PSYC 2010- Chapter 11 Notes
PSYC 2010- Chapter 11 Notes Psyc 2010-003
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Dimery on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 2010-003 at Clemson University taught by Edwin G. Brainerd in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 03/29/16
Chapter 11 Personality Personality is an individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits. A personality trait is an enduring characteristic way of behaving, or deposition, such as a tendency to be cautious or adventurous. Personality is used to explain the consistency of a person’s behavior and the differences between people’s personalities. Regular people and researchers try to describe personalities using the trait approach. This is simply listing out the characteristics that an individual has. Researchers look more into the development of personality, but regular people still show an interest in this too. The psychodynamic approach is used, which involves unconscious determinants of behavior. Three big name psychologists in this area were Freud, Young, and Adler. Factor analysis uses correlations among many different variables in order to identify closely related clusters of variables. If the correlation is high, then it is assumed that there is one factor that is influencing all of them. Universal traits are traits that can be used to describe everyone; this is one of the problems with the trait approach. It is easier to describe someone’s personality using universal traits. McCrae and Costa developed the Big Five Personality Trait System (OCEAN) to better describe an individual’s personality. • Openness to experience-‐ curiosity, vivid fantasy, flexibility, intelligent, imaginative. • Conscientiousness (constraint)-‐ diligent, punctual, disciplined, organized, dependable. • Extraversion (positive emotionality)-‐ outgoing, upbeat, assertive, friendly, sociable. • Agreeableness-‐ sympathetic, modest, trusting, cooperative, straightforward. • Neuroticism-‐ anxious, insecure, hostile, vulnerable, self-‐conscious. Some life outcomes have been associated with high scores in some of these areas. Scores can be high, low, or in the middle for any of these five areas. People who are higher for conscientiousness have been known to do better in college. Extraversion and conscientious people have been known to attain a job more easily than people who are not high for these traits. Men who are high for agreeableness have been found to not have a very high income. Neuroticism increases the chance for divorce. It has also been found to be associated with mental and physical disorders. Conscientiousness is associated with less disorders and living longer. Openness to experience is associated to living longer as well. Most people are somewhere in the middle for each of them. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory This theory is the oldest theory that is still taught on a regular basis. It involves childhood experiences, unconscious mental processes, and sexual urges. Freud needs to somewhat be given the benefit of the doubt, because he did not know as much about psychology as researchers and even regular people do today. He did his work in a completely private practice and used verbal interactions with patients to strengthen his theory. He also grew up in the Victorian Era, where sex and any sort of sexual expression was almost absolutely forbidden. Freud also grew up fearing that his father was going to physically harm him. He believed that most of our motivation comes from the unconscious; the part that we actually show others is very small. He divided personality into 3 components: the id, the ego, and the superego. • Id-‐ primitive, operates according to the pleasure principle-‐ our basic body needs and wants, primary-‐process thinking, infants run almost completely on this, wants gratification immediately regardless of the cost involved, completely unconscious, absolutely irrational, automatic reaction. • Ego-‐ decision-‐making, reality principle, secondary-‐process thinking, mediates between the needs of the organism and the environment, wants you to have the “good stuff”, but also wants you to think about the costs involved, only component that is rational, partially unconscious, pre-‐ conscious, and conscious, does not make moral choices, only practical. • Superego-‐ moral, makes real choices about right and wrong, perfection principle, just as irrational as the id, automatic reaction to anything “fun” is no. Freud says that we are constantly at war because we can’t have things both ways. It is impossible to mediate when you have two irrational things going against each other. As humans we’re in an uncomfortable state and we always have anxiety because of this. The ego does its best to mediate between the id and the superego. If the id becomes too powerful a person becomes amoral, impulsive, abusive of others, and in trouble with the law. They are calm in extreme circumstances because they are wired differently than normal people. These people used to be called psychopaths, but now that word has a negative meaning so it is called antisocial personality. If the superego becomes too powerful a person becomes perpetually guilty, anxious, unhappy, and rigid. This used to be called neurotic but now it is called anxiety disorder. Sometimes the ego runs out of steam and has to resort to defense mechanisms. These are explained in one of the sections below. The ego ideal rewards you when you behave correctly. Whenever you do the right thing, it contains positive values of society. The conscience is what causes you to feel bad about certain behaviors that you do. Freud came up with three states of awareness: conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The conscious consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time. The preconscious has information that is just below the surface of awareness and can easily be brought to the conscious. The unconscious level contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are very far below the surface of awareness. They still have a great influence on behavior. Defense mechanisms have four things in common: they are initiated by the ego, unconsciously used, distort reality, and are helpful at first but become highly destructive with the passage of time. They are ways that people protect themselves from inner conflict and having feelings of anxiety. There are seven mechanisms that were talked about in class and in the textbook. • Rationalization-‐ creating false but plausible excuses to justify an unacceptable behavior • Repression-‐ most widely used, keep bad thoughts and feelings hidden in the unconscious • Projection-‐ saying that the thoughts and feelings that you have are actually being expressed by the other person involved (roommate example in class) • Displacement-‐ taking out your emotion on someone other than the person that made you feel that emotion • Reaction formation-‐ behaving in a way that is the exact opposite of the emotion that you feel • Reversion-‐ an emotion causes you to display immature behavior (temper tantrum) • Identification-‐ boosting your self esteem by forming a real or imaginary alliance with a person or group (movie stars, different organizations) Psychosexual Stages Freud believed that an individual’s personality foundation has been established by the age of 5. He came up with the stage theory of development to show this. Psychosexual stages are developmental periods that have a sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personality. Fixation, failure to move forward from a stage, can lead to very predictable behaviors. • Oral-‐ 0-‐1 years old, focuses on the mouth (biting, sucking), weaning is very important in this stage, if a child is weaned too soon then they will do things like suck their thumb, chew on their clothes, be very dependent, indecisive, and gullible. • Anal-‐ 2-‐3 years old, children get their pleasure from either expulsion or retention of their feces. Toilet training is very important in this stage. Toilet training too soon could lead to the child being compulsively neat (anal retentive personality), or compulsively destructive. It could also give them hatred towards their mother, which could lead to a hatred of all women. • Phallic-‐ 4-‐5 years old, the genitals become the focus, masturbating occurs in this stage. Little boys develop an erotic tinged preference for their mother (oedipal complex), and feel hostility toward their father because they think of him as a threat. Girls develop these same kinds of feelings towards their father. Girls develop “penis envy”, which is being envious when they learn that boys have different genitals than they do. They form hostility towards their mother because they blame her for the deficiency. Children must overcome these feelings; if they don’t then they will stay fixated in this stage. Eventually the young boy should realize that he is never going to “beat” his dad, so now he tries to be just like him. Kids who get stuck here constantly need reassurance of their masculinity or femininity. • Latency-‐ 6-‐12 years old, sexuality is suppressed during this stage, during this time the child expands their social circle to people outside of their family. Dr. Brainerd doesn’t think this stage exists. • Genital-‐ puberty onward, sexuality is back and focused on the genitals once again, it is now channeled towards peers of the opposite sex rather than just oneself. Freud believes that not many people get to this stage, and even if they do then they are not completely safe from falling back into the other stages again. If something really bad happens in a person’s life then they can experience regression and go back to one of the earlier stages. Carl Jung came up with another theory, and like Freud, he focused on the unconscious aspects of personality. He said that the unconscious consisted of two layers, personal unconscious and collective unconscious. Personal unconscious is information that is not in someone’s conscious because it has been repressed or forgotten (basically the same as Freud’s definition). The collective unconscious is a place for latent memories about a person’s ancestral past. He said that each person shares this level with the entire human race. He called them archetypes. He found that in a lot of cultures the mandala (magic circle) was a symbol of unified wholeness of the self. They are emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meanings. He also believed that dreams tell us things about the unconscious. His theory was called analytical psychology. Alfred Adler had the individual psychology theory. He said that the universal drive for adapting, improving oneself, and mastering life’s challenges was striving for superiority. He said that younger children feel weak compared to older children. This feeling is what motivates them to acquire new skills. He said that everyone has to overcome feelings of inferiority. The process of this is called compensation. This is the effort involved to overcome imagined or real inferiorities by developing one’s abilities. Sometimes inferior feelings can become excessive. This is known as the inferiority complex-‐ exaggerated feelings of weakness and inadequacy. Some people will experience overcompensation in order to get rid of these exaggerated feelings of inferiority. They try to do things like acquire money, possessions, or status to get through their feelings. He said that birth order influences a child’s personality. Depending on where you fall in the birth order, you enter into a different environment and are treated differently by parents. Psychodynamic formulations have been criticized in different ways. One of these is because of poor testability. Psychodynamic ideas are often too vague and do not have a clear scientific test. Another reason is because of unrepresentative samples. Many samples that have been taken regarding psychodynamic theories are not representative of the entire population being studied. The third biggest reason is because of overemphasis on case studies. In this case it is too easy for clinicians to see what they expect to see. Freud has been caught making some of his patient’s case studies so they would fit into his theory. Another reason is contradictory evidence. Empirical evidence has made some of the results less viable. Many factors were overemphasized as to how important they were. The last reason is sexism. Many of the things Freud believed made it so that females were always inferior to men. Behavioral Approach to Personality This approach wanted to focus on only things that could be observed. B.F. Skinner focused on how the environment shapes someone’s behavior. He believed in determinism, which is that the environment fully determines someone’s behavior. He believed that the consistency in behaviors is because of stable response tendencies that have been acquired through experience. He said that someone’s personality is a collection of response tendencies that are tied together by various stimulus situations. He believed that response tendencies are learned by operant conditioning. Reinforcers are things that increase the rate of a behavior. Punishers are things that will decrease a behavior. Bandura refers to his theory as the social cognitive theory. He believed that people actively seek out and process information about the environment in order to maximize favorable outcomes. Observational learning comes into the picture here. He said that behaviors are learned watching the outcome of a situation experienced by another person (model). He also said that self-‐efficacy has an influence here. This is one’s belief about their ability to perform a behavior that leads to an expected outcome. The higher the self-‐efficacy, the more confidence someone has in themself to perform a certain behavior. Walter Mischel believed that there are situational factors that influence personality. People make responses they think will lead to reinforcements in the situation at hand. We are likely to behave differently in church than we do at a beach party. Humanistic Approach to Personality This approach emphasizes the unique qualities that humans have, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth. They assume that people are able to rise above their primitive animal heritage, use their conscious thought and be rational, and they are not helpless to deterministic forces. Carl Rogers called his approach in this area the person-‐centered theory. He said that personality is formed by self (aka self-‐concept). This is a collection of beliefs about one’s own nature, qualities, and typical behavior. Sometimes this can be subjective to make your self-‐concept have better characteristics. Incongruence is the degree of disparity between one’s self-‐concept and one’s actual experience. If the self-‐concept is actually close to the actual experience, then it is said to be congruent. Rogers said that parents either show conditional love, or unconditional love. Conditional love is love that depends on how well the child is behaving. He said that this causes incongruence. Unconditional love is love that does not depend on the behavior of the child. He said that this causes congruence. Rogers believed that anything that causes someone to think differently (in a bad way) of themselves are the principal cause of troublesome anxiety. People with highly incongruent self-‐concept are likely to have a lot of this anxiety. These people often behave defensively and turn things around onto other people so they do not start thinking bad about themselves. Abraham Maslow’s biggest contribution to this area was his hierarchy of needs. This is a systematic arrangement of needs, according to priority. Basic needs need to be met before less basic needs are met. • Physiological-‐ hunger, thirst, etc. • Safety and security-‐ long-‐term survival and stability • Belongingness and love needs-‐ affiliation and acceptance • Esteem needs-‐ achievement and gaining of recognition • Cognitive needs-‐ knowledge and understanding • Aesthetic needs-‐ order and beauty • Self-‐actualization-‐ realization of potential There have been some revisions made to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They believe that status and esteems needs go together in one level, and the levels are as follows (from most basic to least basic) mate acquisition, mate retention, and parenting. Maslow called people that have exceptionally healthy personalities self-‐actualizing persons. They have a commitment to continue personal growth. He said that they have peak experiences more often than regular people do. Some traits of this people are comfortable with reality, simple; need privacy, autonomy, strong friendships, philosophical, and able to tell between good and evil. Some criticisms with this perspective are that not all of the aspects can be tested, sometimes theorists are unrealistically optimistic about human nature and healthy personality, and there should be more empirical research to solidify this view. Biological Approach to Personality Hans Eysenck said that one’s genes largely shape personality. He believed that some people could be conditioned more readily than others because of inherited differences in their physiological functioning. He explained variations in extraversion-‐introversion. He said that introverts are more easily aroused by events, so they are more easily conditioned than extraverts. Behavioral Genetics and Personality Genetic blueprints shape the contours of someone’s personality. Twin studies were done to show this. Shared family environment does not have much of an influence on personality. Evolutionary Approach to Personality These supporters think that personality has a biological basis because natural selection has favored certain traits over the course of human history. There are some criticisms of biological approaches. They are that too much emphasis has been placed on heritability estimates, results may be too artificial, and that the effects of nature and nurture are twisted together and it is hard to see the actual difference between the two. Contemporary Empirical Approaches to Personality Narcissism is a personality trait in which one has an inflated sense of importance, a need for attention and admiration; they have a sense of entitlement, and a tendency to exploit others. This behavior seems to exist so these people have a way to increase their self-‐esteem. There have been some positive qualities associated with people who are narcissist people. This trait has been seen in people who are entrepreneurs. One of the goals of the terror management theory is to explain why people need self-‐esteem. This causes humans to contemplate the future and know that life can be snuffed out at anytime. This is what causes humans to experience anxiety, alarm, and terror when they think about mortality. According to this theory, culture is what saves us. Many believe that self-‐esteem functions as an anxiety buffer. Culture and Personality National character is the idea that various cultures have widely recognized prototype personalities. Researchers asked people questions from many different cultures to describe typical members of their culture using the five-‐factor model as a guide. Most of the time people from the same culture agreed on how people from their culture were. There are two different self-‐systems. The independent self-‐ system says that kids learn to define themselves through their personal attributes, abilities, accomplishments, and possessions. This is how it is in America. The interdependent self-‐system says that parents teach their children to rely on others and to be modest about their personal attributes so they don’t diminish others. This is how it is in countries such as China and Japan. Personal Application: Understanding Personality Assessment • MMPI-‐ measures ten personality traits that are thought to be symptoms of disorders • NEO Personality Inventory-‐ measures the Big Five Traits
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