2 What Is Personality?an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, & actingmost fields of psychology study similaritypersonality: the individual
3 Personality: an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, & acting implies some degree of consistencyenduring, stable qualitiestraits vs. situationismtraits: relatively consistent characteristics exhibited in different situationsintuitive appeal
4 The Case For Situationism a view of personality that regards behavior as mostly a function of the situation, not of internal traitsidea of multiple selves, situationally-elicitedDoes the following passage sound like you?
5 The Case For Situationism You have a strong need for other people to like you and for them to admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. You pride yourself as being an independent thinker and do not accept others’ opinions without satisfactory proof. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved.what would you think if this came back as your result from a personality test?
6 The Case For Situationism Davies (1997): gave all participants this paragraph after a personality testresults: students typically rated personality summary as good or excellentcertain traits experienced at certain times, in certain situationsrole of dual presentationThis is why horoscopes “work”...
7 The Case Against Astrology... Leo: creative, generous, fun-loving, dramatic, passionate, ambitious, independent, noble, powerfulbossy, patronizing, boastful, self-consciousCapricorn: prudent, responsible, patient, hard-working, self-reliant, ambitious, conscientiousrigid, demanding, insensitive, inhibitedPisces: compassionate, imaginative, spiritual, easy-going, accepting, visionary, artisticdistracted, detached, impractical, neglectful, lazycouldn’t any of these apply to any of us? in certain situations...
8 The Case Against Astrology... 1. universality of traits2. desire to see self positivelyGlick et al. (1989): skeptics of astrology given flattering description“maybe there’s something to this astrology stuff after all”couldn’t any of these apply to any of us? in certain situations...
9 The Case For Situationism Hartshorne & May (1928): gave grade-school kids the opportunity for undetected deceite.g. lie about how many push-ups they can do, lie to parents about time spent on homework, cheat on a test, keep money given to them for other purposesdishonesty in one domain did not predict dishonesty in anotherless than 10% of variance explained by single underlying trait of honesty
10 Interactionism: The Compromise power of the situation......but we do carry something around with usindividual differencesinteractionism: view of personality as product of both traits and situationsWe will start by talking about historical personality perspectives, then move to more modern interactionist approaches...interactionism: most social psych acknowledge role of personality, and vice versa
11 Sigmund Freud ( )Austrian neurologist; medical degree from University of Vienna (psychiatry/neurology)early interest in cocaine as analgesic, relief from mental disorders (On Coca, 1884)reports of addiction, overdosesdeveloped interest in nervous disorders (neurosis, hysteria)defined by anxieties
12 Anna O. (1859-1936) aka. Bertha Pappenheim treated for hysteria by Josef Breuer & Freudlimb paralysis on right side of bodydisruptions to vision, hearing, & speechhallucinationsloss of consciousnessfaking symptoms? sympathy from Breuer & Freudused hypnosis, discussion & clarification of memories“talking cure”Are we anxious about things that we are unaware of?right arm was arm she held dying father with... repression?
13 The Unconsciousmore to the psyche than just consciously accessible portion (iceberg analogy)unconscious: collection of unacceptable thoughts, wishes, desires, feelings, & memories (Freudian definition)modern definition: information processing of which we are unawarepsychoanalysis: hydraulic theory of personality that attributes thoughts & actions to unconscious motives & conflictsfree association: like continuous writing exercise
14 The Unconscious Revealed unconscious wields powerful influence (often in disguise)Freud found deeper meaning in almost everythinge.g. dreams: “the royal road to the unconscious”manifest vs. latent contentsafe haven for expressing unacceptable urges; consequence-freee.g. Freudian slipsslips of the tongue through which strange or unacceptable thoughts are expressed“A Freudian slip is like saying one thing, but meaning your mother.”
15 Freudian SlipsCondoleezza Rice (2004): called Pres. Bush “my husband”
16 Freudian Slips Pres. George W. Bush (2000): “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”
17 Freudian SlipsPres. George W. Bush at an address to teachers of America (2001):“First I’d like to spank all the teachers...”
18 Freudian Slips George H.W. Bush (1988): “For seven and a half years I’ve worked alongside President Reagan. We’ve had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex ... uh ... setbacks.”
19 The Unconscious Revealed e.g. free associationnot all patients could be hypnotizedfree association: relax, respond to stimulus with first thing that comes to mindreverse flow of unconscious thoughts; backtrackingBottom line: Freud believed neuroses expressed themselves in slips of the tongue, passing comments, etc.free association writing exercise
20 Uncovering the Unconscious Today? limited information from objective tests (conscious only)need a pipeline to the unconscious...projective tests: personality test using ambiguous stimuli to elicit projection of inner conflictse.g. Rorschach inkblot test (1921)
22 Uncovering the Unconscious Today? 82% of clinicians report administering Rorschach at least occasionally (Watkins et al., 1995; Lilienfeld et al., 2000)“If a professional psychologist is ‘evaluating’ you in a situation in which you are at risk and asks you for responses to ink blots ... walk out of that psychologist’s office.” (Dawes, 1994)
23 Uncovering the Unconscious Today? problems with Rorschach:extracting objective meaning from allegedly ambiguous stimuli?Are the inkblots truly ambiguous?requires subjective, projective perspective of clinicianno universal system for scoring & interpretationlow inter-rater reliabilityyet inkblots are still used...“The Rorschach Inkblot Test has been resoundingly discredited ... I call it the Dracula of psychological tests, because no one has been able to drive a stake through the cursed thing’s heart.” (Tavris, 2003)
24 Uncovering the Unconscious Today? another projective test: Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)30 provocative but ambiguous picturescreate a dramatic story, including:what led up the event shownwhat is happening nowwhat the characters are thinking, feelingoutcome of the story
25 Uncovering the Unconscious Today? interpretations, themes = window to the unconscious?criticisms:validity? (measuring what it actually claims to measure)reliability? (consistent results over time)reliability: how do we standardize interpretations of imagined stories?
26 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality personality = behavior resulting from conflict between aggressive, pleasure-seeking desires and social restraints
27 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality id: unconscious psychic energy driven by sexual & aggressive urgespleasure principle: demands immediate gratification; mindless of societal norms & restraintsyoung children largely id-driven
28 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality superego: part of personality that represents internalized ideals and standards for judgmentthe “conscience”develops around age 4-5 (according to Freud)focuses on how one ought to behave
29 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality ego: mostly conscious, “executive” part of personality that mediates id vs. superego strugglereality principle: seeks to gratify id in ways acceptable to the superego
30 Psychoanalytic Theory: Stages of Psychosexual Development patients’ symptoms rooted in conflicts from childhood?id’s pleasure-seeking energies focused on different parts of the body (erogenous zones)
31 Don’t write this down... it’s on page 392 personality formed during first 3 stages primarilyoral stage --> satisfaction of hunger, thirst drivesfixation: overdependency, overattachmentanal stage --> satisfaction of urge to go to bathroomtoilet training = superego involvementdevelopment of ability to self-control, neatness, organizationfixation: anal-retentiveness, passive-aggressivephallic stage --> Oedipus complex
32 The Story of Oedipus Oedipus: mythical Greek king of Thebes son of Laius & Jocastaprophecy that he would murder Laius, marry Jocastagiven to herdsman to be killedtraveling to Thebes, met chariot with father in itdispute killed Laiusdefeated Sphinx’ riddleappointed king of Thebes, married widow Jocastamet herdsman: Jocasta killed self, Oedipus blinded self
33 The Oedipus Complexduring phallic stage (3-6 years old), boys develop unconscious sexual desires for mother, jealousy & hatred of father (rival)feelings of guilt, fear of punishment (anxiety)castration anxiety = fear of becoming like a female (fear of powerful people overcoming them)What about girls?Electra complex: a girl’s feelings of inferiority and jealousy (anxiety)penis envy = anger, regret over being female
34 Remember, it’s all about anxiety... hedonistic id vs. conscience/superego = personalityego fears losing controlexperience generalized anxiety, no clear explanation whydefense mechanisms: methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting realitycan be adaptive...only going to discuss a few, make sure to check text
35 Defense Mechanismsrepression: forcibly blocking unacceptable thoughts from conscious mindthoughts, desires, emotions, memories, etc.e.g. why we don’t remember childhood sexual desire for parentsunderlies all the other defense mechanisms
36 Defense Mechanismsprojection: disguise own threatening impulses by attributing them to otherse.g. Newt Gingrich’s diatribe against Bill Clinton’s infidelity while having his own affair at the same time“a level of disrespect and decadence that should appall every American” ... White House as “rough equivalent of the Jerry Springer show” ( )
37 Defense Mechanismsreaction formation: unconsciously switching unacceptable impulses into their oppositese.g. Congressman Mark Foley (R-Florida) resigned in 2006exchanged sexually explicit s with a former congressional pagehad previously introduced legislation to protect children from Internet exploitation by adults
38 Defense Mechanismssublimation: redirecting psychic energy away from negative outlets, toward positive outletsmost productive defense mechanism; “socially useful”e.g. art, music, etc.
39 Neo-Freudianspeople who ran with Freud’s ideas, pioneered psychoanalysismaintained many of Freud’s original idease.g. personality structures, unconscious, personality development in childhood, anxiety & defense mechanisms2 critical modifications:1. more emphasis on conscious mind2. sex & aggression as primary motives?motives: higher level social & moral goals
40 Carl Jung ( )Swiss psychiatrist; developed close relationship with Freudintrigued by psychoanalysis + Freud needed people to spread and validate ideasshared belief in existence of unconscious, but differed on contentFreud unconscious: store unacceptable thoughts, urges (Jung: “personal unconscious”)Jung unconscious: personal unconscious + collective unconsciousfirst Freud-Jung conversation allegedly 13 hours
41 Collective Unconscious “a reservoir of the experiences of our species”repository of all religious, spiritual, & mythological symbols and experiencesevidence? theory of synchronicity2 or more events seemingly co-occur meaningfully, but causally unrelatedmeaningful coincidences
42 Synchronicity e.g. costume designers buying a coat for Wizard of Oz bought from second-hand storepreviously belonged to L. Frank BaumJung: such synchronicities evidence of collective unconscious, underlying all human experienceProfessor MarvelWizard of OzBaum = author of Wizard of Oz
43 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Bad many of Freud’s specific ideas refuted by modern research“Many aspects of Freudian theory are indeed out of date, and they should be: Freud died in 1939, and he has been slow to undertake further revisions.” (Westen, 1998)scientific shortcomingstypically based on Freud’s own recollections & interpretationsfails to predict behaviors, only explains them post hoctestable predictions?testable predictions: anger at parent’s death = unresolved childhood dependency issues, no anger = repression
44 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Bad lifelong development, not just childhoodneural networks incapable of sustaining traumas suggested by Freud?gender identity begins earlier, lasts longer than Oedipus complexother, modern explanations for dreams
45 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Bad Freudian slips: confusion between verbal choices in memory network (simultaneous activation)e.g. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”little evidence for repressionmore often remember traumatic events (role of stress, emotion)trauma: kids remember parents being murdered, Nazi prisoners remember concentration camps
46 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Good introduction of the unconsciousmodern conception: processing of which we are not awaree.g. implicit learningLewicki et al. (1997): number 6 jumped around screen according to complex patterntracked movement; got faster with repeated exposureoffered $100 for finding pattern, but no one coulddifferent than Freud’s concept, but rooted in that ideadefense against anxiety, often unconsciously (e.g. Terror Management Theory)
47 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Good not necessarily intended to be a predictive scientific theory?merely possible to find meaning in our states of mindfirst personality & psychotherapy theoriesroots of modern study of:unconscious/implicit processesself-protective defensessexuality as human motivationsocial well-being
48 Nicolaus Copernicus 1473-1543 Charles Darwin 1809-1882 Sigmund Freud reminder to read about humanistic psychologyNicolaus CopernicusCharles DarwinSigmund Freud
49 The Trait Perspectiveearly-mid 20th century: 2 primary options for budding psychologists1. Freudian psychoanalysis (and its accompanying negativity)2. Skinnerian behaviorism (and its mechanistic way of thinking)Gordon Allport ( )generally considered founder of modern personality psychologythought psychoanalysis = too deep, behaviorism = not deep enough
50 Allport’s Famous Visit with Sigmund Freud (1919) Soon after I had entered the famous red burlap room with pictures of dreams on the wall, he summoned me to his inner office. He did not speak to me but sat in expectant silence, for me to state my mission. I was not prepared for silence and had to think fast to find a suitable conversational gambit. I told him of an episode on the tram car on my way to his office. A small boy about 4 years of age had displayed a conspicuous dirt phobia. He kept saying to his mother, “I don’t want to sit there ... don’t let that dirty man sit beside me.” To him everything was schmutzig (dirty). His mother was a well-starched Hausfrau, so dominant and purposive looking that I thought the cause and effect apparent.”
51 Allport’s Famous Visit with Sigmund Freud (1919) When I finished my story Freud fixed his kindly therapeutic eyes upon me and said, “And was that little boy you?” Flabbergasted and feeling a bit guilty, I contrived to change the subject. While Freud’s misunderstanding of my motivation was amusing, it also started a deep train of thought....taught me that [psychoanalysis], for all its merits, may plunge too deep, and that psychologists would do well to give full recognition to manifest motives before probing the unconscious.i.e. describe personality in terms of traitstrait: characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act a certain waydescribing, rather than explaining, behavior
52 The Trait Approach: Class Project Groups of no more than 5at stake: 1 homework voucher per person for winning team1. Are some traits more ‘important’ than others? In other words, which are most centrally defining of someone’s personality? Which traits are most important? (roommate example)2. Would most people agree with you? How would you know if those traits are the most important to other people?3. How would you assess these traits in someone? Be specific: If questionnaire, what would you ask? Who would you ask? If observation, what would you look for? etc.
53 The Trait Approach How do we decide which traits are most important? 3 main approaches:1. lexical approach2. statistical approach3. theoretical approach
54 1. The Lexical Approachlexical hypothesis: all important individual differences have been encoded within language over timemeaningful differences noticed words invented to discuss differencese.g. dominant, creative, reliable, cooperative, hot-tempered, self-centered, etc. etc. etc...a ‘natural selection’ amongst words
55 1. The Lexical Approach≈ 2,800 trait-descriptive adjectives in English language (Norman, 1967)2 criteria for identifying important traits:1. synonym frequency2. cross-cultural universalitysyn freq: e,g, dominance
56 1. The Lexical Approach problems & limitations many traits ambiguous, metaphorical, obscure, or difficult to interpretpersonality conveyed through different parts of speech (not just adjectives)Bottom line: good starting point for identifying traits, but should not be exclusive methodambiguous: snaky = like a snake in appearance, long and sinuous (whip?), cold & cunning (personality)obscure: clavering (inclined to gossip or idle talk): should it count since most people don’t know it?
57 2. The Statistical Approach start with pool of personality items (e.g. lexical approach)have large number of people rate selves on traitsfactor analysis: statistical procedure that identifies groups of items that covary, but do not covary with other groups
58 Factor Analysis Example (Matthews & Oddy, 1993) ExtraversionFactor 2:AmbitionFactor 3:CreativityAdjective RatingHumorous.66.06.19Amusing.65.23.02Popular.57.13.22Hard-working.05.63.01Productive.04.52Determined.08Imaginative.09.62Original.53Inventive.26.47factor loadings: degree to which item correlates (“loads on”) the underlying factor
59 2. The Statistical Approach advantages:identifying personality variables that have common property, “hang together”reducing huge number of traits into more manageable set of factorscaveat: You only get out of it what you put into it.critical dependence on input selection
60 3. The Theoretical Approach theory dictates which traits are important to measuree.g. Maslow’s self-actualization theorypredicts differences in motivation to self-actualize
61 Taxonomies of Personality many attempts at creating a list of the most ‘important’ traitssome theoretical, some atheoretical...taxonomy with most support: five-factor model (Big Five)began with combination of lexical & statistical approachestrait dimensions
62 The Big Five Openness Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism
63 The Big Five Conscientiousness Agreeableness Neuroticism Openness Extraversion
64 The Big Five: Conscientiousness how we control, direct, and regulate our liveshigh conscientiousness: organized, neat, orderly, practical, prompt, meticulouslow conscientiousness: disorganized, disorderly, careless, sloppy, impracticalsample questions:“I am always prepared.”“I am exacting in my work.”
65 The Big Five: Agreeableness concern with cooperation and social harmonyhigh agreeableness: sympathetic, kind, warm, understanding, sincerelow agreeableness: unsympathetic, unkind, harsh, cruelsample questions:“I am interested in people.”“I make people feel at ease.”“I sympathize with others’ feelings.”
66 The Big Five: Neuroticism tendency to experience strong negative emotionsintense emotional reactions, long-lastinghigh neuroticism: moody, anxious, insecurelow neuroticism (aka. emotional stability): calm, relaxed, stablesample questions:“I get irritated easily.”“I get stressed out easily.”“I have frequent mood swings.”
67 The Big Five: Opennesssomewhat vague trait: distinguishes imaginative, creative peoplehigh openness: creative, imaginative, intellectual, preference for new & excitinglow openness: uncreative, unimaginative, unintellectual, preference for routine & habitsample questions:“I am full of ideas.”“I am quick to understand things.”“I spend time reflecting on things.”
68 The Big Five: Extraversion engagement with the outside (social) worldhigh extraversion: talkative, assertive, forward, outspokenlow extraversion: shy, quiet, bashful, inhibitedsample questions:“I am the life of the party.”“I don’t mind being the center of attention.”“I start conversations.”“I talk to a lot of different people at parties.”
69 Research on the Big Five generally very stable through adult lifeneuroticism, extraversion, openness drop slightly after collegeagreeableness (30s-60s), conscientiousness (20s) rise slightly after college (McCrae et al., 1999; Vaidya et al., 2002)heritability: (Bouchard & McGue, 2003)openness: 57%extraversion: 54%conscientiousness: 49%neuroticism: 48%agreeableness: 42%
70 Research on the Big Five cultural universality?e.g. McCrae et al. (2005): 50 culture study, 80 collaborators“Features of personality traits are common to all human groups.”some variability...e.g. individualistic cultures score higher (on average) on extraversionBig 5 predicting other attributesmorning people = more conscientious; evening people = more extraverted (Jackson & Gerard, 1996)one partner lower than other in agreeableness, stability, & openness = marital & sexual dissatisfaction (Donnellan et al., 2004)birth order?
71 Birth Order & Personality only child = spoiled, self-centered, pampered?middle child = left out, out of place in family, “problem child”?Sulloway (1997): firstborns = more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, less open to new ideasintelligence differences?
72 Birth Order & Intelligence firstborns typically score higher on intelligence, reasoning, & achievement testsZajonc: firstborns surrounded by adults, adult influences (highly intellectual?)
73 Birth Order & Personality little definitive research to support birth order claimsoften contradictory: only children = introverted (used to being alone) AND extraverted (go outside family to meet other children)?studies often confoundede.g. large families typically lower SES than smaller families3rd, 4th, 5th kids: low in birth order but also larger family, often lower SES, etc.Ernst & Angst (1983): study on 6,315 Swiss malesbirth order research a “waste of time”Jefferson, Herbst, & McCrae (1998): study on 9,664 Americansno significant correlations between birth order and Big 5tendency to perceive birth order effects when aware of individual’s birth order
74 Optimismbelief that things are more likely to go well than to go badlystrongly positively correlated with self-esteemcausal direction?
75 “We just haven’t been flapping them hard enough.” Optimismbenefits of optimism:more likely to turn around low gradessuccess at workassociated with higher immune system functioningproblems with optimism?work: measure optimism among new life insurance repsoptimism = positive spin on setbacks (learning opp, fluke, etc.) --> sell more, less likely to quit“We just haven’t been flapping them hard enough.”
76 “We just haven’t been flapping them hard enough.” Optimismone problem with optimism: optimistic biastendency to be over-optimistic about future outcomesMost people see themselves as less likely than peers to:become alcoholicdrop out of schoolhave heart attack by 40get divorcedbe fired from a jobget struck by lightningget cancer from smoking cigarettes“We just haven’t been flapping them hard enough.”
77 Optimism vs. Realism a dose of realism can help explaining past failure = depress ambitionanxiety over potential future failure = increased ambition“Success requires enough optimism to provide hope and enough pessimism to prevent complacency.”A realist might say, “The glass is full: half full of water, half full of air.”