Angyals Personality Theory

The Hungarian-American personality psychologist Andras Angyal (1902-1960) developed a theory of personality in which he describes two basic types of motivational processes in humans: striving toward love ("hom-onomy") and striving toward mastery ("autonomy"). Angyal conceived of personality as an interdependent system where tensions arise between the person and the environment and is controlled by both homonomy and autonomy processes. In Angyal's formulation, the connection between the parts of the system are subordinate to the overall whole where, for example, neurosis is one system, and overall health is another system. Also, when the systems (through "system analysis") become disturbed or disrupted, the process of therapy is indicated and refers to the restoration of the health system to its normally dominant role. In its dynamics, Angyal's personality theory may be characterized as organismic or holistic (cf., C. Bernard; M. Wertheimer; J. R. Kantor; J. Smuts; G. Coghill; K. Goldstein; and G. Murphy). In the genesis of his theory, Angyal em phasized the need for a new science that is not primarily psychological, physiological, or sociological in character but that viewed the person as an integrated whole entity. Angyal (unlike K. Goldstein) insisted that it is impossible to differentiate the organism from the environment because they interpenetrate one another in such a complex fashion that any attempt to distinguish them would be artificial and tend to destroy the natural unity of the whole (Angyal coined the term biospheric to indicate the holistic relationship between one individual and the environment). Angyal's personality theory has not had a significant impact on academic psychology, perhaps because it was developed predominantly within a clinical, or nonacademic, context. See also GOLDSTEIN'S ORGANISMIC THEORY; MURPHY'S BIOSOCIAL THEORY. REFERENCES

Bernard, C. (1866/1957). An introduction to the study of experimental medicine. New York: Dover. Wertheimer, M. (1923). Untersuchungen zur lehre von der gestalt. Psychologische Forschung, 4, 301-350. Smuts, J. (1926). Holism and evolution. New

York: Macmillan. Coghill, G. (1929). Anatomy and the problem of behavior. London: Cambridge University Press. Kantor, J. R. (1933). A survey of the science of psychology. Bloomington, IN: Principia Press.

Angyal, A. (1941). Foundations for a science of personality. New York: Commonwealth Foundation. Angyal, A. (1951). A theoretical model for personality studies. Journal of Personality, 20, 131-142. Angyal, A. (1965). Neurosis and treatment: A holistic theory. New York: Wiley.

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