Based on the work of Sigmund Freud, Intrapsychic theory emphasises the unconscious determinants of behaviour.
The Components of Personality
Freud proposed a new conception of the personality, one that contains three systems - the id, the ego, and the superego. These systems do not exist physically; they are only concepts, or ways of looking at personality.
The id operates according to the pleasure principle; that is, to seek pleasure, avoid pain and gain immediate gratification of its wishes. The id is the source of the libido, the psychic energy that fuels the entire personality; yet the id cannot act on its own. It can only wish, image, fantasize, and demand.
In its quest for moral perfection, the superego sets moral guide that define and limit the flexibility of ego. Their characteristics are diagrammed and described here
Freud's conception of the Personality
Defence Mechanisms: A defence mechanism is a technique used to defend against anxiety and to maintain self-esteem, but it involves self-deception and the distortion of reality. We use defence mechanisms to protect us from failure and from guilt arousing desires or actions. All of us use defence mechanisms to some degree; it is only their overuse that is considered abnormal.
Yet denial is sometimes useful as a temporary means of getting through a crisis until a more permanent adjustment can be made, such as when people initially deny the existence of a terminal illness.
Psycho-analytical Social Learning
Evaluating Freud's Contribution: Freud's theory is so comprehensive that its elements must be evaluated separately. As we have seen, Freud believed that his concepts of the unconscious and the principles by which it operates were his most important work. In fact the primary aim of psychoanalysis is to bring unconscious thoughts, wishes and desires to consciousness. Leading scholars today do not dispute the existence of unconscious processes. However, they do not see the unconscious as envisioned by Freud and they disagree as to how sophisticated or simple it might be.
Freud is a towering figure in the world of psychology, but today he does not loom as large as in decades past. There are very strict Freudians left, and for most psychoanalysts, Freud's techniques constitute only a part of their therapeutic arsenal. Sigmund Freud has been both worshipped and ridiculed, but his standing as a pioneer in psychology cannot be denied.
Social-learning theory acknowledges the existence of observational learning and the importance of perception in learning. People respond to how they perceive and define consequences, not to the objective consequences themselves. The influence of models is central to the social-learning process. Four processes have been found to determine the influence that a model will have on an individual. They are-
Behaviours that are reinforced will be given more attention, learned better, and performed more often. Reinforcement that controls the expression of learned behavior may be:
Of all these, self-administered reinforcement theory plays a vital role in social learning theory.
Evaluation of Social Learning Theory: Social learning theory has made a significant contribution to personality theory.
Social learning theory has been criticised on two grounds -
Job Fit Theory
The personality-job Fit Theory assumes that examining a person's personality will give insight into their adaptability in an organisation. By matching the personality with the company we can achieve a better synergy and avoid problems like high turnover and low job satisfaction. The person-job fit theory is a study of personality attributes and the requirements of the job. The matching of the job requirements with personality characteristics is given in John Holland's Personality-job fit theory. This theory is based on the notion of fit between an individual's personality characteristics and his or her occupational environment. Holland presents six personality types and proposes that satisfaction and the propensity to leave a job depends on the degree to which individuals successfully match their personality to an occupational environment. Holland has developed a vocational reference inventory questionnaire that contains 160 occupational titles. Respondents indicate which of these occupations they like or dislike, and their answers are used to form personality profiles.
The person-job fit theory argues that satisfaction is highest and turnover lowest when personality and occupation are in agreement. Social individuals should be in social jobs, conventional people in conventional jobs and so forth. A realistic person in a realistic job is in a more congruent situation than is a realistic person in an investigative job.
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