PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Pride Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance

Idols of the Types




Personality Type




Obsessive-Compulsive Conscientious achievement lack of achievement
Avoidant Sensitive acceptance rejection
Paranoid Vigilant autonomy being subordinated
Histrionic Dramatic attention being ignored
Sadistic Aggressive dominance submission
Schizotypal Idiosyncratic non-conformity conformity
Compensatory Narcissistic Inventive recognition obscurity
Schizoid Solitary solitude intimacy
Passive-Aggressive Leisurely freedom to do as one pleases compulsory activity
Depressive Serious duties and responsibilities not having duties and responsibilities
Masochistic Self-Sacrificing being needed being unappreciated
Dependent Devoted being taken care of having to act independently
Narcissistic Self-Confident being special being ordinary
Antisocial Adventurous excitement boredom
Borderline Mercurial relationship being alone
Cyclothymic Exuberant creativity being unable to create

On Idols

An idealized image of oneself is a cognitive idol, and a compulsive attachment is a behavioral idol.

The idealized image, or ego ideal, is an idol of the imagination (Griswold). It results, I think, mostly from the idealization of one's temperament. Karen Horney (pg. 277) says that "the idealized image is chiefly a glorification of the needs which have developed." This idealization also produces "conditions of worth" (e.g., the Conscientious 'Virtues') by which we try to justify and legitimize ourselves. Quoting Browning, Cooper (pg. 104) explains that this represents "the self's efforts 'to render itself worthy and acceptable. It is precisely the character of the incongruent person to believe that his existence is justified only under certain conditions. . . . This attempt to justify oneself through one's conditions of worth is always a matter of absolutizing something finite and relative'. This absolutizing of a particular condition of worth invariably becomes idolatrous. It is the god by which we seek justification."

"Concupiscence . . . refers to the spiritual condition behind compulsive attachments. As desire-out-of-control, it invariably leads to idolatry, the making of a limited, finite good into a god" (Cooper, pg. 64).

In Sin, Pride, and Self-Acceptance, Terry D. Cooper has shown idolatry to be the central theme of human nature.

"Particular addictions, then, or what Augustine calls actual sins, stem from a much larger problem of compulsivity and addictiveness. The human condition of addictiveness, reminiscent of original sin, is inevitable and inescapable. Pelagian efforts at preventative mental health education may be helpful, but we're probably not going to change the central theme of human nature: we are idolaters who invariably get our priorities mixed up, attend to inferior things, turn away from love, and get attached to something that we hope will rid us of our anxieties" (pg. 70).

So, idolatry operates within each type as it does, for example, in the obsessive-compulsive type: compulsive attachments and aversions generate an idealized image, "conditions of worth", and beliefs and attitudes.

For another example, see Schizoid Strategy.

The Search for Glory

Don S. Browning (1966). Atonement and Psychotherapy. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. < >

Terry D. Cooper (2003). Sin, Pride, and Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology and Psychology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Karen Horney (1950). Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton.

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