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What is Personality?

What is Personality?

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What is Personality?

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  1. What is Personality? • Personality • an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting • through each of the perspectives • Psychoanalytic • Humanistic • Trait (biological) • Social Cognitive • Behavioral

  2. Personality Assessment • Surveys, questionnaires, inventories -wording, bias, honesty, sampling, non-test situations • Behavioral Observations - observer bias, situational • Case Studies - representativeness, generalization to whole population

  3. The Psychoanalytic Perspective • Freud’s theory of personality that attributes our thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts • Techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions

  4. The Psychoanalytic Perspective • Free Association & Dream Analysis • in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious • person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing

  5. The Psychoanalytic Perspective • Unconscious • according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings and memories • contemporary viewpoint - information processing of which we are unaware

  6. Freud’s Idea of Personality Structure

  7. Problem: “ I want to sleep, but, I belong in class”.

  8. Ego Conscious mind Unconscious mind Superego Id Personality Structure • Freud’s idea of the mind’s structure

  9. …Defense Mechanisms Definition • the ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety caused by the conflict between the id and superego by unconsciously distorting reality ~ 10 1. Repression • the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness

  10. Defense Mechanisms 2. Regression • an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated 3. Denial (more than a river in Egypt) .A person refuses to acknowledge anxiety- producing realities. 4. Projection • people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others

  11. Defense Mechanisms 5. Rationalization • defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one’s actions 6. Displacement • defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person, i.e., kick the cat

  12. Neo-Freudians • Alfred Adler • strive for superiority, seeking to adapt, improve, and master environment • importance of overcoming feelings of inferiority • Carl Jung • emphasized the collective unconscious • concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species’ history

  13. Archetype the inherited, unconscious ideas and images that are the components of the collective unconscious In Jungian terms, Batman and the Joker are archetypes, or universally recognizable symbols, of good and evil.

  14. Psychoanalytic

  15. Assessing the Unconscious • Projective Test a personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics • Sentence/drawing completion

  16. Test this projective test • This drawing was made by a young man who bludgeoned his girlfriend with a hammer in a jealous rage. A psychologist has interpreted the drawing as follows: The upraised hands represent aggression and readiness to strike; the short legs represent feelings of inadequacy; and the red shirt represents passion, violence, and impulsivity. Rank the plausibility of this analysis, on the following scale: Very high___/___/___/___/___/Very low

  17. but . . . • Suppose now we tell you that the drawing was made by a young man hospitalized following a suicide attempt. A psychologist has interpreted the drawing as follows: The upraised hands represent helplessness and loss; the short legs represent diminished stature, an inability to “measure up”; and the red shirt represents anger turned toward himself. Rank the plausibility of this analysis, on the following scale: Very high___/___/___/___/___/Very low

  18. What does this exercise tell you about how prior knowledge about a person might affect the interpretation of the person’s performance on a projective test, such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test? ovaries?

  19. Vocabulary review

  20. Humanistic Perspective • Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) • studied self-actualization processes of productive and healthy people (e.g., Lincoln)

  21. Humanistic Perspective • Self-Actualization • the ultimate psychological need that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved • the motivation to fulfill one’s potential

  22. Humanistic Perspective • Carl Rogers (1902-1987) • focused on growth and fulfillment of individuals • genuineness • acceptance • empathy

  23. Humanistic Perspective • Unconditional Positive Regard • an attitude of total acceptance toward another person • Self-Concept • all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in an answer to the question, “Who am I?”

  24. Contemporary Research-- The Trait Perspective • Trait • a characteristic pattern of behavior • a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports • Personality Inventory • a questionnaire (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors used to assess selected personality traits (factor analysis)

  25. Trait –Perspective • Gordon Allport 18,000 cardinal central secondary pervasive friendly, calm food/music likes • Raymond Cattell 16 (factor analysis) trait clusters Myers-Briggs

  26. UNSTABLE Moody Touchy Anxious Restless Rigid Aggressive Sober Excitable Pessimistic Changeable Reserved Impulsive Unsociable Optimistic Quiet Active choleric melancholic INTROVERTED EXTRAVERTED Passive phlegmatic sanguine Sociable Careful Outgoing Thoughtful Talkative Peaceful Responsive Controlled Easygoing Reliable Lively Even-tempered Carefree Calm Leadership STABLE The Trait Perspective • Eysenck used two primary personality factors as axes for describing personality variation • OCEAN Open, Conscientious, Extravert, Agreeable, Neurotic = BIG 5

  27. The Trait Perspective • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) • the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests • originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use) • now used for many other screening purposes

  28. Clinically significant range 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Hypochondriasis (concern with body symptoms) Depression (pessimism, hopelessness) After treatment (no scores in the clinically significant range) Hysteria (uses symptoms to solve problems) Before treatment (anxious, depressed, and displaying deviant behaviors) Psychopathic deviancy (disregard for social standards) Masculinity/femininity (interests like those of other sex) Paranoia (delusions, suspiciousness) Psychasthenia (anxious, guilt feelings) Schizophrenia (withdrawn, bizarre thoughts) Hypomania (overactive, excited, impulsive) Social introversion (shy, inhibited) 0 30 40 50 60 70 80 T-score The Trait Perspective • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test profile

  29. Trait Consistency? • Walter Mischel “If human behavior is determined by many interacting variables – both in the person and in the environment – then a focus on any one of them is likely to lead to limited predictions and generalizations.”

  30. Vocabulary review

  31. Social-Cognitive Perspective • Social-Cognitive Perspective • views behavior as influenced by the interaction between persons and their social context • Reciprocal Determinism • the interacting influences between personality and environmental factors

  32. Social Cognitive Perspective

  33. Social-Cognitive Perspective • Personal Control • our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling helpless • External vs. Internal Locus of Control • the perception that either outside forces beyond one’s personal control determine one’s fate or one has control over one’s fate

  34. Who’s Who

  35. Social-Cognitive Perspective • Positive Psychology • the scientific study of optimal human functioning • aims to discover and promote conditions that enable individuals and communities to thrive

  36. Exploring the Self

  37. Exploring the Self • Spotlight Effect • overestimating others noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders (the big pimple principle) • Self Esteem • one’s feelings of high or low self-worth • Self-Serving Bias • readiness to perceive oneself favorably

  38. Exploring the Self – cultural influence • Individualism • giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” • Collectivism • giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly “The quacking duck gets shot.”

  39. Value Contrasts Between Individualism and Collectivism Concept Individualism Collectivism Self Independent Interdependent (identity from individual traits) identity from belonging) Life task Discover and express one’s Maintain connections, fit in uniqueness What matters Me--personal achievement and We-group goals and solidarity; fulfillment; rights and liberties social responsibilities and relationships Coping method Change reality Accommodate to reality Morality Defined by individuals Defined by social networks (self-based) (duty-based) Relationships Many, often temporary or casual; Few, close and enduring; confrontation acceptable harmony valued Attributing Behavior reflects one’s personality Behavior reflects social behaviors and attitudes norms and roles Exploring the Self

  40. Who Are You?