Personality

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					                  Personality
      An individual’s distinct and
relatively enduring pattern of
thoughts, feelings, motives, and
behaviors.
Personality
   Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic theories
       Behavior is determined by conflicting wishes
        and fears
       Most wishes and fears are unconscious
       Each wish or fear pushes behavior in a
        particular direction, with a certain intensity
   Humanistic Theories
   The Trait Approach
   The Cognitive-Social Approach
    Ambivalence and conflict
   Ambivalence: mixed feelings about an object
   Conflict: tension between opposing motives and/or opposing
    behavioral choices
   Example.
      As a child, this woman had a father that was flashy, charismatic,
       and highly successful. However, she felt that she could not obtain
       his love and respect.
         She both loves and hates her father.

      As an adult, a woman gets involved with flashy, charismatic, and
       highly successful men, but as soon as the men become serious,
       she becomes disinterested.
         She rejects them before they can reject her.

              See the defense mechanism of projection.
         She is both attracted to and fearful of charismatic, successful
           men.
    Freud’s interpretation of hysteria
   Hysteria is a conversion disorder
          Paralysis of limbs
          Blindness
          Deafness
          Convulsions
          Glove anesthesia
   No biological cause
   Caused by repression (forcing from conscious into
    unconscious) of psychologically painful acts, impulses,
    thoughts, or memories
    Topographic components
   Unconscious
       Mental processes or contents either
            Kept outside of awareness by repression
            Outside of awareness as a function of their automatic or
             homeostatic nature
   Preconscious
       Mental processes and contents that can be brought to
        awareness if necessary, but are not currently in awareness
   Conscious
       Mental processes and contents at the center of subjective
        awareness
    Structural components
   Id (the Child)
       Reservoir of sexual and aggressive energy
       Primary process thinking (wishful, illogical, associative
        thought processes)
   Superego (the Parent)
       Conscience, established through identification
            Identification: internalization (making one’s own) of another
             person’s behavior, values, attitudes, motives, beliefs, and ideals
   Ego (the Adult)
       Balances the wishes of the id with the moral prohibitions of
        the superego
Pleasure vs. Reality
   Pleasure Principle
       In psychoanalysis, the id’s boundless drive for
        immediate and total gratification of all desires
   Reality Principle
       In psychoanalysis, the ego’s capacity to delay
        gratification
       The ego’s ability to reduce tensions, but in the
        right place and in the right manner
Freudian Personality Dynamics
   The id’s
    instinctual urges
    can be
    temporarily
    suppressed, but
    the energy must
    find an outlet
   Outlets are
    disguised and
    indirect, to
    provide release
    for energy that
    will be safe and
    appear normal
    Psychosexual concepts
   Libido
       Sexual drive, but broadly defined to include pleasure-seeking, sensuality,
        and love, as well as sexual intercourse
   Erogenous zone
       A part of the body on which libido is concentrated
            In the oral stage, the mouth; in the anal stage, the anus; In the phallic stage, the
             genitals
       At each stage of development, the child needs to resolve a conflict between
        satisfying the libidinal drive related to a particular zone and the social
        limitations on that satisfaction
   Fixations
       A potentially lifelong unconscious preoccupation with resolving a conflict
        from a particular psychosexual stage
   Regression
       A return to more primitive strategies for dealing with a fixated conflict that
        is more likely to occur during times of stress
    Freud’s Psychosexual Stages
   Oral; 0-18 mos.; weaning; dependency
   Anal; 2-3 yrs; toilet training; orderliness and
    cleanliness
   Phallic; 4-6 yrs; feelings for opposite sex parent;
    authority relationships and gender identity
       In boys: Oedipal complex; castration anxiety; identification
       In girls: Electra complex; penis envy and feelings of
        inferiority; identification
   Latency; 7-11 yrs; sublimation of aggressive and
    sexual urges
   Genital; 12+ yrs; mature sexuality and relationships
    Defense mechanisms I
   Unconscious mental processes that deny,
    falsify, or distort reality and are aimed at
    protecting the person from unpleasant emotions
    (especially anxiety)
       Aimed at protecting the ego from threat
   Repression
   Denial
   Rationalization
    Defense mechanisms II
   Projection
       Instead of “I hate her”, a person thinks “She hates me”;
       May be less threatening to the ego and it enables a
        person to express impulses under the guise of
        defending oneself against one’s enemies
   Reaction formation
       Instead of “I love this”, a person thinks “I hate this”; one
        interpretation of Jimmy Swaggart’s preaching against
        sex while at the same time seeing a prostitute
Defense mechanisms III
Evaluation of Freud and
psychoanalysis: Negative
   Too bleak a portrait of human nature
   Not based on evidence collected with the
    scientific method
   Many of Freud’s ideas have not been
    supported by scientific investigation
   People still think about psychology in
    Freudian terms
Evaluation of Freud and
psychoanalysis: Positive
   Mental disorders can have a psychological
    origin
   Internal working models (e.g., attachment
    theory)
   The unconscious
   Defense mechanisms
Personality
   Psychoanalysis
   Humanistic Theories
       All living things are born with a “self-
        actualizing tendency”, a forward drive to
        grow and be the best they can be (i.e., reach
        their full genetic capacity)
   The Trait Approach
   The Cognitive-Social Approach
Positive Regard
   Unconditional Positive Regard: A
    situation in which the acceptance and love
    one receives from significant others is
    unqualified
   Conditional Positive Regard: A situation
    in which the acceptance and love one
    receives from significant others is
    contingent upon one’s behavior
Carl Rogers’ Personality Theory
   The needs for self-actualization and positive
    regard create a potential for conflict.
Self-Discrepancy Theory
   Self-esteem is defined by the match between how we
    see ourselves and how we want to see ourselves
Personality
   Psychoanalysis
   The Humanistic Approach
   The Trait Approach
       Are there just a few dimensions (or factors) of
        human personality that are important to the
        description of all people?
            Is there a relatively simple multidimensional space
             that we can use to describe human personality?
   The Cognitive-Social Approach
The Trait Approach I
   Allport & Odbert (1936) listed 18,000 English words
    that could be used to describe people.
       Anxious, emotional, secure, fun-loving, cautious,
        withdrawn, courteous, good-natured, irritable, etc.
       If you throw out synonyms, slang, and uncommon words,
        171 are left.
   Use self-report questionnaires to discover which
    adjectives people use to describe themselves.
       Example of self-report personality question about courteousness:
            On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not at all and 10 being every time, How often do
             you say “Excuse me” when you bump into someone in the hallway?
    The Trait Approach II
   Use factor analysis to discover independent
    clusters of traits, otherwise known as factors.
       If a person answers the courteousness items in a positive
        way, are there other items – like items on kindness – that
        they also tend to answer in a positive way?
       If a person answers trustworthiness items in a positive
        way, are there other items – like items on sneakiness –
        that they tend to answer in a negative way?
       Are there some clusters of traits that are unrelated, non-
        predictive, or independent of other clusters of traits?
            Each independent cluster of traits is called a factor.
The Trait Approach III: The Big
Five (OCEAN)
    The Trait Approach IV
   Some traits (e.g., self-pitying and insecure) are positively correlated.
        These traits tend to co-occur in people.
        Based on the evidence, if a person is self-pitying, we can predict that they are
         also insecure.
        These traits belong to the same factor.
   Some traits (imaginative and down-to-earth) are negatively correlated.
        If a person has one trait, they definitely do not have the other trait.
        Based on the evidence, if a person is imaginative, we can predict that they are
         not down-to-earth.
        These traits belong to the same factor.
   Some traits (imaginative and insecure) are independent.
        If a person has one trait, they are just as likely to have the other trait as not.
         Having one trait has no bearing on having the other trait.
        Based on the evidence, if a person is imaginative, we cannot predict anything
         about whether they are insecure.
        These traits belong to different factors.
    Do traits exist?
   Mischel (1968) argued for situationism
       Traits are not consistent across situations
            Therefore, traits are not predictive of behavior
   After a long debate, scientists agree that traits do
    exist, but with two caveats
       Traits predict average behavior, not every relevant behavior
        in every situation
            Traits are just one of multiple causes for any single behavior.
       Interactionism (person-by-situation)
            Trait-relevant behavior may emerge in some situations, but not
             others
Personality
   Psychoanalysis
   The Humanistic Approach
   The Trait Approach
   The Cognitive-Social Approach
       Personality is the problem-solving efforts of
        people trying to fulfill their life tasks (e.g.,
        Cantor & Kihlstrom, 1987)
Cognitive-Social Theory I
   Peoples actions (i.e., the particular
    choice among many learned behaviors)
    are a function of
    1) Environmental demands
    2) Encoding of those demands
    3) Determining the relevance of those
       demands to goals (judging the value of the
       event)
Cognitive-Social Theory II
4)    Come up with a behavioral plan that is
      dependent upon
     a) Behavior-outcome expectancies regarding the
        consequences of particular actions
     b) Self-efficacy expectencies (or beliefs) regarding
        one’s ability to perform a certain action
5) Execute the plan, which is dependent upon
   competences (having the abilities and skills to
   perform the action)
6) Self-regulation or monitoring one’s own
   progress at adapting to a particular situation
         Cognitive-Social Theory III:
            Personal constructs
   Encoding and value are determined by personal
    constructs: the dimensions along which someone
    encodes and interprets their world
   These dimensions are extracted from schemas you
    have of persons, places, things, or events that are
    significant to you.
   Determined by the repertory grid technique (Kelly,
    1955): How is your father like your favorite teacher
    and not like someone that seems to dislike you?
   What characteristics are important to you when you
    are evaluating someone else?
Reciprocal Determinism
    Personality emerges           Person factors
     from the mutual               (cognitive)
     interactions of
     individuals, their
     actions, and their  Overt Behavior
     environments


                                Environmental influences
                                (Situation)
Strengths and weaknesses of
cognitive-social approach
   Strengths
       Easily testable
       Incorporates the conscious, information-
        processing components of our existence into
        personality theory
   Weaknesses
       Too much emphasis on rationality and thought
        and not enough emphasis on emotion,
        motivation, and irrational aspects of human
        existence
    Personality Assessment

   Idiographic vs. nomothetic approaches
       Idiographic approaches focus on individual lives
        and how various characteristics are integrated into
        unique persons.
          Case studies
          Psychobiography (McAdams, 1999, 2001)

       Nomothetic approaches examine characteristics
        (dimensions, traits) common to all persons, but on
        which people vary.
                  Personality Assessment:
                  Nomothetic approaches
   Psychodynamic theorists prefer projective tests
       The idea is to ask people to tell stories about ambiguous
        stimuli and they will project their unconscious motives,
        wishes, and conflicts onto the stimuli.
            Rohrshach
            TAT
   Trait theorists prefer objective tests
       Self-report questionnaires
            NEO Personality Inventory
                 Measures a person’s score on each the Big Five traits
            Sensation Seeking Scale
                 Measures a person’s score only on sensation seeking
The Rorschach Inkblot Test
   Ambiguous stimuli
   Person is asked to
    report what they see
   This type of test is
    called projective
       No clear image, so the
        things you see must
        be “projected” from
        inside yourself
                                 Sample Rorschach Card
Thematic Apperception Test
   Person is asked to tell
    a story about the “hero”
    in the picture
       Another projective test
   Based on Murray’s
    personality theory
       People are
        distinguished by the
        needs that motivate their
        behavior
        Personality assessment:
How accurate are the ratings of observers?

    Observers Show Accuracy in Trait Judgments

    Sometime close acquaintances predict our
     behavior more accurately than our self-
     predictions
        Why?
            Sometimes friends observe us more carefully than we
             observe ourselves
            Subjective perceptions can diverge from objective behavior

				
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posted:3/14/2012
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