Understanding Human Personality
Personality refers to a persons unique, complex set of psychological qualities.
Individualized blueprint; characteristic patterns of behavior that emerge in various situations and at different
Viewer is shown a series of ambiguous images and is asked to verbally respond
Rorschach Inkblot Test
What might this be?
Thematic Apperception Test
Tell me a story.. (fill in the blanks)
Personality traits are enduring personal qualities that characterize behavior across situations
Run along continuous dimensions that describe patterns of observed behavior
Five broad psychological dimensions
Each dimension potentially representing many traits brought together to form a single, representative
Each dimension has two poles; at each end is an opposing characteristic of the factored dimension.
Factor 1: Extraversion (vs. introversion)
Factor 2: Agreeableness (sympathetic, kind, affectionate OR cold cruel, and confrontational)
Factor 3: Conscientiousness (organized, intellectual, openminded OR easygoing, careless, and
Factor 4: Neuroticism (stable, contented, oriented OR anxious, irritable, and temperamental)
Factor 5: Openness to Experience (creative, adventurous OR simple, shallow, resistant to change) Across the Lifespan
Is personality more consistent at some points in our life span?
Evidence indicates that personality is least stable during childhood.
Consistency increases with age.
Structure of Personality
Freud proposed a structure with 3 parts:
Governed by the “pleasure principle”; seeks immediate gratification devoid of rationality
The “conscience” of the mind; moral attitudes and values—doing what is “right”
Governed by the “reality principle”; selfpreservation by conscious executive (decisionmaker) . mediator
between superego and id.
The ego works to avoid being overwhelmed by threatening impulses and ideas; it does so by implementing
Help to cope with powerful inner conflicts
Protecting self from unpleasant truths by refusing to acknowledge that the event took place. Denying the
truth despite available evidence.
Lashing out to release pentup hostilities on objects or persons hat are not affiliated with the initial
Placing fault on nonrelated noun; blaming others for