MCAT Basics Podcast


Sam breaks down personality in this podcast. He talks about different personality theories and how personality affects our behavior. He also breaks down personality disorders and the personality-related questions that could appear on the MCAT.

  • [02:55] The Different Theories on Personality
  • [04:42] The Six Personality Theories
  • [05:18] Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality
  • [07:50] The Humanistic Theory on Personality
  • [09:37] The Trait Theory
  • [11:30] Social Cognitive Theory
  • [13:37] Biological Perspective of Personality
  • [15:25] The Behaviorist Theory of Personality
  • [17:14] Personality Disorders
  • [17:14] Odd or Eccentric Personality Disorders
  • [18:55] Paranoid Personality Disorder
  • [21:55] Dramatic, Emotional, or Erratic Behaviors
  • [23:45] Anxious and Fearful Behavior

The Different Personality Theories

Personality is described as someone’s repeated behavioral mannerism overtime or an individual’s characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Simply put, personality is what makes us, us. Now, to try and explain the different personality theories, we’ll use one of the most talented, yet controversial, people in the entertainment industry – Kanye West. After conducting a quick internet search about Kanye, Sam concluded that Kanye is best described by these four personality traits: Creativity, narcissism, perceptiveness, and sensitivity. So, we’ll use these four personality traits and try to explain why Kanye West is the way he is.

The Six Different Theories About Personality

In describing personality, we’ll go through six different personality theories: psychoanalytic theory, humanistic theory, trait theory, social-cognitive theory, biological theory, and behaviorist theory.

The Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality

The psychoanalytic theory was developed by Sigmund Freud and argued that human personality comprises three elements, the id, the ego, and the superego. These three elements are said to work together to produce our character.

The Humanistic Theory of Personality

Abraham Marslow and Carl Rogers developed the humanistic theory of personality. They explained that personality stems from one’s desire to achieve their potential and focuses on psychological growth, free will, and personal awareness.

Trait Theory

The trait theory of personality was developed by Raymond Cattell, who argued that a person’s personality is a series of traits that are stable over time. The approach narrows down a person’s personality to five core traits: openness, agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness.

Social Cognitive Theory

The social cognitive theory was developed by Albert Bandura and described how personality is developed through social learning and cognition. According to the theory, personality is formed by watching and learning from others and choosing whether to emulate their behavior.

Biological Perspective on Personality

The biological perspective on personality focuses on biology’s role, specifically genetics, in exploring the things that shape a person’s personality. According to previous studies, personality is somehow heritable meaning that a component of personality does come from genetics.

Behaviorist Theory

The behaviorist theory states that the environment around the said person develops a person’s personality. The theory basically tries to explain how personalities are learnt and then reinforced by the person’s environment.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are defined as long-term behavior patterns and inner experiences that differ significantly from what is expected. Personality disorders are divided into three clusters, odd or eccentric behavior; dramatic, emotional, or erratic behavior; and anxious or fearful behavior.

Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by odd, eccentric thinking or behavior. They include paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder. 

Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior. They include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. 

Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful thinking or behavior. They include avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Sam Smith

Sam completed his Bachelors of Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Following his graduation, he worked at the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center studying HIV. Meanwhile, with a microphone in his garage, Sam founded the MCAT Basics podcast. The podcast has grown to become the top rated MCAT podcast on iTunes. In addition to podcasting, Sam enjoys the outdoors, sports, and his friends and family.

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