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Theories of Personality Josée L. Jarry, Ph.D., C.Psych. Introduction to Psychology Department of Psychology University of Toronto July 23, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Theories of Personality Josée L. Jarry, Ph.D., C.Psych. Introduction to Psychology Department of Psychology University of Toronto July 23, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theories of Personality Josée L. Jarry, Ph.D., C.Psych. Introduction to Psychology Department of Psychology University of Toronto July 23, 2003

2 Libido Eros –biological energy form –an essential energy that invests different parts of the body at different points in development –life-sustaining and life-creating Thanatos –aggression or death instinct –motivation toward self-destruction –Eros protects the self and directs Thanatos towards others.

3 Unconscious Motivations The causes of behaviour are buried in the unconscious mind The unconscious affect people’s behaviour But is not open to conscious inspection Our conscious reasons for behaving are distortions and disguises for the real, unconscious motive.

4 Theory of Personality Development Oral stage0 - 2 years Anal Stage2 - 4 years Phallic Stage4 - 6 years Latency Stage6 - 12 years Genital StageFrom adolescence on Personality develops as the libido invests different parts of the body Adult personality is a function of whether and where the libido gets fixated.

5 Oral Stage Libido invested in the mouth Sucking initially serves the purpose of feeding Eventually becomes pleasurable in itself The infant is a passive recipient of pleasure Oral fixation results in “oral personalities” Expectations to be fed and cared for by others Dependant and demanding.

6 Anal Stage Libido invests the anus Pleasure comes from the passage of feces The child experiences his first conflict between his desire for immediate gratification and his parents’ wish Fixation implies conflict between retaining and expelling May result in obsessive or disorganized personality.

7 Phallic Stage: Boys Libido invests the genitals Oedipus complex for boys –boy becomes sexually attracted to his mother –feels competition and hatred towards father –fears being castrated by father –tries to repress hostility but fails –projects hostility on father –increased fear of castration –results in repression of all sexual feelings –identifies with father –allows the development of the superego

8 Phallic Stage: Girls Libido invests the genitals Electra complex for girls –initially attached to her mother –disappointed because mother does not have a penis –feels that she and her mother have been castrated –withdraws love from mother, invests it in father –wants him to give her a penis in the form of a child –becomes fearful of mother and represses –process weaker because of absence of fear of castration –results in weaker superego or morality

9 Latency & Genital Stages Latency Stage –sexuality is repressed –libido is displaced into activities such as play, athletics, hobby, and friends Genital Stage –sexuality reappears –libido is invested in other people –also invested in generation activities: love, children, and caring for others –lasts to the end of life.

10 The Structure of the Mind

11 Id The entire set of inborn drives and desires Pleasure principle –find pleasure through gratification of drives and avoid pain Primary process –no differentiation of reality and fantasy –wishes that cannot be satisfied in reality are satisfied through fantasy and imagination –dreams function according to the primary process.

12 Ego Develops in infancy as an outgrowth of the Id Reality principle –wishes can be satisfied only if a means of gratification exists in the environment Secondary process –capacity for understanding reality and logic –prevents satisfaction exclusively through imagination The arbiter of the mind –compromises between the Id and Superego.

13 Superego Develops in early childhood as an outgrowth of the Id Internalized representation of society’s moral rules Acquired through interaction with parents Purpose is to oppose the gratification of drives by means that would violate morality Enforces moral conduct by applying guilt on the Ego Ego compromises by promoting moral conduct.

14 Anxiety In its dealing with the Id, the Superego, and reality, the ego experiences anxiety Each of these instances poses a threat Reality anxiety –comes from threats in reality such as bodily harm Neurotic anxiety –ego’s fears of the Id’s irrational wishes Moral anxiety –ego’s fear of the guilt produced by the superego.

15 Defense Mechanisms (1) Self-deception strategies of the ego aimed at reducing anxiety Repression –most important defense mechanism –process by which the id’s anxiety-provoking wishes are prevented from entering the ego’s conscious mind –also pushes anxiety provoking memories in the unconscious part of the ego Some degree of repression is essential to normal functioning.

16 Defense Mechanisms (2) Displacement –occurs when a drive directed towards one activity by the id is directed by the ego towards a safer activity symbolically equivalent to the original Sublimation –displacement most in line with the ideals of the superego –activities particularly valued by society: artistic, scientific, or humanitarian endeavors.

17 Defense Mechanisms (3) Reaction formation –the turning of a frightening wish into its opposite Projection –occurs when a person experiences his/her own unconscious emotions and wishes as someone else’s Rationalization –use of conscious reasoning to explain anxiety- provoking thoughts and feelings.


19 Criticism of Freud’s Theory Limitation of the data –based on the analysis of Vienna’s upper class citizens Influence of personal bias –based on clinical data unavailable to public scrutiny Vague terms and untestable concepts –libido –Oedipus complex –unconscious.

20 Behaviourist Perspective The notion of personality is circular Human behaviour is the product of environmental contingencies Classical conditioning –specific behaviours develop through CS-US pairing Operant conditioning –spontaneous behaviours are reinforced –personality is unique because of unique learning histories –personality is stable because of intermittent reinforcement

21 Humanistic Psychology Phenomenological reality –people do not simply react to the reality of the world around them –they behave according to their mental interpretation of that reality The actualizing tendency –every organism has a natural tendency to develop to their full potential Holistic view of the person –people are more than the sum of their separate parts

22 Self-theory Carl Rogers (1902-1987) Unconditional positive regard –fundamental respect for the person –not for the behaviour Conditions of worth –conditions imposed by significant others to be worthy Incongruence –discrepancy between the real and ideal self –aspects of the real self are denied which causes anxiety.

23 The Hierarchy of Needs (1) Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) Physiological needs –essentials of life such as food and water Safety needs –protection from threats from the environment Belongingness and love needs –establish bonds with other people Esteem needs –competence, self-respect, respect from others

24 The Hierarchy of Needs (2) First four needs are deficiency needs Self-actualization –self-expression and creativity –sense of connectedness with the universe Peak experiences –intense experience of a sense of connection with the universe –all is contained into all.


26 Social Learning Theories

27 Locus of Control Julian Rotter (1954) –people’s behaviour depends on their expectancy about the connection between behaviour and rewards Expectancies are situation specific –people learn that in some situations, they can control their rewards while in others, they cannot In ambiguous situations, behaviour is controlled by a personality trait Internal-external locus of control


29 Locus of Control: Research Internals –take more responsibility for failure than externals –prefer games of skill over games of chance –more likely to adopt preventative health behaviour –less likely to conform in laboratory tests Externals –are more anxious and less satisfied than internals sense of control promotes hard work, success, and happiness? or, hard work, success, and happiness promote sense of control?

30 Self-Efficacy Albert Bandura (1982, 1986) The degree to which people expect that they can perform a certain task High self-efficacy –general disposition to believe in capacity to perform Low self-efficacy –general belief in incapacity to perform

31 Self-Efficacy: Research Improved self-efficacy for a task predicts improvement in actual performance of the task Alternative explanation –people’s belief in their capacity to perform a task may be mediated by a realistic appraisal of their ability to perform the task Proof –false positive feedback about ability to solve problems leads to perseverance High self-efficacyincreased effortsuccess

32 Locus of Control & Self-Efficacy Usually come together but Distinct from one another One may believe the self skilled at a particular task But may also believe that has no control over the rewards.

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