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Personality Theries Essay

1579 words - 7 pages

Theories of Personality:
A Comparison


The concept of individual personality seems like a simple idea when taken at surface value, but when viewed through the lens of science, this concept becomes much more complex. Over the last century hundreds of different theories regarding the nature and development of the human personality have come into being, and those theories have coalesced around two major central themes. The humanistic and existential theories of personality offer many insights into the creation of human individuality, but modern psychology has yet to agree on which one of these theories is most prevalent.
The existential mind is a mind that believes the ...view middle of the document...

This personality is dependent on other people’s confidence rather than believing in his/her own decision(s). This personality believes that following is easier then leading because the outcomes are already known and there are no surprises.
Abraham Maslow’s humanistic approach indicates that humans need love and belongingness. This part of the hierarchy of needs says that after acquiring the physiological and safety needs, one will gain the need for family and belonging to a club or neighborhood (Feist & Feist, 2009). According to Maslow, humans need to have human contact. When the love and belongingness needs are satisfied, humans can function normally in interpersonal relationships; individuals are incapable of giving love if he or she did not experience the belonging or loving someone (Feist & Feist, 2009). Others will seek out this love if they did not get enough of it when they were children. Maslow indicates that children and adults need to feel loved and feel that he or she belongs, but children are more direct, while adults mask this need (Feist & Feist, 2009). Disguising the desire for love and belongingness will affect interpersonal relationships because it gives others the idea that one is being unfriendly.
When looking at the word existentially, one sees a world of constant growth and change. Existentialism literally means to emerge or become, and it is a process (Feist & Feist, 2009). This theory embraces the idea that individuals are responsible for who they are and what they become. In correlation to interpersonal relationships, a concept known as Mitwelt has great prevalence. Mitwelt is the idea that one lives in a world of people; Mitwelt involves making commitments to one another and regarding individuals as people and not objects (Feist & Feist, 2009). Mitwelt is having respect for another person and having unconditional acceptance for that individual.
The existential approach emphasizes four forms of love, which are sex, eros, philia and agape (Feist & Feist, 2009). Through these forms of love one can gain interpersonal relationships, especially through philia and agape. Philia is an intimate relationship between two people that is not sexual. Siblings and lifelong friendship develop through this type of love because it is the kind of love that develops over time. Agape is a type of love that shows esteem for the other individual; this is an unconditional love that requires nothing in return (Feist & Feist, 2009). In order to have healthy relationships, one must acquire all four types of love. These four forms of love indicate that humans need each other because of the desire for sexual relationships, enduring unions, genuine friendship, and unselfish love.
Both the existential and humanistic theories of personality offer many insights into the development of human nature. It is easy to see why modern psychology has been unable to decide which of these theories is most prevalent, because they both offer great...

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