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					Theories of
Personality
    Chapter 14
Personality
   Psychodynamic influences on personality
   Measuring personality
   Genetic influences on personality
   Environmental influences on personality
   Cultural influences on personality
   The inner experience
Defining Personality and Traits
   Personality
       Distinctive and relatively stable pattern of
        behaviors, thoughts, motives, and emotions that
        characterizes an individual throughout life
   Trait
       A characteristic of an individual, describing a
        habitual way of behaving, thinking, and feeling
Psychodynamic Theories
   Theories that explain behavior and
    personality in terms of unconscious energy
    dynamics within the individual




                 Sigmund Freud
    The Structure of Personality
   Id: Operates according to
    the pleasure principle
       Primitive and unconscious
        part of personality
   Ego: Operates according to
    the reality principle
       Mediates between id and
        superego
   Superego: Moral ideals and
    conscience
     Super Ego




ID




                 EGO
The Defense Mechanisms
   Unconscious strategies that
    protect us from conflict &
    anxiety
   Become unhealthy when
    they cause self-defeating
    behavior & emotional
    problems
Defense Mechanisms
   Repression                        Reaction formation
       Blocking of a                     Unconscious anxiety
        threatening idea,
        memory or emotion                  transformed into
   Projection                             conscious opposite
       Repression of one’s own       Regression
        unacceptable or                   Reverting to previous
        threatening feelings and
        attributing them to                phase of development
        someone else                  Denial
   Displacement                          Refusing to admit that
       Emotions directed                  something unpleasant
        toward things, animals
        or people that are not             is occurring
        the real object of their
        feelings
Situation 1
Jess was the butt of jokes as a young child
  because he couldn’t pronounce his name
  without lisping. As an adult, however, he
  doesn’t remember having a problem at all.
  What defense mechanism is Jess using?
Answer
   Repression

   Repression occurs when a threatening
    idea, memory, or emotion is blocked from
    consciousness.
Situation 2

Greg is told he has an inoperable form of
 cancer and he has just a few weeks to live.
 Greg leaves his doctor’s office, goes home
 and acts as if nothing is wrong. Greg's
 response to his diagnosis is what type of
 defense mechanism?
Answer

   Denial

   Denial occurs when people refuse to
    admit that something unpleasant is
    happening
Situation 3

Bill has been in therapy for several months
  working on issues around physical abuse he
  received from his father. One session he
  lashes out at his therapist and says, “You’re a
  bully and a tyrant!” What type of defense
  mechanism is Bill's outburst?
Answer

   Projection

   Projection occurs when your own
    unacceptable or threatening feelings are
    repressed and then attributed to someone
    else.
Situation 4

Sally cannot stand her co-worker. Everything
 about this person irritates her. But whenever
 they are together in a group, Sally smiles,
 laughs, and acts as if they are best friends.
 What type of defense mechanism is Sally
 using?
Answer
   Reaction Formation

   Reaction formation reduces anxiety by
    taking up the opposite feeling, impulse, or
    behavior.
Situation 5

Amando, age 10, changes schools when his
 family moves to Santa Rosa. He starts
 wetting his bed at night, but there is no
 physical problem. What type of defense
 mechanism is Amando using?
Answer
   Regression

   When confronted by stressful events, people
    sometimes abandon coping strategies and act out
    behaviors from the stage of psychosexual
    development in which they are fixated. Amando is
    exhibiting behaviors (bedwetting) suggesting he is
    fixated at the anal stage of development.
The Development of Personality
     Freud’s psychosexual stages of personality
       Oral (0-18 months)
       Anal (18 months – 3-1/2 years)
       Phallic (Oedipal) (3.5 years – 6 years )
       Latency period (6 years - puberty)
       Genital (puberty - adulthood)
     Fixation occurs when stages aren’t resolved
      successfully
     Defense mechanisms are developed to reduce
      anxiety
The Development of Personality
     Freud revered by some and ignored by many
     Current research does not support many of
      Freud’s theories
     Freud welcomed women into the profession
     His legacy includes a language to talk about the
      unconscious
Other Psychodynamic Approaches

    Jungian Theory
    Object Relations
Other Psychodynamic Approaches

    Jungian Theory
        Collective unconscious
            The universal memories, symbols, and
             experiences of human kind
        Archetypes
          Represented in the archetypes or universal
           symbolic images that appear in myths, art,
           stories, and dreams across cultures.
          Two important archetypes are Animus
           (masculinity) and Anima (femininity) which
           he believed existed in both sexes.
        Reflects spiritual nature of individual, not
         psychosexual
Other Psychodynamic Approaches

 Jungian Theory Today
  Conducted by Analysts trained in
   Jungian psychology
  Treatment focus is on dream
   interpretation and dealing with the
   Shadow
Other Psychodynamic Approaches
                                                Klein
   The Object-Relations School
      Emphasizes the importance of the
       infant’s first two years of life and      Mahler
       the baby’s formative relationships.
       Especially with the mother (object)
       (Klein, Mahler)
   Emphasized child’s needs for a “just
    good enough” mother (Winnicott) and to
    be in relationship



                                              Winnicott
Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories

   Three scientific failings
       Violating the principle of falsifiability
       Drawing universal principles from the experiences
        of a few atypical patients
       Basing theories of personality development on
        retrospective accounts and the fallible memories
        of patients
Modern Study of Personality
   Popular Personality Tests
       Myers-Briggs
       Enneagram
   Trait Analysis
       Big-Five
Popular Inventories
   Myers-Briggs
       Based on Jungian concepts of
        introversion/extroversion
       Used in business and education
       Has poor test-re-test reliability
Popular Inventories
   Myers-Briggs
       Extraversion/Introversion
       Sensing/Intuition
       Thinking/Feeling
       Judgment/Perception
Popular Inventories
   Enneagram
       Based on esoteric principles
       Self-study of 9 different personality types
       Popular in spiritual and personal growth circles
Objective Tests
Standardized questionnaires
 Identify key personality traits (16-PF)
Objective personality
scales
Answer a series of questions about self
“I am easily embarrassed”   True or False
“I like to go to parties”   True or False

Assumes that you can accurately report
No right or wrong answers
From responses, develop an account of you
called a personality profile
Core Personality Traits
   Definition of a Trait:
       A characteristic of an individual describing a
        habitual way of behaving, thinking, or feeling
Trait Analysis
   Leading theorists of traits
       Gordon Allport
           Central/secondary traits

       Raymond Cattell
           16 core traits
Trait Analysis
 Core personality traits as determined by
  factor analysis (Cattell)
           aka The Big-Five
      Extroversion/Introversion
      Neuroticism v Emotional Stability
      Agreeableness v Antagonism
      Conscientiousness v Impulsiveness
      Openness to experience v Resistance
Consistency and
change in personality
What’s Missing?
   Psychopathology
   Non-genetic traits
       Religiosity
       Dishonesty
       Humor
       Independence
       Conventionality
Biology and animal traits

•   Evolutionarily adaptive for animals to vary in their
    ways of responding to the world and those around
    them.
•   Evidence has been found for most of the Big Five
    factors in 64 different species, including the squishy
    squid.
Puppies and personality
•   Ongoing research at the Animal Personality
    Institute

•   For additional information google: Animal
    Personality Institute
Genetic Influences
   Heredity and Temperament
   Heredity and Traits
Heredity & Temperament

   Genetically pre-determined ways
    of responding to the environment
   Reactivity
       How excitable, arousable, or
        responsive
       Continuum between non-reactive and
        highly reactive
   Soothability
       How easy to calm an upset baby
   Impulsivity
   Positive & negative emotionality
    Heredity and Traits
   Heritability
       A statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variance
        in some trait that is attributable to genetic differences
        among individuals within a group
       Heritability of personality traits is about 50%
         Within a group of people, about 50% of the variation
          associated with a given trait is attributable to genetic
          differences among individuals in the group
       Genetic predisposition is not genetic inevitability
    Environmental Influences
   Situations & Social Learning
       Different behaviors are rewarded, punished, or ignored in
        different contexts
   Social-cognitive learning theorists believe:
       Central personality traits acquired from learning history
        and resultant expectations
   Behaviorists believe:
       Traits are just reinforced behaviors
    Reciprocal Determinism
   The two-way interaction between
    aspects of the environment and
    aspects of the individual in the
    shaping of personality traits



                                       Bandura
Non-shared Environment
    Unique aspects of a person’s
     environment and experience that are
     not shared (genetically) with family
     members
The Power of Parents
   The shared environment of the home has little
    influence on personality
     The non-shared environment is a more
       important influence
   Few parents have a single child-rearing style that
    is consistent over time and that they use with all
    their children
   Even when parents try to be consistent in the way
    they treat their children, there may be little relation
    between what they do and how their children turn
    out
The Power of Parents

   Traits that are highly heritable can be
    strengthened or diminished by experience
   Parents affect:
       Religious beliefs
       Intellectual/occupational interests
       Feelings of self-esteem or inadequacy
       Gender roles
       Whether the child feels loved, secure, valued
       Whether the child feels humiliated, frightened, or
        worthless
The Power of Peers
   Adolescent culture includes different peer groups
    organized by different interests
   Peer acceptance is so important to children and
    adolescents that being bullied, victimized or
    rejected by peers is far more traumatic that
    punitive treatment by parents
   Peers shape expression of personality traits
   Temperaments influence choice of peer groups
Cultural Influences
   What is culture?
       Individualist v collectivist cultures
   Cultural Traits
   Aggressiveness & Altruism
   Evaluating Cultural Approaches
Culture, Values, and Traits

   Culture
       A program of shared rules that govern the
        behavior of members of a community or society
        and
       A set of values, beliefs, and attitudes shared by
        most members of that community
Culture, Values, and Traits
   Individualistic culture
       Cultures in which the self is regarded as autonomous, and
        individual goals and wishes are prized above duty and
        relations with others.
   Collectivistic culture
       Cultures in which the self is regarded as embedded in
        relationships, and harmony with one’s group is prized
        above individual goals and wishes.
Culture & Traits

   When culture isn’t appropriately considered,
    people attribute unusual behavior to personality
    rather than cultural norms
   Tardiness
       monochronic cultures
         time is ordered sequentially, schedules and deadlines
          valued over people
       polychronic cultures
         Time is ordered horizontally, people valued over
          schedules and deadline
Inner Experience
   Humanist Approaches
       Maslow
       Rogers
       May
       Narrative Approaches
   Evaluating Humanist Theories
The Humanistic Approach
   Abraham Maslow
   Carl Rodgers
   Rollo May
Abraham Maslow
Father of Human Potential
 Humanist Psychology
       An approach that emphasizes personal
        growth, resilience, and the achievement
        of human potential.
   Peak experiences
       Rare moments of oneness usually
        experienced in conjunction with physical
        activities or in nature.
    Carl Rodgers
Father of Humanist Psychotherapy

   Unconditional Positive Regard
       Receiving love and support for who
        we are, without conditions attached
       Most children raised with “conditional”
        positive regard, resulting in
        “incongruence” – not being true to
        your real self produces low self-
        regard, defensiveness & unhappiness
 Rollo May

Father of Existentialist Psychotherapy
 Shared with humanists the belief in free
  will and freedom of choice but also
  emphasized loneliness, anxiety and
  alienation
 Existentialism
     Free will confers on us responsibility for our
      actions
    Narrative Approaches
   Post-modern approach to working with
    individuals that depathologizes
    strategies, events, and experiences and
    allows the individual to become the
    “author” of their life
   The story that each of us develops over
    time to explain ourselves and make
    meaning of everything that has
    happened to us
   These stories are the essence of your
    personality, capturing everything that
    has happened to you and all the factors
    that affect your biology, psychology, and
    relationships.
    Evaluating Humanists

   Hard to operationally define many of the
    concepts
   Have added balance to the study of personality
   The approach has encouraged others to focus on
    “positive psychology”
   The argument that we have the power to choose
    our own destiny has fostered a new appreciation
    for resilience
Preview
   Psychopathology and treatment

				
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