Chapter 14: Personality
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Date Created: 04/17/16
Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts Chapter 14: Personality History of Personality Personality – individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting that persists over time and across situations Sigmund Freud was a Vienna physician who questioned if physical symptoms could be caused purely by psychological factors Psychodynamic Theory – view personality with a focus on the unconscious and the importance of childhood experiences Psychoanalysis – the theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions (Freud) Freud’s View of the Unconscious Mind Unconscious – reservoir of mainly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories (Freud) o Today, unconscious is known as information processing we are unaware of Free Association – in psychoanalyses, it is a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind no matter how trivia or embarrassing The mind is mostly hidden as thoughts are repressed o We repress memories we don’t wish to acknowledge that influence us greatly Freud’s View of Personality Human personality arises from conflicts between impulse and restraint Id – the reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives o Operates on pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification Ego – largely conscious, executive part of personality that mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality o Operates on reality principle satisfying the id’s desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain Superego – part of personality that represents internalized ideals and provides standards for judgment (the conscience) and for future aspirations o Acts as a moral compass Freud’s Developmental Stages Psychosexual Stages – childhood stages of development during which the id’s pleasure seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones (sensitive areas of the body) Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts o Oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital stages Oedipus Complex – according to Freud, a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father o To fix this, a boy begins to identify with his father o Electra Complex for girls Stage Focus Oral (018 months) Pleasure centers are on the mouth (sucking, biting, chewing) Anal (1836 months) Bowel and bladder elimination, coping with demands for control Phallic (36 years) Genitals, coping with incestuous sexual feelings Latency (6puberty) Phase of dominant sexual feelings Genital (after puberty) Maturation of sexual interests Identification – process by which children incorporate their parents’ values into their developing superegos Fixation – lingering focus of pleasureseeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage in which conflicts were unresolved Freud’s Defense Mechanisms Defense Mechanisms – psychoanalytic theory that the ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality o The ego represses anxiety concerning unacceptable impulses o All defense mechanisms function indirectly and unconsciously Repression – basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories o Freud tried to get unconscious themes projected into conscious through free association and dream analysis o Influences all other defense mechanisms Defense Mechanism Unconscious Process Example Regression Retreat to infantile sex stage Little boy reverts to thumb where some psychic energy sucking on his first day of remains fixated school Reaction Formation Switch unacceptable impulses Regress angry feelings by to opposites displaying exaggerated friendliness Projection Disguising threatening Thief thinks everyone else is impulses by attributing them a thief to others Rationalization Offering selfjustifying Habitual drinker says she explanations in place of the drinks with her friends just to Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts real, more threatening, be sociable unconscious reasons for one’s actions Displacement Shifting sexual or aggressive A little girl kicks the family impulses toward a more dog after her mom sends her acceptable/ less threatening to her room object or person Denial Refusing to believe painful Partner denies evidence of his realities loved one’s affair Freud’s Ideas and His Followers NeoFreudians broke off from Freud in two distinct ways o Placed more emphasis on the conscious mind o Doubted that sex and aggression were allconsuming motivations Collective Unconscious – shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species’ history (Carl Jung) o Archetypes Projective Tests Projective Tests – personality tests that provide ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger protection of one’s inner dynamics o Reveal the inner workings of the mind o Rorschach Test Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) – projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes (Murray) o Can be used to assess achievement motivation Rorschach Inkblot Test – most widely used projective test, a set of 10 inkblots, seeks to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots (Hermann Rorschach) o Results do not link well to traits (validity) and different raters get different results (reliability) Contemporary Psychologists on Freud Development is lifelong and not fixed in childhood Freud underestimated peer influence o Dreams/Freudian slips do not reveal unconscious wishes Suppressed sexuality does not cause disorders psychologically o There are few testable hypotheses for this Freud fails to predict behavior and traits Repression is a rare mental response to trauma Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts o High stress and the associated hormones enhance memory Modern Research on the Unconscious The unconscious involves o Schemas that control perceptions and interpretations o Priming by stimuli o Right hemisphere activity in split brain patients o Implicit memories o Emotions o Stereotypes TerrorManagement Theory – the theory of deathrelated anxiety that explores people’s emotional and behavioral responses to reminders of their impending death Humanistic Psychology on Personality Humanistic Theories – view personality with a focus on the potential for healthy and personal growth o Study healthy people through selfreported experiences and feelings o First there was Freud, then Behaviorism, then Humanism Maslow’s hierarchy of needs o Seek selfactualization – the ultimate psychological needs that arise after basic physical and psychological needs are met and selfesteem is achieved or the motivation to fulfill one’s potential Carl Roger’s personcentered perspective o Growth promoting environment requires three conditions Genuineness Acceptance or unconditional positive regard toward another Empathy o SelfConcept – all thoughts and feelings about ourselves Who am I? If selfconcept is positive, one perceives the world positively Humanistic Psychology’s Sense of Self Study people by asking them to fill out questionnaires to evaluate selfconcept o When ideal and actual self are noted as similar, selfconcept is positive Interviews and intimate conversation provide understanding of unique experiences Influences and Criticisms of Humanistic Psychology Humanistic psychology influences popular psychology Criticisms o Concepts are vague and subjective o Emphasis on individualism could lead to selfindulgence, selfishness, and less moral restraint Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts Humanistic psychologists believe you must first love yourself to love someone else o Naïve and fails to understand human capacity for evil Rogers saw evil as a phenomenon and not as a trait Traits Trait – a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by selfreport inventories and peer reports o Trait Theory of Personality – traits can be measured and differ from person to person More concerned with describing traits than explaining them MyersBriggs Type Indicator – identify statistically correlate clusters of behavior o Many traits are a function of two dimensions Factor Analysis – tap components of intelligence Brainimaging procedures Personality Inventories Personality Inventories – questionnaire in which people respond to items that gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors to assess selected personality traits Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) – most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests o Originally developed to identify emotional disorders but now used for many other screening purposes o Empirically Derived – test developed by testing a pool of items then selecting those that discriminate between groups Traits and Personality Variation How stable are traits? o Personality develops until it is stable in adulthood o Neuroticism (emotional instability) decreases with age and conscientiousness increases o Varies in situations and the average behavior across many situations mostly describes you We change interests in different situations How heritable are traits? o About 50% o Animals can have traits Do these traits reflect differing brain structures? o Brain regions correlate to traits o Extraversion and shyness are correlated to the autonomic nervous system’s reactivity which is easily triggered o Extraverts seek stimulation because their brain arousal is low Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts Have these traits changed over time? o Culture shifts influence personality shifts How well do these traits apply to various cultures? o Features of personality are common to all humans Do the big five traits predict our actual behaviors? o Conscientiousness, consciousness, neuroticism, openness, extraversion o Yes o Conscientiousness leads to good grades and healthy behaviors, extraversion leads to being social, happiness leads to low neuroticism, high extraversion, agreeableness and satisfaction Personality Across Time and Situation There is stability in personality Traits are stable, behavior changes Traits that continue o Music preferences o Bedrooms and office organization o Online spaces o Written communications SocialCognitive Theory SocialCognitive Perspective – views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people’s traits (including their thinking) and their social context (Albert Bandura) o Personality is an interaction of traits (thinking) and social contexts (observation) Focus on how we and the environment interact Reciprocal Determinism – interacting influences of behavior, internal cognition, and environment o Back and forth influences with no primary causes Interactions of individuals and the environment 1. Different people choose different environments 2. Our personalities shape how we interpret and react to events 3. Our personalities help create situations to which we react Behavior emerges from the interplay of external and internal influences Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts Biological Influences Psychological Influences Genetically determined Learned responses temperament Unconscious thought Autonomic nervous system processes Brain activity Expectations and interpretations Personality SocialCultural Influences Childhood experiences Influence of situation Cultural expectations Social support Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts Criticisms of SocialCognitive Theories Person’s past behavior patterns in similar situations Fails to appreciate inner traits Biology matters Theory People Assumptions View Assessment Psychoanalytic Freud Unconscious Id, ego, superego Free association, leads to projective tests, disorders, dream analysis defense mechanisms Psychodynamic Adler, Horney, Unconscious Interplay of Projective tests Jung and conscious, conscious and and therapy childhood, unconscious defense mechanisms Humanistic Rogers, Healthy people Basic human Questionnaires Maslow strive for self needs lead to self and therapy realization actualization Trait Allport, Stable Big Five – Personality Eysenck, Costa, characteristics Conscientiousness inventories McCrae due to genes , consciousness, neuroticism, openness, extraversion SocialCognitive Bandura Traits and Conditioning and Past behaviors society observational learning The Self Self – in contemporary psychology, the center of personality, organizer of thoughts, feelings, and actions Spotlight Effect – overestimating others’ noticing and evaluating of our appearances, performances, and blunders SelfEsteem – feelings of high or low selfworth SelfEfficacy – sense of competence or effectiveness o People who are down on themselves tend to be down on others Success requires optimism o Excessive optimism can blind us to real risks Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts o People are most overconfident when incompetent SelfServing Bias – readiness to perceive oneself favorably o People accept more responsibility for good deeds and successes than bad ones or failures o Most people see themselves as better than average o Less found in Asia and modest countries Inflate confidence in judgments and believe more flattering descriptions of ourselves Overestimate how desirable we would act Make better contributions to our group Group pride Narcissism – excessive selflove and selfabsorption
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