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8-1 Discussion: Conclusion Ideas

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For this discussion, write a brief summary of your ideas for the conclusion of the final project. Discuss what you have learned that will be applied to your final submission. Include questions for your peers or areas where feedback would be appreciated.

In your two peer responses, provide some helpful suggestions to the other students so that you learn from each other. Be thoughtful by providing helpful suggestions or ideas that may enhance their conclusions.

  • Are there additional ideas that the students may be missing?
  • Do you have additional ideas or research that you think would strengthen the conclusions?

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

PLEASE USE MY SELECTED THEORIST IS Martin Seligman: Positive Psychology and Learned Helplessness!



I focused on Otto Kernberg’s model of personality organization. Kernberg is a psychoanalyst who has spent his career studying psychopathology development and treatment. His theory on personality organization was heavily influenced by object relations theorists such as Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler, and Edith Jacobson. There are also undertones of Freud’s dual drives theory found in Kernberg’s theory and many of Kernberg’s ideas came from Freud’s findings.

In short, Kernberg believed that personality develops out of an integration between the good and bad self-representations and the good and bad object-representations. From infancy, a child sees his caretaker as a part of himself and will internalize all the good aspects as one reflection and all the bad aspects as another. As development continues, these “all-good” and “all-bad” representations begin to integrate into one whole image while the child begins to understand that his caretaker is not just an extension of himself, but another person entirely. As long as this process continues uninterrupted, the child will form a healthy identity based on an integrated self-image and object relations. It is when this integration does not occur that pathological personalities develop (Kernberg, 1967; Kernberg, 1970; Kernberg, 2001; Kernberg, 2009; Russell, 1985; Schmidt, 2019).

Kernberg proposed that there were three personality organization: neurotic, borderline, and psychotic. Each organization was marked with different characteristics. For the majority of his career, Kernberg focused on the borderline personality organization, which he stated included such disorders as borderline personality disorder, antisocial disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. These conditions were characterized by identity diffusion and the utilization of primitive defense or coping mechanisms, such as splitting. From this, he developed a treatment technique known as transference-focused psychotherapy to help guide the patient through successful identity integration (Kernberg, 1970; Russell, 1985; Schmidt, 2019).

Critics have argued that Kernberg’s theory is problematic as the foundation of it is weak and contradictory (Christopher, Bickhard, & Lambeth, 2001). Despite this, Kernberg’s model of personality organization has been used worldwide to study a number of social issues and to understand the correlation between a multitude of behaviors and the personality disorders that are frequently associated with them. Intimate partner violence is one social issue that has been examined through the framework of Kernberg’s theory (Beasley & Stoltenberg, 1992; Black et al., 2007; Dutton, 1984). It has also been used to examine the personality characteristics of adolescent sex offenders (Gamache, Diguer, Laverdiere, & Rousseau, 2012). Additionally, Kernberg’s theory was used in the development of the Inventory of Personality Organization, which has been translated into multiple languages and used as a measure of personality throughout the world with promising results (Barreto, Matias, Carvalho, & Matos, 2017; Berghuis, Kamphuis, Boedijn, & Verheul, 2009; Lenzenweger, Clarkin, Kernberg, & Foelsch, 2001). Finally, transference-focused psychotherapy in treating those with borderline personality organization disorders has proved successful with much better outcomes compared to other therapy methods (Clarkin, Levy, Lenzenweger, & Kernberg, 2004; Clarkin, Levy, Lenzenweger, & Kernberg, 2007). Regardless of the challenges and criticism of Kernberg’s theory, it has remained a useful and relevant method of assessing and treating personality disorders and understanding personality’s role in a number of contemporary social issues.


Barreto, J. F., Matias, M., Carvalho, H. M., & Matos, P. M. (2017). Uncovering personality structure with the Inventory of Personality Organization: an exploration of factor structure with a Portuguese sample. European Review of Applied Psychology, 67(5), 247-257. doi:10.1016/j.erap.2017.08.001

Beasley, R. & Stoltenberg, C. D. (1992). Personality characteristics of male spouse abusers. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 23(4), 310-317. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.23.4.310

Berghuis, H., Kamphuis, J. H., Boedijn, G., & Verheul, R. (2009). Psychometric properties and validity of the Dutch Inventory of Personality Organization (IPO-NL). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 73(1), 44-60. doi:10.1521/bumc.2009.73.1.44

Black, D. W., Gunter, T., Allen, J., Blum, N., Arndt, S., Wenman, G., & Sieleni, B. (2007). Borderline personality disorder in male and female offenders newly committed to prison. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 48(5), 400-405. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2007.04.006

Christopher, J. C., Bickhard, M. H., & Lambeth, G. S. (2001). Otto Kernberg’s object relations theory: a metapsychological critique. Theory and Psychology, 11(5), 687-711. doi:10.1177/0959354301115006

Clarkin, J. F., Levy, K. N., Lenzenweger, M. F., & Kernberg, O. F. (2004). The personality disorders institute/borderline personality research foundation randomized trial for borderline personality disorder: rationale, methods, and patient characteristics. Journal of Personality Disorders, 18(1), 52-72. doi:10.1521/pedi.

Clarkin, J. F., Levy, K. N., Lenzenweger, M. F., & Kernberg, O. F. (2007). Evaluating three treatments for borderline personality disorder: a multiwave study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(6), 922-928. doi:10.1176/ajp.164.6.922

Dutton, D. G. (1994). The origin and the structure of the abusive personality. Journal of

Personality Disorders, 8(3), 181-191. doi:10.1521/pedi.1994.8.3.181

Gamache, D., Diguer, L., Laverdiere, O., & Rousseau, J. P. (2012). Development of an object relation-based typology of sex offenders. Bulletin of Menninger Clinic, 76(40, 329-364. doi:10.1521/bumc.2012.76.4.329

Kernberg, O. (1967). Borderline personality organization. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15(3), 641-685. doi:10.1177/000306516701500309

Kernberg, O. F. (1970). Factors in the psychoanalytic treatment of narcissistic personalities. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 18(1), 51-85. doi:10.1177/000306517001800103

Kernberg, O. F. (2001). Object relations, affects, and drives: toward a new synthesis. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 21(5), 604-619. doi:10.1080/07351692109348963

Kernberg, O. (2009). The concept of the death drive: a clinical perspective. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 90(5), 1009-1023. doi:10.1111/j.1745-8315.2009.00187.x

Lenzenweger, M. F., Clarkin, J. F., Kernberg, O. F., Foelsch, P. A. (2001). The Inventory of Personality Organization: psychometric properties, factorial composition, and criterion relations with affect, aggressive dyscontrol, psychosis proneness, and self-domains in a nonclinical sample. Psychological Assessment, 13(4), 577-591. doi:10.103///1040-3590.13.4.577

Russell, G. A. (1985). Narcissism and the narcissistic personality disorder: a comparison of the theories of Kernberg and Kohut. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 58(2), 137-148. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8341.1985.tb02626.x

Schmidt, A. (2019). Comparison of Kernberg’s and Kohut’s theory of narcissistic personality disorder. Turkish Journal of Psychiatry, 30(X), 1-5. doi:10.5080/u23484


This has been one of the best courses that I have taken. I have learned so much. Ok, we all know that Freud started it all but I didn’t realized how many Neo-Freudians followed like Alfred Alder, Carl Jung and Erik Erikson, just to name a few.

According to Abramson (2016) Adler’s theory was more cognitive. He found that men and women are thinking, knowing, understanding and creative creatures. He found that conflicts exist only between people and reality, and most often, social reality (Abramson, 2016). Jung was as Freud declared him, his “crown prince” (Funder, 2016). Jung was more interested in mystical and spiritual matters which irritated Freud because he himself was an atheist. Either way both of them left their mark on psychology. Both and Jung’s theories had an impact on our perceptions of the human mind. Erikson was probably one of the most influential theories because his stages highlights psychosocial development that expands throughout the course of life. Each stage manifested in the interplay between social actualities and the balance for which the individual strives (Batra, 2013). His theories are widely used today especially in preschool when children begin to find independence from their parents.

The highly respected Five Factor model (also called the Big Five) is a self-report test that measures personality traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism (Funder, 2016). It is an important predictor of an individual’s mental and physical health, well-being, education, work and relationships. The Big Five personality test helps you describe personality differences and is used in many professional settings. Although personality is generally stable, it can be influenced by the environment. Personality causes behaviors to happen. You react to the people and objects in your environment based on your personality. From your personal preferences to your choice of a career, every aspect of your life is affected by your personality. Personality makes us who were are.

For my final project I chose Julian B. Rotter and his social learning theory including locus of control. I never heard of Rotter or his theories so this was of interest to me. Rotter believed that behavior is a product of the interaction between environmental forces and personal forces. His theory of learning process proposes that new behaviors can be acquired by observing and imitating others. Locus of control is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives (Funder, 2016). Locus of control influences not only how you respond to the events that happen in your life, but also your motivation to take action. Mischel/Shoda’s CAPS theory was one of my favorite theories because they believed that the most important aspect of personality and cognition is the interaction. This theory in which the IF is a situation or set of triggering cues, including the actual physical settings as the psychological situation (as the person assigns it to the physical situation) and the THEN is the response (both psychological)(Huprich & Nelson, 2015). Michel emphasized the importance of physical, social and environment forces in shaping behavior.

This is just a quick overview. If anyone has suggestions that I can add to my paper, please let me know. All questions, suggestions and responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Abramson, Z. (2016). Freud and Adler: Differences. The Journal of Individual Psychology. Vol 72(2). Sum 2016, 140-147. University of Texas Press. Retrieved from http://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1353/jip.2016.0011.

Batra, S. (2013). The psychosocial development of children: Implications for education and society—Erik Erikson in context. Contemporary Education Dialogue. Vol 10(2), p 249-278. doi: 10.1177/0973184913484014.

Funder, D.C. (2016). The personality puzzle (7th edition). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

Huprich, S.K. & Nelson, S.M. (2015). Advancing the assessment of personality pathology with the cognitive-affective processing system. Journal of Personality Assessment, 97(5), 467-477. doi:10.1080/00223891.2015.1058806.