PSY 1102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Psychoanalysis, Narcissism, Conscientiousness

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18 Oct 2014

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cPSY1102- Chapter 13- Personality
- Personality: An individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting
Psychodynamic Theories- View personality with a focus on the conscious and the
importance of childhood experiences:
- Descended from Freud’s psychoanalysis
- Freud discovered the unconscious by observing patients
oSpeculated that lost feeling might be caused by a fear of touching genitals
and that unexplained blindness/deafness might be caused by not wanting
to see/hear something
- Free Association: In psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in
which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial
or embarrassing
oFreud believed free association would allow him to retrace the line from
distant past to troubled present
- Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions
to unconscious motives and conflicts; the techniques used in treating
psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions
- Freud believe that the majority of the mind is hidden
- Unconscious: According to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts,
wishes, feelings, and memories. According to contemporary psychologists,
information processing of which we are unaware
- Some thoughts are stored in the preconscious- can retrieve from here into
conscious awareness
- Freud thought we repress many passions/thoughts
- Freud viewed jokes as repressed sexual or aggressive tendencies
- Manifest content- remembered dream content
- Latent content- dreamer’s unconscious wishes
- Freud believed that personality arises from a conflict between impulse and
oPersonality arises from our efforts to resolve this basic conflict
- Freud proposed 3 interacting systems- ID, EGO, SUPEREGO
- Id: A reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to
satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drive. The id operates on the pleasure
principle, demanding immediate gratification
oNewborn infant crying for satisfaction
- Ego: The largely conscious ‘executive part of personality that, according to
Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality, The ego
operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires in ways that will
realistically bring pleasure instead of pain
oContains partly conscious perceptions, thoughts, judgments, memories
- Superego: The part of personality that, according to Freud, represents internalized
ideals and provides standards for judgment and future aspirations
oForces the ego to consider the ideal
oFocuses on how we ought to behave
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oSuper strong superego may be a virtuous but guilty person
- The personality mediates among the demands of the id, restraints of the superego,
and real-life demands of the external world
- Freud concluded that personality forms during the first few years of life
- Psychosexual Stages: The childhood stages of development (oral, anal, phallic,
latency, genital) during which, according to Freud, the ids pleasure-seeking
energies focus on distinct erogenous zones
oOral Stage-
0-18 months
Pleasure centers in the mouth – sucking, biting, chewing
oAnal Stage-
18-36 months
Pleasure focuses on bowel and bladder elimination; coping w/
demands for control
oPhallic Stage-
3-6 years
Pleasure zone is the genitals; coping w/ incestuous sexual feelings
Boys seek sexual stimulation
Development of unconscious sexual desires for mother and
jealousy for their father (rival)
Phase of dormant sexual feelings
Maturation of sexual interests
- Oedipus Complex: According to Freud, a boy’s sexual desires towards his mother
and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father
- Children cope w/ threatening feelings by repressing them and identifying with the
rival parent
- Identification: The process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate
their parents’ values into their developing superegos
oIdentification w/ the same sex parents provides us with our gender identity
- Early childhood relations influence development of identity, personality, frailties
- Unresolved conflicts in psychosexual stages could surface as maladaptive
behavior in adult years
- Fixation: According to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an
earlier psychosexual stage where conflicts were unresolved
- We must control sexual and aggressive impulses
- The ego may fear losing control of the war between the id and superego
- Defense Mechanisms: In psychoanalytic theory, the ego’s protective methods of
reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality
oFunction indirectly and unconsciously
- Repression: In psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes
anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness
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oUnderlies all other defense mechanisms
- 6 Defense Mechanisms:
Retreating to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some
psychic energy remains fixated
Example: Little boy reverting to the oral practice of thumb sucking
on his way to the first day of school
oReaction Formation:
Switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites
Example: Repressing angry feelings, a person displays exaggerated
Disguising one’s own threatening impulses by attributing them to
Example: “The thief thinks everyone else is a thief”
Offering self-justifying explanation in place of the real, more
threatening unconscious reasons for one’s actions
Example: Habitual drinker says she drinks just to be social
Shifting sexual/aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or
less threatening object/person
Example: A little girl kicks her dog when her mom sends her to her
Refusing to believe or perceive painful realities
A partner denies evidence of his loved ones affair
Neo-Freudian and Psychodynamic Theorists:
- Neo-Freudians: Accepted Freud’s basic ideas (structures of id, ego, superego;
important of unconscious, shaping of personality in childhood; dynamics of
anxiety and defense mechanisms)
- Broke away from Freud in 2 ways:
oPlaced more emphases on the role of the conscious mind in interpreting
experience and coping with the environment
oDoubted that sex and aggression were all-consuming motivations
- Alfred Adler and Karen Horney- agreed that childhood is important, but believed
that childhood social (not sexual) tensions are crucial for personality formation
- Adler proposed the inferiority complex
- Horney- childhood anxiety triggers our desire for love and security
- Carl Jung:
oLess emphasis on social factors
oAgreed that the unconscious exerts a powerful influence
oUnconscious contains more than repressed thoughts and feelings
oBelieved in the collective unconscious
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