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Chapter 12

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Unconscious Mind, Collective Unconscious, Reality Principle

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

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Chapter 12
What is Personality?
- has 3 characteristics:
(1) seen as components of identity that distinguish that person from others
(2) behaviours viewed as being cause primarily by internal, not environmental, factors
(3) people's behaviours seem to "fit together" in meaningful fashion - suggesting inner
personality that guides and directs behaviour
components of identity + perceived internal cause + perceived organization and
structure = personality
- theory scientifically useful to...
(1) provide comprehensive framework
(2) allow us to future events with some precision
(3) stimulate discovery of new knowledge
The Psychodynamic Perspective
- look for causes of behaviour in dynamic interplay of inner forces that often conflict with
one another
- major shortcoming: there are many concepts that are ambiguous and difficult to
operationally define and measure
- hard to test b/c it often explains too much to allow clear-cut behavioural predictions
- psychic energy - generated by instinctual drives, which powers the mind and constantly
presses for either direct or indirect release
- ex: buildup energy from sexual drive might be discharged in the form of sexual
activity, or indirectly through sexual fantasies
- pleasure principle - id - seeks immediate gratification or release, regardless of rational
considerations and environmental realities
- reality principle - ego - tests reality to decide when and under what conditions the id can
safely discharge its impulses and satisfy its needs
- defense mechanism - unconscious processed by which the ego prevents the expression
of anxiety-arousing impulses or allows them to appear in disguised forms
- repression - active defensive process through which anxiety-arousing impulses or
memories are pushed into unconscious mind
- the ego "keeps a lid on the id"
- denial - person refuses to acknowledge anxiety-arousing aspects of environment -
may involve either emotions connected with event or event itself
- displacement - unacceptable or dangerous impulse is repressed, then directed at a
safer substitute target
- ex: man who s harassed at work by boss experiences no anger at work but
goes home and abuses wife and children
- intellectualization - emotion connected with an upsetting event is repressed and
situation dealt with as an intellectually interesting event
- ex: person who has been rejected in an important relationship talks in highly
rational manner about "interesting unpredictability of love relationships"
- projection - unacceptable impulse is repressed, then attributed to other people
- ex: women with strong repressed desires to have an affair continually accuses
husband of being unfaithful
- rationalization - person constructs a false but plausible explanation/excuse for an
anxiety- arousing behaviour or event that has already occurred
- ex: student caught catching on exam justifies the act by pointing out that
prof's tests are unfair and that everyone else was cheating too
- reaction formation - anxiety-arousing impulse is repressed and its psychic energy
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finds release in an exaggerated expression of the opposite behaviour
- ex: mother who habours feelings of hatred for child represses them and
becomes overprotective of the child
- sublimation - repressed impulse is released in the form of a socially acceptable or
even admired behaviour
- ex: man with strong hostile impulses becomes an investigative reporter who
ruins political careers with his stories
- analytic psychology - Jung's expansion of Freud's notion of the unconscious based on
their life experiences, but also a collective unconscious that consists of memories
accumulated throughout the entire history of the human race
- represented through archetypes - inherited tendencies to interpret experiences in
certain ways - find expressions in symbols, myths, and beliefs that appear across many
cultures (ex: image of a god, the good mother)
- object relations - focus on images or mental representations that people form of
themselves and other people as a result of early experiences with caregivers
- easier to define and measure - makes it more amenable to research
The Humanistic Perspective
- focuses on individual's subjective experiences
- important: how people view themselves and the world
- critics believe it relies too much on individuals' reports of personal experiences
- emphasizes subjective experiences of individual, and deals with perceptual and cognitive
- self-actualization viewed as innate positive force that leads people to realize their positive
potential (if not prevented by environment)
- Carl Roger's Self Theory
- believed our behaviour is a response to our immediate conscious experience of self
and environment
- self - organized, consistent set of perceptions of and beliefs about oneself
- self-consistency - an absence of conflict among self-perceptions
- congruence - consistency between self-perceptions and experience
- need for positive regard - born with innate need for acceptance, sympathy, and
love from others
- essentially for healthy development
- unconditional positive regard - communicates that child is inherently worthy of
love - communicated attitude of total and unconditional accept of another person that
conveys person's intrinsic worth
- conditional positive regard - depend on how the child behaves
- may result in realistic conditions of worth that can conflict with self-
- need for positive self-regard - people need positive regard from others and from
- conditions of worth - lack of unconditional positive regard from parents and other
significant people in past teaches people that they are worthy of approval and love only
when they meet certain standards
- dictates when we approve or disapprove of ourselves
- fully functioning persons - feel a sense of inner freedom, self-determination, and
choice in direction of their growth
- no free of behaving spontaneously, freely, creatively
- fairly free of conditions of worth
- accept inner and outer experiences as they are
- Rogers helped stimulate research on self-concept
(1) development of self-esteem and its effect on behaviour
- self-esteem - how positively or negatively we feel about ourselves
- failure when goal is enhanced self-esteem is more damaging to individual than failure
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