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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Personality

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Chapter 12 "Personality" What is Personality? - has 3 characteristics: (1) seen as components of identity that distinguish that person from others (2) behaviours viewed as being cause primarily by internal, not environmental, factors (3) people's behaviours seem to "fit together" in meaningful fashion - suggesting inner personality that guides and directs behaviour *SUMMARY components of identity + perceived internal cause + perceived organization and structure = personality - theory scientifically useful to... (1) provide comprehensive framework (2) allow us to future events with some precision (3) stimulate discovery of new knowledge The Psychodynamic Perspective - look for causes of behaviour in dynamic interplay of inner forces that often conflict with one another - major shortcoming: there are many concepts that are ambiguous and difficult to operationally define and measure - hard to test b/c it often explains too much to allow clear-cut behavioural predictions - psychic energy - generated by instinctual drives, which powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct or indirect release - ex: buildup energy from sexual drive might be discharged in the form of sexual activity, or indirectly through sexual fantasies - pleasure principle - id - seeks immediate gratification or release, regardless of rational considerations and environmental realities - reality principle - ego - tests reality to decide when and under what conditions the id can safely discharge its impulses and satisfy its needs - defense mechanism - unconscious processed by which the ego prevents the expression of anxiety-arousing impulses or allows them to appear in disguised forms - repression - active defensive process through which anxiety-arousing impulses or memories are pushed into unconscious mind - the ego "keeps a lid on the id" - denial - person refuses to acknowledge anxiety-arousing aspects of environment - may involve either emotions connected with event or event itself - displacement - unacceptable or dangerous impulse is repressed, then directed at a safer substitute target - ex: man who s harassed at work by boss experiences no anger at work but goes home and abuses wife and children - intellectualization - emotion connected with an upsetting event is repressed and situation dealt with as an intellectually interesting event - ex: person who has been rejected in an important relationship talks in highly rational manner about "interesting unpredictability of love relationships" - projection - unacceptable impulse is repressed, then attributed to other people - ex: women with strong repressed desires to have an affair continually accuses husband of being unfaithful - rationalization - person constructs a false but plausible explanation/excuse for an anxiety- arousing behaviour or event that has already occurred - ex: student caught catching on exam justifies the act by pointing out that prof's tests are unfair and that everyone else was cheating too - reaction formation - anxiety-arousing impulse is repressed and its psychic energy finds release in an exaggerated expression of the opposite behaviour - ex: mother who habours feelings of hatred for child represses them and becomes overprotective of the child - sublimation - repressed impulse is released in the form of a socially acceptable or even admired behaviour - ex: man with strong hostile impulses becomes an investigative reporter who ruins political careers with his stories - analytic psychology - Jung's expansion of Freud's notion of the unconscious based on their life experiences, but also a collective unconscious that consists of memories accumulated throughout the entire history of the human race - represented through archetypes - inherited tendencies to interpret experiences in certain ways - find expressions in symbols, myths, and beliefs that appear across many cultures (ex: image of a god, the good mother) - object relations - focus on images or mental representations that people form of themselves and other people as a result of early experiences with caregivers - easier to define and measure - makes it more amenable to research The Humanistic Perspective - focuses on individual's subjective experiences - important: how people view themselves and the world - critics believe it relies too much on individuals' reports of personal experiences - emphasizes subjective experiences of individual, and deals with perceptual and cognitive processes - self-actualization viewed as innate positive force that leads people to realize their positive potential (if not prevented by environment) - Carl Roger's Self Theory - believed our behaviour is a response to our immediate conscious experience of self and environment - self - organized, consistent set of perceptions of and beliefs about oneself - self-consistency - an absence of conflict among self-perceptions - congruence - consistency between self-perceptions and experience - need for positive regard - born with innate need for acceptance, sympathy, and love from others - essentially for healthy development - unconditional positive regard - communicates that child is inherently worthy of love - communicated attitude of total and unconditional accept of another person that conveys person's intrinsic worth - conditional positive regard - depend on how the child behaves - may result in realistic conditions of worth that can conflict with self- actualization - need for positive self-regard - people need positive regard from others and from themselves - conditions of worth - lack of unconditional positive regard from parents and other significant people in past teaches people that they are worthy of approval and love only when they meet certain standards - dictates when we approve or disapprove of ourselves - fully functioning persons - feel a sense of inner freedom, self-determination, and choice in direction of their growth - no free of behaving spontaneously, freely, creatively - fairly free of conditions of worth - accept inner and outer experiences as they are - Rogers helped stimulate research on self-concept (1) development of self-esteem and its effect on behaviour - self-esteem - how positively or negatively we feel about ourselves - failure when goal is enhanced self-esteem is more damaging to individual than failure when goal is to master a task (2) roles played by self-enhancement and self-consistency motives - self-verification - people are motivated to preserve their self-concept by maintaining self-consistency and congruence - research suggests that people had greater recall for consistent adjectives, which suggests that people selectively attend to or recall s
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