Chapter 14: Personality
Chapter 14: Personality PSYC-1000-01
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha R on Sunday November 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC-1000-01 at Tulane University taught by Fabian, Melinda in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 35 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychlogy at Tulane University.
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Date Created: 11/15/15
Chapter 14: Personality Monday, November 9, 2015 9:43 AM Introduction to Personality & Psychodynamic Theories • Personality: An individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling & acting. • Psychodynamic Theories: Focuses on the unconscious & the importance of childhood experiences ○ Freud's Psychoanalytic Perspective Psychoanalysis Theory of Personality: Thoughts & actions are attributed to unconscious motives & conflicts □ Unconscious: A reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, & memories. Free Association: A method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes & says whatever comes to mind. □ Freud believed it would allow him to follow a chain of thought leading to the patient's unconscious. Personality Structure □ Human personality arises from a conflict between impulse & restraint. □ The mind consists of 3 interacting systems: Id: Unconscious energy that strives to satisfy basic sexual & aggressive drives. ◊ Operates on the pleasure principle of instant gratification Ego: The largely conscious "executive" part of the personality; Mediates the demands of the superego, id, & reality. ◊ Operates on the reality principle that satisfies the id's desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather that pain. ◊ Contains our partially conscious perceptions, thoughts, judgements, & memories. Superego: Represents internalized ideals & provides standards for judgement (the conscience) & for future aspirations. ◊ It is the moral compass Personality Development □ Psychosexual Stages: The childhood stages of development where the id's pleasure- seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones. □ Oedipus Complex: A boy's sexual desires toward his mother & feelings of jealousy & hatred for the rival father. □ Identification: The process in which children incorporate their parents' values into their developing superegos. Believed this provided a gender identity. □ Fixation: A lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies from unresolved conflicts in an earlier psychosexual stage. Defense Mechanisms □ Defense Mechanisms: The ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality. □ Repression: Banishment of anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, & memories from consciousness. Unit 3 Page 1 consciousness. ○ Neo-Freudian & Later Psychodynamic Theorists Neo-Freudians □ Place more emphasis on the conscious mind's role in interpreting & coping with experiences & environments. □ Doubted that sex & aggression were all-consuming motives. □ Emphasized lofty motives & social interactions. Alfred Adler & Karen Horney □ Believed childhood social (not sexual) tensions were crucial for personality formation. □ Alfred Adler Inferiority Complex: Our behavior is driven by efforts to conquer childhood inferiority feelings that trigger our strivings for superiority & power. □ Karen Horney Childhood anxiety triggers our desire for love & security. Women have "Penis envy" Carl Jung □ The unconscious contains more than repressed thoughts & feelings Rorschach Inkblot Test □ Collective Unconscious: A shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history. Widely discounted ○ Assessing Unconscious Processes Projective Test: A personality test that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one's inner dynamics Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): A projective test in which people express their inner feelings & interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes(Henry Murray) • Modern Views of the Unconscious ○ Our development is lifelong, not fixed in childhood. ○ Challenging the Idea of Repression It is far more common that stress & trauma enhance our memory of events ○ The Unconscious Mind The unconscious mind also involves: □ The schemas that automatically control our perceptions & interpretations □ Priming by stimuli to which we have not consciously attended □ The right-hemisphere activity that enables the split-brain patient's left hand to carry out an instruction the patient cannot verbalize □ Implicit memories that operate without conscious recall □ The emotions that activate instantly (before conscious analysis) □ The stereotypes that automatically & unconsciously influence how we process information about others Terror-Management Theory: A theory of death-related anxiety; explores people's emotional & behavioral responses to reminders of their impending death Humanistic Theories & Trait Theories • Humanistic Theories ○ Humanistic Theories: Viewing personality with a focus on the potential for healthy personal growth ○ Abraham Maslow's Self-Actualizing Person Self-Actualization: The process of fulfilling our potential Self-Transcendence: Meaning, purpose, & communion beyond the self. ○ Carl Rogers' Person-Centered Perspective People are basically good & are endowed with self-actualizing tendencies. A growth promoting environment requires 3 conditions: □ Genuineness (in people) □ Acceptance (from people) □ Empathy (in people) Self-Concept: All our thoughts & feelings about ourselves □ A central feature of personality ○ Assessing the Self Interviews & intimate conversation is a better indicator than any standardized test • Trait Theories ○ Trait: A characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel & act. ○ Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a type of personality test ○ Personalities are defined in terms of identifiable behavior patterns (traits) ○ Exploring Traits Unit 3 Page 2 • Trait Theories ○ Trait: A characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel & act. ○ Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a type of personality test ○ Personalities are defined in terms of identifiable behavior patterns (traits) ○ Exploring Traits Factor Analysis □ Eysenck believed we can reduce our individual variations into 2-3 dimensions Introversion-extraversion & Emotional stability-instability Believed these factors are genetically influenced Biology & Personality □ Brain arousal activity tends to be higher in extroverts □ Genes influence our temperament & behavior style ○ Assessing Traits Personality Inventories: A questionnaire (often true/false or agree/disagree) designed to a gauge a wide range of feelings & behaviors. □ Used to assess selected personality traits □ Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) Initially used to identify emotional disorders, but is now widely used It is empirically derived: developed by testing a pool of items & then selecting those that discriminate between groups ○ The Big 5 Factors ○ Evaluating Trait Theories Person-Situation Controversy □ Look for the traits that persist over time & across all situations □ With age, personality traits become more stable & stronger □ Personality tests predict our average behavior patterns much better than our behavior in any situation Social-Cognitive Theories & The Self • Social-Cognitive Theories ○ Social-Cognitive Perspective: Behaviors are influenced by the interaction between people's traits & their social context. ○ Reciprocal Influences Reciprocal Determinism: The interacting between influences of behavior, internal cognition, & environment Consider these 3 interactions with environment: □ Different people choose different environments □ Our personalities shape how we interpret & react to events □ Our personalities help create situations to which we react ○ Assessing Behavior in Situations The best predictor for behavior in situations is looking at behavior in past similar situations (not personality tests or whatever) Unit 3 Page 3 • Exploring the Self ○ Self: The center of our personality, the organizer of our thoughts, feelings, & actions ○ We often think of our self-concept in terms of our "possible selves" (what we could be) ○ Spotlight Effect: Overestimating others' noticing & evaluating our appearance, performance, & blunders. ○ The Benefits of Self-Esteem Self-Efficacy: One's sense of competence & effectiveness People who are down on themselves tend to be down on others (vice versa) ○ Costs of Self-Esteem Excessive Optimism □ Blinds us to real risks. Blindness to One's Own Incompetence □ Ex. If you're shocked upon receiving a poor grade on a test you thought you did well on Self-Serving Bias: Readiness to perceive oneself favorably □ People accept more responsibility for good deeds than bad, & for success than failures. Ex. Blaming the teacher for your poor grade □ Most people see themselves as better than average Narcissism Unit 3 Page 4