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Psychology 1000

WHAT IS PERSONALITY? Personality: distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling and acting that characterizes a person’s responses to life situations 3 characteristics of the actions reflecting a personality: 1) Components of identity that distinguish one person from another 2) The behaviours are viewed as being caused by internal rather than external factors 3) The person’s behaviours seem to “fit together” suggesting an inner personality that guides behaviours THE PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH -focus on the internal forces that conflict with each other (the unconscious determinants of behaviour) FREUDS PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY -studied patients with conversion hysteria (symptoms developed without a medical condition present) -was convinced that an unconscious part of the mind has a great influence on behaviour since when people discussed their repressed experiences their symptoms disappeared Psychic Energy and Mental events: -thought of personality as an energy system; instinctual drives generate psychic energy which powers the mind and pushes for either direct or indirect release Ex. a buildup of energy from sexual drives may be released as sexual activity (direct) or as sexual fantasies (indirect) Mental events may be… Conscious: mental events we are aware of Preconscious: we are unaware of at the time but can be easily recalled (ex. memories) *these two are the most prominent areas of the mind Unconscious: feelings and impulses that we are unaware of; only revealed when it is discharged in some way (ex. dream, slips of the tongue, disguised behaviour) The structure of personality: 3 structures: 1) id: -totally within the unconscious mind -innermost core of personality; the only structure present at birth and the source of all psychic energy -operates according to the pleasure principle: seeks immediate gratification or release regardless of rational considerations and environmental realities -does not have contact with the outer world; therefore cannot be satisfied by obtaining what it needs from the environment 2) ego: -functions primarily at a conscious level -operates according to the reality principle: tests reality to decide when and under what conditions the id can safely discharge its impulses and satisfy its needs Ex. ego would seek sexual gratification with a consenting partner rather than through sexual assault (pleasure principle) -tries to postpone instinct (id) gratification until conditions are safe 3) superego: -moral arm of personality; develops at 4-5 years old -contains the traditional values of society; ideals internalized by the reinforcement of a child by their parents from good and bad behaviours -(how the child “should” behave) – self-control is substituted for external control -strives to control the instincts of the id (especially the sexual and aggressive impulses condemned by society) -moralistic goals are more important than realistic goals -tries to block the id gratification permanently “executive of personality”- the struggle to balance the demands of the id, the constraints of the superego, and demands of reality Conflict, Anxiety, and Defense -when the ego confront impulses that threaten to get out of control or is faced with dangers from the environment, anxiety results Ex. physical pain: anxiety serves as a danger signal and motivates the ego to deal with the problem -anxiety can be reduced by… Realistic coping behaviours (Ex. when mad at someone you work it out with words rather than assault which is what your impulses may be telling you) Defense mechanisms: -when realistic strategies are ineffective, the ego resorts to defense mechanisms that deny or distort reality Ex. may permit the id impulses is a disguised form that works within the prohibitions of the superego Defense mechanism Description Repression -the primary way the ego keeps impulses under control; the ego uses some of its energy to prevent anxiety arousing memories, feeling, or impulses, to enter our conscious awareness -repressed thoughts may be expressed indirectly through slips of the tongue or in dreams Denial -a person refuses to acknowledge anxiety arousing aspects of the environment -may involve either the emotions connected with the event or the event itself Displacement -an unacceptable or dangerous impulse is repressed, the directed at a safer substitute target Intellectualization -emotions connected with an upsetting event are repressed, and the situation is dealt with as an intellectually interesting event Projection -an unacceptable impulse is repressed, then projected onto other people Rationalization -a person constructs a false but plausible explanation for an anxiety arousing event that has already happened Reaction formation -an anxiety arousing impulse is repressed, and its psychic energy finds release in an exaggerated expression of the opposite behaviour Sublimation -completely masking the sinister underlying impulses by channeling them into social acceptable behaviours Ex. hostile impulses may be expressed when someone becomes a lawyer Psychosexual Development: Psychosexual stages: a series of stages that children pass through during which the id’s pleasure seeking tendencies are focused on specific pleasure sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones Fixation: a state of arrested psychosexual development in which instincts are focused on a particular psychic theme produced by either deprivations or overindulgences STAGES: 1) Oral stage: -during infancy (0-2 years old); gain primary satisfaction from taking food in; zone = the mouth -either excessive gratification or frustration of oral needs leads to fixation on oral themes as an adult 2) Anal stage: (2-3 years old); pleasure is focused on the process of elimination zone = the anus Ex. toilet training is the first attempt to control a biological urge -harsh toilet training = overemphasis on cleanliness; laxed toilet training = messy, negative, dominant adult 3) Phallic stage: (4-6 years old); begin to derive pleasure from sexual organs; Oedipus complex: the male child will have sexual desires toward their mother and think of their father as a rival; have feelings of strong guilt and fear that the father will castrate him (castration anxiety) Electra complex: the female child notice that they lack a penis and blame their mother for their castration; develop sexual attachment for their father -a major milestone for gender identity -children will resolve the conflicts by repressing their sexual impulses and move to identification with the same sex parent (identification helps form the superego as they internalize the parents values) 4) Latency stage: (7-puberty); sexuality becomes dormant- they focus on developing social relationships 5) Genital stage: (Puberty - ); erotic impulses find direct expression in sexual relationships -develop mature social and sexual relationships Research on Psychoanalytic behaviour: -Freud opposed experimental research since he thought that the phenomena could not be identified under controlled conditions -cognitive researchers have developed new methods for identifying unconscious processing of information Cognitive neuroscience: method for tapping into mental processes as they occur by measuring brain activity EVALUATING PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY -drawback of the theory = it is hard to test because it explains too much to allow clear cut behavioural predictions -psychosexual theory is the most controversial; there is evidence that childhood experiences (such as emotional attachment) do influence the development of personality Freud’s Legacy: neoanalytic and object relations approaches Neoanalysts: -psychoanalysts (like Freud) who disagreed with certain parts Freud’s ideas and developed their own theories -believed that there was not enough emphasis on social and cultural factors Erik Erikson: -felt that Freud laid too much important on childhood experiences as a determinant of adult personality -thought childhood was important, but personality development continued throughout adulthood Alfred Adler: -contrasted Freud’s assertion that behaviour is motivated by inborn sexual and aggressive instincts and drives -Freud viewed humans as savage animals influenced by overcoming their own struggles from childhood -thought that humans are motivated by social interest, the desire to advance the welfare of others -people care and cooperate with other people, developed motive for striving for superiority to be more competent in life Carl Jung: -analytic psychology: people posses not only a personal unconscious from past experienced, but also a collective unconscious that is from memories throughout the history of the human race -memories are represented by archetypes; inherited tendencies to view an experience in a certain way Object relations: -theorists focused on images or mental representations that people form of themselves and other people as a result of early experiences with care givers -the ideas of what people should be (whether it is wrong or right) become “working models” through which they view later social relations; exert an unconscious influence on people’s relationships Ex. people who have trouble with relationships is often because they mentally represent themselves and others in negative ways; expecting painful interaction THE HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE Self actualization: the total realizations of one’s human potential CARL ROGER’S SELF THEORY: -our behaviour is a response to our immediate conscious experience of self and environment -forces within us direct behaviour and when they are not blocked by the environment, they can reach self actualization The Self: -an organized, consistent set of perceptions and beliefs about oneself; plays a role in directing our behaviour Self Concept: -develops in response to our life experience; first starting out as a child being able to distinguish between themselves and the environment (“me” and “not me”) -once self-concept is established, we tend to maintain it; self-consistency (an absence of conflict among self- perceptions) and congruence (consistency between self-perceptions and experience) -experiences that go against our self-concept evoke threat and anxiety Adjusted individuals: respond to threat adaptively and modify their self concept so it is congruent with the self Ex. a man who thinks that all women are attracted to him but is then rejected will realize that not all women are attracted to him Not adjusted: deny or distort their experiences to remove the incongruence Ex. the man would distort reality and deny the women’s lack of interest It is often just as difficult for people with negative self concepts to accept success as it is for people with positive self concepts to accept failure Change in behaviour: people may change their behaviour that will lead others to respond to them in a way that is congruent with their self concept -the more inflexible people’s self concepts are, the less open they will be to their experience and more maladjusted they become -a significant degree of incongruence the defenses used to deny and distort reality may collapse if the experiences are forceful causing extreme anxiety and temporary disorganization of the self concept The need for positive regard: -the need for acceptance, sympathy, and love from others; ideally the positive regard received from the parents is unconditional Unconditional Positive regard: the child is always worthy of love Conditional Positive regard: love is dependent on how the child behaves Need for positive self regard: positive regard from themselves; Conditions of worth: -when we approve or disapprove ourselves; develops from a lack of unconditional love from their parents which teaches them that they are worth of love only when certain standards are met -can cause major incongruence between self and experience (a need to deny or distort aspects of experience) Similar to the “shoulds” of Freud’s ego Fully Functioning Persons: -do not hide behind masks or adopt artificial roles; achieved self actualization -they have no fear of behaving spontaneously, are fairly free of conditions of worth, and can accept inner and outer experiences without modifying them to suit their own self concept RESEARCH ON SELF Self Esteem: -self esteem is related to many positive behaviours and positive life outcomes High self esteem: less susceptible to social pressures, achieve at a higher and more persistent level Low self esteem: poor self image- more prone to psychological disorders (depression and anxiety) Men and women do NOT differ in their overall level of self esteem What causes someone to develop high self esteem? -children with parents that communicate unconditional love, establish clear guidelines for behaviour, and reinforce compliance with giving the child freedom to make decisions within those guidelines -positive feedback caused children to revise their self concepts in a positive direction -when high self esteem or unstable self esteem is threatened, individuals may react more aggressively to protect it The higher the self esteem, the greater vulnerability to ego threats Goal enhanced self esteem: doing something to enhance your self esteem rather than mastering a task; emotional benefits may be only temporary - a failure is more damaging to the individual than a failure when the goal is to master the task Self verification and self enhancement motives: Need for Self verification: people are motivated to preserve self concept by maintaining self consistency and congruence Experiment: people showed greater recall for adjectives that were consistent with their concept; suggests that people selectively attend to recall self consistent information Ex. seeking a relationship: People with negative self concept: more likely to remain with spouses who agree with the negative image they have of themselves Self Enhancement: strong and pervasive tendency to gain and preserve a positive self image -people show a tendency to attribute their success to their own abilities and attribute failure to environmental factors -these “positive illusio
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