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Theories of Personality Doneisha Burke, MSc. WHAT IS PERSONALITY? An individual’s unique and relatively stable patterns of behavior, thoughts and emotions – these stable patterns usually characterize persons in a number of situations over time. Also refers to the enduring, inner characteristics of individuals that organize their behaviors. PERSONALITY Over 30 years ago Walter Mischel challenged this basic assumption of personality. He argued that personality might not be consistent. What do you think? PERSONALITY This debate has brought about a personality approach known as the interactionist perspective- the view that behaviour in any situation is a function of both personality and external factors. This is the view currently accepted by most psychologists THEORIES OF PERSONALITY Psychoanalytic Approach Behavioural- Learning Approach- Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, Observational Learning Humanistic Approach Cognitive Approach Trait/ Biological Approach Psychoanalytic Approach Sigmund Freud 1856- 1939 Many biographies of Freud have drawn connections between his theories and his personal life experiences BASIC CONCEPTS OF THE APPROACH Levels of Consciousness Basic Instincts Structures of Personality- ID, EGO and SUPEREGO Defense Mechanisms Levels of Consciousness Conscious level- contains our current thoughts: whatever we are thinking about or experiencing at a given moment. (e.g. thoughts & perceptions). Preconscious level- contains aspects of our mental life of which we are not conscious of at the moment but can readily be brought to mind/awareness if the need arises (e.g. memories stored knowledge). Unconscious level- thoughts, desires and impulses of which we remain largely unaware and cannot easily become aware of ( e.g. fears, unacceptable sexual desires, violent motives, shameful experiences). Basic Instincts According to Freudian theory, our behaviors, thoughts, and feelings are largely governed by innate biological drives, known as instincts. 2 categories- Life Instincts, Death Instincts Freud said that a large measure of life is an attempt to resolve conflicts between these two natural but diametrically opposed instincts. Basic Instincts Life instincts (EROS) – impulses for survival, including those that motivate sex, hunger and thirst. Each instinct has its own energy that drives it. The psychic energy that drives the sexual instinct is called the libido. Death instincts (THANTOS) – impulses of destruction. Directed inward, they give rise to feelings of depression or suicide; directed outward, they result in aggression. The Structure of Personality Freud suggested that personality consist of 3 separate, though interacting, structures or subsystems each governed by its own principle and function to carry out: Id, Ego, and Superego. The Id Consists of al our primitive and innate urges According to Freud the id is completely unconscious It operates according to the Pleasure Principle immediate pleasure is the sole motivation for behaviour and is incapable of considering the potential costs of seeking this pleasure. It is the Yes of the personality The Ego The part of the personality that develops through one’s experience with reality. The ego’s task is to hold the id in check until conditions allow for satisfaction of it’s impulses It operates in accordance with the Reality Principle the reality principle strives to satisfy the id’s desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways. The reality principle weighs the costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act upon or abandon an impulse. The ego is partly conscious and is the Maybe of our personality The ego must strike a balance between our primitive (id) urges and our learned moral constraints (superego). Struggle is visible in Freudian Slips The Superego Like the ego it seeks to control satisfaction of id impulses and is concerned with morality (looks at right/wrong in terms of satisfying id impulses) It is acquired through our parents and our experiences and reflects an internalization of society’s rules The Superego is made up of two parts: The Ego Ideal- includes the rules and standards for good behaviors are approved of by parental and other authority figures. Obeying these rules leads to feelings of pride, value, and accomplishment. The Conscience- includes information about things that are viewed as bad by parents and society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt and remorse. The Superego Like the id, the superego has no contact with reality and, therefore, places unrealistic demands on the individual. It is very rigid and inflexible It is the No of the personality. It operates on the Idealistic Principle Defense Mechanisms Repression Sublimation Denial Rationalization (Intellectualization) Fantasy Projection Regression Displacement Reaction Formation Compensation (See hand out) Two things to know about defense mechanism It’s use is a normal reaction which helps us cope with anxieties and conflicts of everyday life. Although normal they can however become maladaptive. As long as defense mechanism are successful in easing the unpleasant feelings of anxiety, we may no longer feel a need to search for the true sources of anxiety and we will be less likely to resolve the conflict that is producing the anxiety. FREUD’S PSYCHOSEXUAL STAGES OF PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT Oral Stage- Birth to 1 yr Anal Stage- 1- 3yrs Phallic Stage- 3- 5 yrs Latency Period- 6- puberty Genital Stage- 11- 18 yrs (View handout posted online) Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Approach Major criticism is the over-reliance on innate biological/sexual drives as being our central motivator for our personality and behavior. Freud seems to have ignored the social approach to personality development. Freud in the development of his theory relied on case studies – and this form of research in not generalizable. He mainly used persons from wealthy background and these persons are not representative of the wider society. The Psychoanalytic Approach After Freud Neo- Freudians- they had their own theory. They didn’t agree with everything that Freud proposed so they had to part from Freud Carl Jung – (1875-1961) Disagreed with Freud over the role of sexuality and the nature of the unconscious. He had a more positive attitude about an individual’s ability to control his or her own destiny. Libido was energy for personal growth and development according to Jung and not sexual energy. Alfred Adler – (1870-1937) Adler was turned off most by the negativity of Freud’s view – the death instinct as well as the idea of sexual libido as the prime impulse in life Adler argued that we are a product of the social influences on our personality. All behaviors occur in a social context, “behavior is a function of person and environment.” Alfred Adler – (1870-1937) Adler contented that people cannot be studied in isolation. We are motivated not so much by drives and instincts as by goals and incentives – our main motivation is to Striving for Superiority – in order to overcome inferiority – Adler coined the term Inferiority Complex. Karen Horney – (1885-1952) Trained, as a psychoanalyst in Germany and came to the US in 1934. Horney theorized that the prime impulses that motivate behavior are not biological and inborn or sexual and aggressive, but basic anxiety, which grows out of childhood when the child feels alone and isolated in a hostile environment. The Behavioral-Learning Approach The Learning Theory of Personality Development The Learning Theory of Personality Development What is learning? A relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of practice or experience. According to this theory personality is acquired through learning (via reinforcement, punishment and observational learning). Learning Theories include: Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning Observational Learning Classical Conditioning Have you ever noticed that once your dog hears the pot cover or scraping of a fork they immediately show up? Or every time you hear the microwave beep you anticipate the food and your mouth starts watering? Classical Conditioning Ivan Pavlov a Russian physiologist is credited with discovering classical conditioning and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1904 for his work on digestion. Classical conditioning is a basic form of learning in which one stimulus comes to serve as a signal for the occurrence of a second stimulus (Baron, 2001) Classical Conditioning In order to understand UCS- Unconditioned how classical stimulus conditioning works, it is important to be UCR-Unconditioned familiar with the basic Response concepts of the NS- Neutral Stimulus process CS- Conditioned Stimulus CR- Conditioned Response Classical Conditioning Unconditioned Stimulus- one that unconditionally, naturally, and automatically triggers a response. For example, when you smell one of your favorite foods, you may immediately feel very hungry. In this example, the smell of the food is the unconditioned stimulus. Unconditioned Response -the unlearned response that occurs naturally and automatically in response to the presence of the unconditioned stimulus. In our example, the feeling of hunger in response to the smell of food is the unconditioned response. Classical Conditioning Conditioned Stimulus is a previously neutral stimulus that, after becoming associated with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually comes to trigger a conditioned response. In our earlier example, suppose that when you smelled your favorite food, you also heard the sound of a whistle. While the whistle is unrelated to the smell of the food, if the sound of the whistle was paired multiple times with the smell, the sound would eventually trigger the conditioned response. In this case, the sound of the whistle is the conditioned stimulus. Classical Conditioning Conditioned response- the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus. In our example, the conditioned response would be feeling hungry when you heard the sound of the whistle. Classical Conditioning: The Steps Classical Conditioning: The Steps Two technicalities 1. CR and UCR are not identical. The CR is usually weaker than UCR. Example: never gets as much saliva from the tone as you would from food. 2. The order of pairing of the CS and UCS does matter and is important. 1. It is best that the CS is presented first followed shortly after (one to two seconds) by the UCS Classical conditioning in real life LOOK AT: Story of “Little Albert”- John B. Watson – (1878- 1958) Role it plays in developing phobias Drug use Operant Conditioning Stimulus-Response Theory (S-R) Operant Conditioning The major theorists for B.F. Skinner 1904-1990 the development of operant conditioning are B.F. Skinner & Edward Thorndike. Edward L. Thorndike Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning a.k.a instrumental conditioning) is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. Operant Conditioning Behaviors will maintain or increase if they are reinforced: and decrease if they are punished or not reinforced. In large part we do what we do because of what has happened i.e. the consequences of our actions According to Skinner there are four ways that behavior can be changed (or, four ways that learning might occur). Operant Conditioning There are 2 procedures that strengthen/increase the rate of behaviour i.e. reinforcement (+ & -) There are 2 procedures that weaken/decrease the rate of behaviour i.e. punishment (+& -) Operant Conditioning: Reinforcement Reinforcement (2 types) The application or removal of a stimulus to increase the strength of behaviour. Positive Reinforcement Negative Reinforcement Positive Reinforcement Involves the impact of positive reinforcers any event that strengthens or increases the behavior that precede them. There are two kinds of reinforcers: Primary reinforcers- natural/unlearnedUsually related to survival and are usually biological or physiological e.g. food, water, sex. Secondary/Conditioned reinforcers- acquired or learned reinforcers. E.g. money, praise, grades, promotions. Preferred activities can also be used to reinforce behavior, a principle referred to as the Premack Principle using a more preferred activity to reinforce a less preferred one. Negative Reinforcement It involves the impact of negative reinforcers. In negative reinforcement the removal or avoidance of some event causes the behavior to increase. Negative reinforcement is different from punishment! Keep in mind that both negative and positive reinforcement are procedures that strengthen and increases behavior. Operant Conditioning: Punishment Punishment (2 types) the presentation of an adverse event or outcome that causes a decrease in the behavior it follows. Positive punishment involves the presentation of an unfavorable event or outcome in order to weaken the response it follows. Negative Punishment occurs when a favorable event or outcome is removed after a behavior occurs. (Please see table 5.1 on page 185 of the Baron, 2001) Observational Learning Observational Learning Observational or social learning is based primarily on the work of Albert Bandura. He and his colleagues were able to demonstrate through a variety of experiments that the application of consequences was not necessary for learning to take place. Rather learning could occur through the simple processes of observing someone else's activity. Observational Learning Bandura formulated his findings in a four-step pattern 1. Attention -- the individual notices something in the environment 2. Retention -- the individual remembers what was noticed 3. Reproduction -- the individual produces an action that is a copy of what was noticed 4. Motivation -- the environment delivers a consequence that changes the probability the behavior will be emitted again (reinforcement and punishment) Observational Learning Bandura's work combines both a cognitive and behavioural view of learning. He believes that mind, behavior and the environment all play an important role in the learning process In a set of well known experiments, called the "Bobo doll" studies, Bandura showed that children (ages 3 to 6) would change their behavior by simply watching others. Evaluating the Behavioral-Learning Approach Critics argue that they rely too much on the individual’s environment or learning history. This leaves nothing for the person to contribute – no free will – very deterministic. Ignore inner conflicts and influence of unconscious thoughts and impulses on behavior. HUMANISTIC APPROACH Humanistic Theories Theories of personality emphasizing personal responsibility and innate tendencies toward personal growth (Baron, 2001) Two American psychologists, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers paved the way for this new approach to understanding personality and improving the overall satisfaction of individuals. What matters is how people view themselves. Its roots are based in the understanding and acceptance of one's own existence and responsibility. Humanistic Theories The basic ideas behind humanistic psychology are simple: 1. The present is the most important aspect of the person and therefore humanists focus on the here and now rather than looking at the past or trying to predict the future. 2. Humanistic theory is reality based and to be psychologically healthy people must take responsibility for themselves, whether the person's actions are positive or negative. 3. The individual, merely by being human, posses an inherent worth. Actions may not be positive but this does not negate the value of the person. 4. The goal of life should always be to achieve personal growth and understanding. Only through self- improvement and self-knowledge can one truly be happy. Humanistic Theorists Carl Rogers (1902-1986) Abraham Maslow (1908- 1970) Rogers Self Theory Approach to psychology was based on self- concept. Each individual has a self- concept, which consists of his or her conscious thoughts and beliefs about himself or herself. View referred to as person-centered. He believed that the most powerful drives are the ones to become fully functioning. Being psychologically healthy and living life to its fullest To be fully functioning is to achieve “optimal psychological adjustment”, to live in the present, getting the most from each experience. To help children become fully functioning requires that we offer them unconditional positive regard. Rogers Self Theory Unconditional Positive Regard means showing a child that they are loved, respected, and accepted (this is positive regard) regardless of what he or she says or does. Rogers said we should separate the child’s behaviors from the child’s self. We punish a child for doing a bad thing, but never for being a bad child. Helping people achieve positive self-regard is one of the major goal of Roger’s person-centered therapy. Maslow’s Self Actualization & Hierarchy of Needs People’s needs are positive and our major goal is to realize and put into practice those needs According to Maslow we must meet and master our lower needs before we could move to the highest need. Our personality and subsequently behaviors are driven by or ability to master these needs. The Needs Hierarchy Evaluating the Humanistic- Phenomenological Approach Critics argue against the humanist psychologist strong emphasis on personal responsibility or free will. View of free will conflicts with that of determinism- the idea that behaviour is determined by numerous factors and can be predicted from them Also concepts are loosely defined. What is self- actualization, fully functioning? Hard to do systematic research b/c concepts cannot be defined or tested. How do you measure self-actualizing, self-concept etc? COGNITIVE APPROACH Cognitive Theory of Personality Cognitive therapy is based on a theory of personality which maintains that how one thinks largely determines how one feels and behaves. What matters most are the client’s beliefs, thoughts, perceptions and attitudes about him/herself and the environment. They don’t deny the importance of behavior (stimulus- response), but they argue that A (activating events – stimulus) doesn’t just lead to C (consequences or behavior – response), but there is an intervening process B (beliefs). Cognitive Theory of Personality These beliefs can be rational or irrational. The way a person processes stimulus events is critical in determining what responses are produced and subsequently one’s personality. In Cognitive therapy it is not the stimuli (A) activating events that are crucial, but rather the person’s (B)beleifs/perceptions and interpretation of the events . Individuals make themselves emotionally healthy or emotionally upset by the way they think, not by the environment. The Trait/Biological Approach The Trait/Biological Approach Trait theories are theories of personality that focus on identifying the key dimensions along which people differ (Baron, 2001) Gordon Allport (1st trait theorist) did pioneering work in identifying the key dimensions upon which personalities differ. He divided personality traits into categories which varied in their importance Secondary traits Central traits Cardinal traits The Trait/Biological Approach Raymond Cattell also did pioneering work in identifying the key dimensions upon which personalities differ. He conducted extensive research and by using factor analysis was able to identify groups of traits that seem to be closely linked to one another. From that research 16 source traits (key dimensions of personality that underlie many other traits) were identified The Trait/Biological Approach: The “Big Five” Factors The "Big five" personality traits are five broad factors or dimensions of personality discovered through empirical research (Goldberg, 1993). The Big Five are summarized as follows: Openness - appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experience. Conscientiousness - a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behaviour. Extraversion - energy, positive emotions, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others. Agreeableness - a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. Neuroticism - a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability; sometimes called emotional instability. Trait Theories: An Evaluation It is too descriptive in nature and does not tell How various traits develop How they influence behaviour and Why they are important’ There is no final agreement on which traits are most important/basic Measuring Personality Self Reports This refers to the use of questionnaires and inventories. They contain questions/statements and scoring is done through the sue of special keys Scores are then compared with those from other test takers Measuring Personality Projective Tests They present individuals with ambiguous stimuli that can be interpreted in many different ways E.g. Rorschach Inkblot Test, and Thematic Apperception test (TAT) Other measures Interviews Biological measures e.g. PET Scans and hormone levels
"Theories of Personality"