Based on the psychoanalytic theoretical perspective compare Stable vs. Dynamic

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The DSM-IV describes personality as

enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts

This being said, the psychoanalytic approach is based on uncovering the conscious and unconscious mental processes that drive our decision-making skills. It also taps into thought formation, self-awareness, the understanding of our role as individuals, and our overall self-concepts.

Stable personality traits are those which mainly remain the same throughout the lifespan of an individual. Research by Costa, McCrae and Arenberg (1980) in elder males, and in a longitudinal study made on women by Helson and Moane (1987) and then Helson and Wink (1993) has shown almost unanimously that the "big five", or five most salient, personality attributes tend to remain the same throughout life until an LCE (Life Changing Event) abruptly comes in between the normal course of activities. These big five traits are listed by J.M. Digman (1990) in the latest Five Factor Model (FFM) as OCEAN:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extroversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Psychoanalytical theoretical perspective can explain stable personalities are those that have their OCEAN untouched and undisturbed, depending on which traits they display. Psychoanalysis might correlate agreeableness, for example, to a happy unbringing and satiated needs while neuroticism could be correlated to a disturbance in development as proposed by Freud.  

Dynamic traits are often associated with psychological attributes often salient in INTJ and ENTJ (Introverted/Extroverted intuition Thinking Judging) personalities. These are individuals who have such an intrinsic connection with their environment that they are able to mold it, atone to it, and co-exist with others as long as they are, perhaps, other INTJs and ENTJs. Psychological approaches may explain INTJs and ENTJs tendencies based on their high level of adaptability given that they are intuitive, analytical and often think before speaking. Contrary to the stable personality type, dynamics are multifaceted, changing, and these changes might make them prone to more flexibility. Dynamics are also better problem solvers, and more willing to adapt than stable types.

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