Personality Psychodynamic Theories

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Personality Psychodynamic Theories Powered By Docstoc
					Personality: Psychodynamic
• The distinctive and relatively enduring ways of
  thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a
  person’s responses to life situations.
• Study of personality is guided by the
  psychologist’s perspective, which sometimes
  makes it difficult to understand how they are all
  studying the same thing.
   – It seems hard to believe that all the theorists are
     talking about the same creature, who is now angelic,
     and now depraved, now a black-box robot shaped by
     reinforcers and now a shaper of its own destiny, now
     devious… and now hardheadedly oriented to solid
     reality. (Stone and Church, 1968)
            Evaluating Theories
•    Truth, in personality studies, is often less
     important than usefulness.
    –   after all, the study design and results interpretation
        is itself influenced by the personality of the
•    A theory is only useful in so far as it
    1. Provides a comprehensive framework within which
       known facts can be incorporated
    2. Allows us to predict future events with some
    3. Stimulates the discovery of new knowledge
                                                                                                                           Personality Theories

                                                          Psychodynamic                                   Trait Theories                                     Learning Theories       Biological Theory

                                             Psychoanalytic                                                                Cardinal Traits        Social Learning       Radical Behaviorism
                                                (Freud)                                                                       (Allport)               Theory             (Watson/Skinner)

                                                                                           Unconditional                   Surface and
                               Structure                      Psychosexual
                                                                                          Positive Regard                  Source Traits                            Bandura
                             And Dynamics                     Development
                                                                                             (Rogers)                        (Cattell)

Psychoanalytic                                                                            Self-Actualization
                                                        Ego Psychologists                                                   Extroversion                            Rotter
  Theories                                                                                    (Maslow)

                             Analytic Psyc                                           Psychosocial Theory
                                (Jung)                                                    (Erikson)

         Collective Unconscious                                         Significant Others

                            Individual Psyc

           Inferiority Complex


          Basic Anxiety/Hostility
           Personality Theories
                Is Human   Is Man        Is Man’s
                Nature     Rational or   behavior
                Good or    Irrational?   Determined
                Evil?                    or Free?
Psychodynamic   Evil       Irrational    Determined

Behavioristic   Neutral    Neutral       Determined
and Social-
Humanisitic     Good       Rational      Free
                                                             Personality Theories



                                             Structure                                Psychosexual
                                           And Dynamics                               Development

                                                                                    Ego Psychologists

                                           Analytic Psyc                                                                     Psychosocial Theory
                                              (Jung)                                                                              (Erikson)

                 Collective Unconscious                                                                 Significant Others

                                           Individual Psyc

                   Inferiority Complex
                 Basic Anxiety/Hostility
Freudian Theory: Psychic Energy
                • Altruism Principle:
   Superego       what is best for others?

                • Reality Principle
     Ego          what is best for everyone

                • Pleasure Principle: what is
      Id          best for me?
    “Joe Normal”

                   “The Saint”
“All About Me!”
     Freudian Theory: Psychic Energy
• Id: Develops first; exists in
  unconscious mind; wants
  immediate gratification
   – Instincts and Energy
       • Eros: life instincts (sexual desire)
       • Thanatos: death instincts (aggression)
       • Libido: energy that directs life instincts
• Ego: Develops second; negotiates between the desires of
  the Id, and the limitations of the environment
   – Exists in conscious mind and the unconscious mind
• Superego: conscience; determines what is right, and what is
   – Exists in conscious mind and the unconscious mind
               Freudian Theory
• Personality is how we resolve the three psychic
  – Use of Defense Mechanisms
• Essentially set in childhood based on relative
  success during Psychosexual Stages of
  –   Oral (birth-2 years)
  –   Anal (2-3 years)
  –   Phallic (4-5)
  –   Latency (5-12 years) no effect
  –   Genital (12-19+ years)
   Freudian Theory: Development
Normal Development           Abnormal Development:

 – Oral                        – Oral
 – Anal                        – Anal
 – Phallic                     – Phallic
 – Latency                     – Latency
 – Genital                     – Genital

 [Toward Normal Adulthood]                 satisfies
                                           earlier stages
              The Breakup
• Muffy, the captain of the high school
  cheerleading squad, decides to leave her
  boyfriend of two years, Biff, the star wide
  receiver of the football team, for Alvin, the
  star of the school’s chess team.
• Needless to say, Biff is devastated, but his
  ego can choose from a variety of defense
  mechanisms with which to protect him.
          Defense Mechanisms I
• Acting Out: Reducing anxiety aroused by forbidden
  desires by permitting their expression
   – Biff begins serial-dating. (Dating multiple girls at the same
• Displacement: Redirecting one’s feelings toward
  another person or object. Negative emotions are often
  displaced onto less threatening people.
   – Biff could displace his feelings of anger onto his little brother,
     pet hamster, or football.
• Projection: Believing that the feelings one has toward
  someone else are actually held by the other person and
  directed at oneself.
   – Biff insists that Muffy still cares for him.
          Defense Mechanisms II
• Emotional Insulation: Reducing self-involvement by
  withdrawing into passivity to protect the self from hurt.
   – Biff stops going out with friends, and begins missing football games
     to stay at home.
• Reaction Formation: Expressing the opposite of how one
  truly feels.
   – Biff claims he loathes Muffy.
• Regression: Returning to an earlier, comforting form of
   – Biff begins sleeping with his favorite childhood stuffed animal, “Mr.
• Rationalization: Coming up with a beneficial result of an
  undesirable occurrence.
   – Biff believes that he can now find a better girlfriend, after all, Muffy
     isn’t really that pretty/smart/fun to be with.
        Defense Mechanisms III

• Repression: Blocking thoughts out from conscious
   – When asked how he feels about the breakup, Biff replies, “Who?
     Oh, yeah, I haven’t thought about her in a while.”
• Denial: Not accepting the ego-threatening truth.
   – Biff continues to act as if he and Muffy are together. He waits by
     her locker, calls her, and plans their future dates.
• Intellectualism: Undertaking an academic, unemotional
  study of a topic.
   – Biff embarks on an in-depth research project about failed teen
• Sublimation: Channeling one’s frustration toward a
  different goal.
   – Biff devotes himself to writing poetry and publishes a small
     volume before he graduates high school.
          Psychodynamic Theory:
• Carl Jung: Believed               • Alfred Adler: focused on
  Unconscious consisted of            the conscious role of the
  two parts                           ego, believed people
   – Personal:                        were motivated by two
     painful/threatening              things:
     memories that are                 – Inferiority: fear of failure
     repressed (complexes)
                                       – Superiority: desire to
   – Collective: archetypes              achieve
     passed down through the
     species, explaining               Also, first to research the
     similarities between                importance of birth order
     cultures                            on personality and
      • Ex: universal fear of the
        dark; importance of the
Psychodynamic Therapy
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