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PS101 CHapter 14,15,16.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Kathy Foxall

Chapter 15: Personality Personality: a distinctive pattern of behaviour, mannerisms, thoughts, motives and emotions that characterize and individual over time and across different situations Psychodynamic Theories of Personality Freud and Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis: personality theory that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts Psychodynamic theories: theories that explain behaviour and personality in terms of unconscious energy dynamics within the individual  Unconscious motives, passions, guilty secrets unspeakable yearnings, and conflicts between desire and duty have far more power over personality than our conscious intentions  The unconscious reveals itself in art, dreams, jokes, apparent accidents and slips of the tongue “Freudian slip” THE ID: contains inherited psychic energy, sexual/life (fuelled by libido) and death/aggressive instincts  Motto: Avoid pain, obtain pleasure  May discharge tension in reflex actions, physical symptoms, uncensored mental images, unbidden thoughts THE EGO: represents reason, good sense and rational self-control  Bows to realities of life, puts rein on I’d desire for sex/aggression until there is a socially appropriate outlet for them  Both conscious and unconscious THE SUPEREGO: voice of conscience representing morality, parental authority, and social standards  Partly conscious, largely unconscious  Judges Id’s activities and gives feelings of satisfaction/guilt Healthy system keeps all three in balance  Too controlled by Id = governed by impulse/selfish desire  Too controlled by Superego = rigid, moralistic, bossy  Weak ego = unable to manage personal needs/wishes with social duties & realistic limitations Defence Mechanisms  Ego uses defence mechanisms to prevent unconscious anxiety/threatening thoughts from entering consciousness – if wishes of Id conflict with social rules, to deny/distort reality  Only unhealthy when cause self-defeating behaviour/emotional problems 1. Repression: threatening idea, memory, emotion is blocked from consciousness *Freud though it was conscious too but modern analysts think of it as unconscious mechanism 2. Projection: when a person’s own unacceptable/threatening feelings are repressed and then attributed to someone else (e.g. black people are so dirty-minded) 3. Displacement: when people direct their emotions toward things/animals/people that are not the real object of their feelings. Called sublimation when it serves a higher cultural/socially useful purpose (e.g. art) 4. Regression: when person reverts to previous phase of psychological development (e.g. temper tantrums as adults) 5. Denial: when person refuses to admit that something unpleasant is happening “it cant happen to me” The Development of Personality Psychosexual stages: idea that sexual energy takes different forms as a child matures; oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital  Each new stage produces certain amount of frustration/conflict/anxiety – if not resolved properly & development is interrupted, child may remain fixated at current stage Oral: first year of life, fixation = overeating, biting, smoking Anal (2-3): “anal-retentive” = obsessive cleanliness or “anal-expulsive” = messy/disorganized Phallic/Oedipal (3-6): child unconsciously wants to marry parent of opposite gender & get rid of same-sex parent (Oedipus complex)  Guys have powerful motivating fear to give up Oedipal feelings once seeing female anatomy  Girls have “penis envy” By Age 5,6 personality is fundamentally formed – unconscious conflicts with parents, unresolved fixations and guilts, attitudes toward the same and the other sex will replay throughout life Latency (after 6), then genital stage (begins at puberty and leads to adult sexuality Personality is shaped by how you progressed through early psychosexual stages, which defence mechanisms you developed to reduce anxiety, and whether your ego is strong enough to balance conflict between the id and superego. Jungian Theory (Carl Jung) Collective unconscious: universal memories and experiences of humankind, represented in the symbols, stories and images (aka archetypes) that occur across all cultures  Shadow archetype reflects the prehistoric fear of wild animals and represents the bestial, evil side of human nature  Believed that people are motivated not only by past conflicts, but also future goals and desire to fulfill themselves The Object-Relations School (Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott) Central problem in life: finding a balance between the need for independence and the need for others  Balance requires constant adjustment to separations and losses (arguments, moving from home, divorce)  The way we react to separations is determined by our experiences in age 1 & 2  Baby will find part of himself that mother appreciates – if the baby’s need for recognition goes unheeded, infant may develop “false self” & “true self” s undeveloped  Child’s representation of important adults – whether realistic or not – unconsciously affect personality through life & how child relates to others Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories 1. Violating the principle of falsifiability: concepts about unconscious motivations are impossible to confirm/disconfirm 2. Drawing universal principles from experiences of a few atypical patients: generalizing from patients in therapy 3. Basing theories of personality development on the retrospective accounts of adults: theories based on themes in adults’ recollections of childhood – Creates illusion of causality between events The Modern Study of Personality Popular Personality Traits Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – not very reliable, people score differently 5 weeks later Objective tests (inventories): standardized questionnaires requiring written responses; typically include scales on which to rate themselves Core Personality Traits  Gordon Allport – not all traits have equal weight and significance in people’s lives Central traits: characteristic way of behaving, dealing with others Secondary traits: more changeable aspects of personality like habits, casual opinions, etc  Raymond B. Cattell – factor analysis: statistical method for analyzing the inter-correlations among various measures or tests scores; clusters of measures or scores that are highly correlated are assumed to measure the same underlying trait or ability = Big FIVE 1. Extroversion vs. Introversion: the extent to which people are outgoing/shy – includes traits like being sociable or reclusive, adventurous or cautious, etc 2. Neuroticism (negative emotionality) vs. Emotional Stability: the extent to which a person suffers from anxiety, inability to control impulses and tendency to feel negative emotions 3. Agreeableness vs. Antagonism: tendency to have friendly relationships or hostile ones 4. Conscientiousness vs. Impulsiveness: the degree to which people are responsible or undependable, self-disciplined or impulsive 5. Openness to experience vs. Resistance to new experience: extent to which people are curious, imaginative, questioning Neuroticism decreases with age and conscientiousness increases with age Genetic Influences on Personality Genetic contributions measured through: 1. Personality traits in other species – evidence of the big 5 personality traits founds in dogs 2. Studying temperaments of human infants and children 3. Going heritability studies of twins and adopted individuals Only allow us to infer the existences of relevant genes Heredity and Temperament Temperaments: physiological dispositions to respond to the environment in certain ways; they are present in infancy and in many nonhuman species and are assumed to be innate  Incudes reactivity, soothability and positive and negative emotionality  Temperaments are quite stable over time and are the clay out of which later personality traits are moulded Heredity and Traits Heritability: a statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variance in some trait that is attributable to genetic difference among individuals within a group  Identical twins reared apart will often have unnerving similarities in gestures, mannerisms and moods  Within a group of people, about 50% of the variation in such traits is attributable to genetic difference among the individuals in the group Evaluating Genetic Theories  Genetic predisposition does not translate to genetic inevitability  Oversimplification can lead people to assume that if a problem has a genetic contribution, it will respond only to medication – which is a fallacy Environmental Influences on Personality Situations and Social Learning  The reason for people’s inconsistency across situations is that different behaviours are rewarded, punished, or ignored in different contexts – why some behaviourists think it does not even make much sense to talk about personality  Social-cognitive learning theorists argue that people do acquire central personality traits from their learning history and their resulting expectations and beliefs. (e.g. a person who studies hard, gets praised in school & gets good grades = ambitious/industrious whereas one who does the same and gets a different response = unambitious/unmotivated)  People can have a core set of stable traits AND that behaviour can vary across situations Reciprocal determinism: in social-cognitive theories, the two-way interaction between aspects of the environment and aspects of the individual in the shaping of personality traits  Your temperaments, habits and beliefs influence how you respond to others, who you hang out with and the situations you seek. In turn, the situation influences your behaviour and beliefs, rewarding some behaviours and extinguishing others. Nonshared environment: unique aspects of a person’s environment and experience that are not shared with family members  Experiences work reciprocally with your own interpretations of them, your temperament and you perceptions Parental Influence and Its Limits The belief that personality is primarily determined by how parents treat their children has begun to crumble under the weight of: 1. The shared environment of the home has little if any influence on most personality traits: In behavioural-genetic research, correlation between personality traits of adopted kids and their adoptive parents is weak to non-existent – therefore, influence of child-rearing practices and family life is very small compared to the influences of genetics. It is only nonshared environment that has a strong impact. 2. Few parents have a single child-rearing style that is consistent over time and that they use with all their children: parents are inconsistent & child-rearing practices vary by moods, stresses, marital status 3. Even when parents try to be consistent in the way that they treat their children, there may be little relation between what they do and how the children turn out: some children of abusive parents turn out good and some of the kindest parents succumb to drugs  However, parents do influence children’s religious beliefs, intellectual/occupational interest, motivation to succeed, skills, etc.  What parents do profoundly affects the quality of the relationship they share with their children  Parents have influence on traits in children that are highly heritable (e.g. impulsive, aggressive children could be protected from a life of crime by consistent discipline from parents) The Power of Peers  People live in two environments: their homes and their world outside the home  To avoid controlling forces of being laughed at or rejected, most children will do what they can to conform to the norms and rules of their immediate peer group  People start moulding facets of their personalities to the pressures of the group. (e.g. when parents have strong push to study, but peers make person think its geeky, peers usually win) Cultural Influences on Personality Culture: a program of shared rules that governs the behaviour of members of a community or society and a set of values, beliefs, and attitudes shared by most members of that community Culture, Values, and Traits Individualist cultures: cultures in which the self is regarded as autonomous, and individual goals and wishes are prized above duty and relations with others – the independence of the individual often takes precedence over the needs of the group & the self is defined as a collection of personality traits Collectivist cultures: cultures in which the self is regarded as embedded in relationships, and harmony with one’s group is prized above individual goals and wishes – group harmony takes precedence over individual’s wishes and self is defined in context of relationships and the community Members of individualist cultures Members of collectivist cultures Define self as autonomous, independent of Define self as interdependent part of groups groups Give priority to individual goals Give priority to goals of group Value independence, leadership, achievement, Value group harmony, duty, obligation and self-fulfillment security Give more weight to individual’s attributes and Give more weight to group norns than to preferences than to group norms as individual attitudes as explanations of explanations of behaviour behaviour Attend to the benefits & costs of relationships – Attend to needs of group members – if if costs > advantages, person likely to drop relationship beneficial to group but costly to relationship individual, individual likely to stay in relationship People from collectivist cultures are concerned with adjusting their own behaviour depending on the social context, they tend to regard personality and the sense of self as being more flexible than people from individualist cultures do. Tachiba: in Japanese, to perform social roles correctly so there is harmony with others Culture and Traits  Bathing patterns: in some cultures you may be a clean freak while in others a slob  In cultures that value individual achievement and self-advancement, taking care of others has less importance and altruism as a personality trait is not cultivated to the same extent  The way people view time: In America, being late is a sign of disrespect, whereas in places like Mexico, the idea that time is more important than a person is unthinkable – people would wait for hours to see a person  Aggressiveness of men influences by being raised in a culture of “honour” or where competition for resources if fierce and survival is difficult Evaluating Cultural Approaches  Individuals are affected by their culture, but they vary within it – cultural psychologists face the problem of how to describe cultural influences on personality without oversimplifying or stereotyping  Cultural psychologists face the risk of exaggerating the contrasts between cultures The Inner Experience We have the power to choose our own destinies, even when fate delivers us into tragedy. Humanist Approaches Humanist psychology: approach that emphasizes personal growth, resilience, and the achievement of human potential – our uniquely human capacity to determine our own actions and futures Abraham Maslow  Psychology ignored many positive aspects of life like joy, laughter, love, happiness and peak experiences (rare moments of rapture caused by the attainment of excellence or the experience of beauty)  Qualities of the self-actualized person are most important (not the Big 5)  Personality development = gradual progression toward self-actualization Carl Rogers  “fully functioning individual” experience congruence/harmony between image they project to others and their true feelings/wishes o to become it, you need unconditional positive regard: love/support given to another person with no conditions attached  how you behave depends on your subjective reality, not on the external reality around you  incongruence: the feeling of being out of touch with your feelings/not being true to yourself = low self-regard, defensiveness & unhappiness Rollo May  Existentialism: philosophical approach that emphasizes the inevitable dilemmas and challenges of human existence (e.g. meaning of life, need to confront death, responsibility for our actions)  Free will carries a price in anxiety and despair  We can choose to make the best of ourselves, but we can never escape harsh realities of life and loss Narrative Approaches  Life narrative: the story that each of us develops over time to explain ourselves and make meaning of everything that has happened to us o Reflects your needs, justifies the actions you take, or fail to take, to solve your problems & transform your life o Your stories about how you see and explain yourself are the essence of your personality Evaluating Humanist and Narrative Approaches  Many assumptions are untestable; hard to define operationally Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders Defining and Diagnosing the Problem Dilemmas of Definition: Mental disorder as… 1. A violation of cultural standards: every society sets up standards for its members to follow, and those who break the most important rules governing appropriate behaviour are usually considered deviant or disturbed 2. Emotional distress: defines mental disorder in terms of a person’s suffering (e.g. from depression, anxiety) – but does not cover behaviour of those who are dangerous to others yet view their behaviour as perfectly normal 3. Behaviour that is self-destructive or harmful to others: emphasizes the negative consequences of a person’s behaviour on themselves and others Mental disorder: any behaviour or emotional state that causes an individual great suffering, is self- destructive, seriously impairs the person’s ability to work/get along with others, or endangers others or the community Dilemmas of Diagnosis Classifying Disorders: the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) – primary aim to be descriptive: provide clear diagnostic categories People evaluated according to 5 axes: 1. The primary clinical problem (e.g. depression) 2. Ingrained aspects of the client’s personality that are likely to affect the person’s ability to be traded (e.g. neuroticism) 3. Medical conditions/medications that might contribute to symptoms 4. Social & environmental stressors that can make the disorder worse (e.g. housing troubles) 5. A global assessment of the client’s overall level of functioning (e.g. in work & duration of problem) Problems with the DSM: 1. Danger of over diagnosis (e.g. ADHD) 2. Power of diagnostic labels: once a person is labelled as to having a disorder, observers tend to ignore changes in behaviour even when acting normal. 3. Confusion of serious mental disorders with normal problems: giving the impression that everyday common problems require treatment & downplaying the serious ones 4. The illusion of objectivity and universality: group consensus about who has what often reflects prevailing attitudes and prejudices rather than objective evidence – many diagnoses depend on cultural consensus, not on empirical evidence – about what constitutes as normal behaviour & what is a mental disorder Culture-bound syndromes: disorders that are specific to particular cultural contexts Dilemmas of Measurement Projective tests: psychological tests used to infer a person’s motives, conflicts, and unconscious dynamics on the basis of the person’s interpretations of ambiguous stimuli (e.g. asking client to draw a tree, Rorschach inkblot test)  Can help establish rapport between clinicians and clients, but evidence shows tests lack reliability and validity – clinicians can project their own beliefs when they decide what a response means & fail to measure what they are supposed to measure  Example: “abused” children playing with anatomically detailed dolls – inaccurate because child cold just have fascination with genitals Objective tests (inventories): standardized objective questionnaires requiring written responses; typically include scales (e.g. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventor & validity scales to show whether test taker is lying/defensive/evasive while answering it)  Usually more valid and reliable than projective methods or subjective clinical judgments  Often fail to take into account differences among cultural, regional & socioeconomic groups  High rate of false positives  Objective tests inappropriately used in business industry by people not trained in testing Anxiety Disorders ANXIETY AND PANIC Generalized anxiety disorder: a continuous state of anxiety market by feelings of worry and dread, apprehension, difficulties in concentration, and signs of motor tension  May have physiological tendencies to experience anxiety symptoms, genes may be involved in causing abnormalities in amygdala/prefrontal cortex, temperamentally shy children are predisposed to react with anxiety Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (after trauma like sexual assault, war, torture, natural disaster) Symptoms: insomnia, agitation, jumpiness, reliving trauma, intrusive thoughts, sense of detachment from others, loss of interest in activities To develop chronic PTSD, need trauma and smaller hippocampus than normal, and prior history of psychological problems and other traumatic experiences with poor emotional adjustment to them – due to self-defeating, anxiety-producing ways of thinking in general, also have lower-than-average intelligence (which impairs the ability to cope cognitively with trauma Panic Disorder  Person has recurring attacks of intense fear/panic, often with feelings of impending doom or death – can last from minutes to hours Symptoms: trembling, shaking, dizziness, chest pain, discomfort, rapid heart rate, feelings of unreality, hot/cold flashes, sweating, fear of dying, going crazy, losing control Usually occur in aftermath of stress, prolonged emotion, specific worries, or frightening experiences Normal people experience panic attacks and acknowledge them as a product of stressful situation; what’s different with disorder is the way they interpret the symptom: that the person develops a chronic fear of the attack themselves & live in restrictive ways to avoid future attacks FEARS AND PHOBIAS Phobia: an exaggerated, unrealistic fear of a specific situation, activity or object Can come from:  Humans acquired them through evolution b/c meant real danger  Acquired through classical conditioning  observation of event happening to someone else  may reflect cultural/personality differences Agoraphobia: a set of phobias, often set off by a panic attack, involving the basic fear of being away from a safe place or person, “fear of fear” OBSESSIONS AND COMPULSIONS Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: an anxiety disorder in whish a person feels trapped in unwished-for, repetitive, persistent thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive, ritualized behaviours (
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