Personality Class 14.odt

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29 Mar 2012
Personality Psychology
Class 14: The Psychoanalytic Domain
March 8, 2012
The Intrapsychic Domain
Largely based on the work of Sigmund Freud
Psychoanalytic Theory
Some concepts (i.e. repression) have been supported
However, contemporary Psychoanalytic Theory (called the neo-analytic movement) has moved
beyond Freud’s original theories
Instead, psychoanalysts today focus on childhood relationships and adult conflicts with others
Topics: Unconscious, Motivation, Conflict, Attachment, etc.
Psychic Determinism:
Nothing happens by chance or accident
Everything we do, think, say and feel is an expression of our min
Five Central Propositions
Contemporary psychoanalysis is based on five foundational concepts:
1. Much of mental life is unconscious
2. Mental processes operate in parallel, hence individuals can have conflicted feelings
3. Childhood experiences are important
4. Mental representations guide people’s actions
5. Development involves regulating sexual & aggressive feelings AND moving from immature/social
dependent to interdependent
Contemporary Views on the Unconscious
Motivated Unconscious View
Behavior is motivated by unconscious processes “Cognitive Unconscious View
Individuals can be unaware of information that their sensory stimuli are processing (i.e.
subliminal perception, priming, ability to type)
Information is “not in conscious awareness” but is not necessarily repressed
Repression and Contemporary Research on Memory
Memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus argues that we should not conclude that all recovered
memories are false, just because some are apparently false
Also, we should not assume that all recovered memories are true, just because some are true
Loftus argues that we must be aware of processes that contribute to the construction of false
memories (e.g., popular press, behavior of some therapists)
So, You Want to Have a False Memory: A Closer Look
Spreading activation model of memory: Mental elements are stored in memory along with
associations to other elements in memory
Most modern cognitive psychologists believe that false memories can occur
Humans have a constructive memory—i.e., memory influences in various ways what is recalled
Research on mistakes of recognition on word lists help us understand dramatic false memories
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