Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - C. Robert Cloninger, Unconditional Positive Regard, Puberty

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16 Jan 2013
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Chapter 12
Personality
WHAT IS PERSONALITY?
Personality: A distinctive and relatively enduring way of thinking, feeling and acting
that characterize a person’s responses to life situations
-Only modest stability is found from childhood to adulthood but consistency becomes
greater as we enter adulthood
The thoughts, feelings and actions that reflect personality have 3 characteristics:
1) Seen as components of identity that distinguish that person from other people
2) Their behaviors are viewed as being caused by internal rather than situational
factors
3) The behaviors “fit together” in a meaningful fashion, suggesting an inner
personality that guides and directs behavior
Recall that a theory is scientifically useful to the extent that it:
1) Provides a framework for which known facts can be incorporated
2) Allows us to predict future events
3) Stimulates the discovery of new knowledge
PSYCHODYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE ON PERSONALITY
-Freud studied patients with hysteria (blindness, paralysis) and when they recalled their
repressed aggressive/sexual past experiences, they felt better PSYCHOANALYSIS
(FREE ASSOCIATION = TALKING WITH NO RESTRICTIONS).
-Freud was a cocaine user
-Inspired by the hydraulic models of the 19th-century, Freud coined the term psychic
energy: what powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct or indirect release.
Instinctual drives are what generate psychic energy.
-Mental events can be:
1) Conscious (mental events we are presently aware of)
2) Preconscious (unaware of them but they can easily be recalled)
3) Unconscious (a dynamic realm of wishes, feelings, and impulses that lies beyond our
awareness only when they are discharged in some way such as in dreams do they come
into our awareness)
Freud divided personality into 3 separate but interacting structures:
1) Id:
a. exists completely within the unconscious mind
b. core of the personality
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c. present at birth
d. source of ALL psychic energy
e. operates according to the pleasure principle: it seeks immediate
gratification or release, regardless of rational considerations
ID cannot satisfy itself because it has no contact with the outer world so the ego
develops:
2) Ego:
a. Functions primarily at a conscious level
b. Operates according to the reality principle: it tests reality to decide when
and under what conditions the id can safely discharge its impulses and
satisfy its needs
c. DELAYS gratification
d. “Executive of the personality” because it must compromise between the
demands of the id, the constraints of the superego, and the demands of
reality
The last personality structure to develop is the “moral arm”:
3) Superego:
a. Develops by the age of 4 or 5
b. Contains the values and ideals of society
c. Strives to control the instincts of the id
d. BLOCKS (tries to block) id gratification permanently
e. E,g, a married women in a certain culture feeling guilty after sex because
her culture considers it “dirty”
When the ego confronts impulses that threaten to get out of control or is faced with
dangers from the environment, anxiety results.
When realistic strategies (e.g. engaging in rational discussion when you are angry at
someone) are ineffective, the ego may resort to defense mechanisms that deny or distort
reality. (SEE TABLE 12.1 P514)
*Relying too much on defense mechanisms causes dysfunctional/maladaptive
behavior
Defense Mechanisms:
Repression: the ego uses some of its energy to prevent anxiety-arousing memories,
impulses etc. from entering consciousness.
Sublimination: the ego channels the id’s desires into socially acceptable things
Denial: Refusing to acknowledge the anxiety-arousing aspects (e.g. cancer)
Displacement: First repressed, then directed at a safer target
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Intellectualization: Repressed, and then the situation is dealt with as an intellectually
interesting event (e.g. getting dumped and then talking about the “interesting
unpredictability of love relationships”)
Projection: Repressed then attributed to (projected onto) other people
Rationalization: A lie to justify what you are doing A person constructs a false but
plausible explanation or excuse for an anxiety-arousing behavior or event that has already
occurred (e.g. “ya I cheated but the tests are so unfair plus everyone else was cheating)
Reaction Formation: Repressed and then the psychic energy is released in an
exaggerated expression of the opposite behavior (e.g. a mother who harbors feelings of
hatred for her child represses them and becomes overprotective of her child)
PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT
Freud: Children pass through a series of psychosexual stages during which the id’s
pleasure-seeking tendencies are focused on specific pleasure-sensitive areas of the body
called erogenous zones (mouth, anus, genitals, none, genitals).
*If there is either excessive or inadequate gratification at a particular stage (at an
erogenous zone), fixation at that stage occurs and adult personality is affected.
Oral stage:
0-2 years
-mouth
-Fixation = self-indulgence, dependency
Anal stage:
2-3 years
-anus
-fixation = compulsive cleanliness, rigid rules
Phallic Stage:
-4-6 years
-Oedipus complex
-genetalia
-fixation = homosexuality, authority problems
Latency Stage:
-Puberty +
-period of dominant sexuality; developing social relationships
Genital Stage:
-Genitals
-Formation of mature social and sexual relationships
In Phallic Stage:
Oedipal crisis: Greek story of Oedipus who inadvertently killed dad and married mom
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