Pre Workshop 2: Personality Development

Table 1
Theories on Personal Development
Theory Main Theorist Description
Behavioral Theories
Classical conditioning
Operant conditioning
Ivan Pavlov (Classical conditioning)
B.F. Skinner (Operant Conditioning)
From a behaviorist perspective, a person’s character is primarily influenced by his/her environment (Feist & Rosenberg, 2012). In the behavioral approach, people learn through two main ways: namely operant conditioning and classical conditioning. Under the operant conditioning, a person learns from the consequences, whereas in the classical conditioning learning is through association.
Ivan Pavlov managed to condition dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell. Pavlov would always ring the bell before feeding the dogs, and over time, they learned to associate the sound of the bell with food (McLeod, 2013).
According to Skinner, some behaviors are determined by a person’s motive. Therefore, some human characters occur for a reason (McLeod, 2013). The main behavior shaping techniques are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment.
Psychodynamic Theory
Sigmund Freud psychosexual stage theory
Sigmund Freud According to Freud, a person’s behavior is influenced by his/her unconscious mind, which is composed of three main components, the ‘id,’ the ‘ego,’ and the ‘superego’ (O’Brien, 2016). The ‘id’ contains life and death instincts. The ‘ego’ shows a person his/her underlying social realities, while the ‘superego’ helps him/her to know what is morally right.
Humanism Psychology
1.      Hierarchy of Needs
2.      Rogers Theory
Abraham Maslow
Carl Rogers
In humanistic psychology, a person’s behavior is influenced by his/her inner feelings and self-image (McLeod, 2013).
According to Rogers, a person is continually working towards self-actualization (Keith, 2010). Rogers notes that a person’s childhood experiences play a significant role in determining whether he/she will self-actualize.
In the Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, a person’s motivation varies with his/her accomplishments (McLeod, 2013). Just like Rogers, he notes that all individuals aim at self-actualizing.
Comprehensive psychoanalytic theory
Erick Erickson’s stages of psychosocial development.
Erick Erickson According to the Erick Erickson’s psychosocial school, a person passes through 8 different stages from infancy to adulthood, which influences his/her behavior (Myers & Twenge, 2015). The unsuccessful passage in one stage may affect a person’s behavior in his/her next phase.

Socialization Process

  1. What is the goal of the socialization process?

The purpose of the socialization process is to help a person to develop his/her attitude, thoughts, behavior, brain, and body (Dessler, 2012). Socialization is a social process that entails people interacting with the rest of the community. Usually, people learn new habits, cultures, attitudes, beliefs, and values from these interactions. Accordingly, the socialization process enables a society to transfer and also transform its culture from one generation to the other (McLeod, 2013). The process of socialization has two levels, namely the infant (internalization of objects) and the outside (Dessler, 2012). During the infant phase, a person learns the social norms, which are usually self-imposed. Socialization also helps individuals to interact comfortably with the rest of the society since properly socialized persons are always able to fulfill the expectations of their community.

  1. How does this process help us adapt to society and develop self-identity?

The socialization process is vital at every stage of one’s development in enabling proper adaptation to the society and for the development of a self-identity. The primary socialization, which occurs during infancy, enables a child to learn cognitive skills, language, and to internalize norms and values (Okami, 2013). These knowledge helps the child to interact with the society and to develop some self-identity. During the secondary socialization, which occurs outside the immediate family but with the rest of the community, a person acquires social training mostly from formal institutions such as schools or workplace (Rohall, Milkie, & Lucas, 2013). Importantly, these interactions build on his/her character and make him/her more self-aware.


Dessler, G. (2012). A framework for human resource management (7th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Feist, G., & Rosenberg, E. (2014). Psychology: Perspectives and connections (3rd Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Keith, K. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Contemporary themes and perspectives (1st Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
McLeod, S. (2013). Psychology perspectives. Retrieved from
Myers, D., & Twenge, J. (2015). Social psychology (12th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
O’Brien, J. (2016). The production of reality: Essays and readings on social interactions (6th Ed.) New York, NY: Sage Publications.
Okami, P. (2013). Psychology: Contemporary perspectives (1st Ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Rohall, D., Milkie, M., & Lucas, J. (2013). Social psychology: Sociological perspectives (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.