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Chapter 14

Chapter 14 - Personality

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Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

Chapter 14 Personality What is Personality Personalitythe distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking feeling and acting that characterize a persons response to life situations There are three characteristics of an individuals personality Seen as components of identity that distinguish that person from other peopleBehaviours are viewed as being caused primarily by internal rather than environmental factorsPersons behaviours seem to fit together in a meaningful fashion suggesting an inner personality that guides and directs behaviourThe Psychodynamic Perspective Freuds Psychoanalytic TheoryInstinctual drives generate psychic energy which powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct or indirect releaseMental events may be conscious preconscious or unconsciousConscious mind consists of mental events that we are presently aware ofPreconscious mind contains memories thoughts feelings and images that we are unaware of at the moment by that can be called into conscious awareness Unconscious mind is a dynamic realm of wishes feelings and impulses that lie beyond our awareness Freud divided personality into three separate but interacting structuresThe id exists totally within the unconscious mindit is the innermost core of the personality the only structure present at birth and the source of psychic energy has no direct contact with reality and functions in a totally irrational mannero Operating according to the pleasure principle it seeks immediate gratification or release regardless of rational considerations and environmental realities In the course of development a new structure develops that has direct contact with realitythe ego functions primarily at a conscious level o Operates according to the reality principletests reality to decide when and under what conditions the id can safely discharge its impulses and satisfy its needsLast personality structure to develop is the superegoaccording to Freud develops by the age of 4 or 5 and is the repository for the values and ideals of society o Strives to control the instincts of id particularly the sexual and aggressive impulses that are condemned by societytries to block gratification permanently Defense mechanismsunconscious processes by which the ego prevents the expression of anxietyarousing impulses or allows them to appear in disguised forms In repression the ego uses some of its energy to prevent anxietyarousing memories feelings and impulses from entering consciousness eg a person who was sexually abused in childhood develops amnesia for the event
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