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Comparison and Analysis of Two Personality Theories in Human Psychology Assignment

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Introduction - Comparison and Analysis of Two Personality Theories in Human Psychology

Psychology is important for the subject to learn about human behavior through various theories such as personality theory and behavioral theory. In this paper, explanations have been provided for the personalities theory which includes the psychodynamic theory, its core theoretical concepts such as Iceberg theory, id theory, ego, superego as well as psychosexual stages and defense mechanisms. Also, it includes the behavioral theory where the concept of conditioning, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning has been discussed. Finally, a comparison between the Psychodynamic theories and Behavioral theory has been done to understand the concepts of both theories.

Personality’s theory

 Studying psychology is one of the important subjects of psychology which includes the various psychological theories and each personality’s theories try to describe various attributes of personalities. Numerous personalities theories describe the different characteristics of personalities which include how the formation of the personalities occurs and how people are unique in terms of their personalities and characteristics (Hogan & Sherman, 2020).

Psychodynamic theory

The psychodynamic theory is a theory based on a holistic approach from the client's perspective. It helps in exploring the client's deep desires instead of the alternative theory which is based on the problems of the client such as cognitive-behavioral theory (Walters, 2020). It is also known as the global theory in which the psychologist makes an effort to discover the patterns of emotions, thoughts, and beliefs of the client in which the patterns are closely linked with the childhood life of the client as psychodynamic theory explains that early life experiences are the most influential in terms of the development of psychology and its functioning of an individual.


Between the year 1890s and 1930s, Psychologist Sigmund Freud developed a series of theories that became the fundamentals of Psychodynamic theories. He used this therapy for psychoanalysis and through his book called "The interpretation of dreams", his ideas reached the people. And to spread his idea about the psychodynamic theory, he traveled to America with his colleagues to give lectures on the topic. It was Sigmund Freud who coined the term Psychodynamics when he found that the patient has traits that are of no biological connection. In his initial study he found that for some patients, the symptoms continued even if the patients tried out of their conscious will and therefore Freud concluded that the symptom did not arise from the consciousness instead they must have aroused from unconsciousness (Walters, 2020). Hence, as a result, symptoms were due to the conscious will acting against the unconsciousness, and for this, he coined the term Psychodynamics.

Core theoretical components

Ice-berg theory

In the year 1905, imagined the concept related to the topology in which the features, structure, and function of mind are an analogy of an iceberg that describe the various level of the mind. In this theory, the conscious mind consists of all the mental activities which an individual is aware of and this part is described as the top portion of an iceberg. The second level of the iceberg consists of the feelings and thoughts of the person which the individual is not aware of but this can be quickly brought to consciousness and in the last level, there is an unconscious mind which includes the mental activities which cannot be brought to consciousness however this enables or influences a feeling, behavior and the judgment of an individual (Thordal-Christensen, 2020). Hence, this theory can be related to the shape of the iceberg and is, therefore, known as the iceberg theory.

Id Theory

This theory is based on the principle of pleasure where the individual as per this theory lives with the idea that the needs should be fulfilled immediately. However, it can so happen that it takes time for a need to get fulfilled, and hence it is required to wait for the right time. This theory is dependant on the first stage of fulfilling the need to eliminate tension. According to Kusumah (2020), it can be described as the part of the personality which cannot be reached.


The Ego emerges out of Id which makes sure that the instinct of Id can be expressed in a way that is acceptable in the real scenario. In this theoretical component, the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious brain prevails, and also it is the component that deals with the real scenario of the real world.


This component develops at the age of five which consists of the idea and the morale that is inculcated from the parents as well the society which can be best described as the sense of judging what is wrong and what is right. This component helps an individual to suppress the influences of Id and helps an individual to work upon the real standards and principles. Also, it is prevalent in all the levels of the mind such as consciousness, unconsciousness, and preconsciousness.

Psychosexual stages

According to Freud, there is the development of personality by a series of psychological developments and has bifurcated these stages into five different stages. These stages are as follows;

  1. The Oral Stage

This stage starts from the age of birth to one year where the infant major source of interacting with the real world starts through the mouth like feeding and as in this period, the infant is totally dependant upon the parents, mouth serves as the important source of comfort through the oral encouragement (Saied, 2020).

  1. Anal Stage

In this stage, the main aim of the individual is to control the bowel movement which is generally happening at the age of 1 to 3 years as the major problem in this stage is to train the child about sanitary habits as the child needs to know and control the physical needs.

  1. The Phallic Stage

It occurs between the age of 3 to 6 years and in this stage, the children starts to discover the difference between males and females.

  1. The latent period

This period starts at the age of 6 to puberty where the sexual feelings are suppressed and children tend to develop the skills of relationships, values, and society.

  1. The Genital Stage

In this stage, an individual develops a strong attraction for the opposite gender which develops at the age of puberty and remains throughout life.

Defense mechanism

It is a strategy that comes to existence to manipulate, deny and defend against reality to suppress negative feelings or to maintain self-esteem.

Behavioral theory

It is a theory that stresses the fact that how the students learn and according to this theory the behaviors are learned through the external factors and in this theory, there is less influence of the inherent factors (Aardema & Wong, 2020).


 It is the process of behavior that is more frequent when an external stimulus is provided. It consists of the S-R theory in which it is assumed that human behavior is a learned behavior when there is external enforcement (Basri et al., 2020).

Classical conditioning

It is a type of learning which happens unconsciously in which a pair of stimuli is associated to obtain a new learning response in an animal or a person (De Houwer, 2020). For example, whenever your child sees you with a cricket cap, you take your, child, to play cricket at the park.

Operant conditioning

It is the type of learning where humans or animals act in such a way to get rewarded for their specific actions (Cherry, 2019). For example, the order is followed by an animal especially a Dog so that it can get a treat from the instructor.

Comparison between Psychodynamic theory and Behavioral theory

The theory of psychodynamics argues that childhood experiences have a major influence on the development of the personality without the conscious mind. According to this approach, there are three parts such as consciousness, precociousness, and unconsciousness. It provides a model of judgment. While behavioral theory states that the behavior of humans is mechanical and the individual personality is an outcome of stimuli response and hence the theory of psychodynamics accepts the fact that every individual can have mental illness and involve in conflicts even if it's not their mistake.

When compared with the psychodynamic theory, the behavioral theory is limited as it ignores the concept of consciousness and unconsciousness. As per the social learning theory, Keefe et al., (2021), have pointed out that the cognitive feature cannot be ignored if there is a required understanding of the learnings. The behavioral theory has only been applied to animals which limits the idea of its applicability over humans, which can be more difficult when applied. In a few cases, the behavioral approach can be much effective than the psychodynamic as it focuses on the present medical background of the individual over the past medical background as in the case of psychodynamic especially for the individual going through abnormal behavior. Also, the psychodynamic cases carried out by the theorist were based on a single individual which makes the wider population generalization complex as they seem to be subjective in their case studies.


To conclude, the psychodynamic and behavioral theories are applicable to study the mind of an individual by various psychologists and understand the behavior pattern of an individual. This paper, therefore, is focused on the concept of psychodynamic and behavioral approaches along with a further discussion on the various components of both theories that have been done. Also, there is a comparison done for both theories to have better insights into their basic concepts and components.


Aardema, F., & Wong, S. F. (2020). Feared possible selves in cognitive-behavioral theory: An analysis of its historical and empirical context, and introduction of a working model.

Basri, H., Amin, S., Mirsa, U., Mukhlis, H., & Irviani, R. (2020). Learning theory of conditioning. Journal of Critical Reviews7(8).

Cherry, K. (2019). What is operant conditioning and how does it work. How reinforcement and punishment modify behavior. Verywell Mind.

De Houwer, J. (2020). Revisiting classical conditioning as a model for anxiety disorders: A conceptual analysis and brief review. Behavior research and therapy127, 103558.

Hogan, R., & Sherman, R. A. (2020). Personality theory and the nature of human nature. Personality and Individual Differences152, 109561.

Keefe, J. R., Kim, T. T., DeRubeis, R. J., Streiner, D. L., Links, P. S., & McMain, S. F. (2021). Treatment selection in borderline personality disorder between dialectical behavior therapy and psychodynamic psychiatric management. Psychological medicine51(11), 1829-1837.

Kusumah, I. R. (2020). Id, ego, and superego in the main characters of thirteen reasons why season 1 (Doctoral dissertation, UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung).

Saied, B. (2020). Make a man out of a monkey: Psychosexual development of Sun Wukong.

Thordal-Christensen, H. (2020). A holistic view of plant effector-triggered immunity is presented as an iceberg model. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 1-14.

Walters, S. (2020). 14.3 Psychodynamic Origins of Personality. Psychology-1st Canadian Edition.

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