Personality Overview Essay

1091 words - 5 pages

The theories of personality make for an interesting topic of discussion. It has become known that traits and characteristics individuate personality. However, there is single way to describe someone’s personality. Comparing and contrasting Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung; each has perspectives with different and similar basic or underlying assumptions, describing the relationship between deterministic and free will concepts of humanity, and motives for behavior such as awareness of self. Each proposes strengths and limitations within the theory they describe as well.
Underlying Assumptions
When explaining concepts of personality, one cannot turn a blind eye to Sigmund Freud as he was an ...view middle of the document...

This includes the elements that were not experienced but have come to us from our ancestors. Some elements become highly developed by archetypes. Both assumptions are similar in the sense that people may be pushed by past experiences and pulled by future expectations. In contrast to Freud, Jung believes that the unconscious is a source of creativity. He also believes that Freud emphasizes the role of sexuality too much (Feist & Feist, 2009).
Strengths and Limitations
Psychoanalytic therapies help individuals with mild disturbances, and it may even help speed someone’s recovery, but it is not clear as to whether psychoanalysis would help patients get better anyway (Feist & Feist, 2009). Psychoanalysis also creates an imbalance of power between therapist and patient creating ethical issues. Psychoanalysis also opened up a view on mental illness that suggests talking about your problems with a professional could help to relieve symptoms of psychological distress. Analytical psychology has limitations in its validity. The collective unconscious is difficult to test and there are difficulties designing studies because of the lack of empirical evidence for the archetypes (Feist & Feist, 2009). Also the theory is difficult to organize because it makes an attempt to include broad scopes of human activity within a single framework (Feist & Feist, 2009).
Deterministic and Free Will
As stated above, in the matter of human behavior, determinism reigns supreme when speaking of Freud. Past events in an individuals life determines behavior rather than becoming molded by present goals. People have no control over their present actions because behavior is rooted in unconscious strivings (Feist & Feist, 2009). Freud also insists the belief of individuals controlling their own life is an illusion. It is childhood experiences that determine adult personality and the people are not in control of their own actions either. Unlike Freud, Jung did not believe that human behavior was deterministic. He did not believe that human behavior was of free will either. Instead he believes that people are motivated by conscious thought, partial unconscious images, and part of inherited ancestral past. This means that Jung is an advocate of casual and teleological factors of motivation (Feist & Feist, 2009).
Awareness of Self
According to Freud, the awareness of oneself stems from the id, ego, and superego. From birth the id is an important part of our personality because it helps to meet basic needs. It is explained as the id being the pleasure principle meaning that the id of personality...

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