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Lectures for midterm #1

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Western University
Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Perspectives on Personality – Psychodynamic & Trait Personality: individual differences that are stable over time & consistent across situations  Where do these stable & consistent individual differences come from? Origins of Personality Freud’s Psychodynamic Perspective  Freud = most controversial & influential psychologist & best known  he was trained as a medical doctor, specializing in neurology  Freud came into contact with ppl with “hysteria”  Hysteria: unusual symptoms (but no physical basis) o Ex. Glove Anesthesia  patent looses all feeling in the hand from the wrist down  But this is impossible  Nearly every patient reported childhood sexual experiences with adults  is this responsible for hysteria?  No  memories = too inconsistent  Why would ppl report these sexual experience then?  Patients were reporting FANTASIES  things they wished had occurred  When his patients were encourage to talk about these experiences & free associate, the hysteria symptoms VANISHED  The “talking cure”  why was talking about these early experience effective? Topology of the Mind  Conscious Mind vs. Unconscious Mind o Conscious Mind: everything were aware of at a given moment o (motivated) Unconscious Mind: wishes, desires, impulses that are beyond conscious awareness  material in the unconscious mind is kept there b/c they are threatening/upsetting  unacceptable “sexual” or “aggressive” content o By probing the unconscious (with free association) he could make the unconscious conscious  curing his patients from hysterical symptoms!!! Interlude: Probing the Unconscious  Case of Obsessive Thinking  29 yr old man suffering from recurring obsessive thought  “if I have sexual intercourse….my niece will die”  obsessive thought = was in the conscious mind  conscious thought was linking to other unconscious thoughts: o ill think of being married  ill remember that my fiancée cant have children  ill become jealous of my sister who can have children  ill be angry with her for having a child  ill resent my niece  ill wish my niece was ill  my niece will die (CONSCIOUS THOUGHT)  Obsession disappeared with the unconscious thoughts were brought to the surface 3 Structures of the Mind  ID  chaos, cauldron of excitations o Exists entirely in the unconscious  no contact with reality  functions in an irrational manner o Reflects instinctive needs  EROS  basic instinct  UNCONSCIOUS INSTINCT TO SURVIVE + REPRODUCE  Eros produces “psychic energy”  LIBIDO  which must be released o ID operates according to “pleasure principle”  seeks immediate gratification of needs o ID engages in “primary process thinking”  no distinction b/n fantasy & reality  Ex. if I can’t get food immediately, I will Fantasize about it o Were all born with ID  EGO  operates at BOTH conscious + unconscious levels o EGO operates according to the “reality principle”  EGO wants to satisfy the ID, but is sensitive to the demands of the real world…willing to delay gratification of the ID’s needs o EGO engages in “secondary process thinking”  it develops realistic plans to satisfy the IDs needs  SUPEREGO  moral component of person (idea of what is right & wrong) o Operates at BOTH conscious + unconscious levels o Irrational (like ID)  b/c the SUPEREGO develops when the child is young (3 or 4) o GUILT occurs when the rules are broken  NOTE: 3 structures interact with each other  negotiate how libidinal energy will be used  EGO has the toughest job  must control the ID & SUPEREGO o How does the EGO stay in control?  Anxiety signals to the EGO loss of control  When the ID threatens to take control  “neurotic anxiety” occurs  When the SUPER threatens to take control  “moral anxiety”  EGO relies on Defense Mechanisms: allows EGO to stay in control  reduces anxiety Personality Development  Libindal energy is expressed & focused as we mature  “Psychosexual Development”  Controversial Idea  kids have sexual fantasies with adults  these sexual fantasies aren’t unusual, they occur in the normal life of all children  To Freud, sex = variety of needs & desires related to “physical pleasure” o 1 month old (sucking = pleasurable) o 4 year old (fondling own genitals & immature attraction to opposite-sex parent = pleasurable) o adult (sexual intercourse & establishing relationships = pleasurable)  Freud: “sexual function has to pass through a long & complicated process of development before it becomes the normal sexual life of the adult”  Psychosexual Development o 5 stages of Psychosexual Development (and focus of libidinal energy)  ORAL STAGE (age 0-1): mouth  ANAL STAGE (age 2-3): anus  Pleasure = retaining/expelling feces  SUPEREGO begins to emerge  PHALLIC STAGE (age 4-5): genitals  Child spends most of his/her time around parents  OEDIPAL CRISIS  LATENCY STAGE (age 6-12): no clear focus  GENITAL STAGE (puberty and on): libidinal energy is focused on generating & sustaining life (relationships, having children, careers)  NOTE: not everyone passes through all stages equally successfully  some libidinal energy can get tied up at a particular stage (so that person wont want to move on b/c its too pleasurable)  if enough libidinal energy gets tied up at a particular stage… FIXATION occurs: Fixation & adult “character types”  Oral character type  adult fixated at Oral stage o constant use of mouth  Anal character type  adult fixated at Anal stage o anal retentive (held in feces)  likely to be excessively neat, orderly, stingy, stubborn o anal expulsive (didn’t hold it in)  wasteful, messy  The Oedipus Crisis (Phallic Stage)  when libidinal energy gets focused on the parents o 3 Features: 1. sexually attracted to opposite-sex parent 2. fears retaliation from same-sex parent 3. resolves conflict by identifying with same-sex parent “if im really like dad, then I’m married to mom” o Phallic Character Type  failure to identify with same-sex parent Alternative Views (by the “revisionists” or “neo-Freudians”)  Jung’s Analytical Psychology  Adler’s Individual Psychology  Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory o All these perspectives put LESS emphasis on psychosexual development (but still somewhat “psychodynamic”  like Freud) TRAIT PERSPECTIVE  Most straightforward approach to studying personality  Trait: consistent & stable predisposition to behave in a particular way o Traits account for:  Consistency in beh across situations  Stability of out beh over time  What makes each of us “unique”  individual differences b/n ppl  How many traits are there? o Allport: 18,000 traits  Do we need all 18,000 traits? o Cattell: the search for “elementary traits” (basic building blocks of personality) o He removed all the synonyms from Allport’s list  left with 171 “surface traits” (punctual, outgoing) o Can these surface traits be reduced to a smaller set of traits  CATTELL’S PROCEDURE USED:  Judges rate ppl on all 171 surface traits  Calculate correlations b/n all traits  “factor analyzed” the correlations   Factor Analysis: identifies “clusters” of traits correlated with each other, but are not correlated with other clusters of traits o These “clusters” are called “factors”  DISCOVERED  16 factors  source traits Eysenck’s 2 “Trait Dimensions” 1) Introversion-extraversion: o Introverts  reserved, unsociable, passive o Extraverts  impulsive, sociable, active  Related to physiological arousal?  Introverts have a high baseline level of physiological arousal, so they avoid situations that will increase that arousal even further  Extraverts have a low baseline level of physiological arousal, so they seek out situations that will increase physiological arousal 2) Neuroticism-stability: o Neurotics  moody, anxious, restless o Stables  calm, even-tempered, reliable McCrae & Costa: The “Big 5” Traits  OCEAN = acronym 1. Openness to Experience  curious, flexible 2. Conscientiousness  reliable, dependable 3. Extraverted  outgoing, assertive 4. Agreeable  trusting, cooperative 5. Neuroticism  anxious, hostile  Biological basis for these 5 traits  studies of identical vs. fraternal twins (pg. 57) o FINDINGS: identical twins score more similar on the big 5 than fraternal twins  Evolutionary significance of the Big 5  being able to recognize these tings in our ancient ancestors may have helped them survive (pg. 58)  All personalities can be described by any of these trait theories  If we know
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