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PSY100Y5 Lecture Notes - Mortality Salience, David Buss, Observational Learning

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Ayesha Khan

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CH 12: Personality: Theory, Research and Assessment
Emphasis on Freud, Skinner, and Rogers theory
The Nature of Personality
Defining Personality: Consistency and Distinctiveness
Personality: individuals unique and consistent behavioural traits
1. No one is consistent in behaviour, but the consistency across situations defines the concept of
2. Each have distinctive set of personality traits that react differently to the same situation
Personality Traits: Dispositions and Dimensions
Personality Trait: durable nature to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations
There are 16 basic dimensions of personality
Factor Analysis: correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of
When the measurements of a number of variables correlate highly with one another, the
assumption is that a single factor is influencing all of them
Hidden factors are identifies and it considered the very basic and high-ordered traits that determine
less basic and more specific traits
Using factor analysis, Cattell said an individual’s personality can be described completely by
measuring just 16 basic traits
The Five Factor Model of Personality Traits
High-order traits known as the big five:
Extraversion, Neuroticism, Openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness
Characterized as “latitude and longitude as personality should be mapped
Relationship between the big five and socioeconomic status
Some argue that there ought to be more/less than five fundamental factor in personality
Outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly, assertible, gregarious
Predictive of specific aspects of behaviour
Positive Correlations between the traits and interpersonal/academic performance
Anxious, hostile, self-conscious, insecure, emotionally unstable
Overreacts to stress than others
Openness to Experience
Openness is associated with: curiosity, flexibility, imaginativeness, unconventional attitudes
Key trait for political attitudes and ideology, since openness fosters liberalism
Sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, modest, straightforward, helping behaviour

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Associated with constructive approaches to conflict resolution, making agreeable people less
quarrelsome than others
Diligent, disciplined, well-organized, punctual, dependable
Associated with constraint, strong self-discipline
Related to impression management
Correlated with less illness and reduce mortality
Probability of being strongly conscientious rises dramatically as social class goes up, and gradually
for openness and extraversion
Extraversion and Conscientiousness are positive predictors of occupational attainments
Psychodynamic Perspectives
Psychodynamic Theories: include all the diverse theories of Freud, focusing on unconscious mental
Freuds Psychoanalytic Theory
Freud is Jewish, lived in Vienna and in the Victorian era(sexual repression era)
Psychoanalysis lacks objectivity and testability of the theory in the science world
Structure of Personality
Behaviour is the interaction 3 personality structures: id, ego and superego
Id: Primitive/instinctive component of personality that acts upon the pleasure principle
Pleasure principle: demands immediate gratification of its urges
Primary-process thinking: primitive, illogical, irrational and fantasy orientated
Satisfies biological urges that energize behaviour = reservoir of psychic energy
Ego: decision making component that act upon the reality principle
Reality Principle: delay gratification of the ids urges until appropriate situations can be found
Secondary-process thinking: relatively rational, realistic and oriented toward problem solving
Mediates between id and the external social world (social norms like etiquette, rules)
Attempt to achieve long term goals but putting off gratification
Superego: moral component of personality that incorporates social standards of what represents
right and wrong
Especially during childhood, people receive training about good and bad behaviour, morality
becomes internalized
Emerges out of ego around 3-5 years of age
Sometimes irrationally demanding for moral perfection
Levels of Awareness
Freud thought slips of tongue often revealed true feelings and dreams were often hidden desires
Through psychoanalysis, patients discovered unaware feelings and conflicts

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Three levels of awareness:
1. Conscious: whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time
Ex) at this moment you are aware of the text and a dim awareness of your hunger
2. Preconscious: material just beneath the surface of awareness that could be easily retrieved
Ex) what you had for supper last night
3. Unconscious: thoughts, memories, and desires below the surface of conscious awareness but exerts
great influenced on behaviour
Ex) forgotten trauma, repressed sexual desires
Unconscious is much larger than conscious/preconscious
Ego and superego operate at all 3 levels of awareness; id is entirely unconscious
Conflict and the Tyranny of Sex and Aggression
Freud assume behaviour is the outcome of internal conflict
Our lives are dominated by conflict between id, ego and superego
He emphasized sexual and aggressive impulses that are especially likely to have far stretch
more complex/ambiguous because its behaviour is subtle as people are inconsistent about
what is appropriate
thwarted more regularly than other biological urges
Anxiety and Defence Mechanisms
Prolonged conflicts that involve sexual and aggressive impulses are often from the unconscious that
can produce anxiety when slipped into consciousness
Anxiety when: id dominating and leading to negative consequences OR superego makes you feel
guilty about a real/imagined transgression
People try to rid themselves of anxiety using defence mechanisms
Defence Mechanisms: largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from unpleasant
emotions such as anxiety and guilt
Keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried
in the unconscious (motivated forgetting)
Traumatic experiences are forgotten by the
Attributing ones own thoughts. Feelings or
motives to another
A women who dislikes her boss thinks she
likes her boss but the boss does not like her
Diverting emotional feelings from their original
source to a substitute target
After getting in trouble, a young girl might
take her anger out on her little brother
Behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of
one’s true feelings. Guilt about sexual desires
often leads to reaction formation
A parent who unconsciously resents a child
spoils the child with outlandish gifts
A reversion to immature patterns of behaviour
An adult has a temper tantrum when he
doesn’t get his way OR when anxious about
their self-worth, some respond with childish
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