Chapter 13: Personality Alexis Caroline Monica Kate
Perspectives of Personality Psychoanalytic perspective : Childhood sexuality, unconscious motives, and dreams influence personality Humanistic Perspective: Focused on our inner capacities for growth and self-fulfillment Sigmund Freud- Psychoanalytic Carl Rogers- Humanistic
Psychoanalysis (Freud) Personality and therapeutic technique that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts. Patient’s free association, resistances, dreams and transferences release previously repressed feelings allowing patient to gain insight.
Free Association Psychoanalysis; a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing
Unconscious Unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings and memories (things you are unaware of feeling).
Thoughts Some of these thoughts we store temporarily in a preconscious area, from which we can retrieve them into conscious awareness.
Freud and Repression Freud was the mass of unacceptable passions and thoughts that he believed we repress, or forcibly block from our consciousness because they would be too unsettling to acknowledge.
Dreams Manifest Content- the remembered content of a dream (story or plot line) Latent Content- the meaning of a dream (dreamer’s unconscious wishes)
ID, Ego, Superego ID - Reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that strives to satisfy the basic sexual and aggressive drives Ego - Executive part of personality (mediates demands of ID and ego; focuses on reality). Superego - Represents internalized ideals and standards for judgment (future aspirations).
Cartoon ID says that fifty is plenty but superego wants him to have more but the ego mediates between the two
Erogenous Zones & Phallic Stage Erogenous zones: pleasure sensitive areas that the pleasure seeking energies focus on Phallic stage: when males seek genital stimulation
Electra & Oedipus Complex Electra Complex : Girl’s sexual desire for their father and envy of mother Oedipus Complex: Boy’s sexual desire for mother and hatred towards father
Psychosexual stages and Identification Psychosexual stages: Childhood stages of development during which the ID’s pleasure seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones Identification: Process in which children incorporate their parents values into superegos
Gender Identity and Fixate Gender Identity: Our sense of being male or female Fixate: A lingering focus of pleasure seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which conflicts were resolved
Defense Mechanism Defense Mechanism : the ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality
Repression and Regression Repression: the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety- arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness Regression: in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated
Reaction Formation & Projection Reaction Formation: when the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites. Thus, people may express feelings that are the opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings Projection: defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others
Rationalization & Displacement Rationalization: defense mechanism that offers self- justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one’s actions Displacement: defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person, as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet
Denial Denial: defense mechanism by which people refuse to believe or even to perceive painful realities
Neo-Freudians They accepted: Freud’s basic ideas like the personality structures of id, ego, and superego; the importance of the unconscious; the shaping of personality in childhood; and the dynamics of anxiety and the defense mechanisms. The disagreed: Neo’s focused more on conscious mind’s role in interpreting experience and in coping with the environment. Also doubted that sex and aggression were all-consuming motivations
Adler and Horney Adler and Horney agreed with Freud that childhood is important. But they believed that childhood social, not sexual, tensions are crucial for personality formation.
Penis Envy Horney countered Freud’s assumptions that women have weak superegos and suffer “penis envy,” and she attempted to balance the bias she detected in this masculine view of psychology.
Carl Jung Jung believed that the unconscious contains more than our repressed thoughts and feelings. He believed we also have a collective unconscious, a common reservoir of images derived from our species’ universal experiences. Collective Unconscious: concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species’ history
Drew Westen Most contemporary dynamic theorists and therapists are not wedded to the idea that sex is the basis of personality. They do not talk about ids and egos, and do not go around classifying their patients as oral, anal, or phallic characters.
Assessment Tests Personality assessment tools are useful to those who study personality or provide therapy.
Personality Tests Projective Tests: a personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics. Thematic Apperception Test: a projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes. What do you see?
Rorschach Inkblot Test Rorschach inkblot test: the most widely used projective test, a set of 10 inkblots, designed by Hermann Rorschach; seeks to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.
New findings contradicting with Freud Today’s developmental psychologists see our development as lifelong, not fixed in childhood. They doubt that infants’ neural networks are mature enough to sustain as much emotional trauma as Freud assumed. Some think Freud overestimated parental influence and underestimated peer influence (and abuse). They also doubt that conscience and gender identity form as the child resolves the Oedipus complex at age 5 or 6.
Argument that repression is a myth In one survey, 88 percent of university students believed that painful experiences commonly get pushed out of awareness and into the unconscious Ditto for the world’s literature, report a Harvard team that offered $1000 to anyone who could provide a pre-1800 medical or even fictional example of a healthy person who had blocked out a specific traumatic event and retrieved it a year or more later
Anthony Greenwald Many now think of the unconscious not as seething passions and repressive censoring but as cooler information processing that occurs without our awareness.
Power of the unconscious the schemas that automatically control our perceptions and interpretations the priming by stimuli to which we have not consciously attended the parallel processing of different aspects of vision and thinking the emotions that activate instantly, before conscious analysis the self-concept and stereotypes that automatically and unconsciously influence how we process information about ourselves and others
False Consensus Effect false consensus effect: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors. Freud called this projection
Terror Management Theory Terror-management theory: a theory of death-related anxiety; explores people’s emotional and behavioral responses to reminders of their impending death. How it isn’t pro-social: For example, death anxiety increases prejudice—contempt for others and esteem for oneself
Being pro-social when faced with death The prospect of death promotes religious sentiments, and deep religious convictions enable people to be less defensive—less likely to rise in defense of their worldview—when reminded of death
Seligman’s thoughts on Freud Freud’s premises may have undergone a steady decline in currency within academia for many years, but Hollywood, the talk shows, many therapists, and the general public still love them.
Humanistic vs. Freud’s study on sick people In contrast to Freud’s study of the base motives of “sick” people, these humanistic psychologists focused on the ways “healthy” people strive for self- determination and self-realization.
Third force perspective Created by Maslow and Rogers emphasized human potential
Self-Actualization and Self- Transcendence Self-Actualization: self- actualization: one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one’s potential. Self-Transcendence: purpose, and communion beyond the self.
Maslow Studied healthy, creative people rather than troubled clinical cases
Maslow’s Discovery Discovered similar qualities between Lincoln, Jefferson, and Eleanor Roosevelt. They were self-aware and self-accepting, open and spontaneous, loving and caring, and not paralyzed by others’ opinions. Secure in their sense of who they were, their interests were problem-centered rather than self-centered. They focused their energies on a particular task, one they often regarded as their mission in life.
Peak Experiences Peak experiences: spiritual or personal experiences that surpassed ordinary consciousness.
People with mature adult qualities People who have learned enough about life to be compassionate, to have outgrown their mixed feelings toward their parents, to have found their calling, to have acquired enough courage to be unpopular, to be unashamed about being openly virtuous. E. Roosevelt.
Maslow’s work Maslow’s work with college students led him to speculate that those likely to become self- actualizing adults were likable and caring.
Rogers thoughts on Maslow Rogers believed that people are basically good and are endowed with self- actualizing tendencies. Unless thwarted by an environment that inhibits growth, each of us is like an acorn, primed for growth and fulfillment
Rogers’ Beliefs Rogers believed that a growth- promoting climate required three conditions— genuineness, acceptance, and empathy.
How to nurture someone Rogers believed that you need to nurture someone’s growth by accepting
Unconditional Positive Regard An attitude of total acceptance toward another person
Being Empathetic Being empathetic is an attitude of grace that values us knowing our failures
Most potent force of change Listening with unconditional positive regard Genuineness, acceptance, and empathy
Secret of life To show unconditional positive regard
Self-Concept All our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in an answer to the question, “Who am I?”
Negative or positive self- concept If our self-concept is negative, we will do everything negatively If our self-concept is positive, we will do everything positively
Description of self Rogers asked people to describe themselves both as they would ideally like to be and as they actually are
Humanistic views Some humanistic psychologists believed that any standardized assessment of personality, even a questionnaire, is depersonalizing.
Maslow and Rogers Maslow’s and Roger’s ideas have influenced counseling, education, child- rearing, and management.
Criticism of humanistic view Concepts are vague Concepts are also subjective, not specific enough
Theories based off heroes After starting to study the heroes, the psychologist would begin to think that self- actualizing people are underrated by other’s needs and opinions. They are also comfortable with power and motivated to achieve.
First step towards loving others Becoming secure about yourself, become non- defensive, and self- accepting
Naïve? People think humanistic psychology is naïve because it fails to appreciate the reality of human capacity
Traits Characteristics in a pattern of behavior A disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self- report inventories and peer reports
Allport Counted words to describe someone and found 18,000 Defined personality as your sense of the person
MBTI the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use) now used for many other screening purposes
Criticism of MBTI Remains as counseling tool not research instrument It is absent of scientific data When assessing workers, you can make yourself seem better
Factor Analysis Statistical procedure to identify clusters of test questions
Jon Steward caption Jon Stewart: The extravert Trait labels such as extraversion can describe our temperament and typical behaviors.
Extraversion vs. Introversion Outgoing vs. Shy Extraverted people are more likely to explore their surroundings while introverted people keep to themselves
Stability vs. Instability Stable people are more likely to be calm in stressful situations Instable people tend to react on their emotions and not make logical decisions
The Eysencks Believe that the factors of Extraversion- introversion, stability-instability are key to personality variation and defining specific traits
Extraverts and Stimulation Extraverts seek stimulation because their normal brain arousal is low For example, PET scans show that a frontal lobe area involved in behavior inhibition is less active in extraverts than in introverts. Dopamine and dopamine-related neural activity tend to be higher in extraverts.
Shyness and autonomic nervous system Jerome Kagan, for example, has attributed differences in children’s shyness and inhibition to their autonomic nervous system reactivity. Given a reactive autonomic nervous system, we respond to stress with greater anxiety and inhibition. The fearless, curious child may become the rock-climbing or fast- driving adult.
Bird Example “In lean years, bold birds are more likely to find food; in abundant years, shy birds feed with less risk.” This relates to humans because the more extraverted are more likely to inspect new things but shyer people are more likely to keep to themselves
Personality Inventories A questionnaire (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; used to assess selected personality traits.
Profiling “Some profile a person’s behavior patterns—often providing quick assessments of a single trait, such as extraversion, anxiety, or self- esteem.”
MMPI Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory: The most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use), this test is now used for many other screening purposes.
Scales in MMPI-2 Work attitudes Family problems Anger
Empirically Derived A test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups.
Flaw of MMPI MMPI for employment purposes can give socially desirable answers to create a good impression. But in so doing they may also score high on a lie scale that assesses faking (as when people respond False to a universally true statement such as “I get angry sometimes”).
Scale to test lies For example, individuals taking the MMPI for employment purposes can give socially desirable answers to create a good impression. But in so doing they may also score high on a lie scale that assesses faking (as when people respond False to a universally true statement such as “I get angry sometimes”). The objectivity of the MMPI has contributed to its popularity and to its translation into more than 100 languages.
Trait factors Today’s trait researchers believe that simple trait factors are important but don’t tell the whole story
Trait factors vs. Eysenck’s view Today’s trait researchers believe that simple trait factors, such as the Eysencks’ introverted-extraverted and unstable-stable dimensions, are important, but they do not tell the whole story. A slightly expanded set of factors—dubbed the Big Five—does a better job.
Error Graphologists make Graphologists will often perceive a correlation between handwriting and personality when there is none.
Techniques used by mind readers and palm readers Read clothing, physical features, non verbal gestures, and reactions.
Barnum Effect A general statement that you can connect to yourself Quote: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Relating to readings When mediums cannot see the person who has come to them, their clients cannot recognize the reading that was meant for them from among other readings.
Big Five Predictions They predict other personal attributes, for example, conscious people are more likely to earn better high school and university grades. They are also more likely to be morning types. People who prefer the night or evening are more extraverted.
Michel de Montaigne “There is as much difference between us and ourselves, as between us and others.” Quote shows we can have contradicting thoughts or multiple personalities
JRR Tolkien and Pirandello Our behavior is influenced by the interaction of our inner disposition with our environment.
Person-Situation Controversy When we explore this person-situation controversy, we look for genuine personality traits that persist over time and across situations.
Considering Friendliness If we are to consider friendliness a trait, friendly people must act friendly at different times and places.
Stability vs. change Interests may change— the avid collector of tropical fish may become an avid gardener. Careers may change— the determined salesperson may become a determined social worker. Relationships may change—the hostile spouse may start over with a new partner. But most people recognize their traits as their own.
Traits “Although our personality traits may be both stable and potent, the consistency of our specific behaviors from one situation to the next is another matter.”
Walter Mischel Pointed out that people do not act with predictable consistency.
Situations “People’s average outgoingness, happiness, or carelessness over many situations is predictable.”
Rating personality When rating someone’s shyness or agreeableness, we look at: Music preferences Dorm and Room offices Personal Websites
Unfamiliar situations In unfamiliar, formal situations—perhaps as a guest in the home of a person from another culture—our traits remain hidden as we carefully attend to social cues.
Expressiveness vs. Inexpressiveness “Inexpressive people, even when feigning expressiveness, were less expressive than expressive people acting naturally.”
Change in situation A quick change in situation can bring out our traits and show our true personality
Quote “Traits exist. We differ. And our differences matter.” This quote shows how traits stay the same but we act differently in different situations
Social-Cognitive Perspective Views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people’s traits (including their thinking) and their social context. Proposed by Albert Bandura
Social-Cognitive theorists They emphasize the interaction of our traits with our situations. Much as nature and nurture always work together, so do individuals and their situations. They view behavior as influenced by the interaction between people’s traits (including their thinking) and their social context.
Reciprocal Determinism The interacting influences of behavior, internal cognition, and environment.
Ways people interact with their environments Different people choose different environments. Our personalities shape how we interpret and react to events. Our personalities help create situations to which we react.
Behavioral influences “At every moment, our behavior is influenced by our biology, our social and cultural experiences, and our cognition and dispositions.”
The biopsychosocial approach to the study of personality As with other psychological phenomena, personality is fruitfully studied at multiple levels.
Personal Control A sense of controlling your environment rather than feeling helpless.
Studying personal control One: correlate people’s feelings of control with their behaviors and achievements. Two: experiment, by raising or lowering people’s sense of control and noting the effects.
External and Internal locus of control External: the perception that chance or outside forces beyond your personal control determine your fate. Internal: the perception that you control your own fate.
Julian Rotter People with an internal locus of control are happier
Self-Control The ability to control impulses and delay gratification “In the long-run, self-control requires attention and energy.”
Lowering risk for depression Students who plan their day’s activities and then live out their day as planned are also at low risk for depression.
Increasing performance In one experiment, hungry people who had resisted the temptation to eat chocolate chip cookies gave up sooner on a tedious task. People also become less restrained in their aggressive responses to provocation and in their sexuality after expending willpower on laboratory tasks.
Learned Helplessness The hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events.
Nursing Home Study Measures that increase control—allowing prisoners to move chairs and control room lights and the TV, having workers participate in decision making, offering nursing home patients choices about their environment— noticeably improve health and morale.
Personal Freedom “Under conditions of personal freedom and empowerment, people thrive.”
Tyranny of Choice It brings information overload and a greater likelihood that we will feel regret over some of the unchosen options.
Attribution Style Perhaps you have known students whose attributional style is pessimistic— who attribute poor performance to their lack of ability (“I can’t do this”) or to situations enduringly beyond their control (“There is nothing I can do about it”).
Positive Psychology The scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
Three Pillars 1. Positive emotions 2. Positive character 3. Positive groups, communities, and cultures
Quote “I didn’t think it couldn’t happen to me.” This is showing how when you are too optimistic you don’t think about things that could really happen
Ignorance of ones incompetence Phenomenon that it takes competence to recognize competence Example: If your grammar is poor you might think your grammar is good because you don’t know what good grammar is.
Low Scoring Students Students that score low but think they did well on the exam are ignorant of their grade because they don’t know the right answers.
Social-Cognitive “Social-cognitive psychologists explore how people interact with situations.”
Donald Trump Assessing behavior in situations Reality TV shows, such as Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice,” may take “show me” job interviews to the extreme, but they do illustrate a valid point. Seeing how a potential employee behaves in a job-relevant situation helps predict job performance.
Assessing Faculty Members Colleges assess potential faculty members by observing them teach
Quote “The social- cognitive perspective on personality sensitizes researchers to how situations affect, and are affected by, individuals.”
Critics of Social-Cognitive Critics charge that the social- cognitive perspective focuses so much on the situation that it fails to appreciate the person’s inner traits.
Self In contemporary psychology, assumed to be the center of personality, the organizer of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Spotlight effect Overestimating others’ noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders (as if we presume a spotlight shines on us).
Hazel Markus Hazel and colleagues created possible selves Your possible selves include your visions of the self you dream of becoming—the rich self, the successful self, the loved and admired self. They also include the self you fear becoming—the unemployed self, the lonely self, the academically failed self.
Dreams University of Michigan students in a combined undergraduate/medic al school program earn higher grades if they undergo the program with a clear vision of themselves as successful doctors. Dreams do often give birth to achievements.
Self-focused perspective “Our self-focused perspective may motivate us, but it can also lead us to presume too readily that others are noticing and evaluating us.”
Self-esteem Ones feelings of high or low self- worth “Today’s self- esteem sometimes predicts tomorrow’s achievements.”
Low Self-Esteem Down sides to having low self- esteem are you lack confidence and tend to have a peccimistic out look
Self-Serving Bias A readiness to perceive oneself favorably.
Carl Rogers Once objected to the religious doctrine that humanity’s problems arise from excessive self-love, or pride. He noted that most people he had known “despise themselves, regard themselves as worthless and unlovable.”
Better than average When people rate themselves, most of the time they rate themselves better than average In several studies, 90 percent of business managers and more than 90 percent of college professors rated their performance as superior to that of their average peer. In Australia, 86 percent of people rate their job performance as above average, and only 1 percent as below average.
Quote “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” Saying that when you treat yourself with respect and have positive actions toward yourself, you will create more opportunities in your life that will make you love yourself more
John Powell & Self-serving bias “All of us have inferior complexes, those who seem not to have such a complex are only pretending.”
Large Egos People with large egos put others down and act/react violently Affects wars by making them more likely to begin and less likely to end
High self-esteem The dark side of high self-esteem is having a big ego Also can increase amount of aggression
Compared to others? When we compare ourselves to others and they seem superior, it makes a loss understandable and a victory noteworthy All of us at one point in time will feel inferior to another person
Types of Self-esteem Defensive self-esteem is fragile. It focuses on sustaining itself, which makes failures and criticism feel threatening. Secure self-esteem is less fragile, because it is less contingent on external evaluations. To feel accepted for who we are, and not for our looks, wealth, or acclaim, relieves pressures to succeed and enables us to focus beyond ourselves.