My Personality Theory Paper

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My Personality Theory Paper

My Personality Theory Paper


For this assignment, you will write a paper no less than 7 pages in length, not including required cover and Reference pages, describing a single personality theory from the course readings that best explains your own personality and life choices. You are free to select from among the several theories covered in the course to date but only one theory may be used.

Your task is to demonstrate your knowledge of the theory you choose via descriptions of its key concepts and use of them to explain how you developed your own personality. It is recommended that you revisit the material covered to date to refresh your knowledge of theory details. This is a \”midterm\” assignment and you should show in your work that you have studied and comprehended the first four weeks of course material. Your submission should be double-spaced with 1 inch margins on all sides of each page and should be free of spelling and grammar errors. It must include source crediting of any materials used in APA format, including source citations in the body of your paper and in a Reference list attached to the end. Easy to follow guides to APA formatting can be found on the tutorial section of the APUS Online Library.

Your paper will include three parts:

I. A brief description of the premise and key components of the theory you selected. You should be thorough and concise in this section and not spend the bulk of the paper detailing the theory, but rather just give enough of a summary of the key points so that an intelligent but uniformed reader would be able to understand its basics. If you pick a more complicated theory, you should expect explaining its premise and key components to take longer than explaining the same for one of the simpler theories but, in either case, focus on the basics and keep in mind that a paper that is almost all theory description and little use of the theory described to explain your own personality will receive a significant point deduction as will the reverse case of the paper being largely personal experience sharing with little linkage to clearly described key theory components.

II. A description of how your chosen theory explains your personality and life choices with supporting examples.

III. A description of the limitations of the theory in explaining your personality or anyone else\’s.

NOTE: Although only your instructor will be reading your paper, you should still think about how much personal information you want to disclose. The purpose of this paper is not to get you to share private information, but rather to bring one of the theories covered in the course to life by applying it to your own real world experience.

Your paper will be submitted as an attachment to the My Personality Theory Paper tab on the classroom Assignments page. Work that is copied and pasted into the assignment student comments box cannot be graded. When your paper is attached it is automatically submitted to
My Personality Theory Paper

The study of personality is of significant interest to psychology. Countless theories have been proposed for understanding personality as a concept. Each of these theories attempts to describe the different personality patterns, including how each pattern is formed and how personalities and people differ at the individual level. Throughout history, great minds like Abraham Maslow, Sigmund Freud and Aristotle sought to offer an understanding of what personality is, does it change as individuals age, and how it can be best described, as well as the personality differences to include those that make people more or less resilient and functional. Some of the theories that have been proposed over time have fallen out of favor while other are being tested. In addition, some of the theories complement one another while other compete. In making use of theories to understand the different personalities, it becomes clear that personality is consistent and organization, generally stable but can be influenced by the environment, and causes behaviors to happen (Pastorino& Doyle-Portillo, 2019). The present paper makes use of Shattered Assumptions Theory(SAT) to explored personality.My Personality Theory Paper


Theory description and key components

STA was presented by Ronnie Janoff-Bulman in 1992. It proposes a worldview that is comprised of the underlying assumptions about these self and the world that are shattered or undermined by experiencing trauma. It holds that the primary function of a worldview is to provide perceptions of personal invulnerability, controllability, order, and meaning in order to keep the individual from becoming aware of his/her own mortality and vulnerability (Janoff-Bulman, 1992). The theory articulates the role of worldview in the efforts of psychology to retain and enhance the perceptions of stability and control that are sought after following a traumatic event. Based on the theory, every individual developed unarticulated fundamental assumptions about themselves and the world to allow for healthy human functioning. These assumptions are perceived as worldviews. An important component of the theory is that individuals have belief in a predictable, benevolent and just world in which the individual survives by possessing worth and competence. The theory explains that individuals who express this worldview would use it for their primary function of providing self-esteem, meaning and illusion of invulnerability (Altmaier, 2017).My Personality Theory Paper

The origins of SAT lie in the assumptive and illusory worlds that help to sustain individuals in every life while motivating them to plan for the future and overcome difficulties. At offers three main assumptions. Firstly, the self is worthy, i.e. the individual is personally well-meaning, moral and good. Secondly, the world is meaningful, i.e. there are reliable principles and rules that enable the individual to predict which behaviors will produce which kinds of outcomes. Thirdly, the world is meaningful, i.e. other people are generally well-disposed towards the individual. Being involved in a car accident when driving safely and obeying the road rules and being attacked by a complete stranger without prior provocation are all situations that could be considered traumatic as they would deeply shatter assumptions about the world (Kumar, 2016).

According to the theory, when an individual with the described worldview experiences a traumatic event that damages the worldview (such as a traumatic event that cannot be easily integrated with the previously held worldview), then the individual would be forced to change the worldview as he/she no longer perceives the world as a predictable and benevolent place, and no longer sees himself/herself as invulnerable and competent. Subsequently, the individual has a period of confusing, terrifying and defenseless awareness of personal vulnerability that gives rise to physiological reactivity characterizing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. Importantly, the theory recognizes that it is not only the worldview that is undermines, but that the previous beliefs are stripped away so that the individual becomes intensely aware of his/her own mortality. The core problem of a traumatic event, in relation to the theory and expression of PTSD and anxiety is that the experience leaves the individual unprotected against the frightening realization of vulnerability in the face of mortality. Existential concerns such as awareness of mortality act as the source of PTSD and anxiety, and help to drive new world views such as avoidance and intrusion (Snyder et al., 2020). Overall, SAT emphasizes the unobservable and unarticulated cognitive discrepancies between traumatic events and worldview. My Personality Theory Paper

STA explaining my personality and life choices

Over the course of my life, I have experienced some stressful and traumatic life events that left me questioning whether the actual world is truly as I had previously perceived. Some of thesestressful and traumatic eventsshook me to my core, and shatteredmy previously held assumptions of how I perceived myself, the world, and others who live in that world. These traumatic events resulted in me developing PTSD and anxiety that has been positively related to self-transcendence, novelty-seeking, harm avoidance, neuroticism and negative emotionality. In addition, my personality has been negatively associated with low negative and high positive emotionality, optimism, hardiness, self-directedness, conscientiousness and extraversion. SAT explains that these personality traits are the core of my assumptions about life, and they comprise the ‘assumptive world’. This is based on the notion that my world is ordered and just with rules that can be trusted such that bad things do not happen to good people. Although my assumptions of the world are important to help me understand the world, these assumptions are really illusions that I build to supply purpose and meaning in my life (Power &Dalgleish, 2016).

Having faced suffering and loss over the course of my life, it is not unusual that I have been diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety. STA explains that the occurrence of any traumatic event causes some of my previously held assumptions to be called into question even as I find new information that is incongruent with prior perceptions. Although many of the assumptions I have about the world are strong enough to withstand direct challenges from other people with different assumptions of the world, the occurrence of traumatic events shattered some of the assumptions of how I believe the world functions and destroyed the illusions I had previously held so dear. Still, my fundamental assumptions have typically gone unquestioned and are least likely to be changed by the surrounding reality. SAT explains that these fundamental assumptions are the least flexible and traumatic events are likely to pose a direct challenge to the more rigid assumptions. Since there was no need to question these rigid assumptions on previous occasions, then they are likely to be shattered when faced with traumatic events thus resulting in the PTSD and trauma (Kumar, 2016). My Personality Theory Paper

Some of the past traumas had a devastating impact on my life so that I was able to instantly recognize that the previous assumptions of invulnerability and control are merely illusions. An example of an assumption being shattered in my life was the unfortunate scenario in which I was robbed at gunpoint through no fault of my own. I initially believed that the world was an orderly place prior to the trauma and experiences of robbery. The experience made me question my core assumptions of the world. How could I still believe that people are naturally good, that bad things only happen to bad people, that good things happen to good people, and that there is order in my world. I could no longer find comfort in my worldview and illusions that once provided control, meaning and purpose in my life. My worldview and illusions were replaced with the realizations that I am defenseless, others cannot be fully trusted, the world is random, and my life can end at the hands of another person for no apparent or logical reason at any moment (Snyder et al., 2020).

SAT explains my change in worldview and illusions by speculating that I have become increasingly aware of my mortality following the past traumatic events, and it is this awareness that has given rise to the PTSD and anxiety symptoms to include intrusive thought about the traumatic events, re-experiencing the events and avoidance of any reminders about the events. The PTSD and anxiety symptoms are reminders that act as part of an automatic coping process that attempts to integrate the traumatic events into a set of new assumptions about myself, others and the world. The new self-awareness of my own mortality is seen as a violation of my previous assumptions about the self, and in turn, this awareness causes the existential PTSD and anxiety. Paradoxically, my belief in self-worth and worldviews act as a buffering system that keeps the PTSD and anxiety symptoms from becoming conscious and paralyzing me from living a health normal life. According to the theory, this is a loss of the assumptive world that, by extension, indicates a loss of the sense of self since I no longer presume that my life is guaranteed and take it for granted so that I have lost my safety and subsequently lost myself (Janoff-Bulman, 1992). In this respect, SAT helps to explain my personality in the face of the exhibited PTSD and anxiety symptoms.My Personality Theory Paper

Limitation of SAT

The strength of SAT lies in how it describes the longer term adjustment following a traumatic event rather than the description of how the traumatic event is represented in memory and impacts the individual over the short term. The theory identifies common themes in worldview changes by specifying how the interpersonal and social contexts block or facilitate the adjustment process, and emphasize the possibility of positively reframing the traumatic event. Although the basic assumptions made in the theory are important, there are other assumptions that could be more important but are instead ignored by SAT. For individuals to act, they must have a set of beliefs that the world offers sufficient satisfaction of needs, the world is sufficiently predictable, and that the self is sufficiently competent to act. However, it is important to note that traumatic events are unpleasant and highly predictable, and produce feelings of intense helplessness thereby challenging the previously held beliefs. This could end up producing feelings of unreality and intense conflict, since the traumatic experience appears to contradict personal core beliefs, and yet according to those beliefs, the traumatic experience could not really have happened (Altmaier, 2017).

According to SAT, the persons with positive life experiences who should hold positive assumptions are the most affected by traumatic events. Nonetheless, the opposite is the case with the persons who have had a negative life experiences with previous trauma being at higher risk of developing PTSD and anxiety. This is a puzzling contradiction since persons who have previously experienced a traumatic event should be expected to have lost at least some protective illusion about the world. Two suggestions are made for resolving this conflict. Firstly, previous trauma acts as a risk factor to the extent that the individual is yet to reestablish a secure and stable inner world. Secondly, the individuals with the most positive assumptions are more resilient as they have the greatest initial distress but end up recovering more easily. The two suggestions introduce a new idea that a traumatic event does not necessarily have to shatter illusions when they had previously been shattered. In essence, an individual simply updates the assumptions and beliefs even as he/she faces new traumatic events thereby causing the worldview to change. This is a contradiction in itself that acts as a limitation of the theory (Kassin, Fein & Markus, 2020).My Personality Theory Paper


Altmaier, E. M. (Ed.) (2017). Reconstructing Meaning After Trauma: Theory, Research, and Practice. Elsevier Science.

Janoff-Bulman, R. (1992). Shattered assumptions: Towards a new psychology of trauma. Free Press.

Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2020). Social Psychology (11th ed.). Cengage.

Kumar, U. (Ed.) (2016). The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Resilience. Routledge.

Pastorino, E. E., & Doyle-Portillo, S. M. (2019). What is Psychology? Foundations, Applications, and Integration (4th ed.). Cengage.

Power, M., &Dalgleish, T. (2016). Cognition and Emotion: From order to disorder (3rd ed.). Psychology Press.

Snyder, C. R., Lopez, S. J., Edwards, L. M., & Marques, S. C. (Eds.) (2020). The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. My Personality Theory Paper