Essay on Henry A. Murray: Personology

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Henry A. Murray: Personology

     Personology is the science of people. It is used to interpret and organize the lives of humans. The central ideas of the science must be to “understanding of what we mean by the concept “person,” and for development of methods of understanding the lives of persons as the “long unit for psychology”” (Barresi & Juckes 1988 pg 1). It is important to take accounts when studying personology from first person perspective instead of a third person perspective. Henry A. Murray believed that personality psychology had to deal with the life course of person and came up with the word “personology” (Barresi & Juckes 1988). He developed the phrase because he felt that personality
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The test calls for the participant to look at a series of pictures involving one or more humans in ambiguous scenes and create a narrative in response to the picture. The test giver then has to use the narratives and identify what the central motivation is behind them which are usually outside the participant’s consciousness. Murray was so interested in a student from Harvard University that took his TAT test. He did a whole case study about it. The student was much like Murray in that he was making terrible grades. Murray looked at the stories that Grope gave in response to the pictures and realized that Grope’s personality outclassed everyone else’s because of his dream of power, fame, and glory. Murray believed that because of his outlandish view of a successful future is linked to a fear of failure. Murray found from Grope’s autobiography that a rejecting mother and ambitious parents who praised him for his early displays of success were very important things in Grope’s background. Grope perceived his current failure at Harvard as temporary and all he needed was fire (internal or external) to get him started. After Harvard, Grope entered into Summer Theater. Murray believed that it suited his desire to have attention and admiration from everyone. Murray’s was very interested in the life of Herman Melville. Murray and Melville strongly identified with each others experiences. Murray never completed
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