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personality 1.docx

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Joe Kim

Module 1 – Introduction to Personality What is Personality? Anytime you label someone as shy, considerate, talkative, sentimental, practical, traditional, or adventurous, you are describing someone using personality traits. Personality is difficult to describe since it is not real, unlike the brain, because it has no physical existence. Personality is an idea, and abstract concept that we use because it seems to express or capture something important about our experiences, referred to as “hypothetical constructs”. Module 2 – Approaches to Personality Approaches to Personality Different ways to study personality including different sets of assumptions about what personality is, how it develops, and how it should be studied. Type Approach Type approach: approach that assumes that there are a small number of distinct personality types proposed by Greek physician Hippocrates (dominant in western thinking 16 th – 17 th century). Hippocrates believed that the human body was made of four “humours”: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile, with personality determined by the balance of these four humours. Ex.: melancholic personality type – melan for black, and cholic for bile = sad and wistful. Other Popular Approaches Psychodynamic approach, the humanistic approach, the trait approach, the behaviourist approach, and the cognitive approach. Module 3 – Psychodynamic Approach to Personality Freud and the Psychodynamic Approach to Personality First modern theory of personality, and had enormous impact on our thinking about personality and human nature. Sees personality as generated by internal psychic structures or processes. The characteristics of internal structures in your mind, and the way they interact with each other, determine how we feel and behave. Psychodynamic theories argue that many of these structures are unconscious, and so we are often unaware of many important aspects of our personality. Module 4 – Freud’s Tripartite Model Core of Freud’s theory consisting of three personality structures: the Id, the Ego and the Superego. The struggle among conscious and unconscious influences represented among these three levels is the major motivating forces in humans. The Id Source of your basic instincts and your motivational energy that Freud named your libido. Responsibility to seek out water, food, air, and sex. Function of the Id as the pleasure principle. The Id is very selfish and impatient. It wants pleasure now regardless of how that behaviour would affect other people. Seek pleasure, avoid pain. Ex.: wanting to go to the pub to drink with friends instead of going to a group project meeting. The Superego Superego is focused on upholding moral principles. Goal is to endure that you remain morally perfect, by obeying rules and respecting values. The superego comes into play around the age of 5 and 6. Before then, it was up to your parents to teach you the rules that you should obey and values that they should uphold through rewards and punishment. From parental-control, self-control is established to form the superego. Conscience stems from superego. Ex.: opposing force to the Id, going to the group meeting. The Ego Serves as a mediator between these two extremes: the Id and the Superego. The Ego is also aware of the outside reality. The Ego must find a balance between the desires of the Id and the demands of the Superego, all the while ensuring that it’s realistically possible to do so. Ex.: attending the group meeting to do some work on the assignment, and then afterwards meeting your friends at the pub, to partly satisfy the needs of the Id and the morals of the Superego. The Conscious and the Unconscious Iceberg analogy Id functions completely in the unconscious and so we are not directly aware of what the Id is doing. The Superego functions predominantly in the unconscious, but a small portion of it falls to into the preconscious and the conscious. The ego is fairly equally split into each of the 3 stages of consciousness. Module 5 – Defence Mechanisms Development of Defence Mechanisms If an id impulse is immoral, even thinking about gratifying it causes the conscious ego to feel moral anxiety. If an id impulse might lead to punishment, just thinking about it causes the conscious ego to feel neurotic anxiety. The conscious ego is protected against anxiety by defence mechanisms created by the unconscious ego. Defence mechanisms keep the conscious ego from feeling anxious by keeping unacceptable id impulses out of consciousness entirely, or by disguising id impulses so that the conscious ego does not feel anxious about them if they reach consciousness. Repression Simplest defence mechanism, in which the unconscious ego blocks id impulses from ever reaching consciousness. Repressed impulses continue to press for entry into consciousness, and keeping them out takes a lot of the egos available energy. Repressed impulses sometimes sneak into consciousness as slips of the tongue, which are commonly called Freudian Slips, or symbolically disguised as dream images. Sometimes an id impulse is so strong that it cannot be kept out of consciousness. It enters the conscious ego and is acted on. If this happens, new defence mechanisms are needed. Denial The conscious ego actually engages in the anxiety-producing behaviour, but the unconscious ego immediately prevents any memory of the behaviour from getting back into consciousness. In denial, the anxiety-producing behaviours begins in the conscious ego after a behaviours has already occurred. On the other hand, repression is used when the anxiety is generated from the unconscious id before the behaviours has occurred. If these impulses are successfully repressed, they do not ever reach consciousness. Rationalization The conscious ego had done something dangerous or immoral, so the unconscious ego floods consciousness with plausible, non-threatening reasons for the behaviour. No anxiety is experiences because the conscious ego believes that it has engaged in the behaviour for perfectly harmless reasons. Projection Our own anxiety-producing thoughts or impulses are attributed to someone else, perhaps the original target of the impulse. Ex.: you dislike your co-worker, and you’re not really sure why. That makes you feel guilty. So instead, you may project your feelings on him and convince yourself that it is really your co- worker who doesn’t like you. Reaction Formation The conscious ego is protected from anxiety by being filled with ideas and feelings that are opposite to the actual impulse. Ex.: suppose you have a strong attraction to someone that may not share your feelings which causes you anxiety. You may deal with this consciously by outwardly feeling dislike and disapproval of the person. Displacement Unconscious ego redirects the forbidden impulse away from its original target to a consciously acceptable target, so that the conscious ego doesn’t feel any anxiety. Sublimation is a special type of displacement, in which sexual or aggressive impulses are displaced to objects or activities that are socially acceptable. Freud believed that all of our so- called ‘higher’ activities are due to sublimated libido, and that sports, painting and sculpture, litera
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