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Sept 16 - Perspectives on Personality.docx

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

September 16 , 2013 Perspectives on Personality Psychodynamic & Trait Personality: Individual differences in traits and behaviour that are stable over time and consistent across situations Where do these stable and consistent individual differences come from? What are the origins of personality? Part 1: The Origins of Personality  Behavioral perspectives (Pavlov, Skinner, Bandura; p. 43-50)  Humanistic perspectives (Rogers, Maslow; p. 51-55)  Biological perspectives (p. 55-58)  Psychodynamic perspective (Freud; p. 35-41)* Freud Freud was never trained as a psychologist, trained in medical science and specialization was neurology. Hysteria: unusual symptoms (but no physical basis) – worked with hysteric people. Sometimes suddenly became “blind” or “paralyzed”  E.g., glove anesthesia (see photo, p. 452) – lose feeling completely in hand  Childhood sexual experiences with an adult is the cause of hysterical symptoms? Each patient reported this.  No; memories too inconsistent  Reporting fantasies (patients were reporting what they wished would happen)?  Free association and the “talking cure” - patients encouraged to talk about these experiences o Why was it effective? The Topology of the Mind  Distinction between conscious mind, unconscious mind, and preconscious mind  The conscious mind: everything we are aware of at a given moment – plays a tiny role compared to unconscious mind  The (motivated) unconscious mind: Wishes, desires, impulses that are beyond our conscious awareness o Kept there because they are threatening or upsetting (unacceptable “sexual” or “aggressive” content)  By proving the unconscious (with free association) he could make the unconscious and conscious (and cure his patients) Probing the Unconscious: A Case of obsessive thinking  Obsessive Thought (Conscious): “If I have sexual intercourse, my niece will die” September 16 , 2013  Unconscious Thoughts – (conscious thought) when thought about having sexual intercourse  (unconscious thoughts) I’ll think of being married  then I’ll remember that my fiancée can’t have children  I’ll become jealous of my sister who can have children  I’ll be angry with my sister for having a child  I’ll resent my niece  I’ll wish my niece was ill  (linked to conscious thought) my niece will die Three Structures of the Mind (p. 37)  The Id (a chaos; cauldron of excitations) o Entirely unconscious o Reflects instinctive needs (e.g., food, sex)  The basic instinct: Eros (the life instinct) - an unconscious instinct to survive and reproduce  Eros produces “psychic energy” (Libido) – must be released o Operates according to the Pleasure Principle (seeks immediate gratification of needs) o Engages in Primary Process Thinking (fantasies that satisfy needs) o When we’re born, we only have Id  The Ego o Conscious and unconscious o Operates according to the Reality Principle (Sensitive to demands of the real world; willing to delay gratification of Id’s needs) o Engages in Secondary Process Thinking (develops realistic plans to satisfy needs)  The Superego o Moral component of person (right and wrong) o Conscious and unconscious o Tends to be irrational (develops by age 3) o Produces guilt when rules are broken  The three structures interact with each other (negotiate how libidinal energy will be used) o Ego has the toughest job – must control Id and Superego  How the Ego stays in control: o Anxiety signals loss of control – tells the Ego that it’s about to lose control  Threats from Id – neurotic anxiety  Threats from Superego – moral anxiety o Defense mechanisms – allow Ego to stay in control; reduce anxiety (see textbook p. 38-39) Personality Development (p. 39-41 – how libidinal energy is expressed and focused as we mature) – Psychosexual Development  Controversial – kids have sexual fantasies??  To Freud, sex = needs and desires rela
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