Personality Theories. Alfred Adler Forum post 250 words +, 3 responses 100 words +

I need support with this Psychology question so I can learn better.

Discussion

Which one of the theories discussed in this week’s readings do you think is most useful in understanding and explaining personality development in contemporary society? Explain your position. Be sure to select a theory, briefly describe it and name the theorist, rather than a general concept. Link your chosen theory directly to aspects of personality development in contemporary society you are attempting to explain rather than only summarizing the theory. No points can be assigned if you do the latter.

Do not need to do formal ciatation.

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Response #1

Hello class,

I enjoyed the readings and articles for this week. I kept going back and forth in choosing which theory I felt was most useful and relatable in today’s society. With that being said, I chose Alfred Adler’s theory of Individual Psychology. Before I get into links of real-world aspects of this theory, part of the reason I chose Adler is because I felt I could relate to him on a personal level, as well, especially after Phyllis Bottome summarized him, and how she understood him as a person.

My summarized take away of Individual Psychology is that it is based on how a child develops into a unique individual by beginning life with on-going feelings of inferiority, while venturing through a unique style of life and setting goals. Throughout life, the child continuously and consistently sets goals, then struggles to meet those goals and/or achieve those goals as a driving force to overcome the aforementioned feelings of inferiority.

A solid link I’d like to point out with this theory, which I feel relates very well with human beings in today’s society, is the topic of compensation and overcompensation. As human beings, we choose to compensate in one area of our life when we are overcoming hardships or challenges in another area. Doing this not only helps distract us through those trying times, but it also presents an opportunity for an individual to obtain some sort of balance when life may have felt unbalanced for a period of time.

For examples, if an individual is going through a financial hardship, they will compensate by looking for a second part-time job; however, if an individual went through a significant amount of their life going through a financial hardship, and their goal was to overwork themselves by working an unprecedented amount of hours every week for little to average wages hoping to become a millionaire, this would be considered overcompensating. If an individual loses a loved one or family member, they will compensate by surrounding themselves with a person, or group of people, to distract them from the loss they feel. If an individual loses a loved one or family member, then attempts to distract the loss by burying their self in work by working for hours, or even days on end, with little to no sleep, that would be overcompensating. A child may be going through domestic hardships at home, to compensate for that hardship, they will spend time doing extracurricular activities at school or spend time at a friend’s house after school; however, if a child is going through domestic hardships and chooses to run away from home, that would be overcompensating. I could go on, but I think it goes without saying, many individuals compensate and overcompensate under certain circumstances throughout their style of life.

Another topic I felt was relatable today is the style of life, previously referred to as the life plan. This topic caught my eye because the first paragraph captured a lot of information I agree with about every individual has a purpose or goal(s) in life, and everyone has difficulties they are faced with in pursuit of those goals. Everyone has their struggles, and it is human nature to overcome those difficulties; however, choosing how to do that and how to compensate is up to the unique individual, and is based on their personality characteristics. I also like how it mentions individual psychology is based more on looking into someone’s future, rather than focusing namely on their past. Which rings true to many areas of today’s society. By knowing someone’s style of life, or life goals, it makes for easier predictions of what an individual will do and/or how an individual will behave, given certain situations or circumstances. For example, in my line of work, knowing an individual’s style of life could help predict their location and their potential actions, if located.

– Maria

Response #2

Which one of the theories discussed in this week’s readings do you think is most useful in understanding and explaining personality development in contemporary society? Explain your position. Be sure to select a theory, briefly describe it and name the theorist, rather than a general concept. Link your chosen theory directly to aspects of personality development in contemporary society you are attempting to explain rather than only summarizing the theory.

The theory that I think is the most useful and explaining in personality development is Alfred Adler’s “Individual Psychology.” A brief synopsis of the concept is as children we feel inferior to the people and the world around us. After we sense this inferiority as children we make it a life mission to overcome this inferiority and have ambitions of becoming superiority used in the form of goals even if these goals are fantasy. So, to link this theory into our personal development I say we feel inferior to our parents mainly because they are probably the most people we connect to as children,they are our main source of living; they feed us,cloth us, and give us shelter. We are co-dependent of our livelihood amongst these individuals and physically they are usually bigger than us when we are children. When we grow, most children look up to and want to be superheroes, princesses and other individuals who portray the ability of superiority. Then when reality kicks in we set more attainable and realistic goals to gain that superiority. The most sought out goals of people contain whatever gives them the most money and money usually converts to power and power is expensed into superiority. – Frederick

Response #3

Hello class,

The theory I think is most useful in understanding and explaining personality development is Erik Erikson’s eight stage development. This theory suggests that we experience a psychosocial crisis during each stage and we gain strength from the successful resolution of the crisis. For example, in the adolescence stage the psychosocial crisis is identity vs. role diffusion, in this stage children are forming their identity. Children who are gifted, receive affirmations from their peers, and are well trained in the pursuit of their goals have an easier time with this. It sounds easier said than done but during this time children also go through a number of social and physical changes. They’ll go through puberty and be less interested in being socially active with family and more aware of what their peers think of them. You can probably look back at a time in middle school where you’ve done something in order to fit in with a social group or to just feel accepted. The eight stages are almost like a game, where if you don’t master the first level you’ll more than likely have a difficult time in the next or not pass it at all. If children don’t form their identity in the adolescence stage when they’ll have a difficult time with relationships, any relationship they have will be identity-confirming instead of genuine sexual relationship based on love. This behavior can follow us into adulthood, making it difficult to have a partner and start a family. Erik Erikson’s theory was and is still relevant in contemporary society, because each stage is a learning experience and molds our personality.

Yelinette Turner

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