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Personality Theories Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Personality Theories Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personality Theories Psychology

2 Personality Theory After Freud’s theories are popularized
Debate between pro-Freud and anti-Freud psychologists Various theories to fit your own insights about causes of human behavior To explain human complexity

3 Behaviorism All behavior is reaction to stimuli from the world around you Control the stimuli-control the behavior John Watson: Psychologists frustrated with making assumptions about unknown mental functions Focus only on verifiable observable behavior Based on Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning research: Pavlov’s dogs

4 John Watson: Behaviorism
System of stimulus-response units: cause and effects between environment and behavior Rewarded or pleasurable responses encourage repetition of behavior Punishment deters behavior Example: Baby responds to mother, expects care Food, warmth, love Responds with cooing and waving arms Cry when mom goes away

5 B.f. skinner ( ) Watson’s successor as leading American behaviorist Dismisses Freud’s psychoanalytic approach Believes development of personality is too important to leave to parents/learning experiences

6 Skinner’s Books Walden Two: Invents self-sufficient community run on behaviorist principles Trained nurses raise children Shape personalities to maintain stable productive society Applied theory to all of society in Beyond Freedom and Dignity Critics accuse him of trying to solve problems by sacrificing free will and individual responsibility

7 Skinner’s Theory Infants born with 3 instinctive responses: love, rage, and fear All others developed through learning Classifies all behavior as respondent or operant: Respondent: When stimulus causes reflexive automatic involuntary response

8 Skinner’s personality Theory
Operant: Behaviors that act on environment to gain reward Most human behavior falls into this category Can be conditioned through reinforcement To display: Skinner trains pigeons Teach behaviors in small steps and reward with food pellets Bowling, play ping pong, piano, and drop bombs ature=related

9 Shaping Behavior Broken down into small steps
Desirable behavior is rewarded Undesirable behavior is ignored Example: Teaching a child to swim Applied to personality: Early life experiences can condition later life behavior Underlying cause for neurotic behavior CsOI

10 Behaviorist personality Theory
Neurotic behavior is poorly chosen response to stimuli Causes general anxiety that makes it impossible to cope with symptoms Behavioral Therapy: Teaches you to form the correct response Common Technique: Systematic Desensitization process Example: Get over fear of heights

11 Skinner’s Baby box u5Y

12 Skinner’s “baby tender”
1940s: Wanted her to have the best possible environment to produce healthy, happy baby Temperature control: less restrictive clothing Keep out noise and light so she sleeps well Clean: Bath her less often She grew up normal and successful He was criticized: Why didn’t it catch on?


14 Neo-Freudians New research shows humans are highly adaptable to change in environment Psychoanalysts modify Freud’s ideas: Believe social influences play a major role in shaping personality Think less about influence of heredity and childhood experiences

15 Freudians vs. Neo-Freudians
Agree: Unconscious has important influence Repression used to cope with anxiety Defense mechanisms protect ego Early childhood is when you form basic personality Disagree: Sex Drive vs. Social influence=more important Childhood Sexuality vs Learned relationship skills Woman=inferior vs Neither superior Id/Ego/Superego vs They don’t exist

16 Parents Support Healthy Development
Basic needs must be met; then child needs love, support and motivation 01

17 Alfred Adler ( ) Broke with Freud in 1911 to form new school of “individual psychology” Believes Freud focuses too much on sexuality’s influence on personality Focuses on inborn social needs/urges instead Society modifies these according to it’s own values/culture

18 The Creative self Inner system that guides an individual to a fulfilling style of life It is you: it makes you the unique person you are Each person chooses a particular role because society seems to reward that choice Examples: happy-go-lucky, romantic, intellectual, melancholy Fosters your drive to be a superior person Adler contributes this to free will/choice, unlike Freud contributing it to unconscious

19 Adler: Inferiority complex
Begins as child when you are helpless, adults have all the control and power Most healthy people overcome this Some don’t: lack social skills, have disabilities, a lack of support, or experience discrimination Some use it as a motivation to try harder and succeed to prove themselves Some compensate through actions that hurt others

20 Fictional Finalism People driven by ideals that may be pure fiction, but are ones they pursue with great determination Causes stress when they attempt to strictly adhere to them Example: “Honesty is the best policy” “If I am good, everyone will love me”

21 Social interest Inborn characteristic: we want out community to be a better place We want to believe there is good in everyone Why some will risk their lives for a stranger Give generously to charity for greater good Many now are placing concern about personal safety over social interest in the modern world

22 Neo-Freudians: Karen Horney (1885-1952)
German psychiatrist Didn’t like focus on sexual drives and inferiority of women New ideas cost her a job and some of her support Worked very hard to be respected as a woman in her field Well loved for her warmth and dedication to helping people

23 Basic Anxiety Believes that ability to cope with life is directly related to how well a child copes with threats to it’s security Adult personality grows out of this success or failure in coping with this anxiety Babies: unable to control their environment and feel helpless Harsh/strict/negligent parents increases anxiety

24 Neurotic needs Major contribution to personality theory
Needs grow out of strategies to combat anxiety People often make unrealistic demands on themselves on others “I SHOULD always be understanding, helpful, sympathetic, forgiving, etc.” Do things because you should do them not because you necessarily feel it or want to

25 Neurotic Needs Needs that move an individual toward people:
Need for affection, approval, to please others Need for partner to run their life, fear of being alone Need for prestige: self-confidence rests totally on receiving recognition from others Need for personal admiration: Expects to be admired on the basis of false/inflated self-image

26 Neurotic Needs Needs the move an individual away from people:
Need to restrict one’s life within narrow borders Need for self-sufficiency and independence: relationships are painful, won’t accept love Need for perfection: Mistakes are weakness, person tries to be infallible at all times

27 Neurotic Needs Needs that move an individual against people:
Need for power: control is so important that they will do anything to attain it Need to exploit others: Take advantage of people to relive own feelings of insecurity/helplessness Need for personal achievement: Constantly needs more success, even if at the expense of others

28 Erik Erikson ( ) Austrian psychologist who studied with Anna Freud Theory of Psychosocial Development: Same age as Freud’s psychosexual development In each stage: Achieve new way of seeing yourself in relation to society Personality develops throughout your whole life In each stage: Conflict develops between positive and negative ego qualities, you must resolve each crisis to move successfully through stages If one is not resolved, it CAN be resolved later in life

29 Stages of Psychosocial development
Trust vs. Mistrust: Birth to one year Babies learn to trust of fear the world depending on experiences with other people/parents Need to feel world is orderly and predictable Lack of trust causes anxiety/fear in later stages

30 Stages of Psychosocial development
Autonomy vs. Doubt: Early childhood age 2-3 Children must develop self confidence and independence Learn to feed and dress themselves and become toilet trained Kids not given the opportunity to explore new skills will be full of shame and self doubt

31 Stages of Psychosocial development
Initiative vs. Guilt: Play age, ages 4-5 Children are curious and should be encouraged to develop their intellectual resources and interests Free to run, play, and question everything Guilt results from overly strict parenting that hinder self-motivation

32 Stages of Psychosocial development
Industry vs. Inferiority: School age, 6-11 Most kids enter school eager to learn and show off skills Curious and love trying new things Explore interpersonal relationships Teachers/parents who push too hard can cause feelings of inferiority and lack of initiative

33 Stages of Psychosocial development
Identity vs. Role Confusion: Adolescence, ages 12-18 Critical period where you find your own identity Made more difficult by challenges of adolescent tasks: sex, career choices, relationships with peers and parents, etc. Must resolve identity crisis in order to have clear goals for a happy productive adulthood

34 Stages of Psychosocial development
Intimacy vs. Isolation: young adulthood, ages 19-35 People are looking for a partner Find your values while your identity will be challenged by friends and lovers Must develop strength to stick to commitments even if there is sacrifice or deferred gratification

35 Stages of Psychosocial development
Generativity vs. Stagnation: Adulthood, ages 36-60 Mature adults begin to plan for future generations, through children or community contribution Volunteer work, coaching, or helping your own kids succeed adds to quality of life Stagnant adults are concerned only with themselves and try to deny aging process and concentrate on material pleasures

36 Stages of Psychosocial development
Ego Integrity vs. Despair: old age, 60+ Well-integrated elderly people can cherish their successes, learn from their failures, and accept death Remain active and involved Those who did not achieve ego integrity are full of anger, fear, despair and regret

37 Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss Psychoanalyst, friend of Freud
Doesn‘t agree with Freud’s focus on sex drives Instead, places emphasis on spiritual and moral aspects of life So influential and original that he has his own school of psychology; Analytic Psychology Calls the human personality the psyche

38 The Jungian Unconscious
Two parts: Personal and Collective Unconscious The Personal Unconscious: contains experiences that were once conscious but have been forgotten/repressed Unconscious can influence conscious behavior Complex: organized group of feelings/thoughts in the unconscious Fixation on aspect that dominates your life that you may or may not be aware of Examples: money complex, power complex, mother complex, etc.

39 Carl Jung’s unconscious
The Collective Unconscious: Universal instincts, drives, and memories shared by the human race Cross boundaries of time, skin color, and geography “Memories” of history are unseen forces influencing your thoughts/feelings/perceptions 2 million years of evolutionary experience left a mark on the human brain Example: People still like to hunt/fish, universal behaviors across separated cultures, etc.

40 Archetypes Universal thought patterns, themes, and symbols
Appear across time in literature, religion, music, art, etc. Create images on which you base your perception of the world Creates your sense of wholeness, completeness, and interconnectivity Examples: Hero archetype, mother earth archetype, the wise old man, the devil/villain



43 Jung’s Archetypes Four become systems within personality:
1. Persona: The “mask” you wear to hide your true self in public (your image) In response to social pressure, traditions, and need for acceptance Healthy if it is a choice, but can’t allow it to dominate your life Example: the good girl, the bad boy

44 Jung’s Archetypes Anima and Animus:
All people carry elements of the opposite sex within their personalities Anima: Feminine image men carry Animus: Male image women carry Provide balance to the personality Enable sexes to understand each other Forms your perception/expectations of the opposite sex Example: Ideal woman

45 Jung’s Archetypes Shadow: Represents the primitive side of personality
Socially unacceptable thoughts/desires are repressed by personal unconscious Most people hide the shadow behind their persona Deep secrets, guilty pleasures, skeletons in the closet, selfish needs, etc.

46 Jung’s Archetypes Self: Analytic psychology places great emphasis on concept of the self Life goal, striving for unity and completeness Few reach this because all other elements of personality must fully develop first Example: Religious leaders or philosophers who join conscious and unconscious mind see emergence of completed self

47 Jung’s Other contributions
Introversion: look inward, find pleasure in pursuing own thoughts, shy, happiest alone Extroversion: invest psychic energy in the outside world, need company, excitement, activity, outgoing Everyone has both aspects, one usually dominates

48 Jung’s Word association tests
As the subject responds to a list of prepared words, repressed/concealed thoughts will slip past the mind’s censors into speech Responses to key words admit guilt/connect them to a crime, etc. Similar to polygraph test

49 existential Psychology
Human beings are free agents, they determine their behavior by choice Not controlled by unconscious forces No one is bound to the past Rollo May: Encourages people to take responsibility for their own lives “I learned along the way to tune in on my being, my existence in the now, because that was all there was—that and my tubular body. It was a valuable experience to face death, for in the experience I learned to face life”

50 Existentialist’s approach to personality
Created after WWII to aid people who felt life was empty of meaning It is the belief in the nobility of the human spirit that gives meaning and purpose to life Central concept of life is being: all you can know of the world is what you perceive “You are part of the world, and the world is part of you”

51 Key Existential Beliefs
Being is becoming: Humans have potential to grow and change things Alternative is to give in to frustration and sense of futility To realize your potential requires that you explore your own being/consciousness/identity Happiness found in freedom and commitment

52 Key Existential Beliefs
Humans must take responsibility of their own life, completely free will Make choices, take action, take risks, learn from mistakes Everyone can change for the better and has a responsibility to do so Don’t make excuses for your problems/issues: “My parents hit me when I was little, so it’s their fault that this is the way I am. I can’t change.”

53 Key Existential Beliefs
Happiness is a by-product of committing yourself to the choices you have made Make each choice in your life as if you are making it for all humanity Anxiety and despair result when you refuse to take responsibility of your own life Life is not fair, bad things will happen, but live your life to the fullest and make the beset of it

54 Existential view of neurotic behavior
Anxiety/despair are inescapable parts of the human condition Making choices means taking chances Each choice brings new anxiety If you give in to this anxiety it causes neurotic behavior Examples: Withdrawal from society, seeking pleasure by any means, conforming to the views/desires of others so they don’t have to make their own choices, etc.

55 Existential view of neurotic behavior
Existential vacuum: Feeling that everything is meaningless, feeling helpless to change anything successfully, give up instead Viktor Frankl: Studied concentration camp inmates Many were in an existential vacuum=died Those who lived were those who had a task to complete in life: someone/something depended on them=gives them meaning and purpose

56 Existential Psychologists
Viktor Frankl: “I have seen the meaning of my life in helping others to see in their lives a meaning” Rollo May: Anxiety in small doses is constructive Sharpens your sensitivity Spark creativity/motivation Living up to your responsibilities strengthens you

57 The future of personality theory
Psychologists still hope for an all-encompassing theory to explain personality Family Systems Theory: Therapists should focus on the family not individuals Family interactions can cause anxiety or happiness Psychologists are exploring ethnic and cultural forces that shape personality Gender theory is gaining ground in comparing roles each sex takes on which form their personalities

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