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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 11 SELF AND PERSONALITY"— Presentation transcript:


2 Learning Objectives How is the personality typically defined, and what are the five principles of defining personality? How do psychoanalytic, trait, and social-learning theories explain personality development?

3 Conceptualizing the Self and Personality
An organized combination of attributes, motives, values, and behaviors unique to each individual Often described in terms of relatively enduring dispositional traits (extraversion or introversion, independence or dependence)

4 Conceptualizing the Self and Personality
Personality (continued) Characteristic adaptations Situation-specific and changeable ways in which people adapt to their roles and environments Motives, plans, goals, schemas, self-conceptions, stage-specific concerns, coping mechanisms Narrative identities Unique and integrative life stories that construct to give ourselves an identity and meaning to our lives

5 Conceptualizing the Self and Personality
Our self-perceptions Self-concept Our perceptions – positive, negative, realistic, unrealistic – of our attributes and traits as a person Self-esteem Our overall evaluation of our worth as a person based upon the positive and negative self-perceptions that constitute our self-concept Identity Our overall sense of who we are and how we fit into society

6 Conceptualizing the Self and Personality
Psychoanalytic theory Psychoanalytic theorists use in-depth interviews, dream analysis, etc. to understand personality Trait theory Trait theorists construct personality scales and use the statistical technique of factor analysis to identify groupings of personality scale items that correlate with each other but not with other grouping of items

7 Conceptualizing the Self and Personality
Currently, there is agreement that personality can be described in terms of a five-factor model. Five dimensions of personality known as the Big Five Openness to experience Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism


9 Conceptualizing the Self and Personality
Social-learning theorists reject the notion of universal stages of personality development, question the existence of enduring personality traits, and emphasize that people change if their environments change From the social-learning perspective, personality is a set of behavioral tendencies shaped by interactions with other people in specific social situations

10 Learning Objectives How do infants develop a sense of self? What behaviors do researchers accept as evidence of infants’ self-awareness? What is temperament? How do researchers define and describe temperament?

11 The Infant – The Emerging Self
Infants develop an implicit sense of self through their perceptions of their bodies and actions In the first 2 or 3 months, infants discover they can cause things to happen After 6 months, infants realize they and other people are separate beings with different perspectives, ones that can be shared Illustrated by joint attention About 9 months, infants and their companions share perceptual experiences by looking at the same object at the same time When an infant points at an object and looks toward her companions to attempt to focus their attention on the object, she shows awareness that self and other do not always share the same perceptions

12 The Infant – The Emerging Self
Around 18 months, infants recognize themselves visually as distinct individuals Lewis and Brooks-Gunn (1979) demonstrated the development of self-recognition by putting a dot of rouge on a baby’s nose and placing the infant in front of a mirror Infants 18 to 24 months of age touched their noses rather than the mirror, which indicated they thought they had a strange mark on their faces – evidence of self-recognition

13 The Infant – The Emerging Self
Infants develop a categorical self Classify themselves into social categories based on age, sex, and other characteristics What is “like me” and what is “not like me” By age 2, infants master the task of distinguishing between photos of themselves and photos of other infants of the same sex

14 The Infant – The Emerging Self
What contributes to self-awareness in infancy? Cognitive development Ability to recognize the self Social interaction Social relationships that enable secure attachments Social feedback – positive and negative

15 The Infant – Temperament
The study of infant personality has centered on dimensions of temperament – early, genetically based tendencies to respond in predictable ways to events Easiness and difficultness Thomas and Chess (1986, 1999) and colleagues studied nine dimensions of infant behavior, including Typical mood Regularity or predictability of biological functions Tendency to approach or withdraw from new stimuli Intensity of emotional reactions Adaptability to new experiences and changes in routine

16 The Infant – Temperament
Categories of temperament Easy temperament Infants are even tempered, typically content or happy, open and adaptable to new experiences, have regular feeding and sleeping habits, and are tolerant of frustrations and discomforts Difficult temperament Infants are active, irritable, and irregular in their habits, often react negatively (and vigorously) to changes in routine, are slow to adapt to new people or situations, cry frequently and loudly, and often have tantrums Slow-to-warm-up temperament Infants are relatively inactive, somewhat moody, only moderately regular in their daily schedules, slow to adapt to new people and situations, but they typically respond in mildly, rather than intensely, negative ways.

17 The Infant – Temperament
Jerome Kagan identified another aspect of early temperament – behavioral inhibition The tendency to be shy, restrained, and distressed in response to unfamiliar people and situations Kagan and his colleagues have concluded that behavioral inhibition is biologically rooted Individuals with inhibited temperaments display strong brain responses and high heart rates in reaction to unfamiliar stimuli

18 The Infant – Temperament
Rothbart and colleagues defined infant temperament in terms of emotional reactions and the control/regulation of such reactions Identified three dimensions of temperament Surgency/extraversion – the tendency to actively and energetically approach new experiences in an emotionally positive way (rather than to be inhibited and withdrawn) Negative affectivity – the tendency to be sad, fearful, easily frustrated, and irritable (as opposed to laid back and adaptable) Effortful control – the ability to focus and shift attention when desired, control one’s behavior and plan a course of action, and regulate or suppress one’s emotions


20 The Infant – Temperament
Thomas and Chess referred to the goodness of fit between a child and her environment The extent to which the child’s temperament is compatible with the demands and expectations of the social world to which she must adapt Infants’ temperaments and their parents’ parenting behaviors reciprocally influence one another and interact over time to steer the direction of later personality development

21 Leaning Objectives What changes occur in the development of children’s self-esteem? What factors influence self-esteem? How does personality evolve over childhood, and what do children understand of their personality?

22 The Child – Elaborating on the Sense of Self
Toddlers give evidence of their emerging self-concepts By age 2, toddlers may use the personal pronouns I, me, my, and mine when referring to the self and you when addressing another person Toddlers show their emerging categorical selves when they describe themselves in terms of age and sex

23 The Child – Elaborating on the Sense of Self
The preschool child’s self-concept is concrete and physical A preschooler’s self-description focuses on physical characteristics, possessions, physical activities, accomplishments, and preferences Young children typically do not mention their psychological traits or inner qualities

24 The Child – Elaborating on the Sense of Self
Around age 8, psychological and social qualities become prominent in self-descriptions Describe their enduring qualities using personality trait terms, such as funny or smart Form social identities, define themselves as part of social units “I’m a Kimberly, a second-grader at Brookside School, a Brownie Scout.” Become more capable of social comparison – using information about how they compare with other children to characterize and evaluate themselves “I’m the fastest runner in my class”

25 The Child – Self-Esteem
Susan Harter (1999, 2003, 2006) has found that self-esteem becomes more differentiated or multi-dimensional with age Preschoolers distinguish two aspects of self-esteem Their competence (physical and cognitive) Their personal and social adequacy (social acceptance). By mid-elementary school, children differentiate among five aspects of self-worth Scholastic competence Social acceptance Behavioral conduct Athletic competence Physical appearance.

26 Caption: The multidimensional and hierarchical nature of self-esteem

27 The Child – Self-Esteem
As children age, they integrate their self-perceptions in the five distinct domains to form an overall, abstract sense of self-worth Self-esteem becomes multidimensional and hierarchical Global self-worth is at the top of the hierarchy The accuracy of children’s self-evaluations increases over the elementary school years Children form a sense of what they “should” be like – an ideal self With age, the gap between the real self and the ideal self increases, which contributes to a decrease in average self-esteem from early to middle childhood

28 The Child – Influences on Self-Esteem
Heredity Competence Social feedback Secure attachment to warm, democratic parents Self-esteem remains stable over the elementary school years High self-esteem is positively correlated with a variety of measures of good adjustment

29 The Child – The Developing Personality
During childhood, temperament interacts with individual social experiences and evolves into predictable personality Researchers are finding links between the dimensions of temperament and Big Five personality trait dimensions Exact relationships are unclear Many aspects of personality do not stabilize until the elementary school years, or adolescence, or adulthood

30 Learning Objectives How do adolescents conceptualize their selves, including self-esteem and personality? What factors influence the development of identity during adolescence? How do adolescents make vocational choices? How does work affect adolescents’ identities?

31 The Adolescent – Self-Conceptions
Compared to children’s self-descriptions, those of adolescents Become less physical and more psychological Become less concrete and more abstract Have a more differentiated self-concept Includes acceptance by a larger peer group, by close friends, and by romantic partners Are more integrated and coherent Recognizes and integrates inconsistencies Are more self-aware and reflective

32 The Adolescent – Self-Esteem
Between childhood and early adolescence self-esteem tends to decrease Transition to middle or junior high school Physical changes of puberty Social context and social comparisons Big-fish – little-pond effect occurs when the social comparisons are changed A good student in a class of good students is a small fish in a big pond A good student in a class of not-so-great students is a big fish in a little pond

33 The Adolescent – Self-Esteem
Adolescents who experienced a decrease in self-esteem in early adolescence typically emerge with higher self-esteem Contributing factors Opportunities to feel competent in areas that are important to them Approval and support of parents, peers, and other important people As adults, adolescents with low self-esteem tend to have poorer physical and mental health, poorer career and financial prospects, and higher levels of criminal behavior than adolescents with high self-esteem

34 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
Eric Erikson proposed that adolescents experience the psychosocial conflict of identity versus role confusion The search for identity involves important questions What kind of career do I want? What religious, moral, and political values can I really call my own? Who am I as a man or woman and as a sexual being? Where do I fit into the world? What do I really want out of my life? The many separate perceptions that are part of the self-concept must be integrated into a coherent sense of self – identity

35 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
Erikson believed that an adolescent identity crisis can be explained by Changing bodies that call for a revised self-concept and adjustment to being sexual beings Cognitive growth that permits systematic thinking about hypothetical possibilities, including possible future selves Social demands to grow up According to Erikson, the moratorium period during high school and the college years permits adolescents to experiment with different roles to find themselves

36 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
James Marcia (1966) expanded on Erikson’s theory and developed a procedure to assess adolescent identity formation Adolescents are classified into one of four identity statuses based upon their progress toward an identity The key questions are Whether an individual has experienced a crisis (or has seriously grappled with identity issues and explored alternatives) Whether an individual has achieved a commitment (that is, resolved the questions raised)

37 Caption: The four identity statuses as they apply to religious identity

38 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
James Marcia’s identity statuses Diffusion No crisis and no commitment Foreclosure Commitment without a crisis Accepted an identity suggested by parents or other people Moratorium status Experiencing a crisis or actively exploring identity issues Questioning their religious upbringing, experimenting with drugs, changing majors or relationships Identity achievement status After a period of moratorium, a commitment is made

39 Caption: Percentage of subjects in each of James Marcia’s four identity statuses as a function of age

40 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
The process of identity development includes forming an ethnic identity A sense of personal identification with an ethnic group and its values and cultural traditions The ingredients of a positive ethnic identity include Socialization/teaching by parents regarding cultural traditions Preparation to live in a culturally diverse society Preparation to deal with prejudice in a manner that does not breed anger and mistrust

41 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
Exploring and forging a positive ethnic identity can Protect adolescents’ self-concepts from the damaging effects of racial or ethnic discrimination Foster high overall self-esteem Help promote academic achievement and good adjustment Reduce depression symptoms.

42 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
The main developmental trend evident in vocational choice is increasing realism with age Between the ages of 11 and 18, adolescents become more realistic and begin to make preliminary vocational choices that consider their interests, capacities, and values By late adolescence or emerging adulthood, considerations include the realities of the job market, the physical and intellectual requirements for different occupations, the availability of job openings in a field, the years of education required, and the work conditions

43 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
Some adolescents are challenged to form a positive vocational identity Adolescents from lower income families, especially minority group members living in poverty and facing limited opportunities, discrimination, and stress, may lower their career aspirations and aim toward jobs they are likely to get rather than the jobs that interest them most The vocational choices of females have been and continue to be constrained by traditional gender norms

44 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
Young women who have adopted traditional gender-role attitudes for marriage and family in early adulthood may set their educational and vocational sights low, figuring that they cannot “have it all” Many young women do not seriously consider traditionally male-dominated jobs, doubt their ability to land such jobs, and aim toward feminine-stereotyped, and often lower-status and lower-paying, occupations Many teens – female and male – do not explore a range of possible occupations before making a choice

45 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
Progress toward identity formation in adolescent is influenced by five factors Cognitive growth The ability to contemplate possible future identities, to think in complex and abstract ways, and to seek information Personality Low neuroticism and high levels of openness to experience and conscientiousness Relationships with parents Those who are in the moratorium and identity achievement statuses have solid relationships with parents who encourage autonomy

46 The Adolescent – Forging a Sense of Identity
Opportunities to explore Exposure to diverse ideas and independent thinking, such as occurs during a college education The broader cultural context In industrialized Western societies, adolescents are expected to forge an identity after exploring their options In traditional societies, identity foreclosure may be the most adaptive path to adulthood

47 Learning Objectives How does personality change during adulthood? Why do people change or remain the same? How does culture influence personality

48 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Self-esteem tends rise gradually through the adult years until the mid-60s and then – for some adults – to drop in the 70s and 80s How do most elderly people manage to maintain positive self-images for so long, even as they experience some of the disabilities and losses that come with aging? By Reducing the gap between the ideal self and the real self Changing standards of self-evaluation Making social comparisons to other old people Avoiding self-stereotyping

49 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Reducing the gap between the ideal self and the real self According to Ryff’s (1991) research, older adults scaled down their visions of what they could ideally be and what they likely will be, possibly because they recognized that aging brings with it a loss of capacities They also judged more positively what they had been As a result, their ideal, future, present, and past selves converged

50 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Adjusting goals and standards of self-evaluation People’s goals and standards change with age so that what seem like losses or failures to a younger person may not be perceived as such by the older adult As our goals and standards change over the lifespan, we apply different measuring sticks in evaluating ourselves and do not mind failing to achieve goals that are no longer important

51 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Comparing the self to other older adults Older adults are able to maintain self-esteem by making social comparisons primarily to other older adults With people who have the same kinds of chronic diseases and impairments they have, or even worse

52 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Not internalizing ageist stereotypes Negative stereotypes we learn and that are reinforced over the years may be applied to the self once we being to think of ourselves as “old” Research shows that negative stereotypes of aging can affect gait (in walking) and memory performance Research suggests that ageist stereotypes are harmful to behavior, health, and self-esteem, especially among people who have come to identify themselves as “old” and apply ageist stereotypes to themselves

53 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Self-conceptions also reflect broad cultural influences In an individualistic culture, individuals define themselves primarily as individuals and put their own goals ahead of their social group’s goals North American and Western European societies In a collectivist culture, people define themselves in terms of group memberships and give group goals higher priority than personal goals Latin America, Africa, and East Asia societies

54 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Self-conceptions in an individualistic society such as the United States mean Being your own person – independent and different from others Describing one’s unique personal qualities and the personality traits believed to be apparent in most situations and relationships Maintaining high self-esteem

55 The Adult – Self-Conceptions
Self-conceptions in a collectivist society such as Japan mean Being interdependent with others, embedded in society Believing that the self is different as the social context or situation is different Being more modest and self-critical, noting inadequacies

56 The Adult – Continuity and Discontinuity in Personality
McCrae and Costa’s (2003, 2008) studies of personality change and continuity revealed consistency in rankings within a group The person who tends to be extraverted as a young adult is likely to be extraverted as an elderly adult, and the introvert is likely to remain introverted over the years The adult who shows high or low levels of neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or openness to new experiences is likely to retain that ranking compared with that of peers years later

57 The Adult – Continuity and Discontinuity in Personality
Studies of personality change over time find both continuity and discontinuity in personality during adulthood There is a good deal of cross-age consistency in personality Example: the person who tends to be extraverted as a young adult is likely to be extraverted as an elderly adult, and the introvert is likely to remain introverted over the years Cohort effects demonstrate that the historical context in which people grow up affects their personality development

58 The Adult – Continuity and Discontinuity in Personality
Personality growth from adolescence to middle adulthood is highlighted by less excitement seeking and openness to experience but more maturity (emotional stability, conscientiousness, and agreeableness) There is little personality change from middle adulthood to later adulthood except for decreased activity level and openness to experience and increased agreeableness

59 The Adult – Continuity and Discontinuity in Personality
What makes a personality stable over the lifespan? Heredity Genes contribute to individual differences in all five of the Big Five personality factors Lasting effects of childhood experiences Stable environments Gene-environment correlations Our genetic endowment may influence the kinds of experiences we have, and those experiences, in turn, may strengthen our genetically based predispositions

60 The Adult – Continuity and Discontinuity in Personality
What causes changes in personality over the lifespan? Biological factors Diseases that cause nervous system deterioration can cause moodiness, irritability, and irresponsibility Changes in the environment Poor fit between person and environment

61 Learning Objectives What is the focus of each of Erikson’s psychosocial stages? What factors can influence how each crisis is resolved?


63 The Adult – Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth
According to Erikson, both maturational forces and social demands push humans through eight psychosocial crises Later conflicts may be difficult to resolve if early conflicts were not resolved successfully Optimal development results in the gain of a “virtue” or psychosocial strength

64 The Adult – Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth
The path to adulthood 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

65 The Adult – Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth
Trust vs. mistrust Infants learn to trust others if their caregivers are responsive to their needs Autonomy vs. shame and doubt Toddlers acquire a sense of themselves as individuals Initiative vs. guilt Preschoolers develop a sense of purpose and take pride in accomplishments

66 The Adult – Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth
Industry vs. inferiority Elementary school children focus on mastering important skills and on evaluating their competencies Identity vs. role confusion The adolescent integrates separate aspects of the self-concept into a coherent sense of self.

67 The Adult – Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth
Intimacy vs. isolation Commitment to a shared identity with another person Generativity vs. stagnation The capacity to produce something that outlives you and to care about the welfare of future generations

68 The Adult – Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth
Integrity vs. despair Finding a sense of meaning in life that will enable facing the inevitability of death A sense of integrity is related to a high sense of psychological well-being and low levels of depression or despair

69 The Adult – Eriksonian Psychosocial Growth
Butler (1963) proposed that older adults engage in a process called life review A reflection on unresolved conflicts of the past in order to come to terms with themselves, find new meaning and coherence in life, and prepare for death Researchers find that elders who engage in life review display a stronger sense of integrity and better overall adjustment and well-being than those who do not reminisce much and those who mainly stew about unresolved regrets

70 The Adult – Midlife Crisis?
Daniel Levinson (1986, 1996) proposed a stage theory of adulthood Based on interviews with 40 men Suggested that adults build a life structure, or pattern of living, that is altered during transition periods approximately every 7 years The transition period from age 40 to age 45 is a time of midlife crisis A person questions his life structure and questions where he has been and where he is going Researchers find little support for Levinson’s claim that most adults experience a genuine crisis in their early 40s

71 Learning Objectives How do career paths change during adulthood? How do adults cope with age-related changes that affect their working selves? How are older adults influenced by retirement? How can we characterize successful aging?

72 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
According to Phillips’ research (1982), from age 21 to age 36, young adults progressed from wide-open exploration of different career possibilities to tentative or trial commitments to a stabilization of their choices Adults often reach the peaks of their careers in their 40s Job performance is consistently correlated with the Big Five dimensions of conscientiousness, extraversion, and emotional stability

73 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
Person–environment fit is critical to work performance People tend to perform poorly and become open to changing jobs when there is poor fit between their personality and aptitudes and the demands of their job or workplace

74 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
Why do U.S. women earn about 80 cents for every dollar men earn? Traditional gender-role norms have prompted many women to subordinate career goals to family goals Earnings are affected by interruptions for childbearing, reduced hours, relocations, or deferred promotions Workplace discrimination against women Traditionally “female” jobs pay less than “male” jobs, even when the intellectual demands of the work are equal Women who enter jobs with the same management degrees and salaries as men, and receive equal performance ratings, still do not rise as far in the organization or earn as much as their male peers Women earn about 20% less than men, even controlling for the tendency of women to work less, step out of the workforce more, and enter lower-paying occupations

75 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
According to studies on aging workers The job performance of workers in their 50s and 60s is largely similar overall to that of younger workers Age was largely unrelated to quality of task performance and creativity on the job Older workers outperformed younger workers in areas such as good citizenship and safety and had fewer problems with counterproductive behavior, aggression, substance use on the job, tardiness, and absenteeism Older workers did not perform as well in training programs, possibly because many of them involved computer technology

76 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
Aging workers may be able to maintain job performance because they use selective optimization with compensation to cope with aging Selection – focus on a limited set of goals and the skills most needed to achieve them Optimization – practice those skills to keep them sharp Compensation – develop ways around the need for other skills

77 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
In the U.S., roughly half of adults are out of the labor force by age 62-64, two thirds are out by age 65-69, and about 90% are out by age 70 or older Since the 1960s, the average age of retirement has dropped from over 67 to 62 Appears to be increasing as retiring baby boomers find that they need to continue working for financial reasons and as the age of eligibility for full Social Security benefits increases

78 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
Some workers retire all at once For others, retirement is a process that plays out over a number of years May retire gradually, cutting back work hours, taking part-time “bridge” jobs, cycling in and out of retirement several times Retiring workers face two challenges Adjusting to the loss of their work role Developing a satisfying, meaningful lifestyle in retirement

79 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
Atchley (1976) proposed that adults transition from worker to retiree in phases Preretirement phase – gather information, talk about retirement, plan for the future Honeymoon phase – enjoy the newfound freedom Disenchantment phase – feel aimless, possibly unhappy as the novelty wears off Reorientation phase – begin to put together a realistic and satisfying lifestyle

80 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
Favorable adjustment to retirement is associated with Voluntary rather than involuntary retirement Good physical and mental health Financial resources to live comfortably Marriage or strong social support

81 The Adult – Vocational Development and Adjustment
Women face challenges in their adjustment to retirement May feel pressured to retire if their husbands retire or develop health problems Have moved in and out of the workforce more and have not earned as much as men and therefore often find themselves with no pension and an inadequate income in retirement Are likely to outlive their husbands and end up living alone

82 The Adult – Personality and Successful Aging
Theories of successful aging offer insight to successful retirement and happy, fulfilling old age Activity theory suggests that aging adults will find their lives satisfying to the extent that they can maintain their previous lifestyles and activity levels, either by continuing old activities or by finding substitutes (for example, by replacing work with hobbies, volunteer work, or other stimulating pursuits) According to this view, psychological needs do not really change as people enter old age: most aging individuals continue to want an active lifestyle

83 The Adult – Personality and Successful Aging
Disengagement theory suggests that successful aging involves a withdrawal of the aging individual from society that is satisfying to both parties – the individual and society Because the aging individual has needs that are different from those she once had, she seeks to leave old roles behind and to reduce activity Meanwhile, society both encourages and benefits from the older person’s disengagement, which makes room for the younger generation


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