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Psychology 1000

Chapter 14 Personality What is Personality?  Human individuality of behave somewhat consistently over time and across different situations  Modest stability from childhood to adult personality but more consistent when an adult  Personality: distinctive, relatively enduring ways to think, feel, act that is unique to a person in diff life situations o Behaviours: identity, perceived internal cause, organization and structure  attributed to personality The Psychodynamic Perspective Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory  Painful memories and feelings that seemed to have been repressed or pushed out of awareness  Re-experience of traumatic memories & unacceptable feelings which were often sexual or aggressive in nature  Based his theory on careful clinical observation Psychic Energy and Mental Events  Psychic Energy: instinctual drives which powers mind and constantly presses for direct or indirect release  Mental events o Conscious – mental events that we are presently aware of o Preconscious – memories, thoughts, feelings images unaware now but that can be called into conscious o Unconscious – dynamic realm of wishes, feelings, impulses that lies beyond our awareness The Structure of Personality  Divided personality into three separate but interacting structures: id, ego and superego  Id: libidinal energy exists totally within the unconscious mind o Innermost core of personality, the only structure present at birth, and the source of psychic energy o No direct contact with reality and functions in a totally irrational manner o Pleasure Principle: immediate satisfaction regardless of rationalizing and environmental realities o Cannot directly satisfy itself by having what it needs from environment because of no contact with world  Ego: conscious reality principle tests reality of when, what conditions id can safely discharge to satisfy its needs o Quest for perfection and tries to delay gratification until conditions are safe and appropriate  Superego: moral arm of personality developed by age of 4 or 5 o Ideals are internalized and explicit training about what is “right”, “wrong” and how the child “should be” o Self-control takes over from the external controls of rewards and punishments o Strives to control id, particularly the sexual and aggressive impulses that are condemned by society o Quest for perfection by trying to block gratification permanently but may result in guilt o Moralistic goals take precedence over realistic ones, regardless of the potential cost to the individual Conflict, Anxiety and Defense  Never ending struggle between the id and ego and superego  Observable behaviour often represents compromises between motives, needs, impulses and defences  Ego confronts impulses or deals with anxiety from dangers from the environment o Reduce anxiety through realistic coping behaviours through defense mechanisms  Reality anxiety – ego’s fear of real world threats  Moral anxiety – ego’s fear of guilt from superego  Defence Mechanisms: when realistic strategies are ineffective in reducing anxiety, deny or distort reality o May release of impulses from id in disguised forms that will not conflict with limits of world or superego Psychoanalytic Ego Defence Mechanisms Defence Mechanism Description Example Repression  Active defensive that pushes anxiety-arousing Sexually abused in childhood impulses or memories into unconscious mind develops amnesia for event 2 Denial  Refuse to acknowledge anxiety, emotion, event  Has cancer; refuse to accept death Displacement  Repress unacceptable or dangerous impulse by  Release anger elsewhere directing at a safer substitute target Intellectualization  Emotion from upsetting event is repressed by  Talk about rejection in a highly rationalizing intellectually rational manner Projection  Own unacceptable impulse seen in others  I hate you become you hate me Rationalization  Construct false but plausible explanation or  Justifies cheating by pointing out excuse tests are unfair Reaction Formation  Repressed impulse and psychic energy release  Feelings of hatred for child in exaggerated expression of opp behaviour repressed, become overprotective Sublimation  A repressed impulse is released in the form of a  Art, sports socially acceptable or even admire behaviour Regression  Mentally returning to earlier safer state  Thumb-sucking, bed wetting Conversion  Conflict convert into physical symptom  Be blind so cannot see situation Psychosexual Development (little evidence to support)  Children go through of psychosexual stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital  Fixation: result in deprivations or overindulgences that arrested psychosexual development Research on Psychoanalytic Theory  Case studies and clinical observations but most don’t think it’s enough proof (ambiguous)  Opposed experimental behaviour since complex phenomena could not be studied under controlled conditions  The royal road – dreams, wish fulfillment, absent-mindedness o Censored and disguise latent by manifest  The back door – myths, art, literature, jokes  Free association – Roschach, thematic apperception test; patient says anything Evaluating Psychoanalytic Theory  Not enough research  Is the theory wrong or being masked by reaction formation?  Difficulty in making clear-cut behavioural predictions means some psychoanalytic hypotheses are untestable  Nonconscious mental processes, emotional phenomena occur and affect our behaviour but different from Freud Freud’s Legacy: Neoanalytic and Object relations Approaches  Neoanalysts: own theory based on disagreeing with some of Freud’s (Adler, Horney, Erickson, Jung) o Freud focused on infantile sexuality and not social and cultural to determinants adult personality o Personal development continues throughout lifespan  Adler insisted that humans motivated by social interest (desire to advance the welfare of others) o Place general social welfare above selfish personal interests o Strive for competence and superiority to compensate for defects in themselves (inferiority complex)  Carl Jung’s analytic psychology: also have collective unconscious – memories accumulated throughout life  Archetypes: inherited interpretation of memories in symbols, myths, beliefs (God, evil/hero, good mother)  Object Relations: Klein, Kernberg, Mahler, Kohut images/mental representation of themselves and others o Internal representations have unconscious influence on a person’s relationships throughout life o Create self-fulfilling prophesises, influencing the recurring relationships people form with others o E.g. child-abusing parents’ mental representations of own as punitive, rejecting, abusive  Hankin examined relationship between adult attachment dimensions and symptoms of emotional distress o Avoidant and anxious-ambivalent attachment predict personality disorders, depressive, anxiety symptoms  Today, emphasis on object relations than psychoanalytic theory because easier to define, measure and research 3 The humanistic perspective  Positive view of goodness of human spirit, conscious experience and self-actualization (realization of potential) Carl Roger’s Self Theory  Behaviour is not a reaction to unconscious conflicts but to immediate conscious experience of self, environment  Behaviour are not distorted or blocked by environment within us but trusted to direct us to self-actualization The Self  Children cannot distinguish between themselves and their environment (self- concept)  Self-consistency: absence of conflict among self-perceptions  Congruence: consistency between self-perceptions and experience  Modify self-concept, deny or distort inconsistent experiences to reduce anxiety, disorganization of self-concept  Interpret situations in self-congruent ways but behave so others self-confirm to preserve self-image o People pushed by self-consistency needs to behave in accord with their self-concepts  Degree of congruence between self-concept and experience helps define one’s level of adjustment o More inflexible one’s self-concept, the less open they will be to their experience The Need for Positive Regard  Born with innate acceptance, sympathy and love from others for healthy development  Unconditioned positive regard: parents that communicates inherent worthy of love, independent of behaviour  Conditional positive regard: dependent on how the child behaves, the child will receive love and acceptance  Need for positive self-regard: positive regard from themselves  Conditions of worth: result from lack of unconditional that dictate when we approve or disapprove of ourselves o Deny own feelings to preserve self-image Fully Functioning Persons  Do not hide behind masks or adopt artificial roles  Feel a sense of inner freedom, self-determination, choice in direction of their growth, behave spontaneously  Free of conditions of worth, accept inner and outer experiences without modifying them Research on the Self Self-Esteem  Refers to how positively or negatively we feel about ourselves  No big difference in self-esteem between male and female adults but higher in adolescent males than females  Levels of self-esteem are stable across development  High self-esteem o Related to positive behaviours, outcomes, less social pressure and less interpersonal problems o Developed with unconditional acceptance, love, freedom to make decisions, give opinions within rules o Positive feedback revises self-concepts in a positive direction o Unstable or unrealistic high self-esteem is dangerous with greater vulnerability to ego threats  Achieving self-esteem enhance goal conveys a feeling of worth and value but temporary benefits  Failure of a self-enhanced goal is more damaging than failure to master the goal  Low self-esteem  psychological problems, anxiety, depression, poor social relationships, underachievement Self-Verification and Self-Enhancement Motives  Self-verification: motivation to preserve self-concept by maintaining self-consistency and congruence  People selectively attend to and recall self-consistent information  People tend to seek out self-confirming relationships (partner agrees with negative image)  Self-enhancement: regard themselves positively o Attribute their successes to their own abilities and effort o Attribute failures to environmental factors 4 Culture, Gender and the Self  North American individualistic o List personal traits, abilities, dispositions  Asian collectivistic o Describe themselves in social identity  Gender schemas: attributes and behaviours that are appropriate and expected for males and females o Western – achievement and separateness from others  Men – achievement, emotional strength, athleticism, self-sufficiency but more collectivistic  Women – interpersonal competencies, kindness, helpfulness but more individualistic Evaluating Humanistic Theories  Relies too much on how people view themselves and the world  Impossible to define an individual’s actualizing tendency except through behaviour that is supposedly produces  Ideal selves vs perceived selves – therapy help become more self-accepting and realistic Stressed by Success  Individuals who are low in self-esteem do not enjoy success the way that those high in self-esteem do  Success helps bolster self-esteem who already have high self-esteem with more positive thoughts o But self-doubt and create anxiety in those in low self-esteem  Positive life = better physical health in high self-esteem  Low and high self-esteem with neutral feedback had no change in anxiety level Trait and biological Perspectives  Goal is to condense all these behavioural traits  Propose traits on basis of intuition or a theory of personality  Factor analysis o Introversion – retiring, reserved, likes solitary activities, does not attend parties o Extraversion – outgoing
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