Chapter 12 Notes
Personalityis an individual’s characteristic style of behaving, thinking,
self-report—a series of answers to a questionnaire that asks people
to indicate the extent to which sets of statements or adjectives
accurately describe their own behavior or mental state.
projective techniques, consist ofa standard series of ambiguous
stimuli designed to elicit unique responses that reveal inner aspects
of an individual’s personality.
Rorschach Inkblot Test,a projective personality test in which
individual interpretations of the meaning of a set of unstructured
inkblots are analyzed to identify a respondent’s inner feelings and
interpret his or her personality structure
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)is a projective personality test in
which respondents reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way
they see the social world through the stories they make up about
ambiguous pictures of people.
a trait as a relatively stable disposition to behave in a particular and
The Big Five,as they are affectionately called, are the traits of the
five-factor model: conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism,
openness to experience, and extraversion
The behavioral activation system (BAS), essentially a “go” system,
activates approach behavior in response to the anticipation of reward
The behavioral inhibition system (BIS), a “stop” system, inhibits
behavior in response to stimuli signaling punishment.
psychodynamic approach. According to this approach, personality is
formed by needs, strivings, and desires largely operating outside of
awareness—motives that can produce emotional disorders.
dynamic unconscious—an active system encompassing a lifetime of
hidden memories, the person’s deepest instincts and desires, and the
person’s inner struggle to control these forces.
id, is the part of the mind containing the drives present at birth; it is the source of our
bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive
drives. he ego is the component of personality, developed through contact
with the external world, that enables us to deal with life’s practical
superego, the mental system that reflects the internal-ization of
cultural rules, mainly learned as parents exercise their authority.
defense mechanisms, which are unconscious coping mechanisms
that reduce anxiety generated by threats from unacceptable
Rationalization is a defense mechanism that involves supplying a
reasonable-sounding explanation for unacceptable feelings and
behavior to conceal (mostly from oneself) one’s underlying motives or
Reaction formation is a defense mechanism that involves unconsciously replacing
threatening inner wishes and fantasies with an exaggerated version of their opposite.
Projection is a defense mechanism that involves attributing one’s
own threatening feelings, motives, or impulses to another person or
Regression is a defense mechanism in which the ego deals with internal conflict and
perceived threat by reverting to an immature behavior or earlier stage of
development, a time when things felt safer and more secure
Displacement is a defense mechanism that involves shifting unacceptable wishes or
drives to a neutral or less threatening alternative
Identification is a defense mechanism that helps deal with feelings of
threat and anxiety by enabling us unconsciously to take on the
characteristics of another person who seems more powerful or better
able to cope.
Sublimation is a defense mechanism that involves channeling
unacceptable sexual or aggressive drives into socially acceptable and
culturally enhancing activities.
psychosexual stages, defined as distinct early life stages through
which personality is formed as children experience sexual pleasures
from specific body areas and caregivers redirect or interfere with
fixation, meaning that the person’s pleasure-seeking drives become
stuck, or arrested, at that psychosexual stage. oral stage, during which experience centers on the pleasures and frustrations
associated with the mouth, sucking, and being fed
anal stage, during which experience is dominated by the pleasures
and frustrations associated with the anus, retention and expulsion of
feces and urine, and toilet training.
phallic stage, during which experience is dominated by the pleasure, conflict, and
frustration associated with the phallic-genital region as well as coping with powerful
incestuous feelings of love, hate, jealousy, and conflict.
Oedipus conflict, a developmental experience in which a child’s conflicting feelings
toward the opposite-sex parent are (usually) resolved by identifying with the same-
latency stage, in which the primary focus is on the further
development of intellectual, creative, interpersonal, and athletic
genital stage, is the time for the coming together of the mature adult personality with
a capacity to love, work, and relate to others in a mutually satisfying and reciprocal
self-actualizing tendency, the human motive toward realizing our
inner potential, as a major factor in personality
existential approachregards personality as governed by an individual’s ongoing
choices and decisions in the context of the realities of life and death.
T he social cognitive approachviews personality in terms of how the
person thinks about the situations encountered in daily life and
behaves in response to them.
person-situation controversy, which focuses on the question of
whether behavior is caused more by personality or by situational
explanations of personality differences are concerned with