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Chapter 13

PSY100 Psychological Science (3rd Ed.) Textbook Notes Chapter 13

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Alison Luby

CHAPTER 13 PERSONALITY Personality -Personality: the characteristic thoughts, emotional responses, and behaviors that are relatively stable in an individual over time and across circumstances Gordon Allport (1937) gave classic definition of personality and defined personality psychology: emphasized the notion of organization (coherent whole), dynamic, psychophysical systems and characteristic in defining personality Studying Personality Psychodynamic Theory -Freudian theory that unconscious forces, such as wishes and motives, influence behavior The psychic forces are called instincts; ppl satisfy the life instinct by following the pleasure principle, directing ppl to seek pleasure and avoid pain The energy that drives the pleasure principle is the libido -Topographical Model of Consciousness: Freud theorized that mental activity occurs in three zones: Unconscious, Preconscious (not currently in awareness but could be brought to awareness; analogous to LTM) and Conscious Level Some unconscious information leaks into consciousness and causes Freudian Slip, revealing hidden motive -Believed that early childhood experiences have major impact on the development of personality: children go through developmental stages corresponding to pursuit of satisfaction of libidinal urges -Psychosexual Stages: developmental stages that correspond to the pursuit of libidinal urges Oral Stages: birth to 18 months; pleasure is sought through mouth (e.g. infants associate pleasure w/ sucking) Anal Stage: 2-3 y/o and toilet trained; learn to focus on control of bowels Phallic Stage: 3-5 y/o; direct libidinal energies toward the genitals; boys develop the Oedipus Complex Latency Stage: brief; libidinal urges suppressed by doing schoolwork/building friendships Genital Stage: adolescents/adults attain mature attitudes about sexuality and adulthood -some ppl become fixated at a stage when they receive parental restriction/indulgence (e.g. those fixated at oral stage may develop oral personalities, seeking pleasure by smoking, and anal-retentive personalities may result from overly strict toilet training) -proposed Structural Model of Personality: three structures that vary in degree of consciousness id: the component of personality that is completely submerged in the unconscious and operates according to pleasure principle superego: internalization of parental and societal standards of conduct; developed during phallic phase; rigid structure of morality and conscience ego: tries to satisfy the wishes of the id while being responsive to the dictates of the superego; operates according to the reality principle (rational thought and problem solving) ego tries to cope w/ conflicts b/w id and superego using defense mechanisms (mental strategies the mind uses to protect itself from distress); e.g. ppl rationalize their behavior by blaming situation factors over which they have little control like finding excuses research provides evidence for defense mechanisms: reaction formation occurs when person wards off uncomfortable thought about the self by embracing the opposite thought: e.g. male participants who expressed most negative views of homosexuality showed greater physiological arousal when viewing homosexual sex videos (homophobia may result from repression of homosexual impulses) -neo-Freudians reject Freuds emphasis on sexual forces and focus on childrens emotional attachments to their parents: embodied in object relations theory: the object of attachment is another person, such as parent or spouse Humanistic Approaches -by 50s, most psychological theories of personality were deterministic (e.g. Freud thought personality determined by unconscious conflicts, Skinner thought patterns of reinforcement determine response tendencies, which are the basis of personality) then humanistic approach emerged -Humanistic Approach: emphasize personal experience and belief systems; propose that humans seek to fulfill their potential for personal growth through greater self-understanding (self-actualization) focus on subjective human experience phenomenology-Carl Rogers developed person-centered approach to personality that emphasizes ppls personal understandings, or phenomenology highlights how parental treatment affects personality development: parents who display conditional love cause children to abandon true feelings/desires and accept only parts of themselves like elicit parental love encouraged parents to raise their children with unconditional positive regard, which will allow child to become fully functioning person -research on subjective well-being shows that wealthiest countries often have highest levels of satisfaction -Broaden-and-Build Theory suggests that positive emotions prompt ppl to consider novel solutions to their problems, and thus resilient ppl tend to draw on their positive emotions in dealing w/ setbacks research shows that resilient ppl experience positive emotions even under stress Description-Focused Approaches to Personality -psychodynamic and humanistic approaches seek to explain mental processes that shape personality; individuals differ b/c they experience different conflicts, treated differently by parents, etc. -other approaches focus on description: -Personality Type: discrete categories of ppl; our tendency to assume that certain personality characteristics go together is called implicit personality theory -Personality Trait: characteristic; dispositional tendency to act in a certain way over time across circumstances -Trait Approach to Personality: provides method for assessing the extent to which individuals differ in personality dispositions Eysencks Hierarchical Model -specific response level habitual response level trait level superordinate level -specific response consists of observable behaviors; if behaviors are repeated, they become habitual; if behavior occurs the same way in many occasions, it becomes a trait; traits are components of superordinate traits: introversion/extroversion, emotional stability, and psychoticism (aggression, impulse control, empathy) -Eysenck believed introversion/extroversion (coined by Carl Jung) reflects differences
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