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Psychology personality theories is outdated

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,779 times Debate No: 48001
Debate Rounds (5)
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This will be a interesting topic ,
im all out to proof that Psychology personality theories is outdated, start firing your argument .


Is there a specific theory you want to discuss? I will go throw most of the theories that I know and that will take forever. Most people use Freud as an argument that theories are out dated but vary few experts us Freud's theory. It is however a basis for some other theories. What I mean it that research's took Freud's theory and changed it t make it more applicable.

The most common theory used in developmental psychology is probably Maslow's Hierarchy. This is a time tested and proven theory.

So I will refine my argument's more once you have decided which theory you want to argue.
Debate Round No. 1


This argument will be based on all Psychology personality theories, be it Maslow's hierarchy theory of need, big 5 personality traits, sigmund freud theory of personality or so.. , the argument are ,is psychology personality theories is outdated?

Psychology personality theories is outdated. compare to 1954 to 2014, we see some change in human mind set , living environment , the way we think, feel are changed . Psychology personality theories is linked to how human think, feel , and our environment .so how could it still be the same? Psychology personality theories is all about human personality.

we saw that
women began joining the workforce in large numbers.
telephone communications improved dramatically.
the divorce rate rose and remained high.
Air conditioning & the portable air conditioner became commonplace
people now able to access information instantly without needing to visit a library
medical & dental technology have advanced
cellular phone and computer made communication instantaneous and easy

i could list a few hundreds more.

those event will indeed cause new impart to environment , the way we think,
those theories are build from environment , the way we think,
Psychology personality theories is not a fixed subject alike math,its a subject about human and human are changing all the time
Psychology personality theories is totally outdated.


I will cover as many theories as I can then.


My argument is kind of long because in order to see how each theory applies to our lives we must first understand each theory. It is difficult to see how these fundamental theories are out of date.

As many people know Maslow’s Hierarchy is aimed at how a person develops. His theory was published in 1970[1]. It is usually shown as a pyramided (hopefully the image shows if not Google image search Maslow’s Hierarchy). The hierarchy obviously starts at the bottom and works its way up.The bottom level is Physiological Needs. These needs are the basic things that any person needs in order to stay alive such as food, water, air sleep exercise, and shelter[2]. The next level up is safety and security needs. These include things like avoiding harm, maintaining comfort, physical safety, and avoiding fear[3].The third level is love and belonging. These behaviors include giving and receiving affection, building relationships and forming a identification with a group[4].The fourth level is Self-Esteem. In this level the person seeks self-respect and respect from others, works to achieve success and recognition in work, and desire prestige from accomplishments[5].The fifth and final level is Self-Actualization. In this level the person possesses a feeling of self fulfillment and the realization of his or her highest potential[6]. As a person moves up the hierarchy there position is no fixed. They can revert to a lower level on the hierarchy. For example a person who is on the self actualization stage of development may be forced in to a situation where there philological needs are not meant and they will revert back to the first level of development for a while[7].This hierarchy explains a lot of the behavior that takes place in the world. It can explain why people steal things in economic downturns, why some people have no self esteem, any why some people seem not to be able to find love in the world. Technology may allow people to move up and down the hierarchy faster, but everyone still will fall somewhere on the hierarchy.

Psychoanalytic Theory was created by Sigmund Freud in 1961. Freud organized the components of the personality in to three major parts: the id, ego, and superego. The Id is the location of the natural urges[8]. It wants constant pleasure and is present at birth[9]. The id driven behaviors may be impulsive and may be irrational[10]. The ego, also called the rational self or the reality principle, develops between 4-6months[11]. The ego experiences, adapts to and responds to reality[12]. I will come back to the ego in a little bit. The superego is kind of the “goody two shoes” of the brain[13]. It develops between 3-6 years of age and develops from the morals that are imprinted onto a child from the parents[14]. The id and super ego are constantly fighting. The id wants what it wants and wants it now, the super ego tells the id no you can’t have that or no it can’t be now. That is where the ego comes in. The ego tries to satisfy both the id and the super ego at the same time. Technology has no effect on this. The only thing that could change from the introduction of technology is there are new things considered ethical or unethical now than there were in the 60’s.

The third and final theory I will go over now (mainly because I used about half of my character limit and I am tiered of typing) is the theory of psychosocial development. This one is actually one of my favorites because I feel it has the most merit and mainly because of the theorist’s name. Erik Erikson (see what I mean, I want to do something like that to my kid, like name him Michael Michaelson) published his theory in 1963. It states that people go through eight stages of development, and at each stage of development there is a “crisis” or conflict the person faces[15]. I will present the stages in a chart below.





Trust Vs. Mistrust (birth to 18months)

Develop a basic trust in the mothering figure.

Results in self-confidence, faith that needs will be fulfilled, and hope for the future.

Emotional dissatisfaction with self and other, suspiciousness, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships

Autonomy versus shame and doubt (18 months-3years)

Gain some self control and independence in the environment

Results in a sense of self control and ability to delay gratification and a feeling of self-confidence in one’s ability to perform.

Lack of self-confidence, lack of pride in the ability to perform, a sense of being controlled by others, and a rage against self.

Initiative versus guilt (3-6years)

Develop a sense of purpose and the ability to initiate and direct one’s own activities.

Results in the ability to exercise restraint and self control of inappropriate social behaviors

Feelings of inadequacy and a sense of defeat.

Industry versus inferiority (6-12years)

Learning, competing, performing successfully and receiving recognition from significant others. Peers and acquaintances.

Sense of satisfaction and pleasure in the interaction and onvolvement with others

Difficulty in interpersonal relationships because of feelings on personal inadequacy.

Identity versus role confusion (12-20 years)

Integrate the tasks mastered in the previous stages into a sense of self

A sense of confidence emotional stability and a view of the self as a unique individual.

Self-consciousness, doubt and confusion about one’s role in life.

Intimacy versus isolation (20-30)

Form an intense lasting relationship or a commitment to another person, cause, and institution or creative effort.

Capacity for mutual love, respect, and the ability to pledge total commitment to another.

Social isolation and aloneness

Generatively versus stagnation or self absorption (30-65years)

Achieve life goals established for oneself while also considering the welfare of future generations

Sense of gratification from personal and professional achievements, and from meaningful contributions to others

Lack of a concern for the welfare of others and total preoccupation with the self

Ego integrity versus despair (65-death)

Derive a meaning from both positive and negative events while achieving a positive sense of self

Self worth and self acceptance as one reviews life goals accepting that some were achieved and some were not

A sense of self contempt and disgust with how life has progressed

Some experts have thought about adding and changing some of the steps due to the increase in longevity of the older population.

The point I tried to make is that these theories are not out of date and thinking so results from a misunderstanding of these theories. I challenge pro to show and provide evidence on how these theories are out of date. Next argument will be on the othe other theries.

PS. Sorry I am a Nursing student and a Psycology minor so I used books for my sources (well more like book).

[1] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[2] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[3] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[4] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[5] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[6] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[7] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[8] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[9] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[10] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[11] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[12] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[13] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[14] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

[15] Townsend, Mary Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice.

Debate Round No. 2


This is a argument on YOUR point of view, is
psychology personality theories is outdated? you hammer the slot of no.
please be clear on your topic . sit is not for copy and paste
this is not a science class room.

Main point
psychology personality theories is outdated, because of human changed

1)extend from change that we viewed in history from post 1

2)in biology
new risk of degenerative disease and new infectious disease
new Genetic differences across human populations, present and past
Human growth and development are differences

thousand more to list.

3)human biology is linked to our behavior
psychology is about human behavior, its unlike another science , its not a fixed science.


My argument is that if you understand the theories I have explained you would see they are still applicable to modern day life, which is why I tried to explain these three theories. I hope you do not think that I copied and pasted that argument. Anyway, I will break down your arguments.

1) Your historical argument. Yes it there have been many sociological changes and technological changes that have taken place over the years. This does not change the psycology of the mind. For example using Erikson's theory, a person would have gone through all of the stages of development in the 50's that a person would go through today. Air-conditioning, woman working and voting, and technology would not affect them. Not one of the theories I have posted relies on technology or a lack of technology. If you can provide one example how these changes contradict any of these developmental theories I will give up and let you win this argument. (I left divorce out I will come back to it at the end of this argument.)

2) Is there really a new risk or is longevity of people just increasing? Back in the sixties a lot of people did not live until 80+ years old, but now a lot of people do. My own grandparents are 85. But is this a psychological issue or is this a neurochemistry issue? What I mean is is the psychology changing or the chemistry of the older brain changing? Could you provide examples on how older people’s psychology is changing and how this causes the theories to be outdated?

3) You are right Biology is linked to behavior. I encourage you to look at Maslow’s theory which includes biological needs. Erikson even addresses biological needs in his Trust vs. Mistrust crisis stage. I do not think I fully understand this argument.

Now as I said I would I will address divorce. Let me ask you a question; is divorce a psychological issue or a sociological issue? Now the answer could be both. The cause of the divorce could be psychological and then the divorce can lead to sociological implications. Regardless of how you look at it how does the issue of divorce render any of these models out of date? I can see these models predicting divorce. For example, I will use Erikson, if a person fails his Trust vs. mistrust stage, s/he will have problems maintaining relationships and if that person gets marries s/he could possibly end up with a divorce.

From your first argument I believe you have confused the field of psychology with the field of sociology. Sociology is the study of cultures and society. Your arguments would be much more compelling for that argument than this one, unless I am misunderstanding them which is entirely possible.

To sum up this argument I, give me an example or even an expert opinion on how these advancements have rendered these theories out of date.

Debate Round No. 3


let just start by basic Psychological need of Psychology, Air, water, and food are metabolic, we saw proofed changed to date.
do u agree than Psychological change do contributed to psychology change in human?

Main point A.

food supply contributed to psychology personality change.

in Maslow's hierarchy ,erikson's theory stages or another psychology , they commonly agree than Psychological need is the most foundation of psychology, which If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements.

Using the new estimates, there were 1 billion hungry people in 1990-92 and and the world population was 5,370 million (US census estimates for 1991). Thus the proportion was .18 and halving it would be .09. The current proportion (870 million hungry divided by 2013 world population of 7,095) is .123. Thus in 2013, the world is .033 away, or 234 million people, from reaching this target.

Thus, in summary, the world is from 870 million to 234 million people away from reaching a hunger reduction goal, depending on which goal and which estimate is chosen.

sources from


nutrition make a effect on human intelligent.

There a change in human Communication

Internet Affect Human Communication


overall Psychology personality theories is build from human thinking ,feeling ,
we have proofed there is a great change in contribution in our thinking ,feeling.
how will a 1950 human think the same as a 2014 human with that much of change.
all those contribution do reformed the way of thinking.
Fact will not always be the same fact, it will change over time and time.


I am sorry I will not agree to that mainly because what you said makes no sense. Let me try to reword your question and answer it. I think you trying to say is that physiological needs are the foundation of these psychological theories. I will agree to that. I mean Look at Maslow, Erickson and even Freud, they are all based on instinctual urges to stay alive and require those needs to be met in order for the person to develop. (Maslow’s first level in his hierarchy, Erikson in his trust versus mistrust crisis, and Freud the ego would not develop if physiological needs are not met.)

I do not understand your point about hungry people. The number of hungry people has no effect on these theories. On the contrary the theories will predict how these hungry people will develop. Unless you can show me an example on how this disproves any theory.

Human development and human intelligence are two different things. Not one theory I explained incorporated intelligence. Can you show me a way intelligence disproves any of these theories?

What about communication? What does this prove? Do you really think eHow is a reliable source? Who is this Kay Ireland and what credentials does she have that allows her to write on this topic? Assuming your article is accurate it only talks about how people talk on face book and twitter, not how they develop.

When a theory was written does not have any weight on it accuracy. For example not many people go “well the theory of gravity was written in the 1700’s that’s out of date.” Yes, more research has been done on gravity just like there has been a lot of research on theses theories. Another big problem some people have is they do not understand what a theory is. What I mean is that people use the popular definition of theory instead of the scientific definition. The popular definition of theory is an idea or hypothesis. The scientific definition of a theory is A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.

Debate Round No. 4


please get your Psychology theory bush up before you take the sit,
you theory are based on general psychology , and we are talking about Psychology personality theories, etc the Big Five personality traits.

we have seen there a rise number in Mental Disorders.
those rise is contribute by psychological impart ,
military, civil, economic, social and much more changed

again we are arguing in OVERALL change, not SINGLE individual change


My opponent does not even understand the the point he is trying to debate. My opponent wanted to prove that personality theories are out of day, yet he does not have a fundamental understanding of them. I showed how these theories work and how they encompass both the biological aspects of life and the psychological aspects in order to explain personality. He suggested that hunger makes these theories out of date but could not explain how or why. He stated technology outdated these theories but yet again he did not state how or why.
Debate Round No. 5
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