What is personality? n Historically people have always been interested in “what people are like” n Definition: A sum of all behaviours and dispositions that provide some coherence across time and situations n Studied through case, observational, and empirical studies n Descriptive and developmental approaches
What do you see?
I am sad I have trouble sleeping I feel guilty Sex doesn’t matter My energy is gone Depression I am worthless
A small number of constructs A small number of constructs n Eysenck: Three constructs dominate –Extroversion: Social, gregarious –Neuroticism: Moody, irritable –Psychoticism: Uncaring, detached n “Big Five”: –Neuroticism –Extroversion vs. Introversion –Openness: Imaginative, curious –Agreeableness: Good-natured, friendly –Conscientiousness: Hard-working, reliable n There are many self-report questionnaires
Psychodynamic approaches n Freud: People possess diverse sources of psychic energy n Biological drives can come into conflict –Example: Act or restrain sexual impulses –Push someone in front of a bus n Energy, drives, and conflicts have developmental course –Conscious and unconscious
Personality Structure of Psychodynamic Theory Conscious Preconscious Unconscious Ego Id Superego pleasure reality idealistic I want to kill you!!! Thou shalt not kill I am angry. Should I kill them?
Defense Mechanisms –Denial: Is there an exam in this course? –Repression: Cannot remember bad events –Projection: They want to see S Club 7 –Displacement: After exam go for run –Sublimation: Sex-starved artist or poet –Reaction formation: Reformed smoker hates smoking: unconscious anxiety transformed –Rationalization: Why study? He’s not. –Regression: Act like a baby when hurt –Fixation: Obsessive person is “anal”
Freud’s Psychosexual Theory n Oral stage (birth to two years) –Pleasure from sucking and oral activity n Anal stage (2 to 3 years) –Urination and defecation n Phallic stage (3 to middle childhood) –Oedipal (male) and Electra (female) conflict: Desire opposite sex parent, fear wrath of same sex parent, identify with same sex parent n Latency and Genital (adolescent) phases
Freud and the two problem women in his life
Freud’s legacy: Focus on caregiver-child relationships
Humanism (1960s, 1970s) n Humans are complex and distinct from other life forms n Future-oriented and purposeful n Carl Rogers: Person-centered approach, ideal self n Maslow: Movement to self-actualize n Rollo May, Existentialism: Appreciation for death gives meaning to life