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PSYC222 Psychology of Personality, Week 1 notes

by: Lindsay Kennedy

PSYC222 Psychology of Personality, Week 1 notes Psyc 222 (Psychology of Personality)

Marketplace > College of Charleston > Psychology > Psyc 222 (Psychology of Personality) > PSYC222 Psychology of Personality Week 1 notes
Lindsay Kennedy
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These notes cover Sigmund (and Anna) Freud and their theories on psychoanalytic perspectives, personality types, defense mechanisms, and more!
Psychology of Personality
Dr. Hittner
Class Notes




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindsay Kennedy on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 222 (Psychology of Personality) at College of Charleston taught by Dr. Hittner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Personality in Psychology at College of Charleston.

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Date Created: 09/05/16
Psychology 222 (Personality of Psychology) Psychoanalytic Perspective  Sigmund Freud: He was trained as a neurologist. People, for example: Charcot and Breuer along  with others, got him interested in psychology and personality.  Psychodynamic Personality Theory o Things that aren’t static and fixed. o We are dynamic and adaptive o There’s a psychic energy (life energy) that is flowing around in a dynamic way. It  heads from area to area depending on what you want to focus on.  Libido: life energy, sexual energy. Gives rise to life instinct.  Hope=let libido flow and not focus in on negativity or revenge  Psychanalysis—Psychotherapy   Freud’s Theory of the Mind o Mental Iceberg  Conscious level: thoughts, perceptions, etc.  Preconscious level: memories, stored knowledge, etc.   You aren’t always thinking of it, but if it was brought up you  would be able to easily recall it  Ex: Who is the first president of the United States?  Unconscious level: fears, selfish motives, unaccepted sexual desires, etc.  Predominately negative  The emotionality of the unconscious trickles up into higher levels  of consciousness. This is why people can feel anxiety and not  know why.  Freud’s (supped up) Theory of the Mind o Ego: the part of the personality that wants to abide by societies rules and norms o Superego: the part of the personality that houses moral values  Conscious: what occurs when we go against our superego  We feel guilt when this occurs  Ego­ideal: what happens when we go along with our superego  We feel reward when this occurs o Id: the most primitive part of the personality. Involves primary process thinking.  Seek pleasure, avoid discomfort  Primary process thinking: fantasizing, delusional thinking hallucinating,  etc.  Sigmund and Anna Freud Anna Freud = Sigmund Freud’s daughter  3 types/sources of anxiety o Reality (objective) anxiety: occurs when there is some threat or danger in the real  world  Ex: A growling, foaming dog charging at you will cause anxiety. o Neurotic anxiety: occurs when someone is worried that the Id will escape from  the ego’s control  When a person is about to lose control of their impulses  Ex: Wanting to punch a mean or annoying person can cause anxiety  because you fear you will lose control and actually do it. o Moral anxiety: occurs when violating or contemplating violating an internal moral code  Coping with anxiety (the ego’s response) o Increase problem­oriented coping efforts  We try to generate a game plan to follow through in order to cope  Occurs more with reality anxiety o Utilize one or more defense mechanisms  Avoid anxiety altogether or minimize anxiety when it occurs  All of the defense mechanisms can operate unconsciously and distort,  transform or falsify reality in some way.  Defense Mechanisms o Repression: some overwhelming thing has happened to cause anxiety that causes  the person to use their libido to shove the thing into the unconscious.  Partial repression: you only shove some of the memory into the  unconscious and you only remember bits and pieces o Suppression: you make an active decision in the moment to put the memory out of your mind  People use suppression at different frequencies  People aren’t sure why they may use it more frequently than others o Denial: something overwhelming has happened and the person convinces  themselves it hasn’t happened  Considered a more immature defense mechanism o Projection: when there’s a quality about the person that they don’t like, they  accuse others of possessing that quality o Rationalization: coming up with an excuse as to why someone did something that  caused them anxiety  Ex: A person cheats on their income tax return and says it’s good they  aren’t paying enough because they’re giving the government less money  to do horrible things o Intellectualization: putting all of your energy into some intellectual thing to  distract you  Ex: focusing all of your energy into finding a cure or way to beat the  cancer that your spouse has o Reaction formation: doing the exact opposite of what you really feel  Ex: A kid feels angry because his baby sister is getting all of the attention,  so, instead of hurting her like he wants to, he becomes the ultimate  coddling older brother o Regression: when someone uses an immature way of coping that they used when  they were younger  Ex: A 16­year­old girl is overwhelmed, so she goes into the attic and gets  all of her stuffed animals then lays in bed with them all around her in  order to feel better o Displacement: when we want to retaliate against our target, but they are too  threatening so we take out our anger on an easier target.  Ex: A mom punishes a kid. The kid, instead of lashing out at mom, knocks over chairs and is mean to the dog o Sublimation: we have natural outlets in society that we channel our anxiety  towards  Ex: take out anxiety by working out, playing an instrument, etc.  Healthiest self­defense mechanism  Most time is spent sublimating  Suggested reading: Civilization and its Discontents by Sigmund  Freud (1929)—discusses what happens when there is no  sublimation o We all have defense mechanisms and we all use them occasionally.  The problem occurs when people constantly use them and never actually  cope with their problems o More on suppression:   Rebound effect: people often have a backfiring effect when using  suppression.   Test 1: White bear experiments  Students come in with pencil and paper  Scientist gives a series of commands o Picture a white bear… vividly o Forget about the white bear o Give students various tasks to complete  Students get intrusive thoughts about the white bear  Test 2  Scientist gives a series of commands o Picture a white bear… vividly o Students not asked to forget the bear  Students have less intrusive thoughts about the  white bear  We see a lot of suppression in the area of substance abuse  Hittner and Hemmo (2009)  Focused on dental anxiety o Modified dental anxiety scale (MDAS)  Includes item about local anesthetic o Key finding: greater thought suppression = significantly  greater dental anxiety  Theory of Psychosexual Development o Stage theory: invariant sequence, pass through all stages, specified age range  We all have a sexual libido that shifts, but in each shift we get additional  psychological growth  Freud believes we all go through these stages o Oral stage (B­2): mouth is first area of excitation/stimulation  Child is all Id—pleasure principle o Anal stage (2­3): toilet training; personal control  Release vs. retain  Social control/conflict: society says to go in the toilet, not your pants  Ego development o Phallic stage (3­7): focus on genitals  Both sexes experience an Oedipus (or Oedipal) complex: love the parent  of the opposite sex  Identify with morals and values of same sex parent  Begins developing child’s superego o Latency stage (7­puberty): boys play with boys, girls play with girls  Decrease in sexual energy focus  Perhaps repressing what remains of Oedipus complex o Genital stage (puberty­adulthood): puberty reawakens sexual urges and Oedipal  feelings  Increased focus on sexual interactions and relationships  Personality Types o Fixation: overinvestment of libido (energy) during a psychosexual stage  Fixation is the key that can give rise to these types of personality  types/problems  Increases the risk of greater personality problems  Ex: every time a baby cries the mom feeds it OR the mom hardly ever  feeds the baby o Oral personality type: fixated at the oral stage  Self­focus, narcissistic—“feed me love, attention, affection”—no longer  “feed me food”  “Can people feed me psychologically?” o Anal personality type: issues of control in relationships  Too much or too little stimulation when potty training  Anal triad of traits: orderliness, stinginess, obstinance  Obstinance: selfish, not open, controlling   Defiance of giving up control o Can we look at an adult with these qualities and immediately point it back to an  earlier fixation?  No, many things could have happened in later parts of life, as we will see  in later lessons, that could affect personality; however, Freud believed that you could.  Changing Personality o Why?  Cope with or resolve unconscious conflicts  Work through fixations  Get over anger or emotions with things not going right in earlier  stages  How? Psychoanalytic methods  Methods o Transference reaction: when, during the course of therapy, the patient begins to  treat the therapist as someone from their past (happens unconsciously)  Can be positive or negative  Viewed as an important teachable moment by psychiatrists  Bring it up to the patient to help them understand and get insight  for why they are acting a certain way o Countertransference: when the therapist treats the patient like someone that  reminds them of their past  Can be positive or negative  Usually has very negative consequences for the patient because it could be counterintuitive for them o Free association: want the patient to be relaxed   Therapists often ask patients to lay down on a couch because they don’t  want to heighten their anxiety  Therapists ask “tell me the first thing that comes to mind’  We don’t simply say things at random, we say them for a reason,  even if we don’t know why  What do these words mean? o Dream analysis: every time you wake up from a dream or nightmare, jot it down  Manifest content: the actual dream you have  Latent content: what is the dream saying, represent, or mean  unconsciously?  o Catharsis (cathartic reaction): an emotional release  Ex: a patient becomes tearful when talking about their family… why?  The term “patient”—implications o The term “patient” for someone seeking psychoanalysis could have negative  effects o Illness and diseases are medical problems; we don’t want people seeking  psychoanalysis to think they have an illness o Perceives causality; perceived controllability  Causes patient to think they can’t control their behavior/anxiety o Perceived power differential  “I can’t do anything… I just need the doctor to fix me.”  Reality: the patient plays a very active role in their recovery o Client as an alternative—not as much of a negative connotation  More neutral, no baggage  Assumes working together with the therapist  Seduction Theory o Psychological orders in adults (adult psychopathology) was caused by actual  incidents of sexual abuse in childhood  Freud abandoned this theory because of a fear of criticism and backlash  Presumably Freud’s greatest blunder


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