Jung’s Theory of PersonalityJune 26, 2021
Working with Freud, Jung created his own theory of personality by adding different interpretations to his principles.
According to Jung, the unconscious is a source of life for the ego. Unlike Freud, Jung examines the ego in two areas, the personal unconscious and the collective (collective) unconscious. In the individual’s personal unconscious, there are suppressed or forgotten feelings and thoughts. These situations reach the level of consciousness when triggered by an event or any other experience.
In the collective unconscious, there are common thought and behavior patterns formed from the past experiences and shared memories of human beings. These mental representations and ways of thinking are called archetypes by Jung. Archetypes are common thought and behavior patterns that are formed from the experiences and shared memories of human beings reflecting their past lives outside of the common consciousness. For example, the mother archetype for an image of motherhood that all individuals have, a god archetype, or a tribal chief from history, a heroic archetype can be given as an example to this situation.
When a child is born, he has no difficulty in recognizing his mother, connecting with her, or accepting the concept of god as he grows up. It can be seen that there are similar narratives in different cultures today, where stories and legends are somewhat similar to each other. All of these are thoughts and images that are difficult to bring to the level of consciousness called the collective unconscious, left from our ancestors. For this reason, Eastern philosophy and mythology are frequently mentioned in Jung’s theory.
In addition, there are certain archetypes as personality determinants. One of the most important of these is the mask (persona) archetype, which the individual reflects outward and is known to other people, but actually hides the individual’s inner self. The excess of differences between the personality traits that the individual reflects and the traits he masks can be the cause of personality disorder in the individual. The archetypes seen in male and female personality are called anima and animus. According to Jung, who emphasized that there is a female aspect in every man and a masculine aspect in a woman, the female archetype that explains the more sensitive and supportive behaviors in men is the anima, and the archetype that reveals the aggressive behavior in the female personality structure is the anus.
Individuals use these archetypes in mate search by reflecting the anima and animus on their ideal mate expectations. The spouses chosen in some way are the reflection of the anima and animus archetypes in the subconscious. Jung divides individuals into introversion and extroversion in terms of the area of interest. According to Jung, there are introverted and extroverted traits in every personality structure. In real life, there are mixed situations of these two dimensions in individuals, but in general, it is seen that one type is more dominant in the person.
People in this group who have problems in terms of introvert type, shutting down to their own world, taking care of themselves, sociability and self-confidence are described as introverted. His relationship with the objects around him is difficult and negative. It is difficult for them to adapt to their environment. They have difficulties in adopting social rules and values. The extroverted type is easy and harmonious to connect with those around him. They have no problem participating in social environments. These types of people value those around them and adjust their actions according to others. The world outside of himself is interesting to him and he has no problem adapting to the rules and values of the environment he lives in.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook