Running head: BIOLOGICAL AND HUMANISTIC THEORIES
Biological and Humanistic Theories
University Of Phoenix
Psychology of Personality
Byron Pettit, M.A.
Due July 29, 2009
Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality
Understanding the wide range and the development of personalities within our culture has been an ongoing challenge for hundreds of years. Within this document we will consider why people have completely different personalities even in the case of identical twins. Although Freud’s believed that people were basically born with their personality intact, many different theories have developed over the years in direct contrast to Freud’s. I will ...view middle of the document...
The question is whether people are born with certain traits or are these traits a product of our environment. Genetics combined with influences in our environment contribute to people becoming more susceptible to certain psychological disorders. One such disorder is schizophrenia. Although Schizophrenia has no definite cause, one theory is this disorder may be caused by genetics. Relatives of individuals who become diagnosed with schizophrenia have a higher chance of getting this disorder. Because of one identical twin having this disorder and not the other, research also suggests that environmental factors play a role in this disorder.
The method that separated genetics from environment is the study performed on twins. The objective of this study is to compare similarities of genes inherited by the parents. By comparing identical twins who possess mutual genes, with fraternal twins who share a portion of their genes, researchers have a clearer view on how biological and environmental factors may be interconnected.
The Eysenck theory can be separated into three dimensions; the focus of this analysis is to understand causes of personality. The three dimensions are extraversion/introversion, neuroticism, and the third which was later added is psychoticism.
Eysenck believed that extraverted people have different levels of cortical arousal, in other words, when extraverted people are in a non-stimulating state they become more attracted to situations that will promise some sort of reward or stimulating activity of some kind. Whereas introverted people prefer to be isolated and seek lower levels of stimulation and are over aroused.
Neurotic people tend to become easily stressed, angered, or depressed. They can be unstable or extremely emotional people. Psychoticism is defined as individuals’ who cannot relate to reality, Psychotic individuals are often known for their aggressive behavior. Individuals with the psychoticism trait have high levels of testosterone, which is one reason for aggressive behavior and the lack of empathy or concern towards others.
The biological theory has many factors which are easy to relate, for one the notion that in part our personality stems from our environment. This notion is agreeable because it seems obvious that children are more likely to behave in a manner in which they are brought up. Another agreeable notion is the three dimensions of personality. An example would include that extraverted people often tend to look for outside stimulus and if unable to find the stimulus become bored and distracted. The notion that personality stems from inherited genes in my opinion is disagreeable. For one, if a parent is extraverted does not necessarily mean the child will be. Although children may inherit certain features and possibly illnesses from their parents, personality in my opinion is formed.
The next theory to be analyzed is the humanistic theory. Maslow’s theory provides...