion
that present style of life
shapes one’s early
recollections. An alternate,
causal explanation is also
possible; that is, early
experiences may cause
present style of life. Thus,
one of Adler’s most
important concepts—the
assumption that present
style of life deter- mines
early memories rather than
vice versa—is difficult to
be present. For a
person, these conditions
include a relationship
with another
person who is genuine,
or congruent, and who
demonstrates complete
acceptance and
empathy for that
person.
food, air, and safety, but they
also include our tendency to
resist change and to
maintain our self-concept as it
is. Enhancement needs include
needs to grow
and to realize one's full human
potential.
Conditions of Worth
Most people are not
unconditionally accepted.
Instead, they receive conditions
of worth; that is, they feel that
they are loved and accepted
only when and if
they meet the conditions set by
others.
F. Psychological Stagnation
When the organismic self and
the self-concept are at variance
with one another,
a person may experience
incongruence, anxiety, threat,
defensiveness, and even
disorganization.
The Self and Self Actualization:
A. Self-Concept: includes all
those aspects of one’s being and
one’s experiences that are
perceived in
awareness (though not always
accurately) by the individual
p. 226). This early recollection
centers around social interaction
and relationships. An example of an
early recollection that reflects a
realistic career interest was: “When
I was a little boy, I used to like to
take things apart, especially
electrical appliances. One day I
wanted to find out what was inside
the television, so I decided to take a
knife and break it open. Because I
was so small I didn’t have the
strength and anyway my father
caught me and yelled at me”
(Kasler & Nevo, 2005, p. 225).
either verify or falsify.
B. Ideal Self: one’s view of self
as one wishes to be
ROLLO
MAY
Existential
Psychology
that existence takes
precedence over
essence, meaning
that process and
growth are more
important than
product and
stagnation. Second,
existentialists
oppose the artificial
split between
subject and object.
Third, they stress
people's search for
meaning in their
lives. Fourth, they
insist that each of us
is responsible for
who we are and
what we will
become. Fifth, most
existentialists take
an antitheoretical
position, believing
that theories tend to
objectify people.
Levels of the Psyche:
A. Conscious: these are images
that are sensed by the ego,
whereas unconscious elements
have no
relationship with the ego
B. Personal Unconscious:
embraces all repressed,
forgotten, or subliminally
perceived experiences of one
particular individual
C. Collective Unconscious: in
contrast with personal
unconscious, these rooted from
the ancestral past of
the entire species
D. Archetypes: are ancient and
archaic images that derive from
the collective unconscious
1. Shadow: the archetype of
darkness and repression,
represents those qualities one
do not wish to
acknowledge but attempt to
hide to oneself or others
2. Anima: the feminine side of
men and is responsible for
many of their irrational moods
and feelings
3. Animus: the masculine
archetype of women and is
Today, most research related to Jung
focuses on his descriptions of
personality types. The MyersBriggs Type Indicator (MBTI;
Myers, 1962) is the most frequently
used measure of Jung’s personality
types and is often used by school
counselors to direct students toward
rewarding avenues of study. For
example, research has found that
people high on the intuition and
feeling dimensions are likely to find
teaching re- warding (Willing,
Guest, & Morford, 2001). More
recently, researchers have extended
work on the usefulness of Jungian
personality types by exploring the
role of types in how people manage
their personal finances and the kinds
of careers they pursue.
Is Jung’s theory of
personality internally
consistent? Does it possess
a set of operationally
defined terms?
The first question receives a
qualified affirmative
answer; the second, a
definite negative one. Jung
generally used the same
terms consistently, but he
often employed several
terms to describe the same
concept. The words
regression and introverted
are so closely related that
they can be said to describe the same process.
This is also true of
progression and
extraverted, and the list
could be expanded to
include several other terms
such as individuation and
self- realization, which also
are not clearly
differentiated. Jung’s
language is often arcane,
and many of his terms are
not adequately defined. As
for operational definitions,
responsible for irrational
thinking and illogical
opinions in women
4. Great Mother: a derivative of
anima/ animus that represents
two opposing forces- fertility
and
nourishment on the one hand
and power and destruction to
the other
5. Wise Old Man: a derivative
of anima/ animus which is the
archetype of wisdom and
meaning,
symbolizes human’s existing
knowledge of the mysteries of
life
6. Hero: is the unconscious
image of a person who conquers
an evil foe but who has also a
tragic
flaw
7. Self: is the archetype of
completeness, wholeness and
perfection.
Dynamics of Personality:
A. Causality and Teleology:
motivation in present events
have their origin in previous
experiences
(causality) and by goals and
aspirations (teleology)
B. Progression and Regression:
achieving the self –realization
Jung, like other early
personality theorists, did not
define terms operationally.
There- fore, we rate his
theory as low on internal
consistency.
through adaptation to the
outside
environment by forward flow of
psychic energy (progression)
and the inner world through
backward
flow of psychic energy
(regression)
Psychological Types:
A. Attitudes: predisposition to
act or react in a characteristic
direction
1. Introversion: is the turning
inward of psychic energy with
an orientation toward the
subjective
2. Extraversion: is the attitude
distinguished by the turning
outward of psychic energy
B. Functions: are the four types
that is combined with the
attitudes
1. Thinking: logical intellectual
activity that produces a chain of
ideas
ET: Rely heavily on concrete
thoughts
IT: Colored more by the
internal meaning
2. Feeling: the process of
evaluating an idea or event
EF: Objective data to make
evaluations
IT: Judgments are subjective
3. Sensing: receives the
physical stimuli and transmits
them to perceptual
consciousness
(sensation)
ES: Perceives external stimuli
objectively
IT: Sensations are influenced
subjectively
4. Intuiting: involves
perceptions beyond the
workings of consciousness
EI: oriented toward facts in the
external world
II: are guided by unconscious
perceptions of facts that are
basically subjective and
have little sense or no
resemblance to external reality.
MELANIE
KLEIN
OBJECT
RELATIONS
THEORY
Klein believed that
infants begin life with
an inherited
predisposition to reduce
the anxiety that they
have experienced as a
consequences of the
cash between of the life
instinct and the death
instinct.
First, object relations theory
places less emphasis on
biologically based drives and
more importance on consistent
patterns of interpersonal
relationships.
Second, object relations theory
tends to be more maternal,
stressing the intimacy and
nurturing of the mother.
Infants do not begin life with a
blank slate but with an inherited
predisposition to reduce the
More recently, this line of theory
and research has been applied to
both men and women. Steven
Huprich and colleagues (Huprich,
Stepp, Graham, & Johnson, 2004),
for instance, examined the
connection between disturbed
object relations and eating disorders
in a nearly equal number of female
and male college students. Because
eating disorders are much more
common in women than in men
(Brannon & Feist,2007), the
investigation by Huprich and
colleagues was an important
Perhaps the most useful
feature of object relations
theory is its ability to or
ganize information about
the behavior of infants.
More than most other
personality theorists, object
relations theorists have
speculated on how humans
gradually come to acquire a
sense of identity. She
watched the interactions
between infant and mother
and drew inferences based
on what they saw. However,
anxiety they experience as a
result of the conflict produced
by the forces of the life instinct
and the power of the death
instinct. The infant’s innate
readiness to act or react
presupposes the existence of
phylogenetic endowment, a
concept that Freud also
accepted
addition to the research on eating
disorders of both men and women.
The researchers administered three
measures of object relations and
three measures of eating disorders
to the participants to see whether
the association between object
relations and eating problems could
be found in men as well as women.
beyond the early childhood
years, object relations
theory lacks usefulness as
an organizer of knowledge.
A study by Michael Robinson and
colleagues asked how one could be
a “successful neurotic” (Robinson,
Ode, Wilkowski, & Amodio, 2007).
They found that for those
predisposed toward neurosis, the
ability to react adaptively to errors
while assessing threat was related
to less negative mood in daily life.
Although Horney painted a
vivid portrait of the neurotic
personality, her theory rates
very low in generating
research, low on its ability
to be falsified, to organize
data, and to serve as a useful
guide. Her theory is rated
about average on internal
In addition, object relations
theory lacks Parsimony. She
used needlessly complex
phrases and concepts to
express her theory.
Klein (1946) saw human infants
as constantly engaging in a
basic conflict between the life
instinct and the death instinct,
that is, between good and bad,
love and hate, creativity and
destruction. As the ego moves
toward integration and away
from dis- integration, infants
naturally prefer gratifying
sensations over frustrating ones.
.
KAREN
HORNEY
PSYCHOANAL
YTIC SOCIAL
THEORY
was built on the
assumption
that social and cultural
conditions, especially
childhood experiences,
are
largely responsible for
shaping personality.
Basic Hostility: results from
childhood feelings of rejection
or neglect by parents or from
a defense against
basic anxiety
Basic Anxiety: repressed
feeling that lead to profound
feelings of insecurity and a
vague sense of
apprehension; results from
parental threats or defense
against hostility
Compulsive Drives: various
protective devices to guard
against the rejection, hostility,
and competitiveness of
others
Neurotic Needs: 10 categories
that characterizes neurotics in
their attempts to combat
anxiety
Neurotic Trends: general
categories of neurotic needs
that relates a person’s
attitude toward self and
others
A. Moving toward people
1. Acceptance and
Humiliation: live accordingly;
please people
2. Dominant Partners: attach
oneself to powerful partner
B. Moving against people
3. Personal Achievement:
strong drive to do best
4. Personal Admiration: to be
recognized
5. Prestige: to be respected
6. Power
7. Exploitation: evaluate
others on how they can be
exploited; at the same time,
there is fear of
being exploited by others
The conclusion was that many
consistency and parsimony.
neurotic people, while they cannot
change their personalities and stop
being neurotic, o en develop great
skill at avoiding negative outcomes,
and that their successful avoidance
of these outcomes improves their
mood, making them feel better on a
daily basis.
ERIK
ERIKSON
POSTFREUDIAN
THEORY
extension of
psychoanalysis
suggesting
that an individual
passes a
specific psychosocial
struggle that contributes
to
the formation of his
personality
C. Moving away from people
8. Self- restriction: to be
contented
9. Self- sufficient: self apart
10. Perfection and
Unassailability: be best and
critical to mistakes
Basic Conflict: incompatible
tendency to move as of
neurotic trends
Epigenetic Principle: one
component part arises out of
another and has its own time of
ascendancy, but it
does not entirely replace earlier
components
Systonic and Dystonic
Attitudes: Conflicting opposites
that results to the Psychosocial
Crisis Faced each stages
of Human Development:
systonic (harmonious) and
dystonic (disruptive) elements
Basic Strength: is produced by
the conflicts of the opposing
systonic and dystonic elements
Core Pathology: results from
too little basic strength
Stages of Development with
Corresponding Psychosocial
Crisis Faced (1), Its Basic
Strength (2) and Its Core
Pathology (3) :
Dan McAdams and his colleagues
(McAdams, 1999; McAdams & de
St. Aubin, 1992; Bauer &
McAdams, 2004b) have been major
figures in research on generativity
and have developed the Loyola
Generativity Scale (LGS) to
measure it. The LGS includes items
such as “I have important skills that
I try to teach others” and “I do not
volunteer to work for a charity.”
The scale measures several aspects
of generativity, including concern
for the next generation; creating
and maintaining objects and things;
and person narration: that is, the
subjective story or theme that an
adult creates about providing for
the next generation.
Erikson’s theory provides
many general guidelines,
but offers little specific
advice. Compared to other
theories discussed in this
book, it ranks near the top in
suggesting approaches to
dealing with middle-aged
and older adults. Erikson’s
views on aging have been
helpful to people in the field
of gerontology, and his
ideas on ego identity are
nearly always cited in
adolescent psychology
textbooks. In addition, his
concepts of intimacy versus
isolation and generativity
versus stagnation have
much to offer to marriage
counselors and others
concerned with intimate
relationships among young
adults.
A. Infancy: 1. Basic Trust vs.
Mistrust, 2. Hope, 3.
Withdrawal
B. Early Childhood: 1.
Autonomy vs. Shame and
Doubt, 2. Will, 3. Compulsion
C. Play Age: 1. Initiative vs.
Guilt, 2. Purpose, 3. Inhibition
D. School Age: 1. Industry vs.
inferiority, 2. Competence, 3.
Inertia
E. Adolescence: 1. Identity vs.
Role Confusion, 2. Fidelity, 3.
Role Repudiation
F. Young Adulthood: 1.
Intimacy vs. Isolation, 2. Love,
3. Exclusivity
G. Adulthood: 1. Generativity
vs. Stagnation, 2. Care, 3.
Rejectivity
H. Old Age: 1. Integrity vs.
Despair, 2. Wisdom, 3. Disdain
ERICH
FROMM
HUMANISTIC
PSYCHOANAL
YSIS
assumes that
humanity’s
separation from the
natural
world has produced
feelings and isolation, a
condition called basic
anxiety
Basic Anxiety: a sense of
being alone in the world
Human Needs:
A. Relatedness: the drive for
union with another person or
other persons. There are three
basic ways to
Mark Bernard and colleagues
(2006) sought to test these central
components of Fromm’s theory
through the use of self-report
measures in a sample of
undergraduate students in Great
Britain. Specifically, the
researchers wanted to test whether
Like other psychodynamic
theorists, Fromm tended to
take a global approach to
theory construction, erecting
a grand, highly abstract
model that was more philosophical than scientific. His
insights into human nature
relate to the world:
submission, power, love
B. Transcendence: the urge to
rise a passive and accidental
existence into the “realm of
purposefulness
and freedom” (Fromm, 1981,
p.4). People can transcend by
creating life or destroying it
C. Rootedness: the need to
establish roots or to feel at
home again in the world
D. Sense of Identity: capacity
to be aware of oneself as a
separate entity
E. Frame of Orientation: a
final human need which
enables people to organize the
various stimuli that
impinge on them. Guides a
consistent way of looking at
the world
Mechanisms of Escape:
A. Authoritarianism: the need
to unite with a powerful
partner in order to acquire
the strength which the
individual is lacking
B. Destructiveness:
restoration of lost feelings of
power by destroying people of
objects
C. Positive Freedom: act
according to basic natures
or not discrepancies between a
person’s own beliefs and the way
the person perceived the beliefs of
his or her society led to feelings of
estrangement.
The findings of the study were as
predicted. The more a person
reported that his or her values were
discrepant from society in general,
the more likely he or she was to
have a strong feeling of
estrangement (Bernard, Gebauer,
&Maio, 2006). This is not
surprising. Basically, if your values
are different from those of your society or culture, you feel as though
you are different and not normal.
This is also pre- cisely what
Fromm’s theory predicts. The more
distant people feel from those
around them in their community,
the more people are likely to feel
isolated.
strike a responsive chord, as
evidenced by the popularity
of his books. Unfortunately,
his essays and arguments
are not as popularly known
today as they were 50 years
ago. Paul Roazen (1996)
stated that, during the mid1950s, a person could not be
considered educated without having read Fromm’s
eloquently written Escape
from Freedom. Today,
however, Fromm’s books
are seldom required reading
on college campuses.
and not according to
conventional rules
Character Orientations:
A. Nonproductive
Orientations: strategies that
fail to move people closer to
positive freedom and self
realization
1. Receptive: feel that the
source of all good lies outside
themselves and that the only
way they
can relate to the world is to
receive things (concrete or
abstract)
2. Exploitative: same as
receptive characters yet an
inclusion of aggressiveness to
take what is
 desired rather than being
passive is evident
3. Hoarding: seeks to save that
which have already obtained,
hold everything inside and do
not let
go
4. Marketing: see themselves as
commodities, with their
personal value dependent on
their
exchange value, the ability to
sell themselves
B. Productive Orientations:
working towards positive
freedom and continuing
reasoning
1. Loving: characterized by its
four qualities: care,
responsibility, respect and
knowledge. In
addition, biophila (positive love
of life and all that is alive) is
included
2. Working: work not as end in
itself, but as a means of creative
self- expression
3. Thinking: motivated by a
concerned interest in another
person or object
Personality Disorders:
A. Necrophilia: love of death;
desire for sexual contact with a
corpse
B. Malignant Narcissism:
everything belonging to a
narcissistic person is highly
valued and everything
belonging to another person is
devaluated
C. Incestuous Symbiosis: an
extreme dependence on the
mother or mother surrogate
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