Human Personality Theories

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The purpose of this paper is to explain Piaget’s approach to human development. Second, it discusses the differences and similarities between Sigmund Freud’s theory of human personality and Mead’s view of self-development, as well as Piaget’s approach to human development. In addition, the paper summarizes Sigmund Freud’s theory of human personality.
Summary of Sigmund Freud’s Personality Theory
In his developed psychoanalytic theory, Freud claims that a personality is formed by three essential structures of the human mind. He specifies the three structures as the id, ego, and superego. Sigmund explains that Id, one of the psychic apparatus, works on an unconscious level according to the pleasure principle. By definition, the pleasure principle is the gratification from satisfying basic instincts (McFarland, 2010). Here, there are two types of instincts; Eros which helps an individual to survive and Thanatos, a set of destructive forces. Sigmund says that the Eros is stronger than Thanatos hence people survive other than self-destruct.

Piaget’s Approach to Human Development

The sensorimotor, formal operational period, concrete operational, and preoperational are the four stages that Piaget proposes in his cognitive development theory. The theory is about the nature of the development of human intelligence. According to McFarland (2010), the sensorimotor is the first of the four stages. Besides, it extends from birth to language acquisition. In this stage, infants are helped by the coordinating experiences like vision to construct knowledge and understanding of the world progressively.

McFarland (2010) asserts that the pre-operational stage starts when a child begins to speak. Much play, egocentrism characterizes this stage, and the child is very inquisitive. The stage of concrete operational occurs between the age of 7 and 11 is marked by the proper use of logic. Finally, comes the formal operational stage where there is demonstration of intelligence through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts

Mead’s view of the self

The self is not there from birth, but it is developed over time from social experiences and activities according to Mead’s argument. The experiences and activities may include interactions, observations, response to other’s opinions and about oneself. Also, internalizing external ideas and inner feelings about oneself also help in the formation of self.

Similarities and differences

The three theorists all recognize the fact that there is unconsciousness in the process of personality and self- development. Moreover, all the psychologists center development around a form of conflict. The difference appears in the same way the conflict is presented in the different cases.


Overall, this paper achieved its primary role of summarizing all the theories. Specifically, the work of Freud, Piaget, and Mead can now be understood in an easier way. At this point, one can clearly tell the both the standard and the differences among all the theories.


McFarland, S. (2010). Personality and Support for Universal Human Rights: A Review and Test of a Structural Model. Journal of Personality, 78(6), 1735-1764.

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