Chapter 13 Notes: Personality Theories
Chapter 13 Notes: Personality Theories PSYC 202
Christopher Newport University
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Date Created: 10/11/16
Chapter 14: Personality Theories I) Personality Personalityunique, relatively consistent pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving o Preferencesfor how you handle situations, your sense of humor, or your expectations of others Personality theories o Each theory is a unique way of viewing a person’s behavior, you can use each theory to describe the same person II) Freud’s Psychoanalytic View and Reactions to it Sigmund Freud (18561939) o Psychoanalytic view Josef Breuer’s “talking cure” o Catharsis Product of the Victorian era o Repressed sexuality o Rationality and selfcontrol distinguish from the animals Eros and Thanatos o Inhibited sexuality and inhibited aggression The iceberg metaphor o majority of content is beneath the surface o Idunconscious Operates according to the pleasure principle Present from birth Primitive (focuses on basic needs and wants Life instinct (sexual) competes with death instinct (aggression) o Egounconscious, preconscious, conscious Operates according to the reality principle Arises in the first 3 years of life Mediates between the Id and Superego Rational part of your mind Floats between all three levels of consciousness o Superegounconscious, preconscious, conscious Moral conscience Develops around age 5 Stores and enforces rules Ego idealseeks parents approval and values Conscienceparents disapproval Cause of anxiety o Ego is always caught in the middle of battles between superego’s desires for moral behavior and the id’s desires for immediate gratification Neurotic anxietycaused by id impulses that the ego can barely control Moral anxietycomes from threats of punishment from the superego o Defense mechanismsa process caused by the ego to distort reality and protect a person from anxiety Regressionego seeks the security of an earlier developmental period in the face of stress Displacementego shifts unacceptable feelings from one object to another, more acceptable object; scapegoating Sublimationego replaces an unacceptable impulse with a socially acceptable one Reaction formationego transforms an unacceptable motive or feeling into its opposite Projectionego attributes personal shortcomings, problems and faults to others Rationalizationego justifies an unacceptable motive by giving a false acceptable reason for behavior Criticisms of Freud o Sexist Freud’s theory was thought to be sexist against women because of things like penis envy and he believed women had underdeveloped superegos which made them inferior to men o Description rather than prediction Subjective description, solely by Freud, and “after the fact” on a relatively small sample of patients including himself His patients were mostly females from upper classes o Unverifiable concepts Cannot observe, deny, or verify Oedipus complex Feels more mythical than scientific Praises of Freud o Freud’s theories were rich and comprehensive in description o First comprehensive theory of personality: every personality theory since can be seen as a reaction to Freud o Sparked psychoanalysis which is still believed by many to be the best treatment for mental illness o Was controversial and stretched boundaries for creativity III) NeoFreudians Psychodynamic Theory o Eric Erikson o Carl Jung and his concept of the “personal” and “collective” unconscious o Alfred Adler and his ideas of inferiority and superiority o Adler also talked about birth order and how it played a part in personality IV) Trait Theories Trait theories of personality o They believe that we can describe people’s personalities by specifiying their man characteristics o Traits like honesty, laziness, ambition, and outgoing are thought to be stable over the course of your lives Dispositional Approaches o Principles of dispositional approaches Personality is stable over time Personality is consistent across situations o Consequences of these principles We must have enduring personal characteristics Allport’s Trait Theory: Idiographic Theory o Traitrelatively enduring, consistent personality characteristics (inferred from behavior) o 3 types of traits Cardinal traitsaffect every area of the individual’s life Central traitsinfluence many aspects of our lives, but not quite as pervasive Secondary traitsaffect narrower aspects of our lives Eysenck’s Three Factor Theory: Nomothetic Theory o Hans Eysenck English psychologist, believed that there are three fundamental factors in personalities o Introversion v. Extroversion o Emotionally stable v. unstable (neurotic) o Impulse control v. psychotic The Big Five o Where we fall on 5 different dimensions determines personality type o Dimensions Opennesscuriosity, flexibility, imagination, artistic sensibility Conscientiousnessdiscipline, organization, dependable Extraversionoutgoing, upbeat, friendly, assertive, gregarious Agreeablenesssympathetic, trusting, cooperative, straightforward Neuroticismanxious, hostile, selfconscious o Criticisms Do not take into account the importance of a situation V) Social Cognitive Theories Social cognitive theories on personality o Focus on how we interact with our culture and environments o Albert bandura’s reciprocal determinismtraits, environment, and behavior all interact and influence each other Rotter’s theory of locus control o Julian RotterAmerican psychologist began a Freudian, personality theory combines learning principles, modeling, cognition, and the effects of social relationships o External locus of controlperception that chance or external forces beyond personal control determine one’s fate o Internal locus of controlperception that you control your own fate o Learned helplessnessa sense of hopelessness in which a person thinks that he or she is unable to prevent aversive events Evaluation of socialcognitive theories o Social cognitive theories tend to be overlymechanical o Overemphasize environmental influences; gives little or no consideration to the possibility of innate personality differences or the effects of genetics o Does not recognize internal human qualities such as hope, aspiration, love, and selfsacrifice VI) Humanistic Perspectives Humanistic psychologyan approach that emphasizes personal growth, resilience, and the achievement of human potential o Humanist psychologists Abraham Maslow Carl Rogers Rollo May Carl Rogers o Interested in fully functioning individuals o Congruencethis displayed by fully functioning people is a harmony between the image they project to others and their true feelings or wishes o Unconditional positive regarda situation in which the acceptance and love one receives from significant others is unqualified with no strings attached o Conditional positive regarda situation in which the acceptance and love one receives from significant others is contingent upon one’s behavior The bad… o Assumptions are not testable o Hard to operationally define many of the concepts The good… o Added balance to the study of personality o Encouraged others to focus on “positive psychology” o Fostered new appreciation for resilience VII) Evolutionary Perspective Evolutionary perspective o Disregards both conscious and unconscious determinants of personality o Personality is a function of your unique combination of genes Criticism o Not good at explaining individual differences Praise o Explains the big five well VIII) Assessing Personality Projective tests o Ask about meaningless, ambiguous stimuli Theory behind it that we will give and answer consistent with the inner workings of our minds o Rorschach Test Best used to measure how people process information Creativity, coping, resources, emotional processing, relationships with others, thought disorders, psychoses o Thematic Apperception Test Black and white pictures in vague/ambiguous situations Asked to make up a dramatic story about the picture Best used to learn the motivation Believed that a person will identify with one of the characters on each card In their stories, people are thought to express their own circumstances, needs, environmental demands, emotions, and perceptions of reality Measuring personality o Standardization questionnaires asking a series of questions where people rate themselves Typically include scales Assumes you can accurately selfreport No right or wrong answers o The responses help develop a picture of you called a personality profile o 2 common tests Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory NEO personality Inventory o MMPI No specific theory of personality, for example items were selected on the basis of their ability to distinguish between two contrasting groups of peoplenormal and selected psychiatric patient groups o Psychologists measure genetic contributions to personality by… Studying personality traits in other species Studying temperaments of infants and children Heritability studies in twins and adopted individuals o Personality traits in other species Examine the physiology, genetics, ecology, and ethology of animals Evidence of the Big Five traits in different species Conscientiousness has only been found in humans Puppy personality experimentowners, people who knew them, and observers in a dog park all filled out personality tests about dogs and all three groups had similar results IX) Personality Traits in Infants and Children Temperamentsphysiological dispositions to respond to the environment in certain ways o Present in infancy, assumed to be innate o Relatively stable over time Temperament types: o Easy/flexiblepositive disposition, curious about new situations, adaptable, lowmoderate emotional intensity (40% of babies) o Difficult/feistynegative moods, slow to adapt to new situations (10% of babies) o Slow to warm upinactive, calm reactions to environment, negative moods and withdraw from new situations, adapt slowly (15% of babies) o 35% of babies have combinations of characteristics and can’t be categorized X) Environmental Influences on Personality Traits Situational influences (social learning) o Behaviorist view Behaviors are rewarded and punished differently in different situations o Social cognitive view Personality traits result from a person’s learning history and their expectations, beliefs, perceptions of events and other cognitions Reciprocal determinism Parental influences o Parental childrearing practices have a strong influence on who we become, but research has shown that it is not the primary determinant The shared environment of the home has little influence on personality Few parents have a single childrearing style that is consistent over time and that they use with all children Even when parents try to be consistent, there may be little relation between what they do and how their children turn out o Parents still influence their children in a number of ways Religious beliefs and values Intellectual and occupational interests and skills Degree of helpfulness Aggressiveness Shyness Social influences: peer pressure o Adolescent culturedifferent peer groups, organized by different interests, ethnicity, and status o Peer acceptance is so important to children and adolescents that being bullied, victimized, or rejected by peers is far more traumatic than punitive treatment by parents XI) Disorders of Personality Cluster A: Odd/Eccentric o Paranoid Hold grudges Expect to be exploited Do not trust others Read threatening meanings into events o Schizoid Prefer being alone Have few close relationships Little/no desire for sex Have little to say/uncertain how to respond Unable to experience pleasure Indifferent or emotionally cold Unmotivated for school or work o Schizotypal Unusual perceptions Little to no friends Suspicious of others Reluctant and anxious in social situations Type B: Dramatic/Emotional/Erratic o Histrionic personality disorder Provocative Attentionseeking Influenced easily Exaggerated emotions o Borderline Personality Disorder Fears of abandonment Extreme mood swings/trouble managing emotions Difficulty in relationships Unstable selfimage Impulsive behavior Suicidal ideation Transient psychotic episodes o Narcissistic Personality Disorder Exaggerating achievements Expecting constant praise and admiration Lack of empathy Fragile selfesteem Sense of entitlement Taking advantage of others o Antisocial Personality Disorder Deceitful Impulsive Aggressive Reckless Irresponsible remorseless Type C: Anxious/Fearful o Dependent Difficulty making everyday decisions (need reassurance) Need others to assume responsibility for major areas of life Difficulty expressing disagreement due to fear of loss of support Feel uncomfortable and helpless when alone Seeks relationships urgently if an existing one ends Unrealistically preoccupied with fears of taking care of oneself o Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder Preoccupied with details Perfectionism Reluctant to delegate Miserly Overconscious Excessively devoted to work Trouble discarding worthless objects Rigidity and stubbornness o Avoidant Personality Disorder Fear criticism Preoccupied with being rejected Reluctant to take risks Views self as inferior to others Restraint in intimate relationships
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