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Personality.docx
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY-0001
Professor
Yvonne Wakeford
Semester
Fall

Description
Personality Theories Personality paradox ­ Stability: you have changed ­ Consistency: you are not yourself today ­ People often behave less consistently than expected (situations matter) The Interactionists approach ­ Add behaviors together (aggregation) Trait Approach: you are what you are born ­ People have a number of characteristics or traits such as honesty, aggressiveness or  anxiousness that control specific types of behavior ­ Can we specify a limited number of basic traits to accurately describe personalities? o Ideographic approach (Gordon Allport) says no o Nomothetic approach says yes o Raymond Cattell listed 18,000 traits o Hans Eysenck listed 3 traits (PEN)  Psychoticism vs. Considerate  Extraversion vs. Introversion  Neuroticism vs. Stability ­ The Big Five (OCEAN) o Openness/Culture/Intellect o Conscientiousness/Dependability o Extraversion o Agreeableness o Neuroticism/Emotional Stability ­ Objective Tests o Paper­and­pencil type; automated o Series of question about self o Assumes that you can accurately report o There are no right or wrong answers o Develops personality profile  Ex. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory • Most widely used personality instrument • Clinical & Employment settings • Measures aspects of personality that, if extreme, suggest a problem • Several different scales thought to measure different kinds of  psychological disorders ­ Critiques of Trait Theory o Weak predictions o Does not explain the ‘why’ o Does not account for cultural influence and norms o Relies on self­report Psychodynamic approach: you are what you wear ­ People’s behavior is controlled by inner forces of which they are unaware ­ The nature of the unconsciousness forces in each person depends largely on childhood  experiences ­ Sigmund Freud o Intrapsychic dynamics (unconscious) o Childhood events o Fantasies o Projective tests o Popular culture o Stage theory ­ Freud’s structure of personality o Conscious: acute awareness o Preconscious: just under awareness, easily known o Unconscious: well below awareness; difficult to know but very influential ­ Motivational forces o Id: selfish beast within our unconscious that carries pleasure­seeking desires o Ego: suppresses id’s urges; executes them in legitimate way (king)  o Superego: constantly reminds of do’s and don’ts (priest) ­ Pleasure principle o Id’s boundless drive for immediate gratification ­ Reality Principle o The ego’s capacity to delay gratification ­ Defense Mechanisms o Repression o Denial o Projection o Regression o Reaction Formation: emphasizing the opposite of the impulse o Sublimation: the transformation of an id impulse into the more acceptable action o Displacement o Rationalization ­ Projective tests o The Rorschach Inkblot test  Ambiguous stimuli  Person is asked what he sees o Thematic Apperception Test  Person is asked to tell a story about the “hero” in the picture  People are distinguished by the needs that motivate their behavior ­ Causes of psychological disorders o Unconscious conflict over impulses ­ Critique of the psychodynamic approach o Few objective observations o After­the­fact explanations (no predictive ability) o Inaccessible to controlled studies o The theory is too flexible o No consideration of cultural factors o Little support for the influence of childhood events on long­lasting effects o Unrealistic and tough to implement Behaviorist approach ­ People’
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