Personality

I’ve been thinking about writing/blogging a lot lately. I really miss writing but after writing–sometimes several–papers and discussion board posts daily I just can’t bring myself to write more than I already am. I have been so focused on school work that all of my spare time goes to cleaning, caring for the baby, and resting. When I started blogging it was not only for therapy, but also to document my journey so I could look back and see how far I’ve come. I think the easiest way for me to continue doing so would be to share writing I’m doing for classes and my educational journey as I work on my degree. As I mentioned in a former blog, I’m working on my degree in biopsychology and I’m just delving into the neurobiological perspective of psychology, specifically behavioral neuroscience. I’m focusing on studying the processes behind mental illness from a physiological and neurobiological point of view. I’ve been fascinated with psychology, neuroscience, physics and biology for years and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to receive a formal education in a field that encompasses all of those things. This term I’m taking two psychology classes, communications, and music theory. I’m also looking ahead and familiarizing myself with some of what I’ll be studying next term, mind & behavior, math, and lab methods. I’ll share some of what I’m learning as I go and hopefully you’ll learn something interesting as well!

What is Personality? This discussion board examines personality, asking: What personality concepts resonate the most with your experiences and life?


I heard about Freud’s theory on the Id, Ego and Superego long ago. I had never given it too much thought until recently. I wrote a paper not long ago on impulsivity as a trait in individuals with bipolar disorder. I did a large amount of research on what drives our behavior and the choices we make. In reading about Freud’s explanation of the Id, Ego, and Superego, something clicked. I think it’s very interesting to see how explanations have changed concerning behaviors that still exist. What Freud described fit nicely with ideas regarding long-term goal regulation vs. a tendency to act without forethought. According to our textbook Freud explained that we could imagine three systems being the Id (“I want to do that now”), Superego (“it’s not right to do that.”) and Ego (“Maybe we can compromise”). From a more modern neurobiological perspective: long-term goals are associated with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex which is comparable to what he referred to as Superego; the ventral striatum would be associated with the Id and lower-order desires; and finally the ventromedial prefrontal cortex would be likened to the Ego because it essentially creates a valuation pushing us toward one behavior or another (Mason, L., et al, 2014 ). I found it really interesting to compare each theory and I felt in some ways it validated Freud’s thought process. Obviously there are many misguided ideas and explanations that came from early theorists, but  analyzing and considering these aspects of personality resulted in more refined, better explanations. I understand why Freud was misunderstood, but I feel that early thinkers deserve credit for the mere fact that they put effort into solving the mysteries of the mind. They took notice when many thought the point was mute. Think about what it must have been like, before this literature existed. We read from a textbook and learn from the past but for the trail blazers it must have been a daunting task.coming up with these concepts and thought experiments lead to a vast amount of information. Today we use empirical measures and guard against pseudoscientific theories, but that doesn’t mean there is no value in the less empirical methods that dominated for a moment in time. 

References

Mason, L., O’Sullivan, N., Montaldi, D., Bentall, R., & El-Deredy, W. (2014). Decision-     making and trait impulsivity in bipolar disorder are associated with reduced prefrontal  regulation of striatal reward valuation. Brain, 137(8), 2346-2355

Spielman, Rosie M. (2017). Psychology. Houston, TX

Some interesting quotes from PSY202 text:

“Long-standing traits and patters that propel individuals to consistently think, feel, and behave in specific ways. Each person has an idiosyncratic pattern of enduring, long-term characteristics and manner in which he or she interacts with other individuals and the world around them.” (Spielman, Rosie M., 2017, OpenStax).

“Hippocrates’s theory was that personality traits and human behaviors are based on four temperaments associated with fluids that he called humors. Choleric temperament or yellow bile from the liver, melancholic temperament with was the black bile from kidneys, sanguine which was red blood from the heart and finally phlegmatic temperament which was white phlegm from the lungs” (Clark & Watson, 2008; Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985; Lecci & Magnavita, 2013; Noga, 2007). YUCK!

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