PSYC 1010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Sexual Repression, Jack Block, Psychoanalytic Theory

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Readings- Chapter 12
Defining Personality: Consistency & Distinctiveness
๎€Personality is used to explain the stability in a personโ€™s behaviour over time or across
situations (consistency)
๎€The behavioural differences among people reacting to the same situation (distinctiveness)
๎€Personality: refers to an individualโ€™s unique constellation of consistent behavioural traits
Personality Traits: Dispositions & Dimensions
๎€Personality trait: a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations
๎€Ie, honest, dependable, moody, impulsive, anxious, friendly etc
๎€A small number of fundamental traits determine other, more superficial ones. Ie, a personโ€™s
tendency to be impulsive, restless & irritable could be derived from the basic tendency to be
excitable
๎€If the measurements of a number of personality traits correlate highly with one another, the
assumption is that a single factor is influencing all of them
๎€Factor analysis: correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related
clusters of variables
๎€16 main traits
The Five-Factor Model of Personality Traits
๎€Created by Robert McCrae & Paul Costa๎€ the big 5
๎€Extraversion (positively emotionality): outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly, assertive
type. Correlates with popularity, dating many people & occupational success
๎€Neuroticism (negatively emotionality): anxious, hostile, self-conscious, insecure,
vulnerable type. They overreact more in response to stress than others. Correlates
with low occupational success, lower grades in school, higher chance of divorce,
๎€Openness to experience: curiosity, flexibility, vivid fantasy, imaginative type. This is a
key trait to determining oneโ€™s political attitudes & ideology. Correlates with playing
musical instruments
๎€Agreeableness: sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, modest, straightforward, honest
type. This is associated with making constructive approaches to conflict resolution &
a low chance of divorce
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๎€Conscientiousness (constraint): diligent, disciplined, well-organized, punctual,
dependable type. It correlates with greater honesty, higher job performance rates,
low alcohol consumption, higher grades in school, occupational success, low chance
of divorce, experience less illness & reduced mortality (live longer)
๎€Jack Block has questioned the generality of the model
๎€Others claim more than 5 traits are necessary to account for most of the variation of
human personality, such as manipulative, frugal, conservative, humorous etc
Freudโ€™s Psychoanalytic Theory
๎€Psychodynamic theories: all of the diverse theories descended from Sigmund Freud,
which focus on unconscious mental forces
๎€Freudโ€™s work was greatly influenced by his life experiences ๎€ Victorian era of sexual
repression & world war I
๎€Psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation & psychological
disorders by focusing on the influence of early childhood experiences, on unconscious
motives & conflicts, & on the methods people use to cope with their sexual &
aggressive urges
๎€Most people were uncomfortable with his theory๎€ argued that peopleโ€™s behaviour is
governed by unconscious factors which they are unaware of (people arenโ€™t masters of
their own mind), claiming that adult personalities are shaped by childhood
experiences (people are not masters of their own destinies), & emphasizing the great
importance of how people cope with their sexual urges (offended people of the
Victorian era)
Structure of Personality
๎€Id: the instinctive component of personality that operates to the pleasure principle.
Biological urges๎€ sleep, eat etc. Pleasure principle: demands immediate gratification
of its urges. This is the primary-process thinking๎€ illogical, irrational & fantasy-
oriented. Itโ€™s unconscious & expresses urges through the ego
๎€Ego: the decision making component of personality that operates according to the
reality principle. This mediates between the id & the external social world. The ego
considers social realities๎€ societyโ€™s norms, etiquette, rules, & customs. Reality
principle: seeks to delay gratification of the idโ€™s urges until appropriate outlets &
situations can be found. Ego tames desires of the id. Secondary-process thinking๎€๎€‚
rational, realistic, oriented towards problem solving. Ego strives to avoid negative
consequences
๎€Superego: the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards
about what represents right & wrong. Superego comes into play starting at ages 3-5.
Levels of Awareness
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๎€Conscious: consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time. Ie, as
youโ€™re reading this page, you know your eyes are getting tired & youโ€™re getting
hungry.
๎€Preconscious: consists of material just beneath the surface of awareness that can
easily be retrieved. Ie, your middle name, what you ate last night, an argument you
had with a friend yesterday
๎€Unconscious: contains thoughts, memories & desires that are well below the surface
of conscious awareness but exerts great influence on behaviour. Ie, forgotten trauma
from childhood, hidden feelings towards a parent, repressed sexual desires etc
๎€Comparison๎€ an iceberg, most of its mass is hidden beneath the surface
(preconscious & unconscious)
Conflict & the Tyranny of Sex & Aggression
๎€Id wants to satisfy its urges immediately, but the norms of society dictate otherwise
๎€Ie, you want to tell off a co-worker but society frowns on this behaviour; your ego will
hold you back
๎€ Peopleโ€™s lives are dominated on conflicts
๎€Freud believed that sex & aggression are subject to more complex & ambiguous
social controls than other basic motives. Society controls whatโ€™s right & wrong;
people get inconsistent messages about whatโ€™s okay
๎€Sexual & aggressive drives are more common than other basic biological urges. Ie,
itโ€™s easier to get hungry &make something to eat. If you have lustful urges, itโ€™s
unlikely you will take action on the spot.
Anxiety & Defence Mechanisms
๎€When dealing with anxiety, your ego will worry about a) the id getting out of control &
doing something that leads to negative consequences or b) the superego getting out
of control & making you feel guilty about a real or imagined misbehaviour
๎€People use defence mechanisms to get rid of anxiety
๎€Defence mechanisms: largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from
unpleasant emotions
๎€Rationalization: creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable
behaviour. Ie, after ripping someone off in a business deal, you reduce your guilt by
saying โ€œeveryone does itโ€
๎€Repression: keeping distressed thoughts & feelings buried in the unconscious. If you
forget a dentist appt or the name of someone you donโ€™t like
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Document Summary

Personality is used to explain the stability in a person"s behaviour over time or across situations (consistency) The behavioural differences among people reacting to the same situation (distinctiveness) Personality: refers to an individual"s unique constellation of consistent behavioural traits. Personality trait: a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations. Ie, honest, dependable, moody, impulsive, anxious, friendly etc. A small number of fundamental traits determine other, more superficial ones. Ie, a person"s tendency to be impulsive, restless & i r ritable could be derived from the basic tendency to be excitable. If the measurements of a number of personality traits correlate highly with one another, the assumption is that a single factor is influencing all of them. Factor analysis: correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variables. created by robert mccrae & paul costa the big 5. Extraversion (positively emotionality): outgoing, sociable, upbeat, friendly, assertive type.

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