CHAPTER 15 (OBJECTIVES): PERSONALITY
1. Describe what is meant by personality, and explain how Freud’s treatment of psychological
disorders led to his study of the unconscious.
2. Describe Freud’s view of personality structure in terms of the interactions of the id, ego, and
3. Identify Freud’s psychosexual stages of development, and describe the effects of fixation on
4. Discuss how defense mechanisms serve to protect the individual from anxiety.
5. Explain how projective tests are used to assess personality.
6. Discuss the contributions of the neo-Freudians, and describe the shortcomings of Freud’s ideas.
7. Describe the humanistic perspective on personality in terms of Maslow’s focus on self-
actualization and Rogers’ emphasis on people’s potential for growth.
8. Describe humanistic psychologists’ approach to personality assessment, and discuss criticisms
of the humanistic perspective.
9. Discuss psychologists’ descriptions of personality types, and describe research efforts to identify
fundamental personality traits.
10. Explain how personality inventories are used to assess traits, and identify the “Big Five”
11. Discuss research regarding the consistency of behavior over time and across situations.
12. Describe the social-cognitive perspective on personality, and discuss the important
consequences of personal control, learned helplessness, and optimism.
13. Describe how social-cognitive researchers assess behavior in realistic situations and evaluate
the social-cognitive perspective on personality.
14. Describe psychology’s interest in people’s self, and discuss the benefits and liabilities of self-
esteem and self-serving pride.
15. Describe the impact of individualism and collectivism on self-identity and social relations.
Self-reliant individualists define identity in terms of personal goals and attributes. They strive for
personal control and individual achievement. Being self-contained, they easily move in and out of
groups. Socially connected collectivists give priority to group goals and to their social identities
and commitments. Because they value communal solidarity, they place a premium on
maintaining harmony and allowing others to save face.
People in competitive, individualistic cultures have more personal freedom, take more pride in
personal achievements, are less geographically bound to their families, and enjoy more privacy.
But these benefits come at the cost of more frequent loneliness, more divorce, more homicide,
and more stress-related disease.
‰ Lecture: Individualism versus Collectivism
‰ Exercises: Assessing Individualism/Collectivism; Independent and Interdependent Selves
‰ Videos:Discovering Psychology, Updated Edition:The Self; Feel Good about Failure; The Truth about Lies; The
Truth about Lying
‰ Transparency: 152 Value Contrasts between Individualism and Collectivism
16. Identify examples of nonconscious information processing highlighted by contemporary
Information-processing research indicates that our access to all that goes on in our mind is very
limited. People’s unconscious learning enables them to anticipate patterns of movement on a
computer screen without knowing how they do it. In addition, research indicates that schemas
automatically control our perceptions, priming points us toward certain interpretations, implicit
memories operate without conscious recall, emotions activate before conscious analysis, and
stereotypes unconsciously influence how we process information about others.
Freud’s idea that we defend ourselves against anxiety finds contemporary form in terror
management theory. Faced with a threatening world, people strive to enhance their self-esteem,
cleave to others, and adhere more strongly to worldviews that answer questions about life’s
‰ Lecture: Unconscious Insights
‰ Exercises: The False Consensus Effect
‰ Web Site: Implicit Association Test