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Personality Perspectives Psychoanalytic—importance of unconscious processes and childhood experiences Humanistic—importance of self and fulfillment of.

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Presentation on theme: "Personality Perspectives Psychoanalytic—importance of unconscious processes and childhood experiences Humanistic—importance of self and fulfillment of."— Presentation transcript:


2 Personality Perspectives Psychoanalytic—importance of unconscious processes and childhood experiences Humanistic—importance of self and fulfillment of potential Trait—description and measurement of personality differences Social cognitive—importance of beliefs about self

3 Freud Couch

4 Dream Analysis Another method to analyze the unconscious mind is through interpreting manifest and latent contents of dreams. The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli (1791)

5 Personality Structure Personality develops as a result of our efforts to resolve conflicts between our biological impulses (id) and social restraints (superego).

6 Personality Development Freud believed that personality formed during the first few years of life divided into psychosexual stages. During these stages the id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on pleasure sensitive body areas called erogenous zones.

7 Psychosexual Stages Freud divided the development of personality into five psychosexual stages.

8 Oral Stage Pleasure centers on the mouth– sucking, biting, chewing.

9 Personality Development  Oedipus Complex  a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father  Electra Complex  a girl’s sexual desires toward her father and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival mother

10 Personality Development Castration Anxiety boys feel guilt and fear that their father would punish them (castration) for sexual desires for their mother & jealousy of their father. Penis Envy women fixated in this stage symbolically castrate men through embarrassment, deception, and derogation.

11 Identification Children cope with threatening feelings by repressing them and by identifying with the rival parent. Through this process of identification, their superego gains strength that incorporates their parents’ values. From the K. Vandervelde private collection

12 Personality Development  Fixation  a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, where conflicts were unresolved

13 Personality Development Oral fixation possibly because of overindulging or depriving (abrupt, early weaning). They exhibit either passive dependence (like that of a nursing infant) or an exaggerated denial of this dependence--perhaps by acting tough and uttering biting sarcasm. They might also continue to seek oral gratification through excessive smoking or eating.

14 Personality Development Anal fixation never resolve anal conflict (Toilet training) – Anal expulsive– messy & disorganized. – Anal retentive– highly controlled and compulsively neat.

15 Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Developed by Henry Murray, the TAT is a projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes. Lew Merrim/ Photo Researcher, Inc.


17 Assessing the Unconscious  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


19 Projective Tests: Criticisms Critics argue that projective tests lack both reliability (consistency of results) and validity (predicting what it is supposed to). 1.When evaluating the same patient, even trained raters come up with different interpretations (reliability). 2.Projective tests may misdiagnose a normal individual as pathological (validity).

20 Carl Jung Universality of themes- archetypes are inherited universal human concepts–“Mother” Archetypes are primordial images inherited from our ancestors and include mother, father, God, death, snakes, animus/anima, the persona, the shadow, and the self. The animus is the masculine side of the female. The anima is the feminine side of the male.

21 The Neo-Freudians Like Freud, Adler believed in childhood tensions. However, these tensions were social in nature and not sexual. A child struggles with an inferiority complex during growth and strives for superiority and power. Alfred Adler (1870-1937) National Library of Medicine

22 Alfred Adler Alfred Adler strove throughout his life to overcome a sense of inferiority. 1911: Left Freud’s analytic society Individual Psychology We all begin life with a sense of inferiority. Striving for superiority is the motivating force in life. If unsuccessful: inferiority complex Well-adjusted people express their striving for superiority through concern for the social interest.

23 Alfred Adler Birth Order The order in which you are born to a family inherently affects your personality: First born children who later have younger siblings have it the worst. Middle born children have it the easiest. The youngest child, like the first born, is more likely to experience personality problems during adulthood. Research examining birth order effects does not often support Adler’s predictions. The impact of birth order on personality is far more complex than Adler suggests.

24 The Neo-Freudians Like Adler, Horney believed in the social aspects of childhood growth and development. She countered Freud’s assumption that women have weak superegos and suffer from “penis envy.” Karen Horney (1885-1952) The Bettmann Archive/ Corbis

25 Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective 1.Personality develops throughout life and is not fixed in childhood. 2.Freud underemphasized peer influence on the individual, which may be as powerful as parental influence. 3.Gender identity may develop before 5-6 years of age. Modern Research

26 Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective 4.There may be other reasons for dreams besides wish fulfillment. 5.Verbal slips can be explained on the basis of cognitive processing of verbal choices. 6.Suppressed sexuality leads to psychological disorders. Sexual inhibition has decreased, but psychological disorders have not. Modern Research

27 Is Repression a Myth? Many researchers now believe that repression rarely, if ever, occurs.

28 Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective Freud's psychoanalytic theory rests on the repression of painful experiences into the unconscious mind. The majority of children, death camp survivors, and battle-scarred veterans are unable to repress painful experiences into their unconscious mind.

29 Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective The scientific merits of Freud’s theory have been criticized. Psychoanalysis is meagerly testable. Most of its concepts arise out of clinical practice, which are the after-the-fact explanation.

30 Humanistic Perspective By the 1960s, psychologists became discontent with Freud’s negativity and the mechanistic psychology of the behaviorists. Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) Carl Rogers (1902-1987)

31 Humanistic Perspective Carl Rogers– “Father of Humanism” Abraham Maslow Free will Self-awareness Psychological growth

32 Humanistic Perspective  Unconditional Positive Regard  an attitude of total acceptance toward another person  Self-Concept  all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in an answer to the question, “Who am I?”

33 Fig. 12-9, p. 488

34 Assessing the Self In an effort to assess personality, Rogers asked people to describe themselves as they would like to be (ideal) and as they actually are (real). If the two descriptions were close the individual had a positive self-concept.

35 Existentialism Existence Lack of Certainty Authenticity Rollo May

36 Evaluating Humanism Difficult to test or validate scientifically Tends to be too optimistic, minimizing some of the more destructive aspects of human nature

37 A. Gordon Allport Cardinal- strong personality traits that affect us the most Cardinal- strong personality traits that affect us the most Central Traits- highly characteristic of a person Central Traits- highly characteristic of a person B. Cattell Surface Traits- easily observed by others Surface Traits- easily observed by others Source Traits- underlie surface behavior Source Traits- underlie surface behavior C. Eysenck Extraversion- outgoing, sociable Extraversion- outgoing, sociable Intraversion- shy Intraversion- shy

38 Contemporary Research– The Trait Perspective  Trait  a characteristic pattern of behavior  a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports Gordon Allport

39 Exploring Traits Factor analysis Factor analysis is a statistical approach used to describe and relate personality traits. Cattell used this approach to develop a 16 Personality Factor (16PF) inventory. Raymond Cattell (1905-1998)

40 Factor Analysis Cattell found that large groups of traits could be reduced down to 16 core personality traits based on statistical correlations. Impulsive Excitement Impatient Irritable Boisterous Basic trait Superficial traits

41 Raymond Cattell

42 Personality Dimensions extraversion-introversionemotional stability- instability Hans and Sybil Eysenck suggested that personality could be reduced down to two polar dimensions, extraversion-introversion and emotional stability- instability.

43 Assessing Traits Personality inventories Personality inventories are questionnaires (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors assessing several traits at once. The answers are then compared to established norms

44 Self-Report Inventory Psychological test in which an individual answers standardized questions about their behavior and feelings The answers are then compared to established norms

45 Strengths of Self-Reports Standardized—each person receives same instructions and responds to the same questions Use of established norms: results are compared to previously established norms and are not subjectively evaluated

46 Weaknesses of Self-Reports Evidence that people can “fake” responses to look better (or worse) Tests contain hundreds of items and become tedious People may not be good judges of their own behavior

47 The Trait Perspective  Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)  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

48 MMPI Originally designed to assess mental health and detect psychological symptoms Has over 500 questions to which person must reply “True” or “False” Includes “lying scales”

49 The Trait Perspective  Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test profile Hysteria (uses symptoms to solve problems) Masculinity/femininity (interests like those of other sex) T-score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 30 40 50 60 70 80 Hypochondriasis (concern with body symptoms) Depression (pessimism, hopelessness) Psychopathic deviancy (disregard for social standards) Paranoia (delusions, suspiciousness) Psychasthenia (anxious, guilt feelings) Schizophrenia (withdrawn, bizarre thoughts) Hypomania (overactive, excited, impulsive) Social introversion (shy, inhibited) Clinically significant range After treatment (no scores in the clinically significant range) Before treatment (anxious, depressed, and displaying deviant behaviors)

50 The Trait Perspective  Empirically Derived Test  a test developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups  such as the MMPI

51 Endpoints

52 Evaluating the Trait Perspective The Person-Situation Controversy Walter Mischel (1968, 1984, 2004) points out that traits may be enduring, but the resulting behavior in various situations is different. Therefore, traits are not good predictors of behavior. We look for genuine personality traits that persist over time and across situations. If you consider friendliness a trait, friendly people must act friendly at different times and places.

53 Evaluation of Trait Perspective Doesn’t really explain personality, simply describe the behaviors Doesn’t describe the development of the behaviors Trait approaches generally fail to address how issues such as motives, unconscious, or beliefs about self affect personality development

54 Social-Cognitive Perspective Bandura believes that personality is the result of an interaction that takes place between a person and their social context. Albert Bandura

55 Social Cognitive Perspective Social cognitive theory— the importance of observational learning, conscious cognitive processes, social experience, self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism in personality Reciprocal determinism--model that explains personality as the result of behavioral, cognitive, and environmental interactions Self-efficacy—belief that people have about their ability to meet demands of a specific situation

56 Martin Seligman: Methodology and Results Thought dogs would learn to avoid shock Dogs placed in harness and given shocks

57 Seligman: Methodology and Results When able to avoid the shocks, the dogs cowered in the box Hypothesis not confirmed

58 Learned Helplessness Dogs learned that they couldn’t control or avoid the shocks, so didn’t even try to avoid them Significant in the study of depression in humans

59 Learned Helplessness: Implications Learned helplessness is related to depression Nursing home studies Totalitarian governments

60 Learned Helplessness When unable to avoid repeated adverse events an animal or human learns helplessness.

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