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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 summary

Course Code
Dax Urbszat

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Jan/6/2004 CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
I. The Nature of Personality
A.Defining Personality: Consistency and Distinctiveness
1. Concept of personality is used to explain:
a.Stability in a person’s behavior over time (consistency)
b. The behavioral differences among people reacting to the same situation
2. Personality – an individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioral
B. Personality Traits: Dispositions and Dimensions
1. Personality Trait – durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a
variety of situations. i.e. honesty, dependable, moody, etc.
2. Factor Analysis – correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify
closely related clusters of variables.
C. The Five Factor Model of Personality Traits (McCrae and Costa)
1. Extraversion – people who score high are characterized as outgoing, sociable,
upbeat, friendly, assertive and gregarious. Positive Emotionality.
2. Neuroticism – people tend to be highly anxious, hostile, self conscious,
insecure and vulnerable. Negative Emotionality
3. Openness to Experience – associated with curiosity, flexibility, vivid fantasy,
imaginativeness, artistic sensitivity, and unconventional attitudes.
4. Agreeableness – tend to be sympathetic trusting, cooperative, modest, and
5. Conscientiousness – tend to be diligent, disciplined, well organized, punctual,
and dependable. Constraint. Higher productivity
6. Maintain that personality can be described adequately be measuring the basic
traits that they’ve identified.
II. Psychodynamic Perspectives
1. Psychodynamic theories incl. all the diverse theories descended from the work
of Freud, which focus on unconscious mental forces.
B. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
1. Psychoanalytic Theory – attempts to explain personality, motivation and
psych disorders by focusing on the influence of early childhood experiences,
unconscious motives and conflicts, and methods people use to cope with their
sexual and aggressive urges.
a.Opponents – people control their own minds, people are masters of their
destinies, conservative sex values of time.
2. Structure of Personality – divided personality structure into 4 components and
saw person’s behavior as the outcome of interactions among those 3
a.Id – primitive, instinctive component of personality that operates
according to the pleasure principle. i.e. eating.
i.Operates according to the pleasure principle – demands immediate
gratification of its urges.
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Jan/6/2004 CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
b. Ego – decision making component of personality that operates according
to the reality personality. Ego mediates between the id, with forceful
desires for immediate satisfaction and the external social world.
i.Reality Principle – seeks to delay gratification of the id’s urges until
appropriate outlets and situations can be found.
ii.Secondary process thinking – involves rational, realistic, and
oriented problem solving.
c.Superego – the moral component of personality that incorporates social
standards about what represents right and wrong.
3. Levels of Awareness
a.Conscious – consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in
b. Preconscious – contains material just beneath the surface of awareness
that can easily be retrieved.
c.Unconscious – thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the
surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence
on behavior.
4. Conflict and the Tyranny of Sex and Aggression
a.Freud believed that people’s lives are dominated by conflict. Asserted
that individuals careen from one conflict to another.
b. Believed that conflicts centering on sexual and aggressive impulses are
especially likely to have far reaching consequences.
i.Sex and aggression are subject to more complex and ambiguous
social controls than other basic motives.
ii.Sexual and aggressive drives are thwarted more regularly that other
basic bio urges.
5. Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms
a.Anxiety can be attributed to your ego worrying about a) the id getting
out of control and doing something terrible that leads to severe negative
consequences. b) the superego getting out of control and making you fell
guilty about a real or imagined transgression.
b. Defense Mechanisms – largely unconscious reactions that protect a
person from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety and guilt.
c.Rationalization – creating false but plausible excuses to justify
unacceptable behavior.
d. Repression – keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the
e.Projection – attributing ones own thoughts, feelings, or motives to one
f. Displacement – diverting emotional feelings (i.e. anger) from their
original source to a substitute target.
g. Reaction formation – behaving in a way that’s exactly the opposite of
one’s true feelings.
h. Regression – reversion to immature patterns of behavior.
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