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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Notes

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Western University
Psychology 1000

CHAPTER 12: PERSONALITY > WHAT IS PERSONALITY? - ppl behave somewhat consistently over time and over different situations, but more consistent in adulthood - personality: the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a persons responses to life situations - three characteristics of personality o components of identity that distinguish that person from others o behaviours are viewed as being caused primary by internal rather than environmental factors o the persons behaviours seem to fit together in a meaningful way, suggesting an inner personality that guides and directs behaviours > THE PSYCHODYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE Freuds Psychoanalytic Theory Psychic Energy and Mental Events - 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: everything we are presently aware of o preconscious: memories and thoughts we arent aware of, but can be recalled o unconscious: wishes, feelings, and impulses that lie beyond our awareness come out in verbal slips and dreams The Structure of Personality - Freud divided personality into 3 separate but interacting structures: - The id: o exists totally within the unconscious mind no contact w/ reality o innermost core of personality o present at birth o source of all psychic energy o pleasure principle: it seeks immediate gratification, regardless of rational considerations and environmental realities - The ego: o since the id cannot directly satisfy itself, ego develops to help it o functions primarily at a conscious level o reality principle: tests reality to decide when/where the id can express its impulses and satisfy its needs o executive of the personality compromise between ids needs and superegos constraints - the superego: o last to develop around 4 or 5 o moral part of the personality contains traditional values/ideas of society o strives to control the id tries to block gratification permanently o moralistic goals take precedence over realistic ones Conflict, Anxiety, and Defense - when the ego confronts impulses that threaten to get out of control anxiety results- when realistic strategies are ineffective in reducing anxiety, the ego may resort to defense mechanisms that deny or distort reality - some permit the release of impulses from the id in disguised forms that will not conflict w/ the external world or w/ with the prohibitions of the superego - repression: ego uses some of its energy to prevent anxiety-arousing memories, feelings and impulses from entering consciousness only slip out in dreams and slips of tongue - sublimation: repressed impulse is released in the form of a socially acceptable behaviour - reaction formation: impulse is repressed, and its psychic energy finds release in exaggerated expression of the opposite behaviour Psychosexual Development - children pass through series of psychosexual stages during which the ids pleasure- seeking tendencies are focused on specific pleasure-sensitive areas of the body erogenous zones o oral stage: 0-2 focused on mouth; key task is weaning o anal stage: 2-3 focused on process of elimination; key task is toilet training o phallic stage: 4-6 kids derive pleasure from sexual organs Oedipus conflict: desire to kill father and have sex with mother Electra complex: stems from girls penis envy want to kill mother and have fathers children This stage is milestone in gender identity identify w/ same-sex parent o Latency stage: 7-puberty sexuality becomes dormant o Genital stage: puberty on erotic impulses find expression in sexual relations Evaluating Psychoanalytic Theory - often criticized on scientific gro
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