Personality Understanding oneself entails developing an understanding of one’s personality. • Allport- “Personality as the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment” • Mischel(1976)- “Distinctive patterns of behavior including thoughts & emotions that characterize each individual adaptation to the situations of his or her life.” • Behavior patterns across situations • Psychological characteristics of the person that lead to those behavior patterns.
Theories of Personality • Type & Trait approach-focus on characteristics • Dynamic approaches- on motives impulses & psychological processes • Learning & Behavioral • Humanistic Approaches- Self and the importance of the individuals subjective view of the world.
Type Theories- Hippocrates 400 BC . 4 Temperamental types • Sanguine-cheerful ,vigorous • Phlegmatic-slow moving, calm • Melancholic-Depressed, morose • Choleric-Hot-tempered Many other Typologies A class of individuals said to share a common collection of characteristics • Introverts-shyness, social withdrawal, tendency to talk much • Extraverts-tendency to be outgoing, talkative
Eysenck’s hierarchical Theory Personality Type (certain characteristics) habitual response patters (applicable to many situations) specific responses (specific situations)
Trait Theories Descriptive terms like determined flamboyant , inclined to make quick decisions are “traits” Allport’s Theory- Distinctive & personal forms of behaviors • Mostly adjectives that describe how people act, think, perceive & feel. • Three levels of generality Cardinal Traits- Dominant and all individual action can be traced to them Central Traits- Characterizing an individual’s behavior to some extent but not in such a complete way as cardinal traits Secondary traits-influential but only within a narrow range
Type and Trait theories involve a search for separable components of personality and ways by which the components fit together to form a personality structure. • Dynamics approaches involve a search for processes by which needs, motives and impulses –often hidden from view –interact to produce the individual’s behavior.
Psychoanalytic Theory 3 parts • Structure of the personality comprising of the id, ego, superego. • Personality dynamics in which conscious and unconscious motivation and ego-defense mechanisms play an important role. • Theory of psychosexual development in which different motives and bodily regions influence the child at different stages of growth.
Personality Structure: Id, Ego & Superego 3 interlocking parts Id- most primitive, biological based urges - eat, drink, eliminate & sexual stimulation - the energy that underlies these urges is libido - operates on the pleasure principle - without regard to rules, realities of life Ego- The elaborate ways of thinking and behaving constitutes the “executive-function” - delays the demands of id channelizing them into more socially acceptable out lets - works on the “in the service of reality principle”
Superego- conscience- -mainly prohibitions learnt from parents and other authorities -superego may condemn as wrong certain things that the ego may otherwise do to satisfy the id -It is the seat for all positive values and moral ideals that are pursued because they are worthy
3 levels of consciousness-Conscious, preconscious & the unconscious • Conscious level- we are aware if certain things around us & certain conscious thoughts. • Preconscious level- Memories and thoughts that are easily available with a moments reflection • Unconscious- Memories ,thoughts and Motives which we cannot easily call up.
Why do some ideas and feelings become unconscious? Repression- We repress or banish from consciousness, ideas, memories feelings or motives unacceptable, forbidden and disturbing. • It is unconscious and automatic. • We don’t choose • Whenever the idea or impulse which is painful and anxiety causing we must escape • This anxiety triggers repression
According to Freud the repressed material is not just safely tucked away. It operates underground, converting repressed conflicts into neurosis. -Unconscious process also figured in dreams and accidents. -Dreams are disguised manifestations of ids motives “royal road to the unconscious” -Slips of the tongue
Defense Mechanism • The demands of id are instinctual & amoral and hence must be blocked by the ego & superego. • Results in anxiety ad guilt from which the ego has to be protected • Defenses are used- The ego disguises, redirects and copes with the id’s urges. Reaction Formation- A motive that would arouse unbearable anxiety if it recognized hence it is converted into its opposite Projection and Displacement
Oral Stage – birth to 1 year • The infant obtains pleasure by sucking and later by biting • Feeding, mouthing new objects, even relief of teething pain • Mouth is the source of all pleasure in the first year • A baby given too little or too much or made too anxious about it-oral fixation • Adulthood excessive oral behavior in terms of concrete forms eg. Smoking.
Anal Stage- when child is toilet trained and teach them prohibited behavior • becomes highly sensitive to the stimulation of “holding on” and “letting go” • Toilet training is first contact with authority • Id is brought under control of the ego Fixation characterized by • Messiness and disorder • Compulsiveness, over conformity
Phallic Stage- (3-5 years) • After child has been toilet trained there is increase in awareness of genitals • The child may be fearful of the parent (father)and fear retaliation • Gradually this anxiety is resolved by identification with parent. Adopting behavior patterns and ideas.
Latency Period- (6 years through puberty) • According to Freud not very important in the development if personality • The child learns more about the world and the ego expands Genital Stage- Adolescences & beyond • The focus lies outside the self and family • Responsible enjoyment of adult sexuality which is the epitome of healthy development
Limitations • Dynamic theories can not be tested • Cultural environment major influence • Research from studies of disturbed adults
Learning and Behavioral Theories • Behaviors that make up our personality are conditioned or learned • Current conditions help maintain this behavior • Main focus is on testing their theories hence focus on observable behaviors • Dollard and Miller gave the basic idea that social behavior and individual behavior can be explained by means of basic learning principles • Neurosis explained as an outcome of conflict on being attracted and repelled by a course of action.
Skinner’s radical behavioral perspective drew only from instrumental conditioning • Reinforcement and punishment influence behavior • Ruled out unobservable like drive, motives and emotions • Personality as a collection of reinforced responses • Bandura and Walters- gave importance to observational learning or imitation • It requires no direct reinforcement to the learner • Imitator observes the model and experiences the model’s behaviors and its consequences vicariously • Situationalist approach that diminishes ‘person’ in personality
Humanistic Theories • Have focused on an entity known as the self • 2 distinct meanings - people’s attitudes about themselves their perceived traits, abilities, weaknesses - this is the self-concept/self-Image. - the executive functions-processed by which an individual copes, thinks , remembers, perceives and plans
- Individual's subjective frame of reference, it may or may not correspond with external reality - The concept of the self develops out of the phenomenal field - The ideal self- what the person would like to be - Trouble occurs when there are mismatches or incongruence - Results can be very disturbing - As an individual needs self-esteem we can distort our perceptions of our experiences in self-serving ways.
Personality Development- as a child grows parents and others react to their behavior, sometimes in a positive way and sometimes with disapproval Children regard some actions or thoughts as unworthy and they often react by distorting or denying these unworthy aspects of self