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The Role of Culture in Personality Development

write a paper no less than 7 pages in length, not including required cover and Reference pages, comparing and contrasting two personality theories from the course. You are free to select from among the several theories covered in the course to date but only two theories may be used.

Your task is to demonstrate your knowledge of these theories you chose via descriptions of their key concepts and detailing the most important aspects of each theory in explaining personality. It is recommended that you revisit the material covered to date to refresh your knowledge of theory details. This is a comprehensive assignment and you should demonstrate in your work that you have studied and comprehended the similarities and the differences between your two chosen theories. This is a fact based paper only. It should not be based upon your preference for a theory or your opinion.

Subject Computer Science Pages 14 Style APA


Culture is one of the fundamental environmental factors that define individual personality. Western concepts associated with character may not be pertinent in other cultures. Literature has supported the finding that he strength associated with personality traits varies in different cultures. The cultural environment provides a determination of the fundamental forms of personalities that prevails in a society. Each culture defines different personality traits series. For instance, in the United States, assertiveness, competitiveness and individualism are visualized as the fundamental personality traits (Soni & Soni, 2016). This paper compares and contrasts personality theories. To achieve this, the primary concepts of the theories will be described while outlining the fundamental ones used in defining personality. The similarities and the differences of the theories will also be defined. The chosen theories for discussion are psychoanalytic and behavioral theories of personality.

Commonalities and differences between the psychoanalytic and behavioral theories of personality

                The psychodynamic theory of personality was established by Sigmund Freud. According to the theorist, there are three fundamental personality forms that also form a part of the dynamic system (Sibi, 2020). However, each of the personality forms is associated with their unique mental processes which conflicts with the other. The three personalities include Ego, the Id, and the Superego (Sibi, 2020).

                Psychoanalytic theories focus on examining the interplay existing between different personality aspects and how they influence individual behavior (Sibi, 2020). The id personality greatly relies on pleasure. Additionally, it provides a demand for the instant gratification without considering the environmental factors. The ego aids in achieving the wishes and the demands of the id. On a different view, the superego is associated with the human conscience. This suggests that the superego is directly associated with the fulfillment of the id’s wishes in a realistic and moral way (Felippe & de Carvalho Ribeiro, 2017). The superego provides a representation of the basic function related with personality development. It also functions as the parental or social principles of personification that is instilled during the childhood process. Therefore, it is evident that the personality theory should depend on several dynamic associations of the three elements presented.

                Psychoanalytic theorists provide an indication that psychology should focus more on the understanding of the mental processes since the unconscious mind is involved (Felippe & de Carvalho Ribeiro, 2017). The three levels of consciousness are recognized by the psychoanalytic perspective. However, the consciousness level is considered as the least important by the psychoanalytic theorists. The other available consciousness levels include the unconsciousness and he precociousness (Sibi, 2020).

                Considering the psychoanalytical theory, it is evident that the intrinsic desires will always determine what people manifest. The psychoanalytic theorists also believe that the instinctual drives and desires prevail within the unconscious mind. Moreover, these drives and desires are directly connected to the person’s survival. The psychoanalytic theory also maintains a perspective that the adult personality does not experience changes. This belief is founded on the argument that between the age of five and six years, a person’s primary personality can be clearly identified since it is already developed (Felippe & de Carvalho Ribeiro, 2017).

                The psychoanalytical theory of personality maintains a stand that human behavior is primarily motivated by sexual or aggression drive (Felippe & de Carvalho Ribeiro, 2017). Freud maintains that the sexual drive concept goes beyond the sexual aspect to incorporate other factors that a person considers as pleasurable. Consequently, Freud is of the opinion that at any point a person engages in an action such as eating or chewing gum, this is mainly due to the need of achieving an underlying sexual desire present in the unconscious level. People have a tendency of being fully unaware of these sexual desires although they are innately created (Felippe & de Carvalho Ribeiro, 2017).

                On the aspect of human control, the psychoanalytic theory maintains that the unconscious drive is directly associated with controlling individual behavior. Similar to the behavioral theory, the psychoanalytical theory does not agree with the free will notion. The unconscious section of the brain borders the conscious part which is further composed of repression (Felippe & de Carvalho Ribeiro, 2017). Repression offers a primary defense mechanism against ego’s disruption. The law of transformation is also present under the unconscious mind. The principle of transformation is directly responsible for controlling the repression and sublimation processes (Sibi, 2020). Sublimation is the procedure of rechanneling the drives that would not have otherwise gained a suitable outlet. The hypothetical role of the unconscious mind involves lining the individual experiences developed over the childhood stage with that of the adult behavior intelligently.

                The psychoanalytical theory does not support the position that human behavior is influenced by the environment. Notably, it explores the case of human nature relaying that humans are born “bad” (Muhammad, 2017). The behavioral theory of personality also maintains that the environment does not influence the human personality. Moreover, since humans are considered to be egocentric, self-centered and selfish by nature, they are considered as “bad”. Through his psychoanalytic theory, Freud maintains a position that there is always a selfish motive that drives individual human behavior (Muhammad, 2017).

                Behaviorist theorists have examined external stimuli, which influence individual behavior, to explain personality. Skinner is one of the behaviorist theorists who maintained a position that children will also portray a bad conduct because the behavior will be effective in attracting attention, and hence regarded as a reinforcer. For instance, when a child succeeds to gain the parents attention after throwing tantrums, chances are higher that he will repeat a similar behavior in the future when seeking attention (Guala, 2019).  In this case, it is clear that the behavioral theory of personality is associated with the reaction and consequences of individual behavior.

                One of the primary similarities existing between the psychoanalytical and the behavioral theory of personality includes the fact that they are both highly deterministic (Soni & Soni, 2016). The observation is founded on the fact that there is a strong force driving individual behavior besides the person himself. Additionally, the prevailing behavior, which is portrayed by the persons, will be strongly influenced by the past one such as punishment and reinforcement among others (Soni & Soni, 2016). 

                Behavioral theories will entail the observation of the human with a focus of exploring how they are influenced by the environment as well as the association between individual experiences and relationship (Guala, 2019). Behavioral psychology focuses on establishing how the innate and the environmental stimuli influence individual behavior. The behaviorist theory provides a depiction about the motives of individual behavior with respect to individual experiences and the environment. The behaviorists observe that psychology should only be focused with the observable and measurable behavior. Moreover, the behaviorist theorists believe that studying mental processes in a scientific manner is a difficult move. The behaviorists maintain that the mental processes can only be studied through the individual behavior examination (Guala, 2019). Furthermore, behaviorists operate on a notion that the behaviors manifested by humans are not innate since they are learned as one advance into adulthood (Ellertson, Ingerson & Williams, 2016). Furthermore, the behavioral theory observes that environmental changes can influence the individual personality. In addition, the theorists maintain a stand that the basic factor that motivates humans includes the need to avoid punishment through receiving rewards.

                The behaviorist personality theory has its focus on personal ethics, self-esteem and values. The behaviorist’s focus does not understand how people behave but how people seek to succeed in life. According to, the behaviorist values provides an insight into the features, conditions or things focused on satisfying the normative cultural requirements or the social order in a manner that ensures their increased involvement. The Hierarchy of Needs theory developed by Abraham Maslow provides that a person can meet their needs and further achieve success. However, to achieve self-actualization, each need is achieved following a specific sequence as this forms the basis of Maslow’s fundamental goal. It is clear that Maslow did not explore the importance of the feminine and masculine traits (Soni & Soni, 2016).

                Behaviorists have provided that for a certain behavior to remain persistent there is need for them to be reinforced. Since humans are considered to be in control of their surrounding and environment, they are therefore visualized as slaves to their surroundings. As a result, the behaviorists do not support the argument of internal unconscious drive as represented in the case of psychoanalytic theory (Guala, 2019). When it comes to the matter of human nature, behaviorists maintain that humans are neutral by nature. Unlike in the case of psychoanalytic theory, they are not considered as good or bad.

                The behaviorist’s theory conflicts with the psychoanalytic approach on the claims that build on individual personality. Notably, the behaviorists maintain a position that individual behavior will be crafted by the cultural and the sub-cultural conditioning aspects (Hodgins, MacCurtain & Mannix-McNamara, 2020). Looking at Skinner’s classical conditioning theory, it is evident that behaviorists are not majorly concerned about the unconscious as a factor which influences individual personality. On the contrary, the behaviorists maintain a position that human lives are always pre-determined at the stage of birth (Ellertson, Ingerson & Williams, 2016). As a result, it is clear that the behavioral theory is highly deterministic (Hodgins, MacCurtain & Mannix-McNamara, 2020). However, the psychoanalytic theory fails to exhibit a similar level of determination as in the case of behavioral theory.

                The behaviorist approach relies on the use of therapy founded on the primary learning principles alongside varied processes and methods of learning such as reinforcement. Aversion therapy, conditioning, imitation, modeling and desensitization are also learning methods common under the behaviorist model (Atkinson, 2018). Moreover, the behavioral theory does not support the idea of free will. This forms a basis of the fact that behavioral theory has a limited regard for outside energy and forces. Evidently, behaviorists maintain that normal behavior is achieved mainly as a result of acceptable condition, reinforcing modeling and imitation. On the contrary, an abnormal behavior primary comes about due to defective modeling reinforcing, imitation and conditioning (Guala, 2019).

                A fundamental difference between behavioral and psychoanalytical theory is founded on the material’s source. Notably, behaviorism is founded entirely on observation (Atkinson, 2018). Behaviorism focuses on providing a description of the discrete aspects that measures the organism’s response, the relationship with others and the physical stimuli. Therefore, it is accurate to derive that behaviorist theory of personality promotes a better understanding of the primary factors that drive individual actions. Moreover, the behaviorists are conversant with the fact that the activities taking place in the brain can be studied and not be observed. Therefore, predicting behavior is an effective way of understanding the changes in a person’s personality. On the contrary, psychoanalytical theories strongly depend on suppositions and speculation. Despite the fact that psychoanalytical theories can be implemented to explain individual behavior, they lack the ability to connect an observed behavior with the forces driving them. This provides an illustration that psychoanalytical theories are less scientific and highly theoretical.


                Conclusively, behavioral and psychoanalytic theories can be implemented to explain individual personality. One of the primary commonalities between the two approaches is that they do not support the idea that the environment significantly influences human behavior and personality. Additionally, the approaches are also deterministic in that they acknowledge that a compelling force prevails behind a person’s behavior rather than the person himself. On the contrary, the behavioral theories are known to be highly scientific and experimental in nature while the psychoanalytical theories are more observational. The behavioral and psychoanalytic theories also vary on the process of personality development. Evidently, psychoanalytical theorists maintain that the unconscious mind plays a big role in shaping individual behavior. On the contrary, the behaviorists provide that behavior be shaped by cultural conditioning which further extends an individual’s personality.





Atkinson, R. C. (2018). The mind’s theorist. Revista Colombiana De Psicología, 27(1), 134-139. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/rcp.v27n1.68594

Ellertson, C. F., Ingerson, M., & Williams, R. N. (2016). Behavioral ethics: A critique and a proposal: JBE. Journal of Business Ethics, 138(1), 145-159. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2628-y

Felippe, F. L., & de Carvalho Ribeiro, P. (2017). Transsexuality, psychosis and originary femininity: Between psychoanalysis and feminist theory. Psicologia USP, 28(1), 72-82. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0103-656420140085

Guala, F. (2019). Preferences: Neither behavioural nor mental. Economics and Philosophy, 35(3), 383-401. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266267118000512

Hodgins, M., MacCurtain, S., & Mannix-McNamara, P. (2020). Power and inaction: Why organizations fail to address workplace bullying. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 13(3), 265-290. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJWHM-10-2019-0125

Muhammad, A. A. (2017). Freudian notion of psychoanalysis: Its implications in contemporary teaching practices. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 8(5), 150-154. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.8n.5p.150

Sibi, K J. (2020). Sigmund Freud And Psychoanalytic Theory. An International Peer-Reviewed Open Access Journal, 75-79.

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