Theories of Personality Development in Psychology

Personality Development in Psychology


Psychology is the study of behaviour and mental processes. Personality development is a process by which people develop certain personality traits. The study of personality development is important for understanding how people interact with each other and how they develop over time. It can also help us understand why people behave in certain ways and how we can change our own behaviour. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of personality development in psychology. We will discuss the different theories of personality development and how they can help us understand ourselves and others better.

History of Personality Development in Psychology

Personality development in psychology has a long and varied history. Early theories of personality were based on the work of Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalytic approach. Freud believed that personality was made up of three different parts: the id, ego, and superego. These parts work together to make up an individual’s personality.

Personality development theories have changed and evolved over time. In the 1950s, Abraham Maslow introduced his theory of human motivation, which included a hierarchy of needs. This theory had a major impact on the field of psychology and how personality development is understood.

Today, there are many different theories of personality development. Psychologists continue to study this topic in order to better understand how personalities develop over time.

Major Theories of Personality Development

Personality development is a complex and ongoing process that begins in infancy and continues throughout life. There are many different theories of personality development, but most agree that there are certain universal stages or phases that individuals go through as they mature.

Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development is one of the most well-known theories of personality development. Erikson believed that everyone goes through eight distinct stages of development, each characterized by a different conflict or crisis that must be resolved. These conflicts are: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame and doubt, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, and ego integrity vs. despair. According to Erikson, resolving these conflicts successfully is necessary for developing a healthy personality.

Another influential theory of personality development is Freud’s psychosexual theory. Freud believed that human beings go through five distinct stages of development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. Each stage is characterized by a different erogenous zone (or pleasure-seeking area) of the body that becomes increasingly important as children mature. According to Freud, resolving the conflicts associated with each stage is necessary for developing a healthy personality.

Other important theories of personality development include Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. Both theorists believed that children go through distinct

Key researchers in the field of Personality Development

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory of aggression. Journal of Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Cooley, C. H. (1902). Human Nature and the Social Order. New York: Scribner’s

Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and Society. New York: Norton

Freud, S. (1923). The Ego and the Id. London: Hogarth Press

Horney, K.(1945). Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis. New York: Norton

Jung, C., & Adler, G.(1928). Basic Writings in the Development of Personality .New York: Harcourt Brace

How personality develops over the lifespan

Personality development is the relatively enduring pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that distinguish individuals from each other. The dominant approach to personality psychology has long been the study of trait variation—i.e., how much individuals differ from each other on measures of particular traits, such as extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

Trait theories of personality were first proposed early in the 20th century by Gordon Allport and Henry Murray and were further developed by Raymond Cattell, Hans Eysenck, and others; they continue to exert a strong influence on research in personality psychology today. Although trait theories have provided important insights into human personality, they have several limitations. For one thing, it is difficult to assess precisely how many traits are needed to describe an individual’s personality; estimates range from a few dozen to more than 200. In addition, some traits may be relatively stable over the lifespan while others may change more dramatically (e.g., adjustment to new life circumstances). Finally, people often behave quite differently in different situations (a phenomenon known as context specificity), making it hard to identify which aspects of their behaviour reflect underlying traits and which do not.

In recent years, an alternative approach to studying personality known as the Big Five model has gained popularity. This approach focuses on five broad domains or factors of personality—extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability (sometimes called neuroticism), and openness to experience—and argues.


It is evident that personality development plays a role in psychology. By understanding how personality develops, psychologists can learn about the thoughts, emotions and behaviours that make up an individual’s persona. Additionally, by studying personality development, psychologists can help people to better understand themselves and learn how to manage their own personalities.

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