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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Personality - New Order of Info.docx

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PSYC 1010
Jennifer Steeves

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Personality • A hypothetical construct use to explain:  Consistent or stable tendencies across situations  Individual differences • Grand theories gave way to a focus on narrower and specific aspects of personality traits  Problem – They don’t help us make predictions • Personality – An individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioural traits • Studying personality can help us predict – E.g. who will fit what sort of job Nature of Personality • Personality Trait - A durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situation Raymond B. Cattell and Factor Analysis • Factor Analysis – correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variables • Looking for an underlying factors which may explain the correlation (a hidden factor)  Not a theory – just information from the analysis • The Big Five – most aspects of personality are derived from five crucial traits  Conscientiousness (Constraint) – The tendency to be reliable and ethical  Agreeableness – The willingness to collaborate  Neuroticism (Negative Emotionality) – The ability to handle stress  Openness to Experience – The capacity to be an innovative problem solver  Extraversion (Positive Emotionality) – The ability to bond with others • The Big Five are predictive of:  Behaviour – honesty, job performance, alcohol use…)  Important life outcomes - grades, occupational attainment, divorce, health, and morality Psychodynamic Perspectives Freud’s Theory • An attempt to explain personality, motivation, and psychological disorders • Focuses on the influence of early childhood experiences, on unconscious motives and conflicts, and on the methods people use to cope with their sexual and aggressive urges • Born out of the Victorian era with its repression – especially sexual • Suggested individuals were “not masters of their own minds” or their own destinies Structure of Personality • Id – The primitive instinctive component of personality that operates as a part of the pleasure principle; the activation system that leads to usually receiving rewards  Causes primitive, illogical, and fantasy-oriented thinking • Ego – Rational realistic-oriented course of problem solving  The part that tries to figure out how to get what the Id needs  Takes into account the principles of reality and the laws of physics • Superego – The part of the nervous system that stores the information for data  Takes into account moral and social standards – keeps the Ego in check  Not in conflict with the Id – there in service of the Id and Ego Levels of Awareness • Recognition of how unconscious forces can influence behaviour  E.g. – “Slips of the tongue” or dreams may express hidden desires or fears • Three levels of awareness:  Conscious – Includes everything one is aware of  Preconscious – The part of the mind that represents ordinary memory  Unconscious – A reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness Internal Conflict – Sex and Aggression • Conflicts centring on sex and aggression are especially likely to lead to significant anxiety • Sex and aggression are subject to more complex and ambiguous social controls and inconsistent messages than other basic motives • These drives are thwarted more regularly than other biological urges Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms • Internal tension often played out entirely in the unconscious • Anxiety because concern about:  Id getting out of control  Superego is getting out of control • Because anxiety is unpleasant we use defense mechanisms • Defense Mechanisms – Largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from unpleasant emotions; such as anxiety and guilt  Work through self-deception  They have become a part of our everyday talk and culture Development – Psychosexual Stages • “The child is father to the man…” • Oral – Excessive gratification/Under-gratification may lead to fixation in this stage  Adults may end up liking to eat a lot or getting a job where they use their mouth • Anal – If the child • Phallic – At the age of 4 the child’s sensitivity and pleasure comes out of the genitalia  Boys start getting sexually turned on by their primary caregiver  The main competitor becomes the Father  So the boy imitates the father in order to get their own ‘mommy’  Girls do the opposite as boys – Penis Envy in Women  Karen Horney – Said that the penis symbolizes power in Penis Envy o Men are jealous of women because they can’t have babies o So Men search after power to be better than women • Latency – Not many things happen for a few years • Genital – • Certain experiences during these stages can shape subsequent adult personality  The handling of the Oedipal Complex Jung’s Theory Carl Jung • Non-Jewish supporter of Freud • Broke with Freud because too much focus on sex and aggressive drives  Little focus on socio-cultural factors – Freud never forgave him Analytical Psychology • Also focused on unconscious determinants of personality • Divided into the personal and collective unconscious  Collective Unconscious – is the store-house of latent memory traces inherited from people’s ancestral past  Humans evolved in relation to different aspects in our environment (e.g. sun cycle) • These memories consist of archetypes • Archetypes – emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meaning • Focus on cultural images, art, as well and dreams, slips of tongue, “mandala” • Also influenced by eastern culture (many artists and writers very influenced Jung;Herman Hessa) • First to describe introverted and extroverted personality types Adler’s Theory Alfred Adler • “Our weaknesses become our strengths…” • First to break with Freud – Freud never forgave him • Same issue with too much focus on sex and aggression and ignoring socio-cultural factor Individual Psychology • Emphasized how social forces shape personality development • Superiority – We are born with a motive to strive to master challenges and do well • Inferiority - Having to overcome feelings of being lesser than others • Attributed personality disorders to excessive inferiority feelings  These feelings can pervert the normal process of striving for superiority  Can result in overcompensation • Compensation – The efforts to overcome imagined/real inferiority • Overcompensation – Sometimes disturbances in our personality lead to this  Start doing things to make yourself look good without actually being it  Bragging about how well off you are  Stay in alone and not do much with your life  Self-Handicap – purposely do negative things to have an excuse for bad results • Adler stressed the social context of personality development and effects of Birth Order • Birth Order – tried to tell Freud that not all children are born into the same environment Evaluating Psychodynamic Perspectives • Made world aware of roles of:  Unconscious forces  Role internal conflict  Early childhood experiences  Defence Mechanisms • Criticisms  Poor testability  Inadequate evidence  Sexism Times of Freud • Sexual Repression • Anti-Semitism • Insults, in-groups, ostracism • Scientist and medical MEN with giant egos – including Freud Behavioural Perspectives • At first was limited to observable behaviour • Focus on learning explanations Skinner’s Theory • His work on operant conditioning was not meant to be a theory of personality  But it has been applied to personality • Ignored unobservable processes • Determinism – free will is an illusion; there is no place in the scientific position for a self as a true originator or initiator of action • Consistency in different environments because of Stable Response Tendency • Personality – A collection of response tendencies that are tied to specific situations • Personality Development – Lifelong process in which response tendencies are shaped
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