The concept of personality has evolved through many theorists. Some state that traits are what make you who you are, others rely on the unconscious, while others consider genetics and your thought process. A variety of theorists have contemplated how personalities are shaped and what aspects of growth are most important. The five key theories of personality are reviewed below.Psychoanalytic Basis: The psychoanalytic school of personality offers a logical perspective of stages, motivational forces, egos, understanding identity, and beyond. Freud is a major forefather from which many other theorists have developed their theories. The compelling theme amongst theorists in this school is that the lack of stable, consistent environments can impact our future. Erik Erikson is another theorist in this school.Biological Basis: A variety of theorists have contemplated how personalities comes about, whether through nature or nurture. Reviewing biological bases of behavior, in addition to learned and generational patterns, provides insight into personalities. Genetic theorists subscribe to the theory that nature and nurture work together to create an individual. Child rearing is impacted by the behavior of the caregiver. Hans Eysenck is an important theorist in the biological perspective of personality development.Trait Approach: This approach examines specific characteristics that can make up your personality. Are you introverted? Extroverted? What are your main traits in most situations? These were some of the questions explored by trait theorists like Gordon Allport and Raymond Cattell. The five factor model is generally the most common concept in trait theory, spelling out OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Critics of trait theory argue that it cannot predict behavior accurately.Behaviorist Basis: Behaviorist felt personality was a result of the interaction of the environment and the person. They measure behaviors that are observable. Theorists in this field include John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner.Humanist Basis: Humanists felt we were all striving to be our best, towards what they often refer to as Self Actualization. Our personalities are developed by how we see ourselves. Many of our decisions involve free will. Theorists in this field include Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.The past is an essential component of understanding the self; however, the impact of genetics versus personal choice is an ongoing debate. Consider which approach you feel best describes personality development.

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