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Chapter 2

Psychology 2035A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Oedipus Complex, The Conscious Mind, Oral Stage


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2035A/B
Professor
Doug Hazlewood
Chapter
2

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CHAPTER 2: THEORIES OF PERSONALITY
-What Is Personality? Personality refers to an individual’s 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.)
oMost trait theories belief that most traits are derived from a few basic traits
oFactor 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. It’s argued that this trait is the key determinant in people’s 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
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
- Most of his contemporaries were uncomfortable with his work for 3 reasons
oHe argued that unconscious forces govern human behaviour
oThat childhood experiences strongly determine adult personality
oThat 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
oID: 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
oEGO: decision making component that operates according to the reality principle. The ego
mediates the ID’s urges with what’s socially acceptable. The reality principle delays the id’s

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need for instant gratification until its appropriate using a secondary thinking process
relatively rational
oSUPEREGO: moral component that incorporates social standards on what’s 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:
oThe conscious mind : whatever one is aware of at a particular time
oPreconscious : just beneath the surface of awareness, but can be easily retrieved (height,
birthday)
oUnconscious : contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are not in conscious awareness
but have a great influence on one’s 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.
oProlonged 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
oRationalization : creating false/plausible excuses for unacceptable behaviour
oRepression : most widely used; burying distressing thoughts in the unconscious
oProjection : 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
oDisplacement : diverting feelings somewhere else e.g. your mad at your boss and yell at your
spouse
oReaction formation : reacting the opposite way of how you feel e.g. being ultra-nice to hide
hostility
oRegression : reverting to immature patterns of behaviour
oIdentification : boosting self-esteem by forming an imaginary/real alliance with certain
people/groups
-Development: Psychosexual Stages
oFreud said that the foundation of an individual’s personality is laid out before the age of 5
oHe said that each stage has its own developmental challenges and the way these are
handled shapes personality

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oFixation : 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
oOedipal 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
retaining feces)
Toilet training
Phallic 4-5 Genitals (masturbating) Coping with Oedipal
Crisis
Latency 6-12 None (sexually
repressed)
Expanding social
contacts
Genital Puberty+ Genitals (being sexually
intimate)
Establishing intimate
relationships
Jung’s Analytical Psychology
- Like Freud, he emphasized the unconscious determinants of personality
- One idea from Jung’s personality theory that has been incorporated into mainstream modern
psychology is the notion of introversion/extraversion
- He proposed that the unconscious consists of 2 layers:
oThe personal unconscious : houses material from one’s life that’s not in someone’s conscious
awareness b/c it’s been repressed or forgotten
oThe collective unconscious : houses latent memory traces inherited from people’s ancestral
past that is shared with the entire human race called them archetypes- emotionally
charged images/thoughts that have universal meaning; show up frequently in dreams and
portrayed through a culture’s use of symbols in art, literature and religion
He thought that understanding archetypal symbols helped him make sense of patient
dreams
Adler’s Individual Psychology
- He argued that the foremost human drive is not sexuality, but a striving for superiority; viewed it as
a universal drive to adapt, improve, and master life’s challenges
-Compensation : efforts to overcome imagined/real inferiorities by developing one’s abilities
-Inferiority complex : exaggerated feelings of weakness and inadequacy; caused by parental
pampering/neglect or actual physical handicaps could distort the normal process of striving for
superiority by overcompensating by trying to achieve status, gain power over others, and acquire
trappings (fancy cloths, cars) in order to flaunt their success TO hide their complex
-He also argued that birth order has an effect on personality being researched but more needed
Evaluating Psychodynamic Perspectives
- Psychodynamic theory has demonstrated that:
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