INTRODUCTION TO PERSONALITY
There are some physical features of a person that you can use to associate with certain particular
“lots of personality”: specifically indicate those people whose personality that is very obvious to
us. And those personalities might not be true.
Does a social mask constitute personality too? –strong situations are those situations that require
people to behave in particular ways. Weak situations (party, friends gathering)
Persona would tell you what role they were in
Today we think of mask as hiding and it helps to communicate what role are you in.
The role got attached to the person.
The will of you to try to hide your true personality is also a personality.
What are the best indicators of someone’s personality? Put the person in weak situations
Definition of Personality:
“a distinct pattern of feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that characterize a person’s adjustment
to the demands of life.” (in the entirety)
Each person is fundamentally stuck to their personal experiences.
“beaware of the man of one book”:
Reductionism vs. pluralism
Is it important or even possible to fully understand who or what we are?
Are some personalities better than others?
Can personality change?
Cultural context: the world in the 1880’s
Women have no political rights
Have no educational rights
Male virtues extolled
Generational tension more severe than today
Authoritarianism reigned outside family as well
Sexual repression (lack of contraception, fear of venereal diseases particularly syphilis)
Freud is the only son in the family that has his own room. His father married his mother when he
was 41 and his mother was 21.
Freud both feared and disrespected his father. Freud was attracted to his mother.
Freud’s work: Neurological studies
Worked 10 years on his neurological studies, but had to abandon them, in order to get
Research with cocaine:
Origins of psychoanalysis:
2 experiences led him toward neuropathology
1. A 6-month traveling grant
- Visited charcot (one of the most famous neurologists in the world at the time) in mental
A term used for various forms of mental illness for which no organic
Hypnotism (to cure hysteria)
-basically bring the patient into the room and tell them “stop coughing”
2. Story of Joseph Breuer’s patient Anna O. (he’s from a relatively high social and is friend of
Anna O fundamentally told the doctor about her symptoms and got cured (“talking cure”)
The story of Anna O: educational, smart
This is how Breuer described her illness:
She cared for severely ill father; manifested signs of physical weakness
She started manifesting paralyses (her father needed some help and she sat beside him the
all night and it traumatized her), Ocular disturbances (blurred sight because tears in her eyes),
linguistic disorganization (can only speak English), split personality; inability to drink liquids, etc
After death of her father; spoke nothing but English; told Breuer hallucinations (those
experiences during her father’s illness are still influential)
Her life was a “strong situation”
(This girl has a lot of personalities that were not acceptable in the society that she used to live in.
psychological things can affect people’s physical behaviours.)
Slowly recovery …
She got so fond of Bruerer that she developed all symptoms of pregnancy even though Dr
Breurer never touched her before.
Frued made the connection between psychological and physical conditions of a person.
(Psychological thoughts might be able to influence the physical conditions)
Breurer hypothesized a therapeutic effect of Cathartic expression of emotion that was previously
unprocessed (after you watch a tragedy you need to cry out to express your emotions to feel
There should be more emotion worlds and cognitive worlds to make the patient get better.
Imaging you were traumatized by your parent divorce at year 11 (dominated by this frame work),
letting a new frame go into your mind won’t help (“people suddenly stop loving each other is
You have to go back to the emotions that you held at 11 year old and get them expressed. (then
combine with the new frame work)
If you still have things popping up in your mind, no matter how small it seemed to others, it means the thing still hasn’t been resolved.
In 1894-Freud introduces the conceptof defense (Abwehr)
- ‘forgetting’ painful memories and ideas
Trauma itself is not pathogenic, but its representation
The defense is directed against sexual ideas (unconscious are things that you even want
to bring to your mind but you couldn’t, you can’t access those unconsciousness at will)
The defense is a common feature in neurosis
In 1895, Breuer and Freud published Studies in Hysteria
“free association” – suggested to him by the patient herself
In 1896, Freud sketched a new classification of neuroses
Anxiety neurosis (frustrated sexual stimnulation, particularly coitus interruptus)
Psychoneuroses (source in past sexual life)
Obsessions (sexual abuse by an adult, more active role, pleasure, and therefore
Freud proclaimed the finding as
By 1897, he retracted part of the theory
“stories of sexual abasement of those girls are no longer memories but they are fantasies.”
Lack of therapeutic success
Impossibility of distinguishing in the unconscious of memory from fiction. (memories you
have to construct them. Given that you can never tell the memory is true or not.
The improbability that so many seductions by adults passed unnoticed.
Death of his father
Freud falls into a crisis (heart problems, depression…)
His memories revolved around the “family romance”:
Libido toward his mother around at the age 2 and a half
Jealousy toward his father (within all of us there’s a tendency to drawn to the opposite sex
Freud interpreted his dreams, later to be included in interpretation of dreams.
Freud assumed these feelings were general phenomena and incorporated….
The Freudian Theory of Personality
ID(seeks pleasure) is continuously affecting your behaviors.
Superego (standard, keep putting pressures on EGO to do something) “study hard”, “eat healthy
Chapter 2: Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud developed the technique of free association and reached far into the depth of his
own unconscious life and that of others.
He also created psychoanalysis, a unique method of research for understanding the human
Eventually Freud and Breuer separated because Breuer could not agree with Freud’s emphasis on
the role of sexuality in neurosis.
The origins of Psychoanalysis
The only works that Freud systematically tried to keep up to date were The Interpretation of
Dreams and Three Essays on Sexuality.
- It is important to recognize that psychoanalysis represents not a finished theory but
rather an ongoing process of discovery about the self.
The Discovery of Unconscious Forces
- Psychoanalysis may be said to begin with the case history of one of Joseph Breuer’s
patients, who is known in the literature as Anna O.
- Hysteria: an illness in which there were physical symptoms but no physiological bas bris
for the problem. (conversion disorders in today)
- Catharsis refers to emotional release. When Anna recalled the events, she did so with a
great deal of emotional intensity. This evidently freed her of the symptom to which the
emotion had become attached.
- Why Anna O’s case happened? Perhaps because of the circumstances surrounded the
event, the patient was unable to express the emotion it evoked in a normal way through
thought, work, or deed. The emotion, prevent from escaping normally, had found
another outlet and was expressing itself through a neurotic symptom.
- Shortly thereafter, Freud decided to give up hypnosis. Abandoning hypnosis also proved
to be an important step in his discovery of resistances.
- Resistance: the force within patients that prevent them from becoming aware of the
events and kept the memories unconscious.
- What were those ideas or thoughts that would be repressed and rendered unconscious?
- A wish had been aroused that went against the person’s ego-ideal. Because it is hard for
people to accept the fact that they are not what they would like to be, such
incompatibility causes pain. If it causes too much pain, the wish is repressed.
- A certain amount of repression, the blocking of a wish or desire from consciousness is
unavoidable and necessary in order for a civilized society to exist. - We eject painful wishes, not permitting them to enter consciousness, but the repressed
wishes refuse to behave agreeably. Instead, they are expressed in other ways. They
create all sorts of problems, produce neurotic symptoms, and so forth.
Psychoanalytic Method of Assessment and Research
In order to delve behind these masks and discover the repressed ideas, Freud
developed two primary procedures: free association and the interpretation of dreams and
In free association, a patient is asked to verbalize whatever comes to mind, no
matter how insignificant, trivial, or even unpleasant the idea, thought, or picture
It is based on the premise that no idea is arbitrary and insignificant. Eventually
these ideas will lead back to the original problem.
After free association, one reflects upon what one has said. In the process, the
resistance is analyzed, understood, and weakened so that the wish is able to
express itself more directly.
Interpretation of Dreams and Slips
Slips are bungled acts: a slip of the tongue, a slip of the pen, or a lapse of memory.
The Freudian theory assumes that in our psychic life nothing is trifling or lawless;
rather, there is a motive for everything.
Cause: implies the action of material, impersonal force that brings something
about. (we made the slip of the tongue because of fatigue)
Motive: refers to personal agency and implies and emotion or desire operating on
the will of a person and leading him or her to act. (we made the slip of the tongue
because of some personal motives)
For Freud, all events are overdetermined-that is, they have more than one meaning
Freudian theory is particularly concerned with the explanation in terms of motive.
Dreams: it is easy to understand the dreams of young children, because their
defenses have not yet masked their motives. They dream very simply of the
fulfillment of unsatisfied wishes from the day before
Adult dreams also express unsatisfied wishes, but, because in the adult many of
these wishes have become unacceptable to the self-concept, the dream is in
Manifest dream: is the dream as it is remembered the next morning. (frequently
appears incoherent and nonsensical, the fantasy of a mad person)
Latent dream: is the meaning or motive underlying the manifest dream.
Dream work: it is possible to gain some insight into the process that disguises the
unconscious dream wishes and converts them into the manifest dream.
Symbols: in some instances, symbols have acquired universal meanings; such
universal symbols find expression in our myths, legends, and fairy tales, as well as
in our dreams. Freud’s famous dream: he saw tall figures with birds’ beaks carrying his mother,
who was sleeping with a calm expression on her face. This dream led Freud to the
discovery of the Oedipus complex, which will be discussed shortly, and assisted
Freud in clarifying the nature of repressed wishes and desires.
The Dynamics and Development of Personality:
- The nature of our repressed wishes and desires is erotic.
The Importance of Sexuality
- The goal of human behavior was simply to reduce the tension created by the
accumulation of too much energy and to restore a state of balance.
- His use of the word libido to refer to the emotional and psychic energy derived from the
biological drive of sexuality testifies to this shift in his thought.
- Drive: a psychological or mental representation of an inner bodily source of excitement.
- Rene Descartes: the French philosopher had divided all reality into two separate
categories: mind and matters.
- Freud recognized that a comprehensive view of personality must see body and mind as
unity, and his holistic approach began to help repair the Cartestesian split.
- For Freud, a drive is a form of energy that cannot be reduced to either a bodily aspect or
a mental one because it combines elements of both.
- A drive is characterized by four features: source, the bodily stimulus or need; impetus,
the amount of energy or intensity of the need; aim, its goal and purpose (to reduce
excitation); and object, the person or object in the environment through which the aim
may be satisfied.
- The importance of one’s sexual life as a bodily process begins to diminish in favor of
one’s response to it.
- Psychosexuality: the totality of elements included in the sexual rive.
- Two basic groups of impulsive drives:
Eros: life impulses or drives, those forces that maintain life processes and ensure
reproduction of the species. (key to these forces is the sexual drive)
Thanatos: encompassing death impulsives or drives, is a biological reality and the
source of aggressiveness, and reflects the ultimate resolution of all of life’s tension in
- Freud suggested that the primary purpose of sexual behavior is pleasure, opening the
door to a host of new ideas.
- Freud’s redefinition of sexuality was twofold:
1. He divorced sex from its previous close restriction to the genitals and