Chapter 12 – Personality A comprehensive summary of key terms and aspects of the required learnings / teachings from Ch. 12.

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
Western University
Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Chapter 12 Personality
Personality the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that
characterize a person’s responses to life situations
Aspects of personality have three characteristics:
o Seen as components of identity that distinguish that person from other people
o Behaviours viewed as being caused primarily by internal rather than environmental
factors
o Behaviours seem to fit together in a meaningful fashion, suggesting an inner personality
that guides and directs behaviour
The Psychodynamic Perspective
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
o Considered personality to be an energy system
o Psychic energy generated by instinctual drives, this energy powers the mind and
constantly presses for either direct or indirect release
Buildup of sexual energy can be discharged directly through sexual activity, or
indirectly through fantasies or artistic depictions
o Mental events are divided:
Conscious events that we are presently aware of
Preconscious memories, thoughts, feelings, images that we are unaware of at
the moment, but can be recalled
Unconscious dynamic realm of wishes, feelings, and impulses that lie beyond
our awareness
o Personality divided into three separate but interacting structures:
Id primitive and unconscious part of the personality that contains the instincts
Operates according to the pleasure principle (seeks immediate
gratification or release, regardless of rational considerations or reality)
Ego executive of personality that is partly conscious between impulses of id,
prohibitions of superego, and dictates of reality
Operates according to reality principle (tests reality to decide when the
id can safely discharge impulses)
Superego moral arm of personality that internalizes standards and values of
society
Rewards compliance with pride, and non-compliance with guilt
o Id and superego are formed when child is young, ego develops later
o Iceberg analogy id is below the water (unconscious), while ego and superego are
mostly above water (conscious)
Ego is mostly above water, while superego has portions both above and under
o Unconscious conflict interaction of id, ego, and superego results in constant struggle,
causing anxiety
Reality anxiety ego’s fear of real world threats
Neurotic anxiety ego’s fear of id’s desires
Moral anxiety ego’s fear of guilt from superego
o Defense mechanisms unconscious processes by which the ego prevents the expression
of anxiety-arousing impulses
Repression ego uses some of its energy to prevent anxiety-arousing memories
from entering consciousness
Sublimination (displacement) completely masking the sinister underlying
impulses through other forms (art, sports, etc.)
Rationalization urge reinterpreted in acceptable terms
Projection own urges seen in others (“I hate you” becomes “You hate me”)
Isolation memories allowed back into consciousness without motives or
emotions
Regression mentally returning to an earlier, safer state
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Document Summary

Personality the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a person"s responses to life situations. Freud"s psychoanalytic theory: considered personality to be an energy system, psychic energy generated by instinctual drives, this energy powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct or indirect release. Buildup of sexual energy can be discharged directly through sexual activity, or indirectly through fantasies or artistic depictions: mental events are divided: Conscious events that we are presently aware of. Preconscious memories, thoughts, feelings, images that we are unaware of at the moment, but can be recalled. Unconscious dynamic realm of wishes, feelings, and impulses that lie beyond our awareness: personality divided into three separate but interacting structures: Id primitive and unconscious part of the personality that contains the instincts. Operates according to the pleasure principle (seeks immediate gratification or release, regardless of rational considerations or reality)

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