The Future Direction of Personality Theories

Recently, there has been an immense breakthrough in every sphere of the personality psychology. While a number of existing problems have been developed in the new dimensions, some innovative issues have been introduced, including the admonishing behaviour and the neurological constituent of the personality studies (Trull & Widiger, 2013). Mullins-Sweatt et al. (2012) acknowledge that a personality comprises a set of traits and characteristics, which differentiate people from each other. The ever-changing world causes the alternations in personalities; therefore, the personality theories have to develop constantly, as well (Trull, 2012). In fact, the current years have witnessed a departure from purely medical practices to creating the holistic study grounded mainly on the medical and therapeutic practices (Corr, DeYoung, & McNaughton, 2013). The above-mentioned path was followed by numerous early theorists, including Freud, Adler, Jung, Klein, Horney, Fromm, Sullivan, Erikson, Kelly, and Rogers (Kadler, Zimmermann, & McAdams, 2014). Nevertheless, today, the personality theories are being formulated on the basis of empirical research, and the facts prove that the tendency will last (VanLarge, 2013). According to Montag, Reuter, Jurkiewicz, Markett, and Panksepp (2013), the recently developed theories are less covering, less theoretical, and less philosophic than those that originated from the data provided by the early theorists. Another tendency of the personality theories development is the additional dependency on the team efforts instead of relying on the work of a single person (Kadler et al., 2014). In the future, the personality theories will develop in at least seven directions as the evolvement of neuroscience, genetics, biology, sociology, and other sciences appears to have more and more impact on the personality psychology.

The New Frontiers of the Personality Theories

The study of cognitive causes and their connection with other facets of psychological operations are the first future direction of the personality theories. With the exclusion of Kelly and Bandura, the personality theorists have almost completely ignored the role of cognitive operations in the human functioning cognition (Omi, 2012). For example, Freud observed human nature initially in the light of early childhood experiences and practices together with insentient stimulation (Omi, 2012; Kadler et al., 2014). On the other hand, Skinner considers personality to be a notion, which merely incorporates the connection between apparent and evident conduct and exogenous consolidation eventualities (Deiner, 2012). Therefore, the personality theories are going to evolve in the sphere of cognitive causes and their connections.

The study of particularly creative, skilled, and extravagant individuals is the second dimension for the future development of the personality theories. For all applicative objectives, the functional study of personality had its origins in Freud’s discomposure concerning the reasons and therapy of the pathological conduct (Deiner, 2012). Therefore, the history of personology inquisition reflects a focus on the behavioural elements revealed most vividly in the psychotherapeutic settings (VanLarge, 2013). Even currently, the study of personality is closely associated with the analysis of psychologically disturbed individuals. As the times are changing, the focuses and concerns of personologists are also altering. Over the recent years, the idea that personology should not be entirely concerned with the pathological and defensive mechanisms of human behaviour has become popular (Kadler et al., 2014). Therefore, the future of personality theories lays in the study and research of creative and talented individuals.

The third possible future dimension of personality theories is the study of the physiological and neurological issues and foundations of personality. Most probably, the current scientific era will be considered the age of biology and breakthrough in the behavioural genetics, biochemistry, psychopharmacology, and neurophysiology. These sciences have caused crucial alterations in the ideas, theories, and methods, which generally determine the psychological studies (Corr et al., 2013; Bleidorn, Kandler, & Caspi, 2014). With the exception of Freud and Murray, the personologists have almost completely rejected the need to research the neurophysiologic and biochemical elements of the human personality. In fact, the development of neuroscience and cognitive science threatens to divide psychology into several disciplines. A similar trend appears in regards to the studies focused on biological apparatus of individual discrepancies and cognitive apparatus of singularity, which threaten the existence of the personality theories (Kennis, Rademaker, & Geuze, 2013). According to Ormel et al. (2013), there is a groundless trend. On the one hand, the biologically-focused theorists dismiss any cognitive approaches (concentration on epiphenomena); on the other hand, the cognitive theorists usually reject any progress in biological foundations as inappropriate for cognition of an individual. According to Lunmann, Orth, Specht, Kandler, and Lucas (2014), there is an insufficient number of researchers emphasizing the negative influence of cognitive exegesis on the person’s physiological condition (Trull & Widiger, 2013). The last several years have witnessed a rising interest in the personality studies. The personality studies consider various issues ranging from the genes to life span, from individual to species, and from normal to the pathological behaviour (Bleidorn et al., 2014). Therefore, the researchers and theorists from all branches of psychology are studying the principal issues of personality. Evolutionary, biotic, societal, developmental, cognitive, and clinical approaches have designed unique approaches to the personality psychology (Ormel et al., 2013; Trull & Widiger, 2013). The future dimensions of the personality theories will attempt to cover and develop a lot of these issues.

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