You have now read about four different perspectives on our personality — 4 different ways to explain and understand our individual, unique patterns of mental life and behavior:
1) Psychodynamic Perspective: This perspective views personality as being primarily unconscious, and emphasizes that early experiences play an important role in sculpting personality.
2. Humanistic Perspective: Humanistic perspective believes that each of us has the ability to deal with stress, control his/her life, and achieve our goals.
3. Trait Perspective: This perspective reflects the idea that people can be described in terms of the basic ways they behave: (e.g. outgoing , reflective, angry, fun-loving, trusting), or in the case of the Five-Factor Model of Personality, in terms of Openness; Conscientiousness; Extraversion; Agreeableness; and Neuroticism.
4) Social Learning Theory — that we learn our personality patterns through reinforcement and modeling.
Your assignment this week is to pick a particular character in a book you have read or in a movie or TV show and analyze them from the four personality perspectives. This should be a minimum of 5 paragraphs for a passing grade. The first paragraph should describe the character in everyday terms. Who exactly are you picking, and from what book/movie/or TV show do they come? What is their name, gender, role, status in the show? Tell us a little bit about the general challenges they face or issues they are dealing with in the story.
Then, in each of the next four (sets of) paragraphs, describe them in terms of Psychodynamic theory, Humanist theory, Trait theory (best to pick one, e.g. the Big Five), and from a Social Learning perspective. Be specific — use appropriate terms and concepts from your book as you describe the character. Your character should be unique — I don’t want to read 20 postings on the same character from the Housewives of Beverly Hills! So, it is best to pick your character asap, and try to pick one that isn’t on the most popular show right now.
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