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Chapter 2

Psychology 2035 Chapter 2 Notes.docx

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Chapter 2: Theories of Personality* Consistency across situations lies at the core of the concept of personality Distinctiveness is also central to the concept of personality; each has his or her own distinctive set of personality traits Personality: An individuals unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits Personality Trait: is a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations o A small number of fundamental traits determine other, more superficial traits Raymond Cattel o Statistical procedure of factor analysis to reduce a list of 171 personality traits by Gordon Allport to 16 Basic dimensions of personality o Factor analysis: correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variables Robert McCrae, Paul Costa o Vast majority of personality traits derive from just five higher-order traits that have come to be known as the Big Five o Supported by other researchers and has become the dominant conception of personality structure in contemporary psychology o These traits have been characterized as the latitude and longitude along which personality should be mapped Extraversion, High: outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly assertive and gregarious Extraverts tend to be happier than others More positive outlook on life and are motivated to pursue social contact, intimacy and interdependence Correlates positively with popularity and dating a greater variety of people Positive predictors of occupational attainment Neuroticism, High: anxious hostile, self-conscious, insecure and vulnerable Sometimes called negative emotionality Tend to overreact more in response to stress than others Exhibit more impulsiveness and emotional instability than others Negative predictor of occupational attainment Associated with an elevated prevalence of virtually all of the major mental disorders not to mention a number of physical illnesses Openness to experience, Curiosity, flexibility, vivid fantasy, imaginativeness, artistic sensitivity, and unconventional attitudes Tolerant of ambiguity and have less need for closure on issues than others Importance of this trait has been underestimated o Determinant of peoples political attitudes and ideology o Less prejudice against minorities than others Associated with playing a musical instrument Agreeableness, High: sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, modest, and straightforward Low: suspicious, antagonistic, aggressive Associated with constructive approaches to conflict resolution and with empathy and helping behavior Correlates with honesty Conscientiousness Diligent, disciplined, well organized, punctual and dependable Sometimes called constraint Strong self-discipline and the ability to regulate oneself effectively Fosters dependability in the workplace Greater honesty, higher job performance ratings and relatively low alcohol consumption Higher gpa in highschool and college because conscientious students work harder Positive predictors of occupational attainment Correlated with the experience of less illness and with reduced mortality o Because conscientiousness is negatively related to just about every health impairing behavior: drinking, excessive eating, smoking, drug use, lack of exercise, and various risky practices Chapter 2: Theories of Personality* o Promotes adherence to medical advice Live longer than others Psychodynamic Perspective Psychoanalytic Theory: o Psychoanalysis: required lengthy verbal interactions in which Freud probed deeply into patients lives o Argued that unconscious forces govern human behavior People didnt like it cause it suggested that people are not masters of their own minds o Childhood experiences strongly determine adult personality Suggested that people are not masters of their own destinies o Individuals personalities are shaped by how they cope with their sexual urges Victorian times didnt like this o Id: primitive, instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure principle Houses the raw biological urges (to eat, sleep, defecate, copulate and so on) that energizes human behavior Acts according to the pleasure principle, which demands immediate gratification of its urges Primary process thinking, primitive illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented o Ego: decision-making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle Mediates the id and the external social world, with its expectations and norms regarding suitable behavior Reality principle: delay gratification of the ids urges until appropriate outlets and situations can be found Like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse Wants to maximize gratification, just like the id but engages in secondary process thinking which is relatively rational, realistic, and oriented toward problem solving o Superego: moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong Accept certain moral principles, then they put pressure on themselves to live up to these standards 3 to 5 years of age in some people, the superego can become irrationally demanding in its striving for moral perfection; plagued by excessive guilt o Conscious: consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time o Preconscious: contains material just beneath the surface of awareness that can be easily retrieved (middle name, what you had for supper last night etc.) o Unconscious: contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on ones behavior Believed that behavior is the outcome of an on-going series of internal conflicts between the id, ego and superego Why did he emphasize sex and aggression? o Thought that sex and aggression are subject to more complex and ambiguous social controls than other basic motives o Norms about these behaviors are subtle, and people often get mixed messages about what is appropriate o Society dictate that they be routinely frustrated: asking someone for sex vs getting a drink when youre thirsty Lingering conflicts rooted in childhood experiences cause most personality disturbances o Creates anxiety because its what society wants to control; worry that ego cant control the id o Anxiety is distressing, so people try to rid themselves of this unpleasant emotion anyway they can; use of defense mechanisms o Defense mechanisms: 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 behavior Everyone does it Repression: keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious; motivated forgetting, forget a dentist appointment or name of someone you dont like Projection: involves attributing ones own thoughts, feelings, or motives to another Say that the other person likes you when in fact youre the one that likes them but you feel guilty about it Displacement: diverting emotional feelings (usually anger) from their original source to a substitute target Reaction formation: behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of ones true feelings Guilt about sexual desires often lead
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