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    Some Other Approaches to Personality Theory

Psychoanalytic (Freudian) Theory (continued)

Defense Mechanisms (examples, not all of them)
  • Repression
  • Denial
  • Intellectualization
  • Projection
  • Reaction Formation
  • Sublimation
Evaluation of Freudian Theory 

Pro
Con
  • Unconscious forces
  • Internal conflict
  • Early childhood experiences
  • Defense mechanisms
  •  Vague/it can't be disproved
  • Few systematic studies
  • Highly male-centered
Overall, even where Freud may be wrong, his theories have had a profound effect upon how the West (Europe, North America) think about human beings.


Other Selected Approaches to Personality Theory
Walter Mischel Walter Mischel: Person-Situation Consistency

  • Do humans behave and think in the same ways across different situations?
[Maslow]

Humanistic Psychology & The Self's Potential for Growth

Abraham Maslow

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

 [Markus]  [Kitayama]
The "Western" Self vs. The "Eastern" Self

Hazel Markus & Shinobu Kitayama
  • West emphasizes independence & self-achievement.
  • East emphasizes interdependence with family & fitting into society. The group over the individual.
[Greenberg_Pyszczynski_Solomon] An Evolutionary Theory: Terror Management Theory

  • (1) self-preservation & (2) cognitive abilities including an awareness of self & the future
  • strong potential to experience anxiety, alarm & terror in view of our mortality
  • cultural mechanisms + self-esteem to modulate anxiety
-> Strong defense of current society's worldview
    • Punish traitors & dissidents
    • Condemn moral transgressors
    • Reward defenders of community standards
    • Uphold cultural icons, e.g, flags, religious symbols


This page was originally posted on 10/31/03 and last updated on October 31, 2016