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Theories of Personality

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Theories of Personality are fascinating and intriguing; they differ from one another and many aspects, yet similar on some. They vary according to the theorist background, their experiences, and perceptions. There are as many theories as there is theorist, who established them in the attempt to explain personality, behavior and its development. Different theories of personality that have both, strengths and weaknesses which must be examine and considered. This paper will analyze Adler's Individual Psychology theory, and Jung's Analytical Psychology theory, their underlying assumptions, examine deterministic versus free will, and their belief on awareness of self.

A non-Freudian theorist Carl Jung was very intrigued about the human mind and wished to understand it more in depth. He developed a theory that was based on Freud's notion of the unconscious mind and the importance of early years in childhood. However, there were a number of points Jung disagreed with and rejected. He categorized the human psyche in three parts types: the ego, personal unconscious, and collective unconscious. Jung viewed the ego as the conscious mind and it related to personal unconsciousness. The personal unconscious was formed by subliminal perceived experiences, unique to each person, since every individual experience different things through life. Jung believed that the collective unconscious consists of instinct and archetypes (universal and inherited recurring image, pattern, or modification).

There are numerous amounts of archetypes, which all organize experiences or materialize thoughts in their own way, but the most notable archetypes are: persona, shadow, anima, animus, great mother, hero, wise old man, and self. Jung described his archetypes as predisposition to respond to the world in particular ways. Many archetypes are included in the collective unconscious, but one archetype, the self, which is the center of Jung's whole theory. The self, represents the striving for unity of all the above-mentioned parts of personality. Until the ego, personal unconscious, and collective unconscious are fully developed, the self cannot emerge. Jung was one of the few to claim that development of personality expands further than childhood and adolescence through mid-life and into old age. Jung believed that the self-realization is partly instinctual and could only be achieved by opposing the personality within one's self. Jung suggested that individuals can be both conscious and unconscious, along with rational and irrational. Jung's theory concluded with self-realization. To reach this end an individual must come to a balance between the conscious and the unconscious within the mind. He believed that the self needs balance the power of the archetypes to accomplish both harmony and order.

One of the limitations of Jung's theory associates to his challenging unorganized writing style, which is complicated by specific terminology. A broad criticism about his theory is that it is "incomprehensible, unclear, inconsistent, and even contradictory" (Hergenhahn, 1994: 92). Jung's theory is neither possible to verify or falsify. He was not very concerned in making predictions within the structure of his theory. Jung based his theory on his own thoughts and self-analysis, making this the core of his theory. Because of all this facts, an individual can practically question the validity and significance of Jung's theory.

Adler on the other hand developed the concept of individual psychology as the means of understanding the personality of any human being. Adler felt that , the key to understanding individuals ' personality was to study them as unified wholes rather than a collection of parts as both Freud and Jung had previously suggested . Adler believed that a psychologist had to take under consideration the physical and social environments of an individual. His theory is mostly popular since it pursuit the understanding of the complete lifestyle of an individual rather than just dwell on specific segments of an individual's personality. Adler Psychodynamic theories suggest that more than anything else, people are driven by future goals rather than innate instincts, and this goals are not determined genetically or environmentally. He believed that the conscious has a great awareness and control over a person's thoughts and actions. He noted that an individual's future ambitions are connected to his or her goals. He believed that people

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