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Chapter 12

PSychology 102 CHAPTER 12.doc

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Lawrence Murphy

CHAPTER TWELVE: Personality: Theory, Research and Assessment Personality- refers to an individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioural traits - consistent tendencies across situations  core - distinctiveness  explains why not everyone acts the same way in similar situations o our own distinctive set of personality traits Personality Trait- a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations Factor Analysis- correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variables - used to identify hidden factors behind numerous personality traits - very basic, high order traits that determine less basic, more specific traits Raymond Cattell (1937) – concluded that an individual’s personality can be describes completely by measuring just 16 traits Five Factor Model of Personality: - established by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa - personality traits are derived from just five higher-order traits - personality can be described adequately, by measuring these 5 traits… “latitude and longitude” 1. Extraversion (positive emotionally) - outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly 2. Neuroticism (negative emotionally) - tend to overreact more in response to stress than others 3. Openness to Experience - key determinant on people’s political attitudes and ideology 4. Agreeableness - sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, modest 5. Conscientiousness (constraint) - disciplined, well-organized, dependable, punctual Four Personality Theories 1. PSYCHODYNAMIC: …include all the diverse theories descended from the work of Sigmund Freud, which focus on unconscious mental forces Sigmund Freud… - devoted himself to the treatment of mental disorders using innovative procedure he had developed, called psychoanalysis - Psychoanalytic theory- attempts to explain personality, motivation and psychological disorders by focusing on the influence of… o early childhood experiences o unconscious motives and conflicts o methods people use to cope with their sexual and aggressive urges - The three main areas of criticism with Freud were… 1. Individuals are not masters of their own minds 2. People are not masters of their own destiny 3. Emphasized the great importance of how people cope with their sexual urges Structure of Personality: a person’s behaviour is the outcome of the interactions between these three components: Id- the primitive, instinctive component that operates according to the pleasure principle - pleasure principle- demands immediate gratification of its urges - houses the raw biological urges that energize human behaviour (eat, sleep) - primary process of thinking Ego- the decision-making component that operates according to reality - reality principle- seeks to delay gratification of the id’s urges until appropriate outlets and situations can be found - secondary process of thinking - behaving properly Superego- the moral component that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong - irrationally demanding in its striving for moral perfection Conflict  Behaviour… - the id wants to gratify its urges immediately, but the norms of civilized society frequently dictate otherwise = conflict ∴ People’s lives are dominated by conflict  behaviour is the outcome of any ongoing series of internal conflict Levels of Awareness: the id, ego and superego are distributed differently across these 3 levels, as it explains how unconscious forces can influence behaviour 1. Conscious- consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time 2. Preconscious- contains material just beneath the surface of awareness that can easily be retrieved 3. Unconscious- contains thoughts, memories and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that non-the-less exert great influence on behaviour Anxiety- internal tension; prolonged and troublesome conflicts involve sexual and aggressive impulses that society wants to tame (entirely in unconscious) - Attribute to your ego worrying about… 1. The id getting out of control and doing something terrible that leads to severe negative consequences 2. The superego getting out of control and making you feel guilty about real or imagined transgression Defense Mechanisms- are largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from unpleasant emotions - an effort to ward off anxiety - Some defense mechanisms are… Rationalization- creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behaviour Repression- keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious (motivated forgetting) Projection- attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings or motives to another Displacement- diverting emotional feelings (usually anger) from their original source to a substitute target (lashing out on people) Reaction Formation- behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of one’s true feelings Regression- a reversion to immature patterns of behaviour (massive exaggeration) Identification- bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person or group Intrapsychic Conflict  Anxiety  Defense Mechanism (id, ego, superego) Psychosexual Stages: are the developmental periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personality - each stage has its own, unique developmental challenges or tasks  the way these challenges are handled, shapes personality - Fixation- a failure to move forward from one stage to another as expected Oral Stage: mouth - handling of the child’s feeding experiences is crucial to subsequent development Anal Stage: anus - erotic pleasure from their bowel movements, through wither the expulsion or retention of feces - biological urges Phallic Stage: genitals - self-stimulation - oedipal complex- children manifest erotically tinged desires for their opposite-sex parent, accompanied by feelings of hostility toward their same-sex parent Latency Stage: none - sexuality is largely suppressed - expanding social contacts Genital Stage: genitals - being sexually intimate - establishing intimate relationships - contributing to society through working Carl Jung… - established analytical psychology - emphasized the unconscious determinants of personality - Unconscious consists of two layers… o personal unconscious- houses material that is not within one’s conscious awareness because it has been repressed or forgotten o collective unconscious- the storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from people’s ancestral past  this ancestral memories became known as archetypes  archetypes- are emotionally charges images and thought forms that have universal meaning (ideas in dreams  cultural symbol’s – art, literature, religion) - Two personality types: o Introverts (inner-directed) – tend to be preoccupied with the internal world of their own thoughts, feelings and experiences o Extraverts (outer-directed) – tend to be interested in the external world of people and things Alfred Adler… - focused on individual psychology - the foremost source of human motivation is a striving for superiority …as a universal drive to adapt, improve oneself, and master life’s challenges - compensation- involves efforts to overcome imagined or real inferiorities by developing one’s abilities  Inferiority complex- work to achieve status, gain power and success o worry about appearances rather than reality SUMMARY: Evaluating Psychodynamic Perspectives… - unconscious forces can influence behaviour - internal conflict often plays a key role in generating psychological distress - early childhood experiences can have powerful influences on adult personality - people do use defense mechanisms to reduce their experience of unpleasant emotions - Conflicts… o poor testability (too vague for scientific testing) o inadequate evidence (depend too heavily on clinical studies) o sexism (sexual bias against women) 2. BEHAVIOURAL: …a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour B.F. Skinner… - operant conditioning is what human responses are shaped by o environmental consequences determine people’s patterns of responding (reinforcement, punishment, extinction) - believed that no structures (id, ego, superego) can be observed - focused on how external environment moulds over behaviour o people
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