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Chapter 12

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

9 pages79 viewsFall 2010

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 1010
Professor
Rebecca Jubis
Chapter
12

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Readings- Chapter 12
Defining Personality: Consistency & Distinctiveness
Personality is used to explain the stability in a persons behaviour over time or across
situations (consistency)
The behavioural differences among people reacting to the same situation (distinctiveness)
Personality: refers to an individuals 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 persons
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 Costa 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 ones 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
Freuds Psychoanalytic Theory
Psychodynamic theories: all of the diverse theories descended from Sigmund Freud,
which focus on unconscious mental forces
Freuds 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 theory argued that peoples behaviour is
governed by unconscious factors which they are unaware of (people arent 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 urges sleep, eat etc. Pleasure principle: demands immediate gratification
of its urges. This is the primary-process thinking illogical, irrational & fantasy-
oriented. Its 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 realities societys norms, etiquette, rules, & customs. Reality
principle: seeks to delay gratification of the ids urges until appropriate outlets &
situations can be found. Ego tames desires of the id. Secondary-process thinking
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
youre reading this page, you know your eyes are getting tired & youre 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
Comparison 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
Peoples lives are dominated on conflicts
Freud believed that sex & aggression are subject to more complex & ambiguous
social controls than other basic motives. Society controls whats right & wrong;
people get inconsistent messages about whats okay
Sexual & aggressive drives are more common than other basic biological urges. Ie,
its easier to get hungry &make something to eat. If you have lustful urges, its
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 everyone does it
Repression: keeping distressed thoughts & feelings buried in the unconscious. If you
forget a dentist appt or the name of someone you dont like
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