What are the four main personality theories?

The four main personality theories are psychoanalytic, trait, humanistic, and social cognitive.

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The four main personality theories are: the psychoanalytic, the trait, the humanistic and the social-cognitive theories.

Psychoanalytic theory

The most popular theory of personality is that of psychoanalysis, which was mainly introduced by Sigmund Freud. This theory focuses on the unconscious and the subconscious mind; it suggests that human behavior is shaped by past experiences and the people's reactions to those experiences, which never leave the mind.

Freud argues that personality is made out of three key components—id, ego and super-ego; the id represents the needs and desires, the super-ego represents the moral ideas and standards that people have, and the ego allows people to control their urges and desires and satisfy them in ways that are reasonable and socially acceptable.

Trait theory

The trait theory is based on traits as specific characteristics of one's personality or as characteristics that can determine a person's behavior. Psychologist Gordon Allport identified three main...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1004 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 15, 2019
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 15, 2019