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Personality. Psychoanalytic theory of personality Freud – –believed that the unconscious mind really ruled our behavior –personality traits can be traced.

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Presentation on theme: "Personality. Psychoanalytic theory of personality Freud – –believed that the unconscious mind really ruled our behavior –personality traits can be traced."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personality


3 Psychoanalytic theory of personality Freud – –believed that the unconscious mind really ruled our behavior –personality traits can be traced back to our childhood years –people’s behavior is governed by the unconscious mind and that many people are unaware of why they do things

4 Structure of personality THE ID (“It”): –functions in the irrational and emotional part of the mind. –And it has only one rule --> the “pleasure principle”: “I want it and I want it all now”. –Id equates to "Child". –Evident at birth

5 Ego THE EGO: (“I”): –functions with the rational part of the mind. –The Ego relates to the real world and operates via the “reality principle”. –The Ego realizes the need for compromise and negotiates between the Id and the Superego. –Ego equates to "Adult". –Evident at 2 to 3 years of age

6 Superego THE SUPEREGO (“Over-I”): The Superego is the last part of the mind to develop-around ages 3-5. Morality principle Represents parental and societal values. It stores and enforces rules. It constantly strives for perfection, even though this perfection ideal may be quite far from reality or possibility. Can be equated to the parent.


8 Eros and Thantos Freud –Eros represents the life instinct sourcing from the libido, which stands for creativity, sexual desires and pleasure seeking –Thantos is the "death instinct", which signals a desire to give up the struggle of life and return to the grave. Produces aggressive and destructive urges

9 Freud Psychosexual Development Stage 1 – Oral Stage (Birth-18 months) – erotic focus is the mouth. –Pleasure seeking activities include sucking, chewing, biting. –If needs are gratified too much or too little they continue to seek gratification as an adult

10 Stage 2 – Anal Stage – (1 ½ years to 3) – erotic focus is on the anus – expelling or retaining feces. –If child gets locked into this stage, they continue to engage in behaviors associated with retention or elimination. They may become anal retentive or anal expulsive.

11 Stage 3 – Phallic Stage (3 to 6 years) – erotic focus is on the genital area. –Oedipal/Electra complex –Problems resolving the complex may lead to feelings of inferiority toward their own sex and having to prove something to the opposite sex. –Castration anxiety –Penis Envy

12 Stage 4 – Latency Stage – (6 to puberty) – no erotic focus, represses sexuality –Child represses sexual urges and thoughts and engages in nonsexual activities such as developing social and intellectual skills

13 Stage 5 – Genital Stage (Puberty through adulthood) – Erotic focus is on genitals once again, but more about becoming sexually intimate with others –If other stages have been met successfully, adolescent will now be able to form loving, successful relationships

14 Freud’s Defense Mechanisms Repression – pushing negative events back into the unconscious Regression – when the person acts much younger than their age Denial – when the person acts like there is no problem when they know that there is Identification – when one bonds with someone that they would not ordinarily

15 Defense Mechanisms Reaction formation – when one acts in a way that is opposite of what they really think Displacement – taking one’s feelings out on others Projection – when one accuses others of feeling how they actually feel Rationalization – making excuses for one’s behavior so as not to look bad

16 Defense Mechanism * Intellectualization- cutting off from emotion Overcompensation

17 Adler’s theory Each of us is born into the world with a sense of inferiority. We start as a weak and helpless child and strive to overcome these deficiencies by become superior to those around us. Called this struggle a striving for superiority he saw this as the driving force behind all human thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

18 This excessive feeling of inferiority can also have the opposite effect. Says we can develop an inferiority complex. This belief leaves us with feeling incredibly less important and deserving than others, helpless, hopeless, and unmotivated to strive for the superiority that would make us complete.

19 Superiority Complex An exaggerated feeling of being superior to others. A psychological defense mechanism in which feelings of superiority counter or conceal feelings of inferiority.

20 Adler and birth order Believed that the order in which you are born to a family affects your personality. First born children who later have younger siblings may have it the worst. These children are given excessive attention and pampering by their parents until the little brother or sister arrives.

21 Suddenly they are no longer the center of attention and wondering why everything changed. They are left feeling inferior, questioning their importance in the family, and trying desperately to gain back the attention they suddenly lost. The birth order theory holds that first born children often have the greatest number of problems as they get older.

22 Middle born children may have it the easiest, and interestingly, Adler was a middle born child. These children are not pampered as their older sibling was, but are still afforded the attention. As a middle child, they have the luxury of trying to dethrone the oldest child and become more superior while at the same time knowing that they hold this same power over their younger siblings. Adler believed that middle children have a high need for superiority and are often able to seek it out such as through healthy competition.

23 The youngest children, like the first born, may be more likely to experience personality problems later in life. This is the child who grows up knowing that he has the least amount of power in the whole family. He sees his older siblings having more freedom and more superiority. He also gets pampered and protected more than any other child did. This could leave him with a sense that he can not take on the world alone and will always be inferior to others.

24 Behaviorism-Behavior is deterministic The underlying assumption of the learning perspective is that all behavior is learned through experiences and by interaction with the environment. The learning perspective views a person as entering the world as a tabula rasa (blank slate)

25 Humanistic perspective Believe you are a product of all the choices you have made in your life They also emphasize the subjective experience which is each person’s private perception of reality

26 Rogers - The self The self refers to how we view our personal identity This is made up of experiences that create and continue to fit our self-perceptions To be psychologically healthy, one must achieve congruence

27 Congruence is when our perceptions of ourselves matches what others see in us Incongruence is when our perceptions of ourselves does not match what others see Was you list congruent or incongruent with others?

28 Incongruence The incongruent person often has a wide discrepancy between their image of themselves and what others see in them This often leads to the person to become confused, vulnerable, dissatisfied, or seriously maladjusted

29 Ideal self Rogers also felt that one must have congruence between one’s self-image and the ideal self. That is who we see ourselves as and who we want to be should be closely related

30 McCrae and Costa Introversion vs. extroversion: describes the extent to which people are shy (introverted) or outgoing (extraverted). Neuroticism: describes the extent to which people are unstable and emotional. People high in neuroticism may have difficulty controlling their impulses and may be seen by others as being somewhat negative. People who are high in neuroticism are worriers and complainers.

31 Agreeableness: describes the extent to which people are good-natured, gentle, secure, and friendly. People who are low in agreeableness tend to be stubborn, irritable, headstrong, abrasive, and suspicious; they tend also to have hostile relationships. Conscientiousness: describes the extent to which people are responsible, persevering, scrupulous, dependable, and tidy. People who are low in conscientiousness tend to be irresponsible, undependable, unscrupulous, and careless. Openness to experience: describes the extent to which people are original, imaginative, questioning, artistic, and capable of creative thinking. People who are low in openness to experience tend to be conforming, unimaginative, and predictable.

32 Personality Questionnaires Paper-and-pencil tests –Tend to be more objective than other tests –Questions, administration and scoring is standardized –Test must be reliable and valid –One measure consistently used is the MMPI – the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

33 MMPI asks you to rate statements like… I would enjoy the work of the chicken flicker My eyes are always cold Frantic screams make me nervous I believe I smell as good as most others Most of the time I go to sleep without saying goodbye I use shoe polish to an excess

34 The sight of blood no longer excites me I salivate at the sight of mittens As an infant I had very few hobbies Spinach makes me feel alone I stay in the bathtub until I look like a raisin I like to put chameleons on plaid cloth I never finish what I

35 No, no, no – those aren’t the actual questions Some of the actual questions are: –Everything tastes the same –There is something wrong with my mind –I enjoy animals –Whenever possible I avoid being in a crowd –Someone has been trying to poison me –I daydream often –These seem to be questions that people with disorders will commonly answer similarly

36 Other tests Projectives: –A. Rorschach Inkblot Test –B. Thematic Apperception Test –Problems: subject to individual interpretation. Reliability and validity is low for these tests

37 House-Tree-Person Test



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