Psychology 2035A/B Chapter Notes -Psychodynamics, Collective Unconscious, Classical Conditioning

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Published on 12 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2035A/B
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
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Freud was a physician specializing in neurology when he began his medical practice in
Vienna near the end of the 19th 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
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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
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Document Summary

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: 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. 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.

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