Psychodynamic Personality Overview

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By msharris
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Psychodynamic Personalities Overview


Angela Harris


PSY/405

December 4, 2012
Dr. Patricia Stem

Personality Overview

Theories of Personality like other topics in psychology consist of many theories along with a very diverse group of theorists who developed these theories. Like other theories in psychology there are strengths and weaknesses that have to be examined. The purpose of this paper is to discuss two theories of personality, the psychoanalytic theory and the interpersonal theory. This paper will focus on a comparison of the two theories, the basic assumption of each, deterministic versus free will and the conscious motives versus the unconscious motives in a person’s behavior.
The creator of the Psychoanalytic Social theory was Karen Horney. Horney’s psychoanalytic social theory devoted the same emphasis on society, just like Adler and Erikson. She developed her theory based on the assumptions that society and culture are major contributors to one’s personality development. One assumption in her theory is that a person’s social and the cultural experiences are primarily responsible for the shaping of an individual’s character. (Feist, & Feist, 2009).
Other assumptions that Horney had was the importance of a child being raised in a stable loving environment. Horney believed that if a child’s parents did not provide a loving, stable environment, he or she could develop basic hostility, which could lead to basic anxiety. Horney also believed that because of hostility or anxiety a child would try to resolve conflict in three different ways. The child would gravitate to people, move against people, or he or she would alienate themselves. But, if a child has a healthy personality then he or she can use any of the three. However, if the person is neurotic then he or she cannot use all of them. Because Horney’s theory relied…...

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