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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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Western University
Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

CHAPTER 2: THEORIES OF PERSONALITY - What Is Personality? Personality refers to an individuals unique constellation of consistent behavioural traits across situations; also incorporates the distinctive behavioural differences by different people in the same situation. - What Are Personality Traits? They are dispositions to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations (one can be honest, impulsive, moody, dependable, etc.) o Most trait theories belief that most traits are derived from a few basic traits o Factor Analysis: a list of 171 traits were narrowed down to 16 basic dimensions of personality by measuring correlations among variables and clustering highly correlated traits together to make one dimension The Five-Factor Model of Personality: Factor analysis used to narrow down to the following 5 dimensions 1. Extraversion: positive emotionality-people who score high are characterized as outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly, and assertive 2. Neuroticism: negative emotionality- people are characterized as being anxious, hostile, self- conscious, insecure, and vulnerable. 3. Openness to experience- trait is associated with curiosity, flexibility, vivid fantasy, imaginativeness, and more. Its argued that this trait is the key determinant in peoples political attitudes and ideology 4. Agreeableness- people tend to be sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, modest, and straightforward. May have roots in childhood temperament and promotes altruism (helping) 5. Conscientiousness- people tend to be diligent, disciplined, well organized, punctual, and dependable. Also called constraint and is associated with higher occupational productivity Psychodynamic Perspectives: All theories descend from the work of Sigmund Freud about unconscious mental forces Freuds Psychoanalytic Theory - Most of his contemporaries were uncomfortable with his work for 3 reasons o He argued that unconscious forces govern human behaviour o That childhood experiences strongly determine adult personality o That individuals personalities are shaped by how they cope with their sexual urges - Structure of Personality: he saw behaviour as the outcome of interaction between 3 personality components o ID: primitive, instinctive component that operates according to the pleasure principle. Houses the raw biological urges to eat, sleep, shit, and bang that energized human behaviour. Since the ID operates according to the pleasure principle, it demands immediate gratification. Primary thinkingirrational o EGO: decision making component that operates according to the reality principle. The ego mediates the IDs urges with whats socially acceptable. The reality principle delays the ids need for instant gratification until its appropriate using a secondary thinking process relatively rational o SUPEREGO: moral component that incorporates social standards on whats right and wrong. Emerges out of the ego at 3-5y and can be irrationally demanding in which people have excessive guilt - Freud distributed the 3 above across 3 levels of awareness: o The conscious mind: whatever one is aware of at a particular time o Preconscious: just beneath the surface of awareness, but can be easily retrieved (height, birthday) o Unconscious: contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are not in conscious awareness but have a great influence on ones behaviour (forgotten childhood trauma, hidden hostility toward a parent) - Freud assumed that behaviour is the outcome of ongoing internal conflicts between the 3 components - Conflicts b/n sexual and aggressive impulses are especially difficult because people often get mixed messages on what is appropriate, and these 2 are frustrated more regularly then other biological urges. o Prolonged internal conflicts usually involve these 2 dimensions such as conflicts rooted from childhood experiences that cause most personality disturbances and produce anxiety - Defense Mechanisms: unconscious reaction that protect a person from guilt and anxiety such as o Rationalization: creating false/plausible excuses for unacceptable behaviour o Repression: most widely used; burying distressing thoughts in the unconscious o Projection: attributing ones feelings and motived to someone else by self-deception. E.g. you blame your sexual feelings for a co-worker on them trying to seduce you o Displacement: diverting feelings somewhere else e.g. your mad at your boss and yell at your spouse o Reaction formation: reacting the opposite way of how you feel e.g. being ultra-nice to hide hostility o Regression: reverting to immature patterns of behaviour o Identification: boosting self-esteem by forming an imaginary/real alliance with certain people/groups - Development: Psychosexual Stages o Freud said that the foundation of an individuals personality is laid out before the age of 5 o He said that each stage has its own developmental challenges and the way these are handled shapes personalityo Fixation: the failure to move forward from one stage to another which stalls development b/c of either excessive gratification/frustration at a given stage which leads to an overemphasis on the needs prominent in that stage in adulthood Fixation in the oral stage can cause obsessive eating or smoking in adulthood o Oedipal complex: children manifest erotic desires for their opposite-sex parent, and feelings of hostility toward their same-sex parent Stage Age Erotic Focus Key Taks/Experiences Oral 0-1 Mouth (sucking, biting) Weaning (breast/bottle) Anal 2-3 Anus (expelling or Toilet training retaining feces) Phallic 4-5 Genitals (masturbating) Coping with Oedipal Crisis Latency 6-12 None (sexually Expanding social repressed) contacts Genital Puberty+ Genitals (being sexually Establishing intimate intimate) relationships Jungs Analytical Psychology - Like Freud, he emphasized the unconscious determinants of personality - One idea from Jungs personality theory that has been incorporated into mainstream modern
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