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									AP Psych: Personality
Revised: July 30, 2001

Personality: unique pattern of behavioral and mental processes that characterizes an individual (and his or her
environmental interactions)
       - enduring: gives person long-term stability in how they behave
       - behavioral differences: gives distinctiveness

Psychoanalytic Perspective (AKA Psychodynamic Perspective)

Psychoanalytic Perspective
1. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): Founder, Physician, from Vienna, Austria
2. Structure of Personality
       a. Id: Unconscious instincts for pleasure (Eros) and destruction (Thanatos)
                        - Eros: The drive for physical pleasure, particularly sexual pleasure.
                        - Thanatos: The drive for aggression and destruction. This can include self destruction.
                        - Libido: the psychological energy driving Eros, related to sexual instincts
                        - Wish fulfillment: Mental fantasy with imagery that satisfies sexual desires.
                        - Pleasure principle: The id seeks pleasure without regard to consequences and tries to avoid pain.
       b. Ego: The ego helps the id obtain satisfaction, possible by delaying gratification of id desires or by redirecting
       the id into culturally accepted behaviors.
                        - Reality principle: The ego is oriented to social and physical reality. It concentrates on what can
                practically be accomplished.
       c. Superego: This contains moral principles, ideals, and values from society.
                        - Superego is like a conscience plus idealistic values.
                        (1)     Conscience: moral prohibitions against certain behaviors
                        (2)     Ego ideal: What one can ideally be and how one ought to behave according to society.
                        - Perfection principle: The superego seeks what should be done according to society. What would
                the world be like if everything was perfect?

3. Development of Personality: Libido (psychological energy from the id) is focused on different areas of the body
during different psychological stages of childhood development.
        a. Oral stage (0-18 months): Libido is focused on mouth. Sucking, biting, chewing, and tasting are oral pleasures
        that predominate during this stage.
        b. Anal stage (18 months to 3 yrs): Characterized by physical gratification from anal region.
                        - This happens during potty training.
                        - Children learn to adapt to parental demands for behavioral control, especially Id impulses.
                        - Self control is a major concern during this stage.
                c. Phallic stage (3 to 4 yrs): The Oedipal (male) or Electra (female) complex is a desire to possess the
                opposite sex parent and eliminate same sex parent. This conflict is resolved by identification with the
                same sex parent.
                        - This was influenced by Freud's patient Anna O., who had intense passion for her father, had
                numbness, spoke only in English even though German was her native language, and had false pregnancy
                after her father died.
                        - Children recognize gender differences during this stage.
        d. Latency period (5 yrs to puberty): No major unconscious drives bother the ego during this time. There is a
        decline in sexual interest due to repression of the Id.
        e. Genital stage (puberty and later): Characterized by mature, adult, strong sexual urges.
        f. Fixation: A failure of personality development that involves getting stuck at one of the above stages.

4. Problems with Freudian theories
       a. They are not very scientific.
                      - Some psychoanalytic ideas are really untestable theories.
                       - Psychoanalysis has been compared to religious cults.
       b. The evidence is based on abnormal patients (e.g., Anna O.), which doesn't give insight into normal people. You
       do not learn anything about normal people by studying abnormal people.
       c. Modern studies of the unconscious do not support Freud's concepts.
       d. Freud believed that psychological disorders were largely caused by feelings of guilt about sexuality. However,
       “liberated” modern sexual values have not decreased the incidence of mental disorders.

5. Freudian Legacy
       a. Behavior is strongly determined by unconscious sexual and aggressive drives.
       b. Interactions between unconscious drives and reality/morality cause psychological problems.
       c. Childhood events shape personality (first development theories).
       d. Common Freudian concepts in our culture: Ego, Libido, Sexual urges, displacement, denial, reaction formation,

          Neofreudian personality theories
          1. The ego psychologists (e.g., Anna Freud, Erik Erikson)
                 a. They emphasized the importance of the ego as a robust, problem solving entity.
                                  - Freud: ego was weak, puny, at the mercy of the powerful Id
                 b. They emphasized on conscious adjustments to social influences, not unconscious
                 c. The emphasized psychosocial interactions (the adjustment of the individual to social
                 reality), not psychosexual processes.

          2. Karen Horney: Anxiety is a powerful motivating force.
                 a. Sexual urges were not seen as being as important as they were for Freud.
                 b. Neurotic trends: Coping strategies for dealing with anxiety. These include submission,
                 aggression, and detachment.

          3. Carl Jung
                  a. Collective unconscious: Memories and experiences that all of our ancestors have
                  experienced and passed on to us.
                  b. Archetypes: Symbolic thoughts and expressions expressed as mental images.
                  c. Personality types
                                  - Introverts: shy, withdrawn, cares less about other people, concerned with
                          inner experiences, like to be alone
                                  - Extroverts: oriented toward other people, objects, external world,
                          relaxed and cheerful around other people, dislike being alone
                  d. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: derived from Jung's classification of personality types
                                  - This is often used by career guidance counselors.
                                  - This sorts people into 16 categories based upon four different
                                  (1)      introversion - extroversion
                                  (2)      intuitive - sensing
                                  (3)      thinking - feeling
                                  (4)      judging - perceiving

          4. Alfred Adler:
                 a. Alfred Adler: believed thanatos (aggression) was as important as eros and libido.
                 Therefore, he put more emphasis on aggression as an unconscious drive than Freud.
                 b. Compensation: An individuals efforts to overcome physical weaknesses. He believed that
                 we all experienced this as children. This is an effort to overcome real or imagined
                 inferiorities by developing ones abilities.
                 c. Drive for superiority: everyone struggles not just to survive, but to master life and
        d. Life plan: goal directed actions (partly conscious, partly unconscious) to achieve
        e. Life goal: to achieve superiority
        f. Inferiority complex: sense of helplessness or powerlessness when drive for superiority
                         - Everyone must strive to overcome feelings of weakness that we
                experienced as children.
        g. Superiority complex: Exaggerated efforts to achieve status, power, fame, money
                         - This comes about through overcompensation (overdoing efforts to
                overcome inferiority).

5. Erik Erikson
        a. Ego identity: A sense of individual identity, values, and beliefs. This includes our
        continuity of personal character. Who we think and feel that we are.
                         - This is related to interaction with other significant people in life.
                         - identity crisis: loss of ego identity, loss of continuity and purpose in social
        b. Developmental emphasis: Individuals have different problems and challenges at different
        points in life. The ego must master different social conditions at different stages of
                         - Adolescence and young adult: Identity vs. role confusion
                         - Young adult: Intimacy vs. isolation
                         - Middle adult: Generativity vs. stagnation
                         - Older adult: Ego integrity vs. despair

Humanistic theories of personality
1. Humanistic perspective: This psychological viewpoint emphasizes self determination and freedom.
It is an optimistic interpretation of human behavior.
         a. This started as a reaction against the deterministic nature of radical behaviorism and
         Freudian ideas. Maslow and Rogers thought other areas of psychology were dehumanizing.
         b. The general viewpoint is that people are born with a tendency towards good, but
         sometimes poor environment disrupts development resulting in abnormal behavior.
         c. Roger's potato analogy: The only difference between healthy potato plants and the
         freaky growth from old potato tubers in storage is the environment.

2. Key ideas
        a. Actualizing tendency: Human nature includes an innate drive toward personal growth.
        b. People have the freedom to make their own decisions and are not victims of the
        c. Behavior is conscious and rational (not unconscious and irrational).

3. Abraham Maslow
       a. Concerned that over emphasis on abnormal psychology made for warped theories of
       b. Studied exceptional people to learn about healthy and desirable personality traits
                       - studied Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, George
               Washington, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson
       c. Self actualized personality: Cultural, scientific, and artistic leaders that embody values
       like freedom, growth, justice, creativity, beauty, etc.

4. Carl Rogers
        a. Self concept: a collection of beliefs about one's personal qualities and typical behavior
                        - Self concept is subjective and not always accurate.
        b. Incongruence: The difference between self-concept and actual experience.
                        - Everyone has some incongruence, but we differ in the degree of
        c. Unconditional postive regard: These are postive feelings towards the patient even if the
        patient does not behave very well. The therapist criticizes the behavior without criticizing
        the person.
                        - Rogers believed that unconditional love in early development is very
                        - Unconditional love: parents love children even if they misbehave
                        - Conditional love: parents show affection only when their children behave
                well or do what they are supposed to do.
                        - Conditional love leads to incongruence and psychological problems.
                        - Many people have only experienced conditional love.
        d. Rogers developed a concept of a healthy personality similar to Maslow's.
                        - This was partly a reaction to the failures of psychodynamic therapy with
                juvenile delinquents.

5. Problems with the humanistic perspective
       a. Key theories are subjective, not objective
                      - Example: Maslow’s self actualized personality is based on Maslow’s views,
               not empirical evidence.
       b. Humanistic theories are largely untestable.
       c. These ideas may promote selfishness at the expense of others.
       d. The humanistic perspective fails to acknowledge human evil.

Trait theories of personality
1. Gordon Allport: He disliked Freudian ideas about personality. He attempted to make the study
of personality more scientific by measuring traits.

2. Traits: Predisposition to certain actions under a variety of situations. These are personality
characteristics that are currently present.
       a. examples: honest, dependable, moody, impulsive, suspicious, friendly
       b. Everyone has more or less of particular traits.
       c. This eliminates unconscious motives.
       d. Factor analysis: A statistical technique for studying personality. This makes traits more
       scientific and more objective than other theories of personality.

3. The big five personality traits (also called the five factor model)
       a. Stability (neuroticism): calm, stable vs. anxious, mood swings, neurotic = unstable
       b. Extroversion - Introversion (can be considered a trait in addition to type of personality)
       c. Agreeableness: nice, good natured vs. irritable, crabby
       d. Openness: flexible, open minded vs. stuck in a rut, habit bound
       e. Conscientiousness: responsible, reliable vs. undependable, irresponsible

4. Measuring Traits
      a. Advantage: Traits are quantitative, so traits can be measured with diagnostic tests.
      b. MMPI: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory This was developed to diagnose the
      presence of clinical personality traits.
      c. CPI: California Psychological Inventory This is similar to the MMPI, but it was created
      to identify traits that differentiate normal individuals.

5. Drawbacks of using personality traits
       a. Traits are primarily descriptive and do not explain causes.
       b. We are not sure how many traits there are.
       c. Traits may not describe how consistent a behavior is or how they might account for
       inconsistencies in behavior.

The cognitive-social learning perspective
1. Expectancies: Situations are evaluated based on personal preferences and experiences. These
evaluations, in turn, affect our behavior and attitudes.
2. Locus of control: An expectancy of whether things happen due to internal or external causes.
        a. External locus of control: These people feel that the external environment determines
        ones destiny. These people are more likely to believe in chance and fate.
                         - Drug use and risky sexual behaviors are more likely in these people.
        b. Internal locus of control: These people believe that they are ultimately in control of
        their destiny. These people are more likely to emphasize hard work and education.

3. Optimism and pessimism
4. Reciprocal determinism: Bandura's theory that self determination is influenced by interactions
between the personality and environment. Both influence each other to produce behavior and
       a. Self efficacy: The belief that one is a capable, productive person who can make changes
       happen in their environment.

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