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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Personality Theory, Research, and Assessment.docx

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Dax Urbszat

Chapter 12 - Personality: Theory, Research, and Assessment The Nature of Personality Defining Personality: Consistency and Distinctiveness Concept of personality is used to explain: 1. The stability in a person’s behavior over time and across situations (consistency) 2. The behavioral differences among people reacting to the same situation (distinctiveness) Personality refers to an individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits Personality Traits: Depositions and Dimensions Personality trait is a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations The Five-Factor Model of Personality Traits  Openness to experience - curiosity, flexibility, vivid fantasy, imaginativeness, artistic sensitivity, unconventional attitudes  Conscientiousness - diligent, disciplined, well-organized, punctual, dependable  Extraversion(positive emotionality) - outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly, assertive, gregarious  Agreeableness - sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, modest, straightforward  Neuroticism(negative emotionality) - anxious, hostile, self-conscious, insecure, and vulnerable Psychodynamic Perspectives Psychodynamic theories include all the diverse theories descended from the work of Sigmund Freud, which focus on unconscious mental forces Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Freud has the idea of personality  Freud invoked a role of unconscious processes in the control of behaviour o Based on his observations of clients  Topographical model: argued for 3 levels of consciousness o Conflict occurs between the different aspects of consciousness o Requires compromise formation o Conscious - consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time Preconscious - contains material just beneath the surface of awareness that can easily beg retrieved Unconscious - contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surfaces of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour Three Agencies of the Human Psyche Id – basic instincts; the reservoir of our most primitive impulses, including sex and aggression Pleasure principle – the tendency of the id to strive for immediate gratification Primary-process thinking Ego – the boss; the psyche’s executive and principal decision maker Reality principle – the tendency of the ego to postpone gratification until it can find an appropriate outlet Secondary-process thinking Superego – our sense of morality emerges at around 3-5 yrs of age Freud’s Model of Personality Structure Ego Defense Mechanisms  Defense mechanisms are unconscious mental processes that protect the conscious person from anxiety o Repression: "motivated forgetting" - anxiety-evoking thoughts are kept unconscious o Denial: person refuses to recognize reality o Projection: person attributes their own unacceptable impulses to others o Reaction Formation: person converts an unacceptable impulse into the opposite impulse (ends up spoiling) o Sublimation: person converts an unacceptable impulse into a socially acceptable activity o Rationalization: person explains away their actions to reduce anxiety o Displacement: diverting emotional feelings from their original source to a substitute target (ex. Your sibling instead of your parent) o Regression - a reversion to immature patterns of behaviour (ex: a tantrum) o Identification - bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person or group (ex: joining a fraternity group) Freud’s Developmental Model  Human behaviour is motivated by two drives 1. Aggression 2. Sex  Libido refers to pleasure-seeking and sensuality as well as desire for intercourse  Libido follows a developmental course o Stages of development o Fixed progression of change from stage to stage o Notion of fixation at a particular libidinal stage Freud’s Psychosexual Stages - developmental periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personality Parental identification – child wants sole attention from parent of the opposite sex Castration anxiety – girls having penis envy from her father therefore, they have sons later on Oedipal complex - children manifest erotically tinged desires for their opposite- sex parent, accompanied by feelings of hostility toward their same-sex parent Jung’s Analytic Psychology Two layers of unconscious : o Personal unconscious houses material that is not within one’s conscious awareness because it has been repressed or forgotten o Collective unconscious is a storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from people’s ancestral past (ancestral memories = archetypes are emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meaning) Introverts (inner directed) tend to be preoccupied with the internal world of their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences Extraverts (outer-directed) tend to be interested in the external world of people and things Adler’s Individual Psychology  He sees striving for superiority as a universal drive to adapt, improve oneself, and master life’s challenges  Compensation involves efforts to overcome imagined or real inferiorities by developing one’s abilities  Inferiority complex - exaggerated feelings of weakness and inadequacy o Result of parental pampering or parental neglect  Overcompensation to conceal, even from themselves, their feelings of inferiority  Birth order is a factor of governing personality  Frank Sulloway hypothesized that first borns should be more conscientious but less agreeable and open to experience than later-borns Evaluating Psychodynamic Perspectives Research has demonstrated that: 1. unconscious forces can influence behavior 2. internal conflict often plays a key role in generating psychological distress 3. early childhood experiences can have powerful influences on adult personality 4. people do use defense mechanisms to reduce their experience of unpleasant emotions Criticism: 1. Poor testability 2. Inadequate evidence 3. Sexism Behavioural Perspectives Behaviorism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientifi c psychology should study only observable behavior Skinner’s Ideas Applied to Personalit
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