Introduction to Psychology Instructor: Cassandra Jell February 17, 2014 There are not many things that we consider stable in our lives and many things that are not. What we might not think about, is how our personality and intelligence remain stable throughout our lives, perhaps that is because it does not. As we age many things change including, our bodies, minds, and personality. There is a debate whether or not our personality and our intelligence change as we age.
This paper ill discuss how our personalities and intelligence are not stable and change as we age just like our image does. It seems like it would be obvious that everything pertaining to our human selves changes as we get older. This might be easy to prove with how we look and with most of how our body functions, however, is our Intelligence and personality set in stone at an early age or does it change like the rest of us? Many psychologists have provided research that gives answers In both directions; Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung are two psychologists that share opposing views on this topic.
Sigmund Freud is known for his belief that our personalities age through stages and “that barring long-term psychotherapy, was highly resistant to change” (Christensen, 2011, Para. 1). Had a child experienced a severe trauma at a young age that child might develop differently than other children his age. Later In life that child could overcome the trauma and truly learn who they are, ultimately changing their personality. Can we really It really be set In stone that we are who we are going to be by the time we reach the last stage of Fraud’s theory?
Perhaps he Is right on some aspects but now we will look at Junk’s perspective. Carl Jung was one of Fraud’s followers, but not necessarily because he agreed with Freud. Jung takes into account the environmental and biological, and even spiritual issues that can affect our personality. As we age we experience many things, many things that we each of these experiences is completely unknown. Jung says that “as people age, feelings and intuitions come to dominate thoughts and sensations” (Christensen, 2001, Para. 3), this can have a great impact on our personality, especially as we near death.
It is possible that personality in later life becomes more stable and in turn can have an impact on our intelligence as well? As we age we tend to become more comfortable with who we are our political views, personal style, religion, etc. This could also mean that our personalities might be more stable as well. What does this do to our intelligence though? As we age so many things change within society, new technology, historical discoveries, etc. How is it possible for our intelligence to remain stable into old age?
There were not many studies that were able to show whether intelligence is able to truly remain stable throughout life. According to Dreary, Yang, Davies (2012) “general cognitive ability (general intelligence)… Wows consistent and strong associations with important life outcomes such as educational and occupational success, social mobility, health, illness and survival”. As stated by Dreary, Yang, Davies (2012) one reason why studies are uninformative is due to fact that studies are performed mostly in old age, even thought cognitive ageing begins in young adulthood.
From the moment we are conceived the stability of our intelligence has already been determined by our genetics. According to Nazi (2012), genes may partly explain why some people’s brains age better than others. ” The study that Nazi 2012) is referring to does not completely excuse that intelligence does not change due to the fact that “environmental factors likely play a greater role over a lifetime. ” Since this study indicates that our intelligence is passed down to us then there is no reason why it the chance of having a “bad mind” or bad mental aging cannot be reversed by other life choices.
This brings me to the thought that perhaps our intelligence does not remain stable because our wisdom does not. In my opinion the two are different, intelligence is something that we inherit (but can be changed) while wisdom comes from what we experience in life. I believe that they feed off of each other which is why our intelligence does not remain stable, until the moment we die we experience different things, feeding our wisdom and our intelligence. We have a link between intelligence and wisdom, but we also have to see how intelligence and personality go hand in hand.
In order to fully understand this topic we have to take into consideration outside influences like motivation theories and personality theories. The understanding of biological approaches and Mascots Hierarchy allows us to see how personality and intelligence cannot remain stable as we age. It also shows how personality and intelligence are connected and how easily one can affect the other. The biological approach theory reflects how our personality is linked to our genes and neurological aspects.
As humans we can fall into many different personality categories throughout our life even some believe we are born with the personality that we will always have. Hans Essence is one of those people. He states that “we inherit greater or lesser tendencies toward introversion-extroversion, neurotics-stability, or psychotics-self-control. These tendencies are evident in he functioning of our nervous systems. In turn, the tendencies give rise to behavioral predispositions, labeled traits.
The traits themselves are translated into patterns of responding that we label habits. Specific habits manifest themselves in our actual what Neck mentions and is socially more outgoing perhaps they are more likely to be in study groups with people, therefore having an impact on their intelligence. Perhaps this type of person tends to concentrate more on their social skills, going to parties and such, ignoring their academic needs, this can again having an impact on their intelligence. The same can be said for somebody who has a more shy personality and is less social.
This could prevent them from Joining study groups or it could help them by keeping them less distracted by social “norms” that would hurt them in their studies. Either way each example could have an impact on their intelligence. Mascots Hierarchy helps shine light on how personality is reflected by basic needs through things like self-esteem and belongingness. Our intelligence is reflected through the methane’s cognitive abilities and self-actualization. As Liberation (2011) states, “According to Moscow, needs are hierarchically arranged. What this means is that lower-level needs must be satisfied before other needs are attended to. In other words this further shows a connection between personality and intelligence. In order for intelligence to be fully satisfied the items in Mascots hierarchy that can affect our personality need to be satisfied first. Personality falls in the basic needs or deficiency needs. Graham and Lachrymal (2012) state that a stable personality can be a major asset to cognitive function. The needs of a personality are going to change throughout life, getting married, having kids, or losing loved ones can al affect our personality, causing our basic needs to be unsatisfied.
These are Just some ways that personality and intelligence can be affected by one another. Now we will look at how studies have shown that stable personalities can have a positive impact on our intelligence. What if our personality were to remain stable throughout most of our life only changing later in life? What kind of an impact could this have on our intelligence? According to Graham and Lachrymal (2012) “personality may serve as a protective resource or a source of vulnerability when it comes to changes in cognitive performance.
This is a fascinating thought, because how is one to know if they have a “protective” or “vulnerable” personality. There is so much left unknown in the research of personality and intelligence due to the inability to study them over long periods of time and the wide array of variables that could be influential. It shows that there needs to be more involved and lengthy studies performed. While these studies would be time consuming and very lengthy it would be important. One study that needs to be done more in depth is that of the connection between personality and intelligence.
As Graham and Lachrymal (2012) suggest, “it could provide valuable information for tailoring interventions to individual differences in personality, especially for those who are experiencing personality changes later in life”. There is absolution in determining if personality and intelligence can truly remain stable through adulthood and into old age or how they can affect each other. When we take into consideration the numerous amounts of research and studies along with the opinions of psychologists like Freud and Jung, and theories like the biological approach and Mascots hierarchy more questions seem to arise.