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Chapter 14

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Extraversion And Introversion, Situation Two, Mania

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

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Personality Chapter 14 3/5/2012 1:39:00 PM
What is Personality?
Personality traits characterize individuals in customary ways
Personality the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, felling, and acting
that characterize a person’s responses to life situations
Personality has three characteristics. Your thoughts, feeling and actions…
Distinguish you from other people
Are viewed as being caused primarily by internal rather than environmental
“Fit together” in a meaningful fashion, suggesting that inner personality guides
and directs behaviour
Personality has been guided by the psychodynamic, humanistic, biological, cognitive and
sociocultural perspectives
These proved different conceptions of what personality is
Even theorists have their own personalities that influence how they perceive
and understand themselves in their world
The Psychodynamic Perspective
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
Freud patients with conversion hysteria symptoms caused by the painful
memories and feelings that seemed to have been repressed, or pushed out of
o Convinced him that the unconscious part of the mind exerts a great
influence on behaviour
o Says instinctual drives generate psychic energy, which powers the mind
and constantly presses for either direct of indirect release
o Psychic energy generated by instinctual drives, discharged directly or
o Mental events may be:
Conscious mental events that we are presently aware of
Preconscious contains memories, thoughts, feelings and images
that we are unaware of at the moment but that can be called into
conscious awareness
o Divided personality into three separate but interacting structures:
In the unconscious mind, innermost core of personality, the
only structure present at birth, source of psychic energy
No direct contact with reality
Pleasure principle seeks immediate gratification or
release, regardless of rational considerations and
environmental realities
Cannot directly satisfy itself
Functions primarily at the conscious level and operates
according to the reality principle
Decides when and under what conditions the id can safely
discharge its impulses and satisfy his needs
Tries to delay gratification until conditions are safe and
The moral arm of personality
Controls the instincts of the id particularly the sexual and
aggressive impulses that are condemned by society
Blocks gratification permanently - quest for perfection
Moralistic goals take precedence over realistic ones
The dynamics of personality involve a never-ending struggle
between the id trying to discharge its instinctive energies and the
opposing forces generated by the ego and the superego.
Observable behaviour often represents compromises between
motives, needs, impulses, and defences
Ego confronts impulses that threaten to get out of control
anxiety results
Ego may resort to defence mechanisms that deny or distort the
release of impulses from the id in disguised forms that will not
conflict with the limits imposed by the superego if realistic
strategies are ineffective in reducing anxiety
Psychoanalysists believe that repression is the primary means by
which the ego “keeps the lid on the id”
The ego uses some of its energy to prevent anxiety-
arousing memories, feelings, and impulses from entering
Defence mechanisms:
o Repression anxiety-arousing impulses or memories are pushed into the
unconscious mind
o Denial a person refuses to acknowledge anxiety-arousing aspects of the
o Displacement an unacceptable or dangerous impulse is repressed and
then directed at a safe substitute target
o Intellectualization emotion connected with an upsetting event is
o Projection an unacceptable impulse that is repressed and then
attributed to other people
o Rationalization a person constructs a false but plausible explanation or
excuse for an anxiety-arousing behaviour or event that has already
o Reaction formation an anxiety-arousing impulse is repressed and its
psychic energy finds release in an exaggerated expression of the opposite
o Sublimation a repressed impulse is released in the form of a socially
acceptable or even admired behaviour
Personality is powerfully moulded by experiences in the first years of life
o Children pass through a series of psychosexual stages during which the
id’s pleasure-seeking tendencies are focused on specific pleasure-
sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones
Oral fixation = self-indulgence; dependency
Anal fixation = compulsive cleanliness; rigid rules’ or messy and
Phallic Oedipus complex move from sexual attachment to
opposite-sex parent to identity with same-sex parent
Latency period of dormant sexuality
Genital formation of social and sexual relationships
Neoanalysts psychoanalysts who disagree with certain aspects of Freud’s
thinking and developed their own theories
o Freud didn’t give social and cultural factors a sufficiently important role
in the development and dynamics of personality
o He stressed infantile sexuality too much