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Psychoanalytic vs. Humanistic Perspectives of Personality

Psychoanalytic vs. Humanistic Perspectives of Personality

Human beings portray uniqueness and consistent individual behavior, otherwise called personality. Nonetheless, psychologists have a varying understanding of the term personality. These differences in understanding the word personality led to several attempts to define personality. As such, some definitions view personality as one’s public self: what an individual chooses to display to others, while others view personality as what allows an individual to be socially effective (Olson et al., 2019). Accordingly, differing definitions of personality exist, such as the existence of different theories with differing perspectives on personality. These theories include the psychoanalytic approach founded by Sigmund Freud and the humanistic approach, with Carl Rogers, Maslow, and Rollo May as the main representatives of this perspective.

The psychoanalytic approach mainly emphasizes the role of one’s early childhood experiences and the unconscious. The theory posits that the unconscious and past experiences determine how one behaves (you are what you were) (Piechurska-Kuciel, 2020). Accordingly, Freud developed a hypothetical model to explain the functioning of the mind (psyche). He postulated that the psyche has three major systems (id, superego, and ego) whose interactions result in human behavior. The id functions in the unconscious and is unaffected by the environment. The id works to fulfill one’s pleasure, inconsiderate of how this affects others. Conversely, the superego strives for perfection and is a moral guide that helps individuals behave in a socially acceptable manner. Lastly, the ego is a source of rationality and functions to equilibrate the id’s hedonism and the superego’s impractical perfectionism. Do you need help with your assignment ? Hire our assignment writing services in case your assignment is devastating you.

Unlike the psychoanalytic perspective, which stresses that personality results from conflicts in the psyche, the humanistic perspective recognizes that individuals can love, think, and grow. In other words, humans aim to live happy, meaningful lives (Feist et al., 2021). Humanism also suggests that one’s consciousness and experience should be considered when analyzing personality. Also, from Maslow’s perspective, the desire for personal growth motivates behaviour, bringing about genuine advancement and fulfillment (Piechurska-Kuciel, 2020). In addition, as opposed to psychoanalysis, the humanistic approach portrays an optimistic human nature, arguing that people desire to become highly functional persons through their self-actualizing tendencies.

Nevertheless, both perspectives show a similarity in the aspect of rationality. Humanism explains that humans can think and make rational decisions, while the ego is the source of rationality in psychoanalysis. Also, both theories connect personality to satisfying one’s needs.


Feist, G. J., Roberts, T.-A., & Feist, J. (2021). Theories of Personality (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Olson, M. H., Favero, D., & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2019). An Introduction to Theories of Personality (9th ed.). Pearson Education.

Piechurska-Kuciel, E. (2020). The Big Five in SLA. Second Language Learning and Teaching. Springer.


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Psychoanalytic vs. Humanistic Perspectives

There are two major

Psychoanalytic vs. Humanistic Perspectives of Personality

Psychoanalytic vs. Humanistic Perspectives of Personality

r personality perspectives that seem to be in contrast to one another.

For this assignment, you will:

Compare and contrast psychoanalytic perspectives of personality with humanistic perspectives.
Support your assumptions with relevant sources including your course readings/textbook, and relevant outside sources, such as journal articles.

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