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There was a broad exploration of personality theories in these last five and half weeks.  The one dichotomy that was seen time and time again was that of hereditary and genetic factors and experiential factors. 


There was a broad exploration of personality theories in these last five and half weeks.  The one dichotomy that was seen time and time again was that of hereditary and genetic factors and experiential factors.  There is constant research into what parts of an individual are predetermined biologically and what parts can be decided by experience and choice.  The general consensus in psychology is that both nature and nurture play a role in who an individual becomes.  In each theory we have studied this course, we have seen how nature and nurture have played a role in the creation of each model.  Behaviorism focused more on the biological aspects, for example, while psychoanalysis focused greatly on the experiences that made someone the way they are.

This course has given me a much broader understanding of personality and the history behind its study.  The theory that had the greatest impact on my bettered understanding of personality came from Erik Erikson and his psychosocial theory of development.  The reason that his theory resonated so much with me is that his model spans a lifetime and is so easily observable in the lives of those around me.  Most of the personality theory I was exposed to in my undergraduate program focused more on the models pertaining to children.  Other than Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, every theory I was familiar with capped out by age 18.  Although I do remember learning about Erikson in my undergraduate classes, it was always brief and condensed.  Having researched the psychosocial development theory more extensively now, I can look at my children, ages 2 and 8, as well as many other family members of greatly varying ages, and observe them grappling with the crisis of their respective stages.  It is very cool to see this theory at play.  The features of this theory that make it so influential are its accounting for a lifespan of age ranges, opening up the possibility of further study in the personality of aging populations, and the social lens through which Erikson approaches development.  This social approach allows us to look at an individual as well as their connection to their community and the outside world in order to assess the features of their personality.


Lecci, L.B. & Magnavita, J.J. (2013). Personality Theories: A Scientific Approach. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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————————————————————————————————CLASSMATE #-2   DAVID. D


Personality theories are aplenty. One thing that I have recognized in each of the theories that we have discussed in this course is that biological and environmental/cultural influences are instrumental in the development of personality. Each of the theories either looks at one or both influences. For examples: Freud looked at the biological sexual urges as motivation in his theory (Lecci & Magnativa, 2013). Wundt’s theory is a combination of both with introspection in structuralism (Lecci & Magnativa, 2013). And Maslow theorized that the free will of an individual played a role in interaction with the environmental influences (Lecci & Magnativa, 2013). The best way for me to synthesize theories of personality is to take a bit from each theory that works and combine them together. Dweck (2017) introduces a new theory of personality on integrating “motivation, personality, and much of development under one umbrella” (p. 689). That is what we need to do as mental health professionals: we combine theories and uses what works for each client’s needs and treatment is based on all theories that work to help.

There are three theories on personality development that have impacted my thinking. Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs makes perfect sense to me and we are always thriving to reach goals and meet needs along the way. Erikson’s psychosocial theory resonated very highly with me in that interaction with the environment in combination with cognitive development (biological) shows a lifespan of development of personality. And just recently brought to my attention is the theory of personality that Rollo May developed based on anxiety levels. His theory makes sense in that we all have anxiety levels, but at which point they are high is when we know something is wrong. May’s theory accentuates the need for authenticity of “self” (Lecci & Magnativa, 2013).

Rev. Dave


Dweck, C. S. (2017). From needs to goals and representations: Foundations for a unified theory of motivation, personality, and development. Psychological Review124(6), 689-719. doi:10.1037/rev0000082 [EBSCOhost]

Lecci, L. B., & Magnavita, J. J. (2013). Personality Theories: A Scientific Approach. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.