Theories of Personality Chapter 2
Theories of Personality • The Psychodynamic Theories • The Modern Study of Personality • Genetic Influences • Environmental Influences • Cultural Influences • The Inner Experience
Psychodynamic Theories • Emphasis on unconscious intrapsychic dynamics • Belief in the importance of early childhood • Belief that development occurs in fixed stages • Focus on fantasies and symbolic meanings of events • Reliance on subjective rather than objective methods
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 The Structure of Personality
Defense Mechanisms • Repression: Threatening idea is blocked from consciousness • Projection: Unacceptable feelings are attributed to someone else • Displacement: Directing emotions toward objects or people that aren’t the real target • Reaction Formation: A feeling that produces anxiety is transformed into its opposite. • Regression: A person reverts to a previous phase of psychological development. • Denial: A person refuses to admit that something is unpleasant.
Freud’s Psychosexual Stages • Oral • Anal • Phallic • Latency period • Genital
Other Psychodynamic Approaches • Jungian Theory: A psychodynamic theory that includes the concepts of the collective unconscious (the universal memories of the species) and archetypes (universal symbolic images in myths, art, and dreams). • Object Relations Theory: A psychodynamic approach that emphasizes the importance of the infant’s first two years of life and the baby’s formative relationships, especially with the mother.
Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories • Psychodynamic theories violate the principle of falsifiability • Psychodynamic theories are criticized for drawing universal principles from the experiences of a few atypical patients. • Psychodynamic theories are criticized for basing theories upon the retrospective accounts and fallible memories of patients.
The Modern Study of Personality Personality Factor Theories
Five Central Factors in Personality • Extroversion versus Introversion • Neuroticism • Agreeableness • Conscientiousness • Openness to Experience
The Genetic Contribution • Heredity and Temperament • Heredity and Traits • Evaluating Genetic Theories
Heredity and Temperament • Temperaments: Physiological dispositions to respond to the environment in certain ways; they are present in infancy and are assumed to be innate. • Genes: The functional units of heredity; they are composed of DNA and specify the structure of proteins.
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. • Behavioral genetics: An interdisciplinary field of study concerned with the genetic basis of behavior and personality.
Twins • Identical (Monozygotic) Twins: Twins that develop when a fertilized egg divides into two parts that develop into separate embryos • Fraternal (Dizygotic) Twins: Twins that develop when two separate eggs are fertilized by different sperm; they are no more alike genetically than any other pair of siblings.
Twin Studies • Studying identical twins separated near birth is one behavior genetic method • Gerald and Mark (right) met at age 31 after being separated at birth. • Both are volunteer firefighters • Like to hunt, eat Chinese food, and watch John Wayne movies • Drink the same brand of beer, with their hands held the same way (pinky curled)
Evaluating Genetic Theories • Reasons for Caution • Not all traits are equally heritable or unaffected by shared environment. • Some studies may underestimate the impact of the environment. • Even traits that are highly heritable are not rigidly fixed. • Genetic predisposition does not imply inevitability
Environmental Influences on Personality The Behavioral School The Social-Cognitive Learning School The Power of Parents The Power of Peers
The Behavioral School • Behaviorism: An approach to psychology that emphasizes the study of observable behavior and the role of the environment as a determinant of behavior. • Operant Conditioning: The process by which a response becomes more likely to occur or less so, depending on its consequences. • Reinforcer: A stimulus or event that strengthens or increases the probability of the response it follows.
The Social-Cognitive Learning School • A theory that emphasizes how behavior is learned and maintained through the interaction between individuals and their environment, an interaction strongly influenced by such cognitive processes as observations, expectations, perceptions, and motivating beliefs.
The Cultural Contribution Culture and Personality Evaluating Cultural Theories
Culture and Personality • 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
Individualism or Community? • Individualist Culture: The self is regarded as autonomous, and individual goals and wishes are prized above duty and relations with others. • Collectivist Culture: The self is regarded as embedded in relationships, and harmony with one’s group is prized above individual goals and wishes.
Cultures and Time • Monochronic Culture: Cultures in which time is organized sequentially; schedules and deadlines are valued over people. • Polychronic Culture: Cultures in which time is organized horizontally; people tend to do several things at once and value relationships over schedules.
Humanist Approaches • An approach that emphasizes personal growth and the achievement of human potential rather than the scientific understanding and assessment of behavior. • Abraham Maslow • Previous Psychological Theories Avoided the Positive • Focused on the Qualities of the Self-Actualized Person • Hierarchy of Needs • Carl Rogers • Unconditional Positive Regard • Congruence • Rollo May • Existentialism
Narrative Approach • The story that we each develop over time • Core Beliefs