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Chapter 13

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McGill University
PSYC 100
James Mac Dougall

Chapter 13PersonalityPersonalitythe characteristic thoughts emotional responses and behaviours that are relatively stable in an individual over time and across circumstancesPeople always trying to figure others outPeople act differently depending on the situationPersonality traita characteristic a dispositional tendency to act in a certain way over time and across circumstancesHow have psychologists studied personalityDan McAdams asked what we need to know to know a person wellSome personality psychologists emphasize biological and genetic factorsOther emphasize culture patterns of reinforcement mentalunconscious processesTo understand people is to understand everything about thembiological makeups childhood experiences cultural backgrounds the way they thinkGordon Allport gave definition of personality the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristic behaviour and thoughtsoOrganization indicates personality is not just a set of traits but a coherent wholeoDynamic organization indicates that it is goal seeking sensitive to context adaptive to environmentoPsychophysical systems indicates the psychophysical nature of personality while recognizing that it arises from basic biological processesoPersonality causes people to have characteristic behaviours thoughts feelingsPsychodynamic theories emphasizes unconscious and dynamic processesSigmund Freudphysician whose theories dominated psychological thinking for many decadesFreud developed ideas about personality by observing patients that were treated for psychological disturbances paralysis without apparent patient cause Psychodynamic theoryFreudian theory that unconscious forces such as wishes and motives influence behaviouroPsychic forcesinstinctsoExamplepeople satisfy life instinct with pleasure principle directs people to seek pleasureavoid painoEnergy drives pleasure principlelibido energy that promotes pleasure seekingTopographical model of the mindoFreud says most conflict between psychological forces occurs in level of conscious awarenessoTopographical model proposes structure of the mind divided into 3 zones of mental awarenessConsciouspeople are aware of their thoughtsPreconsciouscontent that is not currently in awareness but that could be brought into awarenessUnconsciousmaterial that the mind cannot easily retrieveoThe unconscious mind contains wishes desires motives that are associated with conflict anxiety pain To protect a person from distress they are not accessibleIf this information leaks into consciousnessFreudian slip person accidently reveals a hidden motiveDevelopment of sexual instinctsoFreud believes that early childhood experiences have major impact on development of personalityoThere are stages corresponding with pursuit of satisfaction of libidinal urgesoPsychosexual stageaccording to Freud the developmental stages that correspond to the pursuit of satisfaction of libidinal urgesoLibido is focused on erogenous zones mouth anus genitalsoOral stagebirth to 18 monthsPleasure is sought through mouth breastfeeding suckingoAnal stage2 to 3 years oldToilet training leads to focus on anuslearning to control bowel movementsfocusoPhallic stage3 to 5 years oldDirect libidinal energies towards genitalsChildren often seen rubbing their genitals with no sexual intent per seChildren desire exclusive relationship with oppositesex parentOedipus complex because samesex parent is seen as rivalcreates hostility towards the parentDevelop unconscious wishes to kill one parent in order to claim the otherResolve the issue through identification with samesex parenttaking their values and beliefsoLatency stagebriefLibidinal urges are suppressedchanneled into schoolworkbuilding relationshipsoGenital stageadolescence to adulthoodPeople attain mature attitudes about sexualityadulthoodLibidinal urges are centered on capacity to reproducecontribute to societyoThe passage through these points is critical to personalitySome people become fixated at a stage when they receive excessive parental restrictionindulgence At oral stageoral personalitiescontinue to seek pleasure through the mouth smoking needinessAt anal phaseanalretentive personalitiesstubbornhighly regulating
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