Pretend you are researching personality for an internship.  You have just met Roberto, a mild mannered and reserved student who is identified as extremely introverted.

Your job is to explain how each of the following schools of psychology would explain Roberto’s personality.  You should write at least a paragraph for each school of psychology.  Be sure to use key concepts from each perspective to support your reasoning.


The psychodynamic perspective primarily focuses on the id, superego, and ego for references as to where personality stems from. The id is present at birth and completely unconscious and contains all the basic biological drives as well as the pleasure principle. Roberto’s mild mannered behavior would suggest his id has been maintained under strict control and is so because of his development of his ego. The ego develops to still satisfy needs of the id but in ways that would not result in negative consequences. The ego, however, does not completely restrain the personality of a person. It is still reacting to the pleasure principle. In this case, the superego kicks in. Roberto’s superego and ego must be well developed as he keeps his id in check and does not engage in “inappropriate” behavior. The fact that Roberto is introverted could be a result of latency, or the fourth stage of personality development. In this stage, children of the age of six till puberty develop social skills. Roberto may not have developed proper social skills during this stage. This may also have been due to the fact Roberto did not have the habit to speak whenever necessary, as explained by the behaviorist perspective. The behaviorist perspective would make Roberto’s personality a result from classical or operant conditioning. Behaviorism focuses on habits, or well-learned responses that have become automatic. Roberto, who is reserved and mild mannered, may have become this way due to his environment. For example, when Roberto was younger, he may have been extremely loud and short-tempered. His parents, however, may have discouraged this behavior and punished him. Through operant conditioning, Roberto was formed into a mild mannered and reserved student. His environment is rewarding him for his lack of expressiveness and as a result has become introverted. This environment interaction is closely related to the social-cognitive perspective. The social cognitive perspective would argue that Roberto’s personality is a result from how others react to his actions. Roberto’s environment may have influenced him to become mild mannered and reserved. His actions and reactions are based off of the environment he chose. Roberto chose a specific environment, and that environment then shaped him to be mild-mannered and reserved. His independence could also have been a result of his internal locus of control. Since Roberto is also introverted, that would mean his environment that he is surrounded in is also introverted and not seeking external means of attention. Perhaps Roberto believes his real self is introverted, which can be explained by the humanistic perspective. The humanistic perspective is slightly more difficult to apply to Roberto’s case. Roberto’s self-concept, however, may have influenced his personality. Roberto could have started off as slightly more mild mannered than others, but was constantly told by others he was extremely mild-mannered (like his parents or siblings, for example). These significant people would have influenced the development of his personality. Roberto’s personality could also possibly be a reflection of his ideal self. If this were the case, Roberto’s idol would also most likely be mild-mannered and reserved, some basic traits that are clearly visible to others but not necessarily yet known to Roberto, as the trait theory suggests. The trait theory seems to best correspond with Roberto’s behavior. Being reserved and mild mannered could be surface traits related to the basic source trait of introversion. Roberto’s traits have shaped his personality. Roberto’s personality can also be related to the five-factor, or Big Five, model. In the E (extraversion) category of the Big Five’s OCEAN acronym, Roberto would be placed low under introversion. Similarly, in the N (neuroticism) category of OCEAN, Roberto would again score lower as he is more calm and stable rather than anxious and temperamental.