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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Notes

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York University
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

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 www.notesolution.com 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 www.notesolution.com 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.
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