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Chapter 14.docx

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Todd Ferretti

Chapter 14 Theories Of Personality Defining Personality  Personality o A distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behaviour, thoughts, motives, and emotions that characterizes an individual over time and across different situations o Pattern may consist of many distinctive traits o Trait: a characteristic of an individual, describing a habitual way of behaving, thinking or feeling (i.e. shy, outgoing, friendly)  Psychoanalysis o A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts o Movement of psychological energy within the person, in the form of attachments, conflicts, and motivations o Assumption that adult personality and ongoing problems formed by experiences in early childhood, which later form characteristic habits, conflicts, self-defeating behaviour o Freud believed that by digging deep in dreams/behaviour, could uncover hidden conflicts and motives affecting you o Originally formulated by Sigmund Freud o Classified as psychodynamic as explains personality un terms of unconscious energy dynamics within the individual  Id: o Part of personality that contains inherited psychic energy, particularly sexual (libido) and aggressive impulses, contains motives to avoid pain and obtain pleasure o Sense of child  Ego: o Part of personality that represents reason, good sense, and rational self control o Large chunk unconscious, works continuously to control Id o Referee between the needs of instinct and demands of society  Superego: o The part of personality that represents conscience, morality, and social standards o Nags and acts as a parent of sorts o Judges the activities of the Defence Mechanisms  When the id and the superego are in conflict, the ego deals with this tension through the use of defence mechanisms o Methods used by the ego to prevent unconscious anxiety or threatening thoughts from entering consciousness o Many mechanisms proposed but some more common than others o No physical proof these 4 things exist, but defense mechanisms show concrete things Types of Defence Mechanisms  Repression o The selective, involuntary pushing of threatening or upsetting information into the unconscious  Projection o A person's unacceptable or threatening feelings being repressed and then attributed to someone else  Displacement o When people direct their emotions (especially anger) toward things, animals, or other people that are not the real object of their feelings o Called sublimation when serves a higher cultural or social purpose  Reaction Formation o When a feeling that produces unconscious anxiety is transformed into its opposite in consciousness  Regression o When a person reverts to a previous phase of psychological development  Denial o When people refuse to admit something unpleasant is happening, that they have a problem, or that they are feeling a forbidden emotion o Protects self image and preserves illusions of invulnerability Development of Personality  Freud's psychosexual stages o A series of different forms of sexual energy into which personality develops as the child matures o Stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital o Girls experience penis envy, where they wish they possessed the male genatalia o Conflict and anxiety at each stage that must be resolved or will become fixated at that level  Oedipus Complex: conflict in the phallic stage where a child desires the parent of the other sex and views the same sex parent as a rival o Adult personality shaped by how you progressed through the early psychosexual stages, which defense mechanisms you developed, and whether ego is strong enough to balance id and superego Other Psychodynamic Approaches  Jungian Theory and Collective Unconsciousness o Collective Unconsciousness: The universal memories and experiences of humankind, represented in symbols, stories, and images (archetypes) that occur across all cultures o Archetypes: symbolic images that appear in myths, art, stories, and dreams  Shadow: bestial, evil side of nature  Anima/Animus: feminine and masculine (respectively) o Introversion/Extraversion as dimensions of personality o People motivated not only by past conflicts but also by future goals and desire to fulfill themselves  Object-relations school o Infant attachment to mother and mental representation of mother (e.g. type of person she is) o Representations of adults affect personality throughout life, influencing how a person relates to others (see other people like we see our parents, have relationships that reflect their perspective of parent) Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories  Psychodynamic theories guilty of three scientific failings: 1. Violating the name of falsifiability -concludes the theory of falsiabilty, body of evidence that if presented would prove theory wrong 2. Drawing universal principles from the experiences of a few atypical patients 3. Basing theories of personality development on retrospective accounts of adults -not always able to accurately remember childhood experiences How to Avoid The "Barnum Effect"  When a person finds meaning in statements that could apply to many people o Beware of all-purpose descriptions that could apply to anyone o Beware of your own selective perceptions  Need to account for misses as well as hits (i.e. how many times something doesn't happen o Will play on flattery, etc. Modern Study of Personality  Objective inventories o Standardized questionnaires requiring written responses o Typically include scales on which people are asked to rate themselves  E.g. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMP)  E.g. Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) Core Personality Traits  Allport evaluated personality traits based on their influence on a person's life o Central Traits: aspects of personality that reflect a characteristic way of behaving, dealing with others, and reacting to new situations o Secondary Traits changeable aspects of personality The Big Five  Most researchers agree on the centrality of five core traits in personality o Extroversion versus introversion  Outgoing or more quiet o Neuroticism (negative emotionality) versus emotional stability  Extent to which a person suffers from
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