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Ch 2 Summary

13 Pages

Course Code
Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

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Chapter 2- Theories of Personality The Nature of Personality  Although no one is entirely consistent across his or her behaviour, this quality of consistency across situations lies that the core concept of personality.  Distinctiveness is also central to the concept of personality o Everyone has traits seen in other people, but each individual has her or his own distinctive set of personality traits  Personality refers to an individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioural traits  A personality trait is a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations  A small number of fundamental traits determine other, more superficial traits  In factor analysis, correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variables  Catell concluded that an individual’s personality can be described completely by measuring just 16 traits  The “Big Five”: extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness 1. Extraversion: people who score high in extraversion are characterized as outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly, assertive, positive, and gregarious 2. Neuroticism: people who score high on neuroticism tend to be anxious, hostile, self- conscious, insecure, and vulnerable 3. Openness to experience: is associated with curiosity, flexibility, vivid fantasy, imaginativeness, artistic sensitivity, and unconventional attitudes 4. Agreeableness: tend to be sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, modest, and straight forward 5. Conscientiousness: tend to be diligent, disciplined, well organized, punctual, and dependable  Neuroticism is associated with an elevated prevalence of virtually all of the major mental disorders not to mention a number of physical illnesses, whereas conscientiousness is correlated with the experience of less illness and reduced mortality Psychodynamic Perspectives  Psychodynamic theories include all the diverse theories descended from the work of Sigmund Freud that focus on unconscious mental forces  Freud was a physician specializing in neurology when he began his medical practice in th Vienna near the end of the 19 century  Eventually he devoted himself to the treatment of mental disorders using an innovated procedure he developed, called psychoanalysis, that required lengthy verbal interactions in which Freud probed deeply into patients’ lives  First, he argued that unconscious forcers govern human behaviour  Second, he claimed that childhood experiences strongly determine adult personality  Third, he said that individuals’ personalities are shaped by how they cope with their sexual urges  The id is the primitive, instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure principle  The id operates to the pleasure principle, which demands immediate gratification of its urges  The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented  The ego is the decision-making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle  The ego is guided by the reality principle, which seeks to delay gratification of the id’s urges until appropriate outlets and situations can be found  The ego often works to tame the unbridled desires of the id; attempts to achieve long- range goals  The ego wants to maximize gratification, just like the id  The ego engages in secondary process thinking, which is relatively rational, realistic, and oriented towards problem solving  The ego strives to avoid negative consequences from society and its representatives by behaving “properly”  The superego is the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong  They truly accept certain moral principles, the they put pressure on themselves to live up to these standards  Emerges out of the ego at 3 to 5 years of age  According to Freud, the id, ego, and superego are distributed across three levels of awareness  The conscious consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time  The preconscious contains material just beneath the surface of awareness that can be easily retrieved  The unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert a great influence on one’s behaviour  Freud believed that conflicts dominate people’s lives  He thought that sex and aggression are subject to more complex and ambiguous social controls than other basic motives  He noted that sexual and aggressive drives are thwarted more regularly than other basic biological urges  He gave great importance to these needs because social norms dictate that they be routinely frustrated  Believed that lingering conflicts rooted in childhood experiences cause most personality disturbances  Anxiety can be attributable to your ego worrying about the id getting out of control and doing something terrible  Defense mechanisms are largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from painful emotions such as anxiety and guilt  Rationalization involves creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behaviour  Repression involves keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious o Repression is the most basic and widely used defense mechanism  Projection involves attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings, or motives to another  Displacement involves diverting emotional feelings (usually anger) from their original source to a substitute target  Reaction formation involves behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of one’s true feelings  Regression involves a reversion to immature patterns of behaviour  Identification involves bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person group  Sublimation occurs when unconscious, unacceptable impulses are channeled into socially acceptable, perhaps even admirable, behaviours  Psychosexual stages are developmental periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personality  Fixation is a failure to move forward from one stage to another as expected o Fixation is caused by excessive gratification of needs at a particular stage or by excessive frustratioof those needs  The Oedipal complex children manifest erotically tinged desires for their other-sex parent, accompanied by feelings of hostility toward their same-sex parent (Phallic Stage)  Freud believed that unconscious sexual conflicts rooted in childhood experiences cause most personality disturbances  Carl Jung called his new approach analytical psychology which also emphasized the unconscious, determinants of personality  Two Layers: o Personal unconscious, which is essentially the same as Freud’s version of the unconscious o The collective unconscious is a storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from people’s ancestral past that is shared with the entire human race  Archetypes are emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meaning  Had little impact on the mainstream of thinking in psychology  Jung was the first to describe the personality with the dimension of extraversion- introversion  Adler’s individual psychology  Argued that foremost human drive is not sexuality, but striving for superiority  Compensation involves efforts to overcome imagined or real inferiorities by developing one’s abilities  Inferiority complex- exaggerated feelings of weakness and inadequacy, caused by either parental pampering or parental neglect  Some people engage in overcompensation in order to conceal, even from themselves, their feelings of inferiority  Psychodynamic theory and research have demonstrated that 1. Unconscious forces can influence behaviour 2. Internal conflict often plays a key role in generating psychological distress 3. Early childhood experiences can exert considerable influence over adult personality 4. People do rely on defense mechanisms to reduce their experience of unpleasant emotions  Problems with psychodynamic theory: o Poor testability o Inadequate evidence o Sexism Behavioural Perspectives  Behaviourism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study observable behaviour  Most behaviourists view an individual’s personality as a collection of response tendencies that are tied to various stimulus situations  Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which a neutral stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus  What Pavlov had demonstrated was how learned reflexes are acquired  The unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response without previous conditioning  The unconditioned response (UCR) is an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning  The conditioned stimulus (CS) is a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response through conditioning  The conditioned response (CR) is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of pervious conditioning  Pavlov’s discovery came to be called the condition reflex  Classical conditioning is responsible for many people’s irrational fears  Classical conditioning also appears to account for more realistic and moderate anxiety responses  A variety of factors influence whether a conditioned response is acquired in a particular situation  Extinction- the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency o Caused by the consistent presentation of the CS alone, without the UCS  Classical conditioning best explains reflexive responding controlled by stimuli that precede a response  Operant conditioning is a form of learning in which voluntary responses come to be controlled by their consequences (eg studying for a test to get a good grade)  Larger share of human behaviour than classical conditioning  Because they are voluntary, operant responses are said to be emitted rather than elicited  Skinner demonstrated that organisms tend to repeat those responses that are followed by favorable consequences, and they tend not to repeat those responses that are followed by neutral or unfavourable consequences  Positive reinforcement occurs when a responses is strengthened (increases in frequency) because it is followed by the arrival of a (presumably) pleasant stimulus  Responses followed by pleasant outcomes are strengthened and tend to become habitual patterns of behaviour  Negative reinforcement occurs when a responses is strengthened (increases in frequency) because it is followed by the removal of a (presumably) unpleasant stimulus  Like positive reinforcement, it strengthens a response  Negative reinforcement plays a major role in the development of avoidance tendencies  In operant conditioning, extinction begins when a previously reinforced response stops producing positive consequences. As extinction progresses, the response typically becomes less and less frequent until it eventually disappears  Punishment occurs when a response is weakened (decreases in frequency) because it is followed by the arrival of a (presumably unpleasant stimulus  In punishment, a response leads to the arrival of something aversive, and this response tends to be weakened  In the operant model, punishment occurs whenever a response leads t
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