What This Tour Covers

November 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Personality is the study of who we are. It’s composed of many theories about how and why we behave as we do. Before we create our own theory of personality, it’s wise to see what others have said on the subject.

The theories are presented in semi-chronological order. But you’ll soon discover that ideas are not limited to one period of time. They pop up, are popular for a while, subside and vanish. But these same ideas will pop up again years, decades or centuries later.

video: What’s Personality All About?

Day 1: Trait Theory

Day 1: Trait Theory

October 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Trait theory gives an external explanation of personality. Your personality is the result of some external force: the planets, essential fluids, body type, or inherited propensity. Read more

Day 2: Sigmund Freud

October 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the father of psychoanalysis. He gave us defense mechanisms, dream analysis, psychosexual stages of development, the Oedipus complex, and the id, ego and superego. Read more

Day 3: Adler & Jung

October 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 The followers of Freud developed their own theories. Although based on, or a reaction to, their experiences with Freud, two major psychodynamic theories stand out. Read more

Day 4: Neofreudians

October 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

After Freud, Adler and Jung, psychoanalysis began to change. These shifts weren’t so much the work of outsiders but by those who believed in the psychodynamic model. Read more

Day 5: Behaviorism

October 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 Behaviorism starts with the idea that personality is simply what you do. You are the sum of your behaviors. If you want to change your personality, change your behavior. Read more

Day 6: Social Learning

October 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Social learning theories are an extension of behaviorism. They use an empirical approach but emphasize social influence and environmental adaptation. Think of them as behaviorism with a context. Read more

Day 7: Humanism

October 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Humanism was a reaction to behaviorism. It was a return to valuing being human. According to this view, people can’t be reduced to stimulus-response explanations. We’re more complex than that. We’re more valuable than that. Read more

Day 8: Existentialism

October 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Like humanistic psychology, existential psychology was more of a movement or philosophy than a systematic school of thought. Basically a reaction to behaviorism, existential philosophers differentiated between existence (being) and essence (how things are). Existence is primary, and essence is fleeting. Read more

Day 9: Cognitive Approaches

October 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Cognitive approaches to personality emphasize our ability to think. In general, this view comes out of behaviorism and social learning theory. It takes the empirical approach of behaviorism, and applies it to how people think. It takes the concepts of social learning theory, and formulates them as internal representations. Essentially, cognitive science believes you are what you think. Read more

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