Psychoanaltiv and Trait Approach to Personality

5 May 2017

Psychoanalytic and Trait Approaches Personality may well be one of the most fascinating fractions in which many fields of psychology have spent decades trying to understand and explain. Because of the possible multiple dimensions involved in a single personality could offer explanation into why so many theories and sub-fields of psychology have been dedicated to this process. For the purpose of this students research the two approaches for gaining some understanding and explanation into personality will be the psychoanalytic approach and the trait theory approach.

Throughout the following pages a omparison and contrast of the psychoanalytic approach and the trait theory approach will be examined. Two characteristics of each approach will be offered in which this student agree and two in which she does not agree along with an explanation for the agreement and disagreement. The oral and anal components of Sigmund Freud will be examined and offered to explain characteristic of personality.

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Three of Freud’s defense mechanisms will be presented along with real-life examples to illustrate each of these mechanisms.

One of the five factors in the Big Five factor theory will be presented and used to describe this student and why this student elieves this to be the best fit. Finally, the approach, psychoanalytic or trait, will be shown in relation to which best suits this student. Comparison and Contrast In order to compare or contrast these two approaches, first, there must be a definition of each approach. “The psychoanalytic approach understands us from the point of view of our unconscious and early childhood experiences. ” (Keegan, 2010, para. ) “The trait approach to personality suggests that individuals personality are composed of broad dispositions. ” (Kassin, 2003, para. 5) The definition of each approach alone states the obvious differences in each approach. The psychoanalytic approach seeks to explain personality via expansion of behaviors based on an individual’s experiences during childhood which shapes the individuals personality. However, the trait approach, believes that an individual is born with specific traits which are enhanced through environment and experiences over the individuals life- span.

The only common ground these two approaches seem to offer is that both try to understand and explain personality. Characteristic The psychoanalytic approach contains many different characteristic, of which, a few this student can agree with. The first which agreeableness is found is defense mechanisms. “Defense mechanisms are processes that the ego uses to distort reality to protect its self. ” (Friedman and Schustack, 2009, p. 7) While there are many different types of defense mechanisms, at some point in every individual’s life, he or she will use this to either protect him or herself or avoid dealing with an unpleasant situation until he or she is ready to face the situation in a better frame of mind. The second characteristic of the psychoanalytic approach which agreeableness is found is the attempts to understand how the unconscious affects the conscious. The for variations is behaviors, which this student completely agrees with as a possibility.

There are, however, a few characteristic of the psychoanalytic approach which this student disagrees with and the first would be the psycho sexual components. Penis enw would be on the top of this list. This student cannot agree that a young woman becomes consumed with wanting to be with her father or Jealous of the fact that he has a penis and she does not. The other characteristic of this approach which this student disagrees with is the fact that there is no way to empirically prove test results or compare data which is gained.

For this student, any data collected must have a method to falsify. Trait approach also is founded in many different characteristic. The first of these characteristic which this student agrees is the Big Five theory. “The Big Five model of personality represents five core traits that interact to form human personality and are as follows: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. ” (McCrae and Costa, 1997, p. 510) This student believes that all individuals are comprised of at least one if not more of these core traits.

The second characteristic of this approach which this student agrees is ersonalities are relatively stable. This student believes that an individual’s personality does not change but instead that different behaviors may be exhibited when introduced to different situations. Along with characteristic which this student agrees with within the trait approach are characteristic which this student disagrees. The trait approach tries to place personality into one category or another.

This student does not believe that this is conducive to explaining personality or resulting behaviors which an individual may exhibit. The second characteristic which this tudent disagrees with is that Just because personalities are relatively stable, this makes them predictable. When an individual is introduced to a situation which could be considered traumatic or unstable, the reaction observed may be unpredictable and viewed as abnormal for that individual. Therefore, to rely on one’s personality as a predictor for behavior, this student, feels is not accurate.

Oral and Anal Components of Freud’s Theory The oral stage of development explained by Freud, encompasses an individual’s natural drives which are exhibited at birth, such as eating, being held, and sleeping. During this stage an infant’s only concerns are with satisfying the basics needs. “The oral stage in Freudian stage of psychosexual development before the age one, when infants are driven to satisfy their drives of hunger and theist. “(Friedman and Schustack, 2009, p. 0) Should a child become too dependent during this stage or too demanding, he or she may grow up to be introverted or overly dependent on others and have issues is establishing his or her own identity. The oral stage is followed by the anal stage which Freud associated with toilet training. Freud believed that this rocess could be to ridged causing the child to become obsessive, controlling, or rebellious in later years. “That is, severe toilet training may lead to a great pleasure in control over feces that theoretically manifests its self in adulthood obstinacy and stinginess. (Friedman and Schustack, 2009,p. 71) Defense Mechanisms Repression Traumatic events in an individual’s life can cause him or her to repress certain memories, emotions, or feelings as a method for protection. “Repression is a defense Schustack,2009,p. 78) A real-life example of repression would be that of a child who was sexually assaulted by his or her parent. As a young child, he or she is unable to understand and deal with the emotions and feeling which accompany the assault and therefore, suppresses the memory.

Later in life, however, these memories may resurface, and the individual will have to deal with the experience. Denial Denial may well be one of the most used of all defense mechanisms described by Freud. Denial allows an individual to move past a current situation which may be producing anxiety until a future time when the individual is more capable of dealing with the anxiety produced by the situation. “Denial is defense mechanisms in which ne refuses to acknowledge anxiety provoking stimuli. ” (Friedman and Schustack, 2009, p. 4) A real-life example of denial would be an individual whom has a family member dyeing from cancer, yet refuses to admit that the death of the loved one is eminent. Through the use of denial, the individual is capable of helping the loved one better emotionally and at some later date deal with his or her own emotional issues which are associated with this event. Projection “Projection is a defense mechanisms in which anxiety-arousing impulses are externalized by placing them, or projecting them, on to others. (Friedman and Schustack,2009. . 84) Projection most often occurs when an individual is under a great deal of stress and therefore, the individual may take out his or her frustrations on the nearest individual to him or her. A real-life example would be that a company is struggling and therefore, the owner takes out his or her anxiety, frustrations, and stress on his or her employees. While this is unhealthy and not good for company relations, the boss finds some relief from the anxiety and trys to regain composure.

Extraversion: My Big Five Factor For this project, this student was asked to pick which of the factors within the Big Five actor best describes her personality and that would be extraversion. “Extraversion trait includes characteristics such as excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness. ” (McCrae and Costa, 1997,p. 514) If anyone would ask those who know this student to describe her two main things that would be said would be: sociable and assertive.

This student spends much of her days at work dealing with not only her own clients but all the clients for the business as she is the manager and over all known greeter at the grooming shop. Assertiveness is part of what makes this student so business sa’. . y, never being afraid to take a chance or state her opinion not only gains her respect of others but has also propelled her to the top of her field as a groomer. Never being afraid to learn something new and admitting when she is wrong is also part of what makes this student sociable and easily accepted by others.

My Personality: Psychoanalytic Approach While there is so much of the psychoanalytic approach that this student disagrees with there is even more of the trait theory approach that this student disagrees with, therefore, this student will have to go with the psychoanalytic approach to describe her personality. This student does believe that the unconscious drives and motivates an individual as well as herself. This student also believes that she has in the past used defense mechanisms to get through anxiety provoking situations.

Primarily, denial both times in her life when faced with the death of a loved one in which was no longer an option, and the emotions and feelings had to be dealt with in a healthy manner in order to move forward in life. Conclusion Throughout the proceeding pages a comparison and contrast of the psychoanalytic approach and the trait theory approach was examined. Two characteristics of each pproach were offered in which this student agree and two in which she does not agree along with an explanation for the agreement and disagreement.

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Psychoanaltiv and Trait Approach to Personality. (2017, May 19). Retrieved November 16, 2019, from
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