Theories of Personality HW 7-9


Murray made a list of 20 needs (primary, secondary, reactive, and proactive needs) that people have in their lives.  Design a list of five (5) secondary needs you believe people need.  Now justify your decision on why you would include each need you listed.

Murray outlined in his research the need for affiliation and the need for achievement.  Describe and outline what would be two advantages and two disadvantages in having a high need for affiliation and a high need for achievement?

Murray had an interesting take on the issue of the role of tension in life—describe what Murray said about the role of tension in the development of personality.  Why should we or should we not desire a life free of tension?


Give a real-life example of a person who is having an identity crisis.  What kind of confusion of roles would this person have?  What would this person need to do to have a positive identity resolution rather than a negative resolution?

Why was the quality of the parent-child relationship so important to Erikson?  Discuss at least five (5) things that Erikson would have said a parent should do to encourage the basic strengths in children younger than 11 years of age.

Define Erikson’s concepts of maldevelopment and malignancy.  Why are these bad for your personality?  How can these conditions be corrected (be specific)?

Think about Erikson’s theory in terms of cultural bias.  What aspects of his theory are cultural-specific versus universal to all cultures?  What aspects of his theory relate to culture-specific child rearing practices that may not be shared across all cultures?  You may need to use web resources for this question.

Think about Erikson’s theory in terms of gender bias.  Is his theory equally pertinent to both genders?  Be specific—are there any of his stages or crises that might have different crises or might be resolved differently for males versus females? You may need to use web resources for this question.


Describe four characteristics of a trait.  How do traits differ from attitudes?

Describe Allport’s concept of functional autonomy.  What role does it play in the development of personality?  What is the relationship between our motivation (work motivation, love motivation, exercise motivation, etc.) and our different levels of functional autonomy?

Allport listed several components that must be present for a person to attain psychological maturity (his term for mental health) as follows:

1. Specific, enduring extensions of self

2. Dependable techniques for warm relating to others

3. Emotional security and self-acceptance

4. Habits of realistic perception

5. Problem-centeredness and the development of problem-solving skills.

6. Self-objectification (such as insight into your own behavior)

7. A unifying philosophy of life

In your opinion, what is missing from this list of characteristics necessary for mental health and why?

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