How does Freud's psychodynamic theory of personality compare with humanistic theories of personality - Research Paper Example

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Comparing Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theories This essay purports to answer the research question: “How does Freud’s psychodynamic theory of personality compare with humanistic theories of personality?” by delving into a thorough research on theories from available literature…
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How does Freuds psychodynamic theory of personality compare with humanistic theories of personality
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Download file to see previous pages From Freud’s early work (1910), he already introduced his theory as stemming from an individual’s sexual impulses from which he based his Psychosexual Stages of Development. He theorized that as a person grows, he derives satisfaction from stimulating a particular part of his body which he named “erogenous zones”. From the time a child is born until around age 2, his erogenous zone is his mouth, so Freud termed it the Oral Stage. This is the stage when the baby puts everything in his oral cavity or mouth in order to learn about the world. The next stage is a time of toilet training and mastering muscle control for defecation, so the anus becomes a source of pleasure. This stage is termed the Anal Stage. At around the age of 4 to 7, the child discovers that his genitals give him pleasure, so he learns to stimulate it. This is called the Phallic stage. This stage dies down into a latency period from the ages of 7 to about 12, when interest in discovering bodily pleasures cool off and children tend to look outwards in the hopes of making friends. The final Psychosexual stage is the Genital stage when adolescents up to adults confirm that genital stimulation in masturbation or the sexual act gives utmost pleasure. This is the time when people take interest in the opposite sex in the hopes of finding a mate. Freud theorized that experiences of individuals in each particular stage will have a significant effect on his or her personality when they grow up. For example, if during the Anal stage, the child experiences frustration in toilet training due to having “accidents” that embarrass him, then as a grown up, he would be very conscious keeping control not only of his bodily urges but of his words and actions, to avoid embarrassment of “letting go”. The same goes for every psychosexual stage. However, if the individual chooses to “sublimate” such urges into higher goals, then he gets to exchange their sexual goal for a more socially more valuable one. Freud’s views human behavior as determined by irrational forces, unconscious motivations and biological and instinctual drives evolving throughout his life (Weiten & McCann, 2006). Quite different from Psychodynamic theories, Humanistic psychologists wanted to analyze people’s personalities with the exploration of the nature of the self, self-actualization, health, creativity, being, becoming, individuation, and meaning (De Carvalho, 1990). Abraham Maslow, one of the proponents of Humanistic Psychology conceptualized the Hierarchy of needs which illustrates that a person goes through a ladder of needs for survival. His needs for safety is basic, as it encompasses biological and psychological needs of security –his hunger is satiated, he is clothed and sheltered and he does not feel threats to harm his cocoon of security. When these basic needs are met, then he goes up to the need for affection as he seeks warm and satisfying personal relationships to make him feel loved and to love others in return. Upon satisfying that need, he feels a need to build up his esteem, as how he feels about himself and how others think of him becomes essential to his survival. Finally, he reaches self-actualization which is the “full use of talents, capacities, potentialities, etc..” (Weiten & McCann, 2006). Since humanistic psychology focuses more on personal improvement instead of dwelling on frailties, much has evolved as concepts that support it. Several proponents have ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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