Chapter 13: Personality • Defined: unique and relatively consistent pattern of thoughts, feelings and actions • Is personality stable across a lifetime? Situations? • Why study personality?
Personality Assessment • Self-Report Inventories: Questionnaires given to individuals pursuing what characteristics an individual find to be true (ex: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) • Projective Tests: use ambiguous stimuli to assess personality (ex: Rorschach ink blots, TAT) • Observations: psychologists watch interactions with others to see personality traits
Freud • Believed childhood experiences determine adult personality. Personality disturbance is due to: - unmet needs of self - species preservation (Eros) and - aggression and destruction (thanatos) • Unconscious mental processes determine adult behavior • Conflict causes most human behavior
Freud: Parts of the Mind • Id: the pleasure-seeking, instinctual part of personality INSTANT Gratification, Libido, irrational • Ego: the reality-seeking part of personality • Super-Ego: the element of personality serves as your conscience Morality, Ideal standards of parents, society
Examples: Defense Mechanisms- coping with anxiety • Repression- when anxious thoughts are pushed into the unconscious • Projection- attributing unwanted thoughts and feelings to other people • Denial- refusal to acknowledge an anxiety-provoking experience • Rationalization- replacing unacceptable thoughts with socially acceptable ones • Reaction Formation- defeating anxiety by acting out in an opposite manner than one’s own feelings • Displacement- placing one’s feelings on a less threatening person than the one who caused the feelings • Sublimation- a form of displacement that involves aiming an aggressive impulse toward a socially acceptable object • Regression- returning to behaviors used at an earlier level of development
Psychosexual Stages • Biological stages driven from birth by sexual instinct • Different zones become sources of pleasure • A strong conflict could FIXATE the person’s sexual seeking energy
Oral Stage (0-18 months) • Sucking, biting, and chewing • Weaning is main conflict • Traits- smoking, eating, drinking, sarcasm, demanding
Anal Stage (18-36 months) • Elimination and retention of feces • Toilet training is main conflict • Anal retentive- overly neat and organized • Anal expulsive- disorganized and messy
Phallic Stage (3-6 years) • Self stimulation of genitals • Oedipus (males) and Electra (females) is conflict. Unconscious desire for opposite sex parent and fear and jealousy of same sex parent. • Children repress feelings and identity with same-sex parent to help provide gender identity and superego. • Traits- Flirting, promiscuity or overly modest, timid
Latent & Genital Stages Latency (6-12) • Sexual repression • Social contacts outside of the family Genital (puberty - on) • Intimate sexual relations with others.
Neo-Freudians • Carl Jung • broke from Freud • believed in the collective unconscious, archtypes • Alfred Adler • believed people were driven by a need for superiority, birth order • Karen Horney • believed that personality disturbances are caused by anxiety- family relationships
Humanistic Personality Theories *free will, potential • Carl Rogers • Unconditional positive regard • People’s self-concept are distorted by outside influence • Healthy personality is when self-concept is consistent with your ideal self-concept • Abraham Maslow • Suggested that personality is determined by a hierarchy of needs • Basic needs must be met before higher needs. • The goal is self-actualization
Learning Theories and Personality • B. F. Skinner (Behaviorist) • Believed that personality and behavior are determined by past experience with reinforcement and punishment • Social-Cognitive Theorists • Albert Bandura • reciprocal determinism • self-efficacy-your beliefs about your ability to perform a task • Julian Rotter • Proposed Social Learning Theory • Behavior is determined by expectancies and whether you have an internal or external locus of control • Locus of Control
Traits • Write down as many traits as you can in two minutes.
Trait Theorists- Allport and Cattell • Gordon Allport • Set out to compose a list of critical personality traits • In the end, he composed a list of over 4500 words (its usefulness is questioned) • Central, Secondary, Cardinal (dominates life) • Raymond Cattell • collapsed data from a large number of personality measures (FACTOR ANALYSIS) to identify sixteen personality traits and a range of each.
Trait Theorists- Eysenck • Hans Eysenck • Identified three basic traits (collapsed categories for personality lists) • extraversion- how much people focus on external stimuli and are outgoing in their approach to life • neuroticism- a measure of emotional instability • psychoticism- a measure of impulsiveness and aggression
Trait Theories- the “Big Five” • This theory believes that personality can be broken down into five basic traits • openness to experience- creative and adventure seeking • conscientiousness- responsible and dependable • extraversion- outgoing • agreeableness- someone who is trusting, warm, giving and tolerant • neuroticism- negative, anxious, and poor self-esteem
Biological Foundations of Personality • Twin studies indicate that some personality characteristics are inherited • Evidence suggests that some personality characteristics may be related to varying levels of certain neurotransmitters • (ex: decreased levels of serotonin are correlated with aggressiveness)