When it comes to personal progression, there are many different personality development theories worth paying attention to. However, it’s not a subject that everyone knows much about – it’s actually quite a challenge to understand from the offset. To help you get around that problem, this simple article should break down the importance of personality development theories, and what this means for your own development as a person.
The reason that personality development is so important is that, without it, we’d struggle to maintain a positive life outlook. Positive thinking is driven by development and by progression mainly. When we can see the wheels of progression and change are playing a part in our lives, it is much easier to stay positive and involved long-term.
So, when it comes to personality development theories, let’s take a look at what some of the most prevalent ideas.
Probably the most common form of personality development comes from the famous Sigmund Freud. Freud argued that human behavior is determinant on the actions of interactions between three parts of the mind. These are known as the ID, the ego, and the superego.
It places a major amount of information and reliance on the idea that many parts of the mind conflict together to shape our consensus on any given topic. Most of the time, these go on behind closed doors, subconscious to our daily activity.
Freud also claims that his theory of personality developed over five critical stages. At this point, children are faced with various biological drives and expectations socially, and have to decide which one they will follow. Being able to overcome each stage, then, leads to a mature mind and someone who is capable of rational, non-delusional and openly positive thinking in adult life.
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Another popular idea for such thinking comes from Jean Piaget, who developed one of the most commonly revisited theories in psychology. Despite the fact it’s been met with major criticism since inception, many still rely upon it as a tome of psychoanalysis and retains a major position within personality development theories.
The central idea is that children and adults have very different thought paths. Whilst a child works through four key stages of development that witnesses major change, adults don’t. This theory that children would actively seek out the world around them to learn more about it, from birth until adulthood, found that children tended to learn about the world and think about it in a totally different way to an adult.
His main contention was that, over time, children would change the quality of their thinking – as we age, so does our cognitive function.
Erikson’s Stages of Psychological Development
Another popular program for personality development theory has even that of Erik Erikson, who wrote an eight-stage theory regarding human development. It’s a little similar to Freud in many ways but it does hold its own distinctions that make it stand apart as a theory.
It does take a much closer look at how personal relationships define us, though, looking to see how we develop as people across our whole lives, not just adolescence. According to Erikson, we all face regular tasks that have to be defeated and then mastered. Those of who us are able to fulfill our particular task emerge with a better sense of positive thinking and enhanced personality development.
Failure, though, means that we are likely to struggle with the same problems for the rest of our lives. This is a prevalent theory even today, and many people still rely upon it.
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development
Another popular theory is that of Lawrence Kohlberg. The claimed that our personality development occurs entirely from the growth and change in our moral thinking as we age. It’s similar to Piaget in some ways, although it has more depth and therefore more rules.
The theory itself appears to be a little simplistic in that it does not take into account other cultures and way of life. That being said, for the time it was written it’s a theory that remains important today to our understanding of development as people.
Understanding what theory stands out the most is a real challenge – all we know is that each of the above theories helps to explain, in part, some of the potential reasons for why our personalities change, alter and develop as we get older.
We may never know exactly why, but the above theories help promote a greater understanding of how the concept of development and positive thinking today have come to be.