PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Libido, Freudian Slip, Genital Stage

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Published on 13 Sep 2012
School
UTSG
Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Chapter Thirteen: Personality
personality:the characteristic thoughts, emotional responses, and behaviors that are relatively stable in an individual
over time and across circumstances
whole persons: it's what makes each person unique
personality trait: a characteristic; a dispositional tendency to act in a certain way over time and across
circumstances
How have psychologists studied personality?
Gordon Allport
+ notion of organization indicates that personality is not just a list of traits but a coherent whole. This organized
whole is dynamic in that it is goal seeking, sensitive context, and adaptive to environment. By emphasizing
psychophysical systems, Allport highlights psychological nature of personality while recognizing that personality
arises from basic biological process. Personality causes people to have characteristic behaviors and thoughts (and
feelings) = they do and think and feel things relatively consistently over time.
Psychodynamic theories emphasize unconscious and dynamic processes:
psychodynamic theory: Freudian theory that unconscious forces, such as wishes and motives, influence behavior
+ referred to these psychic forces as instincts, defining them as mental representations arising out of
biological/physical need
- ie: prorposed that people satisfy the life instinct by following the pleasure principle, which directs people to seek
pleasure and to avoid pain
+ energy that drives pleasure principle is libido.
+ life instinct can be viewed as desire to satisfy libidinal urges for pleasure
+ multiple forces can be in conflict essential cause of mental illness
A topographical model of mind:
Freud believed most of conflict between psychological forces occurs below level of conscious awareness
+ topographical model: proposed the structure of the mind/its topography, is divided into three zones of mental
awareness
conscious level: people aware of their thoughts
+ preconscious level: content that is not currently in awareness but could be brought to awareness; roughly
analogous to long-term memory
+ unconscious level: contains material that the mind cannot easily retrieve
- contains wishes, desires, and movies; associated with conflict, anxiety, or pain – not accessible to protect the
person from distress
- sometimes, information leaks into consciousness in which a person accidentally reveals a hidden motive –
Freudian slip
Development of sexual instincts:
Freudian idea: early childhood experiences have major impact on development of personality
+ believed children go through developmental stages corresponding to their pursuit of satisfaction of libidinal urges
psychosexual stage: according to Freud, the developmental stages that correspond to the pursuit of satisfaction of
libidinal urges
+ libido focused on one of the erogenous zones: the mouth, anus/genitals
oral stage: lasts from birth – 18 months, during which time pleasure is sought through the mouth
+ hungry infants experience relief when breastfed associate pleasure with sucking
anal phase: 2 – 3 years old; toilet training leads children to focus on the anus; learning to control the bowels is the
focus.
Phallic stage: 3 – 5 years old; children directs their libidinal energies toward the genitals
+ often discover pleasure of rubbing their genitals although they have no sexual intent
most controversial Freudian theories applies to children in phallic stages
+ children desire an exclusive relationship with opposite-sex parent
+ same-sex parent considered a rival = children develop hostility toward that parent
- in boys, known as Oedipus complex
- believed children develop unconscious wishes to kill one parent in order to claim the other and that they resolve
their conflict through identification with same-sex parent, taking on many of their values and beliefs.
Following phallic stage, children enter a brief latency stage; libidinal urges suppressed/channeled into doing
schoolwork/building friendships
final stage, genital stage, adolescents and adults attain mature attitudes about sexuality and adulthood
+ libidinal urges centered on capacity to reproduce and contribute to society
progression through these psychosexual stages affects personality
+ ie: some people become fixated at a stage during which they receive excessive parental restriction/indulgence
+ those fixated at oral stage develop oral personalities; continue to seek pleasure though the mouth such as
smoking & are excessively needy
+ anal phase have anal-retentive personalities, being stubborn and highly regulating. May arise from overly strict
toilet training/excessively rule-based child rearing
Structural model of personality:
Freud proposed an integrated model of how mind is organized, consisting of three theoretical structures that vary in
degree of consciousness
+ id: most basic level and completely submerged in the unconscious.
- operates according to pleasure principle, acting on impulses & desires
- innate forces driving the id are sex & aggression
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+ superego: acts as brake on id
- internalization of parental & societal standards of conduct
- developed during phallic phase, it's a rigid structure of morality/conscious
+ ego: mediating between superego and id
- tries to satisfy the wishes of the id while being responsive to the dictates of superego
- operates according to reality principle, involves rational thought & problem solving
defense mechanisms: unconscious mental strategies the mind uses to protect itself from conflict and distress
+ the method ego uses to cope the anxiety which resulted from conflicts between the id and superego
+ ie: people often rationalize their behavior by blaming situational factors over which they have little control
telling parents they did not call them because too busy studying for exams
reaction formation occurs when a person wards off an uncomfortable thought about the self by embracing the
opposite thought
object relations theory: object of attachment is another person, such as a parent/spouse
Humanistic approaches emphasize integrated personal experience:
humanistic approaches: approaches to studying personality that emphasize personal experience and belief systems;
they propose that people seek personal growth to fulfill their human potential
self-actualization: humans seek to fulfill their potential for personal growth through greater self-understanding
humanism focuses on subjective human experience, phenomenology, and views each person as inherently good
Carl Rogers:
+ person-centred approach: emphasizes people's personal understandings/phenomenology
+ therapist would create a supportive & accepting environment and would deal with clients' problems and concerns
as clients understood them
+ his theory highlights importance of how parents show affection for their children and how parental treatment
affects personality development
+ speculated most parents provide love and support that is conditional: parents love their children as long as the
children do what the parents want them to do
- parents who disapprove of their children's behavior may withhold their love children abandon true feelings,
dreams & desires and accept only those part of themselves that elicit parental love and support – lose touch with
their true selves in their pursuit of positive regard for others
counteract: encouraged parents to raise their children with unconditional positive regard: children are accepted,
loved, and prized no matter how they behave.
- parents may express disapproval of bad behavior, but in a context that ensures children feel loved
+ a child raised with unconditional positive regard will develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and become a fully
functioning person
subjective well-being: degree of happiness and satisfaction people feel
+ wealthiest countries have highest levels of satisfaction
broaden-and-build theory: positive emotions prompt people to consider novel situations to their problems
resilient people tend to draw on their positive emotions in dealing with setbacks/negative life experiences
Type and trait approaches describe behavioral dispositions:
psychodynamic and humanistic approaches seek to explain mental processes that shape personality
personality types: discrete categories based on global personality characteristics
+ people fill in gaps in their knowledge about individuals with their beliefs about the behaviors and dispositions
associated with these types
+ the tendency to assume certain personality characteristics go together & make predictions about people based on
minimal evidence = implicit personality theory
+ ie: think introverts dislike parties, like books
traits are behavioral dispositions that endure over time and across situations
+ exists on a continuum – most people fall toward middle and relatively few at extremes
trait approach: an approach to studying personality that focuses on extent to which individuals differ in personality
dispositions
+ provides a method for assessing the extent to which individuals differ in personality dispositions such as
sociability, cheerfulness, and aggressiveness
Eysenck's hierarchical model:
Hans Eysenck:
+ hierarchical model of personality
+ basic structure of model begins at specific response level, consists of observed behaviors
- ie: person might buy an item cause it's on sale and then repeat the behavior on difference occasions; behaviors at
habitual response level
- if person behave same way on many occasions, then person is characterized in possessing a trait
+ traits such as impulsiveness and sociability can be viewed as components of superordinate traits, which Eysenck
proposed three: introversion/extroversion, emotional stability, and psychoticism.
Introversion/extroversion: extent to which people are shy, reserved, and quiet VS sociable outgoing, and bold
+ Eysenck believed this dimension reflects differences in biological functioning
emotional stability: extent to which people's moods and emotions change
+ low in emotional stability, neurotic people, experience frequent and dramatic mood swings, especially toward
negative emotions, compared with people who are more stable
+ highly neurotic people often feel anxious, moody, and depressed, and they hold low opinions of themselves
psychoticism: mix of aggression, impulse control, and empathy
+ high in psychoticism more aggressive, impulsive, and self-centered than those low in it
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The Big Five:
five-factor theory: the idea that personality can be described using five factors: openness to experience,
conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism
+ “OCEAN”
+ each factor is a higher-order trait comprising interrelated lower-order traits
+ ie: conscientiousness determined by how careful & organized one is, while agreeableness reflects extent to which
one is trusting and helpful
- those high in openness to experience are imaginative and independent; those law in this basic trait are down-to-
earth and conformist
Personality reflects learning and cognition:
B. F. Skinner viewed personality mainly as learned responses to patterns of reinforcement
George Kelly:
+ emphasized importance of people's understandings, personal constructs, of their circumstances – constructs are
personal theories of how the world works
+ personal constructs develop through people's experiences and represent their interpretations and explanations for
events in their social worlds
Julian Rotter:
+ behavior is a function of people's expectancies for reinforcement, as well as the values they ascribe to particular
reinforcers
+ ie: a person deciding whether to study for an exam or go party will weigh the likelihood that studying will lead to
a good grade, as well as how much that grade matters, against the likelihood that the party will be fun and the
extent to which the values having fun
+ proposed people differ in their beliefs and that their efforts will lead to positive outcomes
+ people with an internal locus of control believe they bring about their rewards, whereas those with external locus
of control believe that rewards – their personal fates – result from forces beyond their control generalized beliefs
affect individuals' psychological adjustment
cognitive-social theories of personality emphasize how personal beliefs, expectancies, and interpretations of social
situations shape behavior and personality
Albert Bandura:
+ humans possess mental capacities, such as beliefs, thoughts, and expectations, that interact with environment to
influenc behavior
+ the extent to which people believe they can achieve specific outcomes, self-efficacy, is an important determinant
of behavior
+ people develop expectancies in part through observational learning (ie: noticing whether others are
warded/punished for acting certain ways)
Walter Mischel:
+ proposed personality traits often fail to predict behavior across different circumstances
+ cognitive-affective personality system: people's responses influenced by how they perceive a given situation, their
affective (emotional) response to the situation, their skills in dealing with challenges, and their anticipation of the
outcomes of their behavior
defensive pessimism: expect to fail enter test situations with dread
+ contrast: optimist enter test situations with high expectations
+ two personality styles reflect motivational strategies: pessimists expect the worst so they can be relieved when
they succeed;; optimists focus on positive outcomes
self-regulatory capacities: people set personal goals, evaluate their progress, and adjust their behavior accordingly
+ motives and strivings such as achievement, power/intimacy are an essential aspect of personality;; personality
represents behavior that emerges from people's interpretations of their social worlds and from their beliefs about
how they will affect and be affected by their social situations
How is personality assessed, and what does it predict?
Personality refers to both unique and common characteristics:
Allport divided study of personality into two approaches
+ 1. idiographic approaches: person-centred approaches to studying personality that focus on individual lives and
how various characteristics are integrated into unique persons
+ 2. nomothetic approaches: approaches to studying personality that focus on how people vary across common
traits
+ idiographic approaches use a different metric for each person;; nomothetic approaches use same metric to
compare all people
idiographic approaches assumes all individuals are unique
central traits important for how individuals define themselves
+ contrast: people consider secondary traits less personally descriptive/not applicable
+ cultural traits more predictive of behavior than are secondary traits
Dan McAdams:
+ to give life meaning and make sense of the world, each person weaves a life story that integrates self-knowledge
into a coherent whole
+ life story: a reconstructive and imaginative process in which the person links their motives, goals, and beliefs with
events, people, and circumstances – individuals create personal myths that bind together past events and future
possibilities
Nomothetic approaches focus on common traits rather than individual uniqueness
+ researchers: compare people by using common trait measures (questionnaires/other similar methods)
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Document Summary

+ notion of organization indicates that personality is not just a list of traits but a coherent whole. This organized whole is dynamic in that it is goal seeking, sensitive context, and adaptive to environment. By emphasizing psychophysical systems, allport highlights psychological nature of personality while recognizing that personality arises from basic biological process. Personality causes people to have characteristic behaviors and thoughts (and feelings) = they do and think and feel things relatively consistently over time. Psychodynamic theories emphasize unconscious and dynamic processes: psychodynamic theory: freudian theory that unconscious forces, such as wishes and motives, influence behavior. + referred to these psychic forces as instincts, defining them as mental representations arising out of biological/physical need. Ie: prorposed that people satisfy the life instinct by following the pleasure principle, which directs people to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. + energy that drives pleasure principle is libido.

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