Personality theories are an essential part of psychological research. These theories try to explain what personality is, how it develops and why people act the way they do. You might have heard some of these theories like type A vs type B personality. For instance, as per LinkedIn experts, “Type Bs present more innovative ideas simply because they’re not afraid of failure like their Type A counterparts.”
The goal of personality theories is to identify patterns in behavior that will allow us to predict what someone will do in certain situations, as well as explain their motivations for doing so.
Psychoanalytic theory, one of the most celebrated types of personality theories, is based on the idea that personality is formed through the interaction of the id, ego and superego.
The id is the part of our personality that consists of primitive, instinctual drives (or unconscious desires) such as hunger and sexual urges. The superego refers to standards for moral behavior that are imposed by parents, teachers and other authority figures during childhood development. The ego manages these two conflicting forces (id versus superego) in order to function normally in society without being overwhelmed by either side.
According to this theory, people’s personalities are determined by the traits they possess. These traits are stable and consistent over time. They are also present in all aspects of a person’s life, including their physical appearance and behavior.
It is important to note that trait theorists do not believe that all people have the same traits or even use identical ways to express them. However, there is still a common set of traits shared by most humans as well as general categories for how these traits manifest themselves in each person (e.g., extroversion versus introversion).
The behavioral theory of personality emphasizes the role of reinforcement and classical conditioning in personality development. This theory was developed by B.F. Skinner, who argued that behavior is shaped by consequences that occur after a person’s actions or behaviors (Skinner, 1953). In other words, what happens to you directly affects your behavior—for example, if someone praises you for completing a task well done or criticizes you for making mistakes on the job.
In humanistic theory, people are believed to be inherently good and capable of self-actualization. The theory suggests that people have a need to grow and develop. People are driven by their own needs and desires rather than external forces like society or culture; this is a major distinction from other theories of personality.
The humanistic perspective suggests that individuals have the ability to change themselves in order to reach their full potential—they don’t need outside help or intervention for this process but rather are able to do it on their own if they choose.
Social Cognitive Theory
Social Cognitive Theory is a combination of behaviorism and cognitive psychology. It focuses on how people learn from their own experiences as well as the experiences of others. The theory states that people can change their behavior by changing their thoughts, which directly affects how they behave in certain situations.
The social cognitive theory also helps explain how bullies develop since it states that bullies were often bullied when they were young. If you are being bullied, this could mean one of two things: either your personality makes you more likely to be victimized by a bully or the way others perceive you may cause them to bully you.
It’s important to recognize that there is no one personality theory in psychology. Each theory has its own merits and limitations, so it’s up to each individual psychologist or researcher to decide which one fits their needs best.