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Purpose. Apply these theories to your own personality! The study of personality can seem extremely abstract. Each theorist proposes different ways of measuring or documenting individual differences and intrapersonal processes. The purpose of this short paper is to give you hands-on experience with the concrete elements of various perspectives, so you can see and feel what each theorist is talking about.

Task. You will be introduced to concepts, vocabulary and measures of personality for each perspective we study. Practice using these ideas and words to see how they apply to YOU. Each time you do an assessment, you should note for yourself what the results mean regarding your personality.  The summaries will be useful in describing your personality from the perspective ofpsychodynamic theorists and trait theorists. NOTE: If you feel this is too personal an assignment, you may choose to write your personality profile on some famous person whose personality traits and functioning are known to the public. Please clear your choice with the instructor if you choose this alternate assignment.

Topics. In 4 to 5 pages, you will apply three different theories. You will only be able to cover selective elements of what you have learned about personality, so pick a few ideas to focus on from each of three perspectives. Topics you may choose to address in the papers are found throughout the syllabus and in each chapter of the text. In the end, you should describe your subject (yourself) through the eyes of at least three psychodynamic theories (theories covered in Chapters 1 through 6) for this assignment.

Use whichever theories seem applicable, pertinent, or appropriate within the broad school of thought. Review the terminology and “Personal Experiences” sections at the end of each chapter to identify some of the concepts you may apply to your own personality. Some examples are given below.

Process. Keep running notes each week about how your personality fits into each theory. Begin the paper or PPT with a BRIEF general introduction to the individual (you), then move smoothly into the first perspective you wish to take. Say which theory is being applied, and use the concepts from that theory, but do not waste time explaining the theory itself. Just put it to use describing yourself.

Use transition sentences to move from one theory to the next, making contrasts and comparisons between the various interpretations of your personality when possible. The paper should read smoothly from beginning to end, not as a series of disconnected one-paragraph essays. Type the paper with 1” margins, double spaced in a 12-point font, submitted as a Word document. Each paper should run about four to five pages or 12 to 15 PPT slides.

The paper or PowerPoint assessment is well done when it:

•clearly conveys a strong sense of the individual’s personality

•applies at least three different theories of personality, from 3 or more correctly identified theorists.

•uses assessments or application of terminology from each theory to explain personal characteristics

•is clearly written, with correct sentence structure, paragraph form, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Examples – Here are some ideas, but you are by no means limited to these topics. Please choose the ideas from each theorists which are most applicable to your experience.

1. Freud – defense mechanisms, dream analysis, Oedipal conflicts, slips of the tongue (parapraxis), character type, transference in a relationship

2. Jung – favored personality functions, development of individuation, archetypes, balance of opposites, mystical dreams

3. Adler – birth order, social interest, evidence of striving for superiority, compensation

4. Horney – basic anxiety driving perfectionism

5. Fromm – social motivations and character type

6. Sullivan – needs for security and close relationships

7. Erikson – What dynamics are operating at this stage of life? How do biological imperatives and social demands interact to drive your psychological growth? How is generativity expressed in your life?

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