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Personality Theories

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Phenomenological personality theory. This theory is among the recent personality theories. The theory basically employees a phenomenological approach; which puts emphasis on personal drive as well as self perception which finally makes self actualization the personality determinant. This theory strongly holds that persons are naturally drawn towards creativity, goodness and love which make them to work hard in order to fulfill their individual potential. One of the important driving forces is personal motivation. Rogers Carl examined authentic experience of an individual as a major component of a person’s well being and growth. Authentic experience and self actualization can be distorted when one depends on suppression of his true feelings. Another person who played a significant role in phenomenological approach was Maslow Abraham who in his approach placed self actualization to be the essential human need. In his research Maslow emphasizes on the need of replacing deficiency with growth orientation which comes in as a result of individual satisfaction of his capabilities and identity.

Behavioral personality theory. A behavioral personality concept looks at personality as learned behavior which may have been acquired through operant or classical conditioning. Some reinforcing attribute is brought in through punishment or issuance or rewards. Some recent researches which have been done on the same concept include cognitive behavior approach. This principle basically focuses on the functions of cognition in the entire process of learning. Social and cognitive theories basically emphasizes on the external behavior that is demonstrated by people as well as thoughts and expectations of others and themselves. One of the concepts that have been extensively in the social learning theory of Rotter was external and internal orientation. The internal aspects views events as if they were in their control while external aspects sees everything to be beyond its control. There are some similarities between phenomenological and behavioral theories because the two theories put emphasizes on personal perception and abilities (Bourne and Ekstrand, 1985).

The main difference between the traditional and the present theories is that behavioral theory put much emphasis on learning which happens in social situations as a result of enforcement and observation. This is quite different from operant and classical conditioning which basically relies on researches that are carried out in the laboratories. One of the ongoing current researches is variation of personality across cultures. This will be possible by studying cultural influences on characteristics of people who are from different cultures. Personality creates uniqueness among people and this is a trait that can be recognized as early as after birth. For example a child personality has a number of components which include character environment and temperament. Temperament basically stands for heritable traits which are important in helping a child to get knowledge of the new surrounding which is the world. This is simply the nervous system which control behavior as the child develops (Sapp, 2010).

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