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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Personality

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Western University
Psychology 1000

Psychology Chapter 12 What is Personality The concept of personality also rests on the observation that people seem to behave somewhat consistently overtime and across different situations Personality: as the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a persons response to life situations The thoughts, feelings, and actions that are seen as reflecting an individuals personality typically have three characteristics 1) they are seen as components of identity that distinguish that person from other people 2) the behaviors are viewed as being caused primarily by internal rather than environmental factors 3) the persons behavior seem to fit together in a meaningful fashion suggesting an inner personality that guides and directs behavior Freuds Psychoanalytic Theory Freud spent most of his life in Vienna, where he attended medical school with the intention of becoming a medical researcher concentrating on brain functioning Freuds experiences in treating patients with conversion hysteria convinced him that their symptoms were related to painful memories and feelings that seemed to have been repressed, or pushed out of awareness He began to experiment with various techniques to access the unconscious mind, including hypnosis, free association (saying whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing) and dream analysis Psychic Energy and Mental Events Freud considered personality to be an energy system, somewhat like the steam engines of his day Psychic Energy: which powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct of indirect release Mental events may be conscious preconscious or unconscious: Conscious mind is mental events that we are presently aware of. The preconscious contains memories, thoughts, feelings, and images that we are unaware of but we can call into our conscious awareness. Unconscious mind, a dynamic realm of wishes, feelings, and impulses that lies beyond our awareness. Only when impulses from the unconscious are discharged some way, such as in dreams slips of the tongue, or some disguised behavior, does the unconscious reveal itself The Structure of Personality The id exists totally within the unconscious mind. It is the innermost core of the personality, the only structure present at birth, and the source of all psychic energy Pleasure Principle: It seeks immediate gratification or release, regardless of rational considerations and environmental realities The ego functions primarily at the conscious level, and operates according to the reality principle. It test reality to decided weather and under what conditions can the id safely discharge its impulses and satisfy its needs Lastly the superego the moral arm of personality, values and ideals of society Like the ego the superego strives to control the instincts of id, particularly the sexual and aggressive impulses that are condemned by society. Whereas the ego is trying to delay gratification until conditions are safe and appropriate, the superego, in its quest for perfection tires to block these gratifications The ego must achieve compromise between the demands of the id, the constraints of the superego and the demand of reality Conflict, Anxiety, Defense When the ego confronts impulses that threaten to get out of control or is face with dangers from the environment anxiety results Defense mechanism: that deny or distort reality Repression: the ego uses some of its energies to anxiety- arousing memories, feelings, and impulses from entering consciousness (primary method of how ego keeps the lid on id) Repressed thoughts and wishes remain in the unconscious, striving for release, but they may be slipped indirectly Sublimation: completely masking the forbidden underlying impulses Defense mechanism operate unconsciously, so people are usually unaware that they are using self- deception to war of anxiety Psychosexual Development Freud proposed that children pass through a seres of psychosexual stages during which the ids pleasure- seeking tendencies are focused o specific pleasure- sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones A major short coming of psychoanalytic theory is that many of its concepts are ambiguous and difficult to operationally define and measureEvaluating Psychoanalytic Theory Psychoanalytic theory is hard to test, not because it doesnt explain enough, but because it often explains too much to allow clear- cut behavioral prediction Freud;s Legacy: Neoanalytic and Object Relations The neoanalysts believed that freud did not give social and cultural factors a sufficiently important role in the development and dynamics of personality The Second major criticism was that Freud laid too much emphasis on the events of childhood as determinants of adult personality Different theories that came from Freuds Psychoanalytic Carl Jung: Freuds friend came out with analytic psychology. From example, he believed that human possess not only a personal unconscious based on their life
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