Psychology

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Select one theory of personality and use this theory to tell Michael how this theory explains his or her situation.

Here is the case study: Michael is a 40-year-old airline pilot who has recently begun to experience chest pains. The chest pains began when Michael signed his final divorce papers, ending his 15-year marriage. He fought for joint custody of his two children, ages 12 and 10, but although he wants to be with them more frequently, he only sees them every two weeks. This schedule is, in great part, a result of his employer's announcement that budget constraints would result in layoffs. Michael worries that without his job he will be unable to support his children and lose the new townhouse that he purchased. Michael's chest pains are becoming more frequent and he fears that he may be dying.


I first thought of learning theory because Michael can learn from the actions of behavior during his marriage to help change the course of future relationship problems. However, now I am second guessing myself and think of the Sociocultural Perspective because Michael might be considered a Collectivist.

I have read and read my textbooks, but I really do not understand each personality theory. Can someone please point me in the right direction and help put the theories in a more layman's term for me? Thanks!!!

  • Psychology -

    I am reminded of the difference between a medical doctor and a psychologist: The medical doctor will run tests to try to determine the source of the chest pains first, but the psychologist will explain it with a theory of the psyche.
    Think on this:
    What is Michael attached to..connected to...does he have connections to things other than his family, or has he lost all?
    Is he sleeping at night? Is he experiencing symptoms of depression? Does he have a past history of depression?
    The answers to those question may implicate something specific.
    Thence, to personality theory. I would focus on Rollo May.
    http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/may.html

  • Psychology -

    You might want to try the personality theory of Erik Erikson. With threats of not meeting several goals at his stages of development, he may be experiencing panic attacks. Of course, physical causes need to be ruled out.

    I hope this helps a little more. Thanks for asking.

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