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Personality Overview

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Personality Overview

December 9, 2013
Lori McClaskey

University of Phoenix
Psy-405
Stephen Brown

When you watch your child grow from a very needful infant in to a productive member of the community you witness the development of his/her personality. How does one explain where a personality comes from? Several theorist have given their answer to this question based on their own life experience. In this paper I will review and compare two personality theories. I will review the strengths and weaknesses each one presents from my own perspective. I will also see how they relate to the conscious and unconscious mind.
Psychoanalytic Social Theory
Karen Horney made assumptions and based on her assumptions Psychoanalytic theory was born. This theory was based on childhood experiences, social and cultural conditions causing the personality to get its form. Basically, if one does not have all the needs met in childhood such as love, acceptance then the person forms hostility toward their parents. This also led to basic anxiety.
Horney theorized that people combat basic anxiety by adopting one of three fundamental styles of relating to others: (1) moving toward people, (2) moving against people, or (3) moving away from people (Feist &Feist, 2009).
Karen Horney used her life as a guide for her theory ad she is well known for her work with Neurotic personality. People can protect themselves from basic anxiety through a number of protective devices, including (1) affection, (2) submissiveness, (3) power, prestige, or possession, and (4) withdrawal. Normal people have the flexibility to use any or all of these approaches, but neurotics are compelled to rely rigidly on only one.
Horney’s theory can be used on people with a “normal” personality as well. She agreed with Freud that early childhood traumas are important, but she placed far more emphasis on...

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