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Personality (2740) Psychology Midterm 2 Lecture and Textbook Notes.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

Psychology Review 2 Lecture 7: PhysiologicalApproaches to Personality - Specific condition or stimuli (e.g audience) and personality trait (e.g shyness)  psychological response (e.g anxiety)behaviour (running away, avoiding) o An indicator of physiological response could be an increase in heart rate etc. Common Physiological Measures in Personality - Electrodermal activity – provides a measure of sympathetic nervous system activity o A.k.a skin conductance o Those with high skin conductance were found to be more prone to self-injury, especially with negative events and stressful thoughts o They also tend to have a lower distress tolerance - Cardiovascular activity o Blood pressure and heart rate o Both increase in times of stress o Chronic cardiac reactivity linked to Type Apersonality (particularly, hostility) - Brain activity o Electroencephalogram – measures brain activity (electricity) via electrodes to determine areas of brain activity o Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – shows images of areas of brain o MRI and psychopathy  Decreased limbic activation when viewing violent images for those high in psychopathy vs. a control group (who had more activity) o Other relevant MRI findings:  Neuroticism – correlated with increased frontal brain activation to negative images  Extraversion – correlated with increased front brain activation to positive images Physiological Personality Theories & Related Research / Clinical Findings Eysenck’s Original Theory - Ascending reticular activating system – “gateway” for nervous stimulation of cortex o Introversion – higher resting cortical arousal (ARAS lets in too much) o Extraversion – lower resting cortical arousal (ARAS lets in too little) Eysenck’s Revised Theory - Those high in introversion or extraversion do not have different resting states of arousal, the difference lies in the degree of arousability Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment - Behavioural activating system (BAS) – responsive to rewards and regulated approach behaviour o Active BAS  impulsivity - Behavioural inhibition system – responsive to punishment, uncertainty and motivated inhibition/ avoidance o Active BIS  anxiety - Impulsivity – high extraversion; moderate neuroticism, responds poorly to punishment; and more to reward - Anxiety – high neuroticism; moderate introversion Sensation Seeking – tendency to seek out thrills, seek experience, take risks and avoid boredom - Supported by optimal level of arousal theory - people are motivated to reach their optimal arousal - Physiological basis of sensation seeking: o Monoamine oxidase (MAO) – regulates levels of neurotransmitters (by breaking it down)  Too little MAO  too much neurotransmitter  Too much MAO  too little neurotransmitter o High sensation seekers have low MAO Problem Gambling and Personality - Problem gambling – high sensation seeking and high impulsivity predicted problem grambling Neurotransmitter and Personality Cloninger’s Tridimensional Personality Model - Low levels of dopamine in novelty/sensation seeking - Low levels of serotonin in harm avoidance - Low levels of norepinephrine in reward dependence Morningness vs. Eveningness - Biological processes fluctuate on a 24-25 hour cycle called a Circadian rhythms - Shorter circadian rhythms  hit peaks earlier, sleep earlier at night - Longer circadian rhythms  hit peaks later, sleep later at night - Depressive symptoms found to be higher in evening people o Eveniningness may help understand biological mechanisms responsible for depression o Morningness may help understand those that are protective BrainAsymmetry - Hemispheres of brain are specialized and involved in specific functions - EEG measures brain activity  example: Alpha Wave (inverse indicator of brain activity) - Emotions often measured by activation in the frontal brain - Left frontal hemisphere o More active when experiencing pleasant emotions - Right frontal hemisphere o More active when experiencing negative emotions - This response is stable and affective style is thus considered trait-like Lecture 8: The Intrapsychic Domain: PsychoanalyticApproaches to Personality The Basis of Psychoanalytic Theory - Psychic energy – source of energy in everyone that fuels motivation (provided by instincts) - Instincts (provide energy) o Libido (life) o Thanatos (death) - The “Id” – drives all urges o Primitive and dominant in infancy o Pleasure principle o Primary process principle o Wish fulfillment - The Ego – constrains “Id” within reality o Develops around 2-3 years of age o Reality principle o Secondary process thinking - Super Ego – internalizes values, morals etc.  the conscious o Around age 5 o Not necessarily reality based  people can set their own standards Dynamics in Personality Anxiety - Objective anxiety – real threat - Neurotic anxiety – id-ego conflict - Moral anxiety – ego-super-ego conflict - Here, the function of the ego is to minimize anxiety and cope with threats via defense mechanisms Defense mechanisms Repression – preventing unacceptable thoughts, feelings, urges from reaching conscious awareness Denial – insisting that things are not as they seem by refusing to see facts Displacement – a threatening/unacceptable impulse directed from source to non-threatening target Rationalization – generating acceptable reasons for outcomes that otherwise appear socially unacceptable Reaction Formation – to reduce an urge, one may show an opposite reaction Projection – project own unacceptable desires, urges, and/or qualities onto others  related to false consensus effect Sublimation – channeling unacceptable instincts into a socially desirable activity Psychosexual Stages of Development - Oral Stage – mouth is the main source of pleasure o 0-18 months o Id wants pleasure and gratification o Key Conflict: weaning - Anal Stage – main source of pleasure comes from expelling or retaining feces o 18 months- 3 years o Conflicts here arise around self-control - Phallic Stage – child discovers he has a penis (or she does not) o 3-5 years o Sexual desire toward opposite sex parent  Oedipal Conflict  Electra Complex - Latency Stage – little psychological development o 6 years – puberty o Focus on learning skills/abilities for future success o No sexual conflict here - Genital Stage – libido focuses on genitals o Puberty – adult o No conflicts here o Personality is shaped by the way previous conflicts were resolved Psychosexual Stages and Personality - Occurs at human nature level  personality is determined by: conflict resolutions, the balance of pleasure vs. demands, people’s defense mechanisms, and the stages reached Personality and Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis – a form of psychotherapy used to help restructure personality by making the unconscious conscious - 1 goal: identify unconscious thoughts/feelings - 2 goal: once patient is aware of this material, help him/her deal with it maturely/realistically Techniques for Revealing the Unconscious FreeAssociation – patients relax and say what is on their mind (unfiltered content) DreamAnalysis – dream interpretation (content and meaning) - Manifest content  actual content - Latent content  what content means Projective techniques – shown a random spattering of paint and asked what you see The Process of Psychoanalysis - Using the previous techniques psychoanalysts can make interpretations and the patient can give insight (cognitive understanding of one’s problems and corresponding intense emotional experience) - As progress is made toward insight there might be.. o Resistance – patient sets up unconscious obstacles that work against progress o Transference – reaction (displacement) toward therapist as if therapist were someone in patients life The Impacts of Freud’s Contributions - Led to “talk therapy” and more modern forms of psychological treatment - His works have been integrated into society at large - His work guided many research questions in psychology - Among the few to develop at the human nature level Lecture 9: Psychoanalytic Approaches to Personality: Contemporary Issues False memories – memories that have been “implanted” (for events that did NOT occur) - Important to identify the processes that can lead to a false memory: o Popular press and media influence false memories o Behaviour of some therapists  Hypnosis  Imagination inflation effect  Confirmatory bias Contemporary Views of the Unconscious Motivated unconscious – Freud’s view Cognitive unconscious – unconscious operates like consciousness Ego Psychology - Comprises the view that the ego needs more attention - Ego has key role in: o Mastering environment o Achieving goals o Establishing identities Erikson’s 8 Stages of Development - Psychosocial conflicts – Erikson believed that the nature of the conflicts at each stage of development had a social nature (whereas, Freud believed they had a psychosexual nature) - Stage model of development – implying that people go through stages in a certain order and that there is a specific issue that characterizes each stage - He believed that each stage represented a developmental crisis that needed to be resolved o Maintained the notion of fixation – meaning that if the crisis was not properly resolved, then personality development could become arrested and the person would continue to be preoccupied by that crisis in development Trust vs. Mistrust - When children are born they rely completely on people around them - They can either develop a trust for people (e.g think people are approachable, trustable and generally good and loving) OR if they were not cared for properly they may develop a pattern of mistrust for others, suspiciousness, estrangement, isolation, and social anxiety or discomfort - Key question: does the child find the caregivers to be reliable? Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt - Conflict arises around 2 years - Trying to answer the question “How much of the world do I control?” - Agood outcome is when a child feels a sense of control and mastery over things and develops self-confidence and sense of autonomy that lets the child explore and learn - If the parents are to strict or over protective the child may develop a sense of doubt or shame about the goals they are contemplating - Key question: how much of the world can the child control Initiative vs. Guilt - Conflict arises around 3 years of age - If all goes well, the child should develop a sense of initiative which leads to ambition and goal seeking - If things do not go well, children may become resigned to failure or to not even take the initiative to pursue goals - Key question: does the child initiate tasks and goals? Industry vs. Inferiority - Around age 4, children start comparing themselves with each other  leading to competition - If they are successful in things they choose to do they develop a sense of competence and achievement - This leads to a sense of industry – feeling as if they can work to achieve what they want - However, with enough failure experiences, children may develop a sense of inferiority – feeling that they do not have the talent or ability to go ahead in life - Key question: does the child feel good at what she/he does? Identity vs. Role Confusion - Occurs during adolescence, people start to ask “Who am I, do others know me for me?” - There is lots of experimentation as this stage, trying on many different identities - Most people achieve some degree of consistent self-understanding - Most people will pass through a period of identity confusion o Identity confusion – which refers to not having a strong sense of who one really is o Rite of passage – usually a ceremony or ritual that initiates a child into adulthood o Some people develop a negative identity – an identity founded on undesirable social roles, such as a street gang member - Identity foreclosure – if a person does not have a crisis, or if he or she forms an identity without exploring alternatives, such as accepting the values of parents o Often moralistic and conventional, yet when asked to back up their beliefs they can’t seem to find any kind of support - Moratorium – refers to taking time to explore options before making a commitment to an identity o This is what it means to say that the development of an identity takes work Intimacy vs. Isolation - Arises in the latter half of the teenage years - Connecting with others, both in friendships and intimate relationships - Isolation is the result of failure to find or maintain intimacy - Can be a serious impairment on one’s happiness - Key question: who will I love? Will I settle down? Generativity vs. Stagnation - Occupying most of the adult years - The main question concerns whether or not the person has generated something that he or she really cares about in life - The crisis is when people take a step back and look at their lives and wonder if they’ve just been spinning the wheel = stagnation - Key question: am I satisfied? Have I succeeded? Integrity vs. Despair - Occurring toward the end of life - We start the process of withdrawing from life, pulling back from our adult roles - We look back on our lives and ask “Was it all worth doing?” - If they can look back on their lives and not have any regrets, integrity prevails - However, if they have regrets about things they could have done differently or changed, despair prevails - Key question: was it all worth it? Erikson (vs. Freud’s) view: Erikson saw personalities as developing over entire lifespan and underscored role of psychosocial factors vs. psychosexual AFeminist View of Psychoanalysis Revised Theory of Penis Envy - Penis = symbol of social power - Girls wanted the social power of the culture of that time - This work highlighted culture and how it impacts: fear of success and gender differences The Self and Narcissism Self-serving biases – refers to the common tendency for people to take credit for successes yet deny responsibility for failure - Some people take self-esteem to far, trying to increase their self-worth in various problematic ways o E.g appearing more powerful than others etc. - Narcissism – style of inflated self-admiration and constant attempts to draw attention to the self and to keep others focused on oneself - Narcissistic paradox – although a narcissist appear high in self-esteem, he or she actually has doubts about his or her worth as a person o They can be very vulnerable to blows to his or her self-esteem and cannot handle criticism well - Narcissism has a negative impact on quality/length of relationships - Narcissism and facebook: o S data: high narcissism correlated with more facebook usage (number of friends and wall posts) o O data: independent raters identified those high in narcissism Object Relations Theory - Assumptions: o Forming relationships with others is highly important, especially parents o Others (especially mother), become internalized in the form of mental objects o First social attachments form prototypes for future relationships EarlyAttachment: Harlow’s Work - Wire monkey vs cloth monkey o Baby monkeys preferred the cloth mother even though the wire monkey was the one that provided food o They would only go to the wire monkey to feed and then went back to the cloth monkey for comfort o This still caused problems later for the baby monkeys that were separated from their mothers because the cloth monkey didn’t cuddle, soothe etc.  they would develop problems when re-entered into a social setting - Harlow concluded that attachment between the infant and primary caregiver required physical contact with a warm and responsive mother and that it is vitally important to the psychological development of the infant Strange Situation:Ainsworth’s Work -
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