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Chapter 12

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 12 Personality - Each of us is in certain respects like all other people, like some other people, and like no other person who has lived in the past or will exist in the future - Concept of personality also rests on the observation that people seem to behave somewhat consistently over time and across different situations - Personality: distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a person’s responses to life situations o Personality has three characteristics  They are seen as components of identity  The behaviors are viewed as being caused primarily by internal rather than environmental factors  The person’s behaviors seem to fit together in a meaningful fashion, suggesting an inner personality that guides and directs behavior The Psychodynamic Perspective - Freud studied conversion hysteria – physical symptoms such as paralysis and blindness appeared suddenly and with no apparent physical cause o Freud found out that when the patients re-experienced their traumatic memories and unacceptable feelings, their symptoms often disappeared or improved markedly o These observations convinced Freud that an unconscious part of the mind exerts great influence on behavior - Freud considered personality to be an energy system, somewhat like the steam engines of his day o Instinctual drives generate psychic energy, which powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct or indirect release - Mental events may be conscious, preconscious, or unconscious o Conscious mind consists of mental events that we are presently aware of o Preconscious mind contains memories, thoughts, feelings, and images that we are unaware of at the moment but that can be called into conscious awareness o Unconscious mind – the most important – is a dynamic realm of wishes, feelings, and impulses that lies beyond our awareness  They can be revealed through dreams, slips of the tongue, or some disguised behavior - Personality has three separate but interacting structures o Id: exists totally within the unconscious mind; it is present at birth – it operates according to the pleasure principle (seeks immediate gratification or release) o Ego: functions primarily at a conscious level, and it operates according to reality principle (it tests reality to decide when and under what conditions the id can safely discharge its impulses and satisfy its needs) o Superego: moral arm of the personality – like ego, superego strives to control the instincts of the id, particularly the sexual and aggressive impulses that are condemned by society - The personality undergoes dynamic struggle between id and ego/ superego - Defense mechanisms: deny or distort reality o Repression – ego uses some of its energy to prevent anxiety-arousing memories, feelings, and impulses from entering consciousness o Sublimation – completely masking the forbidden underlying impulses o Defense mechanisms operate unconsciously - Freud was convinced that personality is powerfully molded by experiences in the first years of life - Freud relied of careful observations and clinical phenomena to strengthen his findings o He opposed experiment research – he believed that the complex phenomena he had identified could not be studied under controlled conditions Evaluating Psychoan
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