Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Theodore R. Bashore & Juanita R. Hernandez
Personality theories attempt to identify personal characteristics people share and to determine the factors that produce their unique expression by any given person. Sigmund Freud developed the first theory of personality, psychoanalysis , from his profound insight that emerged in the early 1890s as he treated patients with neurotic disorders: forces that exist in the unconscious determine human behavior. Over the next 40 years he formulated the most influential personality theory in the 20th century. Freud argued that people's behavior reflects the outcome of a lifelong struggle in which repressed unacceptable sexual and aggressive instincts in the id are redirected toward acceptable expression by the forces of reason in the ego and of conscience in the superego. These instincts sustain the self throughout life, at the cost, however, of directing aggression toward others. Freud's ideas attracted numerous young European intellectuals in the early 20th century, the most prominent being Carl ...