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Chapter 14

Chapter 14- Personality.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 14­ Personality • “Personality traits” characterize individuals’ customary ways of responding to their world • Consistency in traits becomes greater as we enter adulthood Personality – the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling and acting that characterize a person’s responses to life situations • Have 3 characteristics: components of identity that distinguish that person from other people, caused primarily by perceived internal cause, and the perceived organization and structure THE PSYCHODYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE • Interplay of inner forces that often conflict with one another- focus on unconscious determinants of behaviour FREUD’S PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY • Believed that patients “conversion hysteria” were related to painful memories and feelings that were repressed • Unconscious part of the mind exerts a great influence on behaviour • Used hypnosis, free association, and dream analysis Psychic Energy and Mental Events Psychic energy- generated by instinctual drives, this energy powers the mind and constatntly presses for either direct or indirect release • Mental events may be conscious, preconscious or unconscious o Conscious: events we are presently aware of o Preconscious: memories, thoughts, feelings and images that we are unaware of at the moment o Unconscious: realm of wishes, feelings and impulses that lies beyond our awareness. Discharged via dreams, slips of tongue, or disguised behaviour The Structure of Personality Id- exists within the unconscious mind. Innermost core of personal, source of all psychic energy. Has no direct contact with reality, functions totally irrationally. • It operates according to the pleasure principle- seeks immediate gratification or release, regardless of rational considerations and environmental realitiesw Ego- functions at conscious level. • Operates according to reality principle- the ego’s tendency to take reality into account and to act in a rational fashion in satisfying its needs Superego- moral arm of the personality (develops by age 4-5) is the repository for what is “right” and “wrong,” and how the child “should” be • Strives to control impulses of the id (sexual and aggressive especially), tries to block gratification permanently • Tries to block gratification permanently Conflict, Anxiety, and Defence Defence mechanisms- unconscious processes by which the ego prevents the expression of anxiety-arousing impulses or allows them to appear in disguised forms Repression- the basic defence mechanism that actively keeps anxiety-arousing material in the unconscious • Repressed thoughts and wishes may be expressed indirectly Sublimation- completely masking the forbidden underlying impulses Psychosexual Development • Believed that personality is powerfully molded by experiences in the first years of life • Children pass through series of psychosexual stages where id’s pleasure-seeking tendencies are focused on erogenous zones (pleasure-sensitive areas of the body) • Deprivations or overindulgences can arise during these stages and result in a fixation where instincts are focused on a particular psychic theme Research on Psychoanalytic Theory • Study: David Wegner and colleagues have examined whether wishes suppressed during the day appear in dreams Chapter 14­ Personality o Results: students dreamed more often of suppressed targets than non-suppressed targets, consistent with the theory EVALUATING PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY • Criticized on scientific grounds—hard to test • Psychoanalytic theory is rejected because it cannot be effectively tested • Nonconscious processes that have been experimentally demonstrated are very different to what Freud proposed— there is a “kinder, gentler unconscious” Neoanalytic and Object Relations Approaches • Neoanalysts are psychoanalyst who disagree with certain aspects of Freud’s thinking and developed their own theories • Believed he stressed infantile sexuality too much, and that he laid too much emphasis on the events of childhood as determinants of adult personality o Alfred Adler: humans are inherently social beings who are motivated by social influence (the desire to advance the welfare of others)  Postulated a general motive of striving for superiority—drives people to compensate for real/imagined defects in themselves and to strive to be ever more competent in life o Carl Jung: Analytic psychology- believed that humans posses not only a personal unconscious based on their life experiences, but also a collective unconscious that consists of memories accumulated throughout the entire history of the human race  These are represented through archetypes- inherited tendencies to interpret experience in certain ways (i.e. image of a god, force of evil, hero, good mother, quest for self-unity and completeness) Object relations- the images or mental representations that people form of themselves and other people as a result of early experience with caregivers • Ex. The mother as kind or malevolent, father as protective or abusive become lenses through which social interactions are viewed • Study: Hankin and colleagues studied relationship b/w adult attachment dimensions and symptoms of emotional distress o Results: Avoidant and anxious-ambivalent attachment predicted depressive symptoms, anxious attachment predicted anxiety symptoms • Some forms of early attachment are associated with personality disorder among teens and adults HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE • Affirms the inherent dignity and goodness of the human spirit Self-actualization- total realization of someone’s human potential CARL ROGERS’S SELF-THEORY • Our behaviour is not a reaction to unconscious conflicts but a response to our immediate conscious experience of self and environment • The forces that direct behaviour are within us and when they are not distorted/blocked by environment, they can be trusted to direct us toward self-actualization Central to theory is the Self- an organized, consistent set of perceptions of and beliefs about oneself • Early in life, children cannot distinguish b/w themselves and their environment • Once self-concept is established, tendency to maintain it b/c it helps us understand ourselves in relation to the world • We have needs for: Self-consistency- absence of conflict among self-perceptions Congruence- consistency b/w self-perceptions • People choose to deny or distort their experiences to remove the incongruence, can lead to “problems in living” • People interpret situations in self-congruent ways, behave in ways that will lead others to respond to them in a self- confirming fashion • More inflexible people’s self-concepts are, the less open they will be to their experience and the more maladjusted they’ll become Chapter 14­ Personality The Need for Positive Regard Need for Positive (self) regard- an innate need to be positively regarded by others and oneself • Essential for healthy development Unconditional positive regard- communicates that the child is inherently worthy of love Conditional love- dependent on how child behaves Need for positive self-regard- we want to feel about ourselves Conditions of worth- these develop and dictate whether or not we approve/disapprove of ourselves • Conditions of worth similar to the “should” that populate Freud’s superego Fully functioning persons- Rogers’ term for self-actualized people who are free from unrealistic conditions of worth and who exhibit congruence, spontaneity, creativity, and a desire to develop still further RESEARCH ON THE SELF Self Esteem Self-esteem- how positively/negatively we feel about ourselves, very important aspect of personal well-being, happiness, and adjustment • People with high self-esteem are less susceptible to social pressure, have fewer interpersonal problems, happier with their lives, achieve at higher and more persistent level, more capable of forming satisfying love relationships • People with low self-esteem are prone to psychological problems • Men and women do not differ in overall level of self-esteem • Children develop a better self-esteem when parents communicate unconditional acceptance/love, establish clear guidelines for behaviour, and reinforce compliance while giving child freedom to make decisions and express opinions within those guidelines • Unstable/unrealistically high self-esteem may be dangerous to individual and society than low self-esteem—higher one’s self-esteem, the greater the vulnerability to ego threats Self-Verification and Self-Enhancement Motives Self-verification- people are motivated to preserve their self concept by maintaining self-consistency and congruence • People selectively attend to and recall self-consistent information • People have a tendency to seek out self-confirming relationships Self-enhancement- people have a need to regard themselves positively, research confirms a strong and pervasive tendency to gain and preserve a positive self-image • People show a marked tendency to attribute their successes to their own abilities/effort, but attribute failures to environmental factors Culture, Gender, and the Self • Individualistic cultures emphasize independence, collectivistic cultures emphasize connectedness between people and group goal achievements • Study: Americans more likely to list personal traits/abilities/dispositions as opposed to Japanese who described themselves in social identity terms Gender schemas- organized mental structures that contain our understanding of the attributes and behaviours that are appropriate and expected for males and females • Western culture: men emphasize individualistic self-concept, women are more collectivistic EVALUATING HUMANISTIC THEORIES • What matters most is how people view themselves and the world • Discrepancy between clients’ ideal selves (how
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