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Personality What is a personality? Is our personality encoded or learned? Does it ever change? What other factors influence our personalities? What describes.

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Presentation on theme: "Personality What is a personality? Is our personality encoded or learned? Does it ever change? What other factors influence our personalities? What describes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personality What is a personality? Is our personality encoded or learned? Does it ever change? What other factors influence our personalities? What describes our own personality? Essential questions:

2 What is Personality? How would you define personality? “Personality psychologists” study how people: THINKFEELBEHAVE Your personality is a relatively stable combination or these characteristics

3 Top Enduring Issues 1.Nature vs. NurtureNature vs. Nurture 2.Person vs. Situation 3.Stability vs. Change 4. Unconscious vs. Conscious

4 So what makes you, you?? Social Psychologist You are a member of a group or culture whose behaviors depend largely on those around you! (final unit) Neuropsychologists: You are a compilation of synaptic connections that are strengthened by experience! Freud and the psychoanalysts: You are the screwed up product of your childhood conflicts (siblings, parents, friends). YOU!! *Humanistic Psychologist: You are innately good and need love and support to achieve your “ideal self”! Evolutionary Psychologists: You are governed by your survival instincts. Cognitive: You are how you think. Behavioral: Your behaviors are learned through reward and punishment.

5 Psychodynamic Psychologists Emphasis unconscious conflict (we are not aware of the effects it has on our personality) Focus is on the negative Difficult to overcome – Therapy can only provide insight into problem, not necessarily a solution

6 Psychodynamic Psychologists Freud – Unconscious drives of sex and aggression (ID, Superego) – Psychosexual Stages (Conflicts with Mother/Father) Alfred Adler – Birth order creates inferiority, unconsciously Jung – We all have universal similarities due to the collective unconscious Erik Erikson – Psychosocial stages of development Karen Horney – Our general anxiety over our success and failures create neurotic tendencies

7 Freud’s Personality Structure ID – Born with this – Governed by “Pleasure Principle” – Houses unconscious drives of sex (libido) and aggression – Selfish, irrational, seeks instant gratification EGO – Develops during infancy (6 months) – Governed by “Reality Principle” – Seeks to gratify Id urges at an appropriate time – Inherits inevitable anxiety produced by Id-Superego conflict – Donald Duck Donald Duck SUPEREGO – Develops during childhood (6 years) – Governed by “Judicial” or “Moral Principle” – The internalized parent – Seeks to do what is right and good (conscience) – Causes us to feel guilty for our desires/id impulses

8 Freud’s Psychosocial Stages Oral (0-1.5 yrs) – Conflict: Weaning – Fixation: Oral (cigarettes, need to chew pens, gum, etc.) Anal (1.5-3 yrs) – Conflict: Potty Training – Fixation: Anal Retentive or Expulsive Phallic (4-6 yrs) – Conflict: Overcoming attraction to parents Oedipus and Electra Complex; Penis Envy – Fixation: Poor relationships with the opposite sex i.e. “promiscuous behavior” in females Latent (7-11) – Sexual desires are repressed Genital (12-adult) – Normal sexual relationships

9 Freud’s Defense Mechanisms Create a vignette (scenario and skit) for your defense mechanism You will act it out in front of your classmates They will guess what defense mechanism you are demonstrating

10 The Defense Mechanisms Denial (Negation) – Refusal to acknowledge a painful reality Repression – Unpleasant thoughts are excluded from consciousness; “motivated forgetting” Projection – Attributing one’s own feelings, motives, or wishes to others Identification – Taking on the characteristics of other to avoid feeling incompetent Regression – Reverting to childlike behavior Rationalization – Making up a logical explanation for an emotionally painful event rather than dealing with the pain

11 Intellectualization – Thinking about stressful problems in an abstract way to detach oneself from them Reaction formation – Expression of exaggerated ideas and emotions that are opposite of true feelings Displacement – Shift repressed motives from an original object to a substitute object Sublimation – Redirecting repressed motives and feelings into socially acceptable activities Undoing – After-the-fact defense mechanism involving “making up” for guilt-producing actions The Defense Mechanisms

12  He was the younger, “weaker” son in his family  “Inferiority” influenced personality  Inferiority complex  Fixation on feelings of personal inferiority that can lead to emotional and social paralysis  Birth Order  Oldest  Middle  Youngest  Only  Dethronement  When the next child is born, the older one is forced to share parental attention  Compensation  Our efforts to win back parental love after dethronement Neo-Freudians: Alfred Adler

13 Neo-Freudians: Carl Jung One of Freud’s best students – his “surrogate son” Freud was said to have fainted in his presence several times! Existence of collective unconscious in addition to the personal unconscious Archetypes Mother Hero Villain

14 Neo Freudians Erik Erikson  Disagreed with psychosexual stages  Instead, created his psychosocial stages  Trust vs. Mistrust  Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt  Initiative vs. Guilt  Industry vs. Inferiority  Identity vs. Role confusion  Intimacy vs. isolation  Generativity vs. stagnation  Integrity vs. despair

15 Neofreudians: Karen Horney Our general social anxieties create neurotic tendencies These anxieties can manifest in “normal ways”…. – i.e. nervous and doubtful of your abilities; seek constant approval from others Or “neurotic” ways – Develop OCD?

16 Uncovering the Unconscious How do we determine what is in the unconscious? – Dream analysis (Chapter 3- What do your dreams tell you) – Free association (Write freely for 1 minute) – Freudian “slip of the tongue” – Projective Personality Tests Rorschach Thematic Apperception Test

17 Refresher: Psychodynamic Theories of Personality  According to psychodynamic theories, what drives personality and human behavior?  What are some methods that Freud employed to uncover this?  Dream analysis, Free association- Can tell us about the unconscious, but don’t “assess”

18 Uncovering the Unconscious: Psychodynamic Assessments  According to Freud, what is projection?  With this in mind, how might you develop a method by which a person “projects” in order to assess their unconscious?

19 Uncovering the Unconscious: Psychodynamic Assessments Projective tests – Ambiguous stimuli – Patient projects their unconscious when they describe what they see Examples – Rorschach test – Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

20 Rorschach Test “Blotto”- Interesting answers? Most commonly used P.T. (Behind MMPI- (Minn. Multiphasic Pers. Inv.) 10 inkblots – 5 color, 5 black/white Subjects describe all 10 inkblots Examiner then goes through cards again and asks questions for clarification/detail Provides subject with considerable freedom to respond

21 Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Examiner chooses 10 cards with ambiguous black-and-white drawings of people in various emotional, yet undetailed situations Have psychodynamic undertones (i.e. aggression) Subjects must tell a story about each card and themes provide insight

22 Experience the Tests Take the TAT test and have a partner “interpret” results using psychodynamic concepts!! – Strengths and weaknesses of the test? Take the Word Association test! – Come up with ten words – Some words should include concepts that Freud believed affected a personality i.e. “Mother”, “sex”, “red” (as in aggression) – Read them to your partner- they should say first thing that comes to their mind when they hear that word. Analyze the results.


24 Assessing Projective Personality tests  Strengths  Early experiences do shape personality  Human emotion and motivation are important in understanding personality  Concept of the unconscious is emphasized  Useful therapeutic techniques  Criticisms  Lack reliability and validity (recent attempts to standardize interpretations have resulted in more support)  Subjective  Pessimistic (drives are determined during childhood)  Today, common results are posted online- biased results

25 Early Applications  Projective tests were once used for diagnosing psychological disorders  Rorschach intended it to be used for schizophrenic diagnoses, not projective testing  Example:  John Wayne Gacy  Murdered 33 boys in Chicago in 1970s  Interviewed and given Projective Personality Assessments to determine existence of mental illness  Buried Dreams: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer Ewing and Cahill

26 Modern Applications Rorschach  Exner’s Comprehensive System of scoring  How much of the inkblot is referenced, story that is told, level of detail (i.e. Form, Movement, Color)  Personality Assessment- Insight into underlying motivations of person’s current issues and behaviors  Forensic Psychology TAT  Personality assessment, Personality disorders, thought disorders, crime suspect evaluation, high-stress occupation screenings  Also used internationally (France, Argentina, India)

27 Other Projective Techniques (Provide interesting insight into personality, but lack reliability or clinical purpose) House, Tree, Person – Draw and describe each Word Association – Mother, Father, Sex Complete the sentence – A best friend _______ – Mothers ___________ – My worst experience was __________________. Next time you gaze at the clouds to determine a shape, think of what you may be projecting!!

28 Humanistic Theories Emphasize the goodness in humans You have the potential to control your future – Why would Freud disagree with this?

29 To achieve your true self…

30 Carl Rogers The impact of love  Positive Regard  Conditional – you are only loved when you conform to others’ wishes  Unconditional – you are loved no matter what choices you make  Positive regard impacts personality and happiness  Real self – what you really are  Ideal self – what you want to be  Will overlap if you get unconditional positive regard! REAL SELF IDEAL SELF

31 Behaviorist Theories Behaviorist theories claim that personality is formed through environmental stimuli – reinforcement and punishment. Example psychologists include Albert Bandura, John Watson and B.F. Skinner

32 Behaviorist Theories Albert Bandura Observational learning theory – Bobo Doll experiment – People learn what they watch If you grow up watching your parents run marathons, you will be an active person that values fitness

33 Behaviorist Theories Classical Conditioning Watson and Pavlov – Aspects of personality could be learned simply by pairing stimuli together Watson and Baby Albert experiment – Fear can be learned You fear new social situations because of an embarrassment that you suffered from in the past

34 Behaviorist Theories Operant Conditioning Skinner – personality could be learned by being reinforced or punished for certain behaviors. You are a hardworking person because you’ve been rewarded for good grades by your parents You will NOT swear, Johnny! !@*#$# $%$!

35 Cognitive Theories  Personality is primarily a function of thoughts and thought processes.  Rotter’s Locus of Control  Internal Locus of Control – things that happen in your life are a result of your own actions. E.g. “I made varsity because I spent the whole off-season training to do so!”  External Locus of Control – things that happen in your life are a result of forces beyond your control. E.g. “I made varsity because my horoscope said I would have a lucky day!”

36 Cognitive Theories Albert Bandura Bandura – Self efficacy is defined as one’s belief that they will be successful in the things they do. – Individuals with a higher sense of self efficacy tend to be happier and more successful. – i.e. “Can I do this? Am I doubtful of myself?” If you are doubtful, you may not even try to push yourself in the first place

37 Cognitive Theories Walter Mischel Mischel – Self-regulation. – people often change their personality depending on the situation they are in. – people change their actions and responses on the basis of past experiences as well as an assessment of the current situation.

38 Afterthoughts… If you want to know more about your personality, you can complete online “objective” tests Mostly fit into the “trait-type” perspective – Generate different terms to describe you. Objective tests – Standardized, closed-ended – Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (Cattell’s 16PF) – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) – Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory – Preferred by trait and type theorists

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