Biological approaches to personality have argued that the biological causes of personality are the result of genetic factors. Studies involving twins have identified genetic factors, and a study by Auke Tellegen and his colleagues examined identical twins with varying levels of personality. But what is personality and how does it develop? Are there any traits shared among identical twins? Here are some thoughts on the subject. Read on to discover more about these theories of personality. Then, decide whether they apply to you or not.
Trait theories of personality
Psychologists have used many different methods to study personality. Some use trait theory while others favor social learning theory. Either way, the most common method involves identifying and categorizing traits. The author lists traits of social learning theory in his book. Trait theories are not without criticism, and the methods are not perfect. It is still worth considering these approaches when making psychological research. Here are some examples of how trait theories work. You can use them to determine your own personality traits.
Initially, this method relied on lists of adjectives and behaviors that describe different types of personalities. The first psychologist to use this method was Hans Eysenck. He gave long lists of adjectives to hundreds of thousands of people and then used a special statistical technique called factor analysis to determine which dimensions of the traits were weighted most heavily. In the end, he created the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire.
Cognitive / social learning theories of personality
The Cognitive / Social Learning Theory of Personality posits that behavior is shaped by multiple interacting factors. Both the social and cognitive factors are derived from what is observed in our social environment. We can learn to interpret these social factors and then use them to form our individual personalities. These factors combine to form the whole of our personality. Behavior, in turn, influences these factors and determines our personalities. The interplay between these factors is known as reciprocal determinism.
Both psychological approaches have their merits. Psychodynamic theories focus on the inner processes of an individual while learning theories focus on observable behaviors. The behavioralists do not believe in biological determinism and maintain that the environment shapes our personality. In this view, we behave consistently based on our experiences and previous learning. In the Social Cognitive Theory of Personality, people learn to behave in certain ways by observing the behavior of others.
Freud’s psychodynamic theory of personality
A fundamental element of Freud’s psychodynamic theory of the human personality is the belief that our personalities are made up of three different parts: the id, ego, and superego. While many psychologists have attempted to explain these elements through their work, most have failed. Instead, focusing on the individual’s experiences has allowed psychologists to better understand the human psyche and how it develops.
The three-part psychic apparatus of Freud’s psychodynamic theory of the human personality is an important part of understanding the nature of human behavior. The underlying belief is that the role of nurture is complementary to that of nature. The two factors interact, and the way they interact affect our behavior depends on our experiences. Different research strategies have been used to disentangle and weigh these elements. One method involves asking people about their experiences as children. In other cases, parents are asked about their own parenting styles, which influences their children’s behavior. Interestingly, psychological experiments have also helped researchers understand the impact of experiences on behavior.
Jung’s collective unconscious theory
Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious is based on the idea that all people have the same traits and that they can only be understood through the understanding of the individual’s subconscious. Jung had vivid dreams while a child and recorded his fantasies in his doctoral dissertation. Jung also included mythical themes and spiritual symbols into his theory of personality. While Jung did not believe in God in the conventional sense, he considered the figures in our unconscious to be real and objective.
After the war, Jung traveled to many countries in Europe and the United States to study native people. He developed an interest in ancient literature and could read most modern western languages, as well as Sanskrit, the language of the original Hindu holy books. Carl Jung was an aloof adolescent and hated school and competition. He eventually moved to Basel, Switzerland, but soon began to suffer from jealous harassment. His illness became an excuse for his poor grades and personal life.