Chapter 8(A).docx

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17 Apr 2012
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Psychological Assessment
Chapter 8 (A)
Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality
- Defense mechanisms come in many varieties, but they all share three characteristics in
common. First their exclusive purpose is to help the ego reduce anxiety created by the
conflicting demands of id, superego and external reality
- Defense mechanisms and anxiety are, therefore, complementary concepts in psychoanalytic
theory, one existing as a counterforce to the other
- the second common feature of defense mechanisms is that they operate unconsciously
- the third common feature is that they distort inner or outer reality
- Defense mechanisms can be grouped into four different categories. Listed in order of increasing
healthiness, the types are psychotic, immature, neurotic and mature.
- A psychotic mechanism is a gross denial of reality to an extreme degree. An immature
mechanism is the projection of unacknowledged feeling to others. An neurotic defense
mechanism is the alteration of inner feelings so that they are less threatening. A mature
mechanism would be the use of humor
Type Theories of Personality
- the earliest personality theories attempted to sort individuals into discrete categories or types
- “Type A coronary-prone behaviour pattern” is any person who is involved in a chronic struggle
to achieve more and more in less and less time whereas the Type B behaviour pattern is an
easygoing, non-competitive, relaxed lifestyle
- Type A behaviour results in a higher risk of heart disease
Phenomenological Theories of Personality
- Phenomenological theories of personality emphasize the importance of immediate, personal,
subjective experience as a determinant of behaviour
- The more influential phenomenological theorist was Carl Rogers, his theory was known as the
“self-theory”
- “Q-technique” is a procedure for studying changes in the self-concept, a key element in Roger’s
self theory
- The Q-sort consists of a large number of cards, each containing a printed statement such as “I
am likeable”. The instruction specify that the examinee put the cards most descriptive of him or
her at one end, those least descriptive at the opposite end
- Another way to use the Q-sort is to compare an examinee’s self-sort with his or her ideal sort.
Rogers used the discrepancy between these two sorting as an index of adjustment
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