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What is Personality?:

What is Personality? People differ from each other in meaningful ways People seem to show some consistency in behavior Personality is defined as distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting


Personality Personality refers to a person’s unique and relatively stable pattern of thoughts, feelings, and actions Personality is an interaction between biology and environment Genetic studies suggest heritability of personality Other studies suggest learned components of personality

Four Theories of Personality :

Four Theories of Personality 1. Trait 2. Psychoanalytic 3. Humanistic 4. Socio-Cognitive

The First Trait Theory:

The First Trait Theory Two Factor Trait Theory of Personality UNSTABLE STABLE choleric melancholic phlegmatic sanguine INTROVERTED EXTRAVERTED Moody Anxious Rigid Sober Pessimistic Reserved Unsociable Quiet Sociable Outgoing Talkative Responsive Easygoing Lively Carefree Leadership Passive Careful Thoughtful Peaceful Controlled Reliable Even-tempered Calm Touchy Restless Aggressive Excitable Changeable Impulsive Optimistic Active

Personality Traits:

Personality Traits Traits are relatively stable and consistent personal characteristics Trait personality theories suggest that a person can be described on the basis of some number of personality traits Allport identified some 4,500 traits Cattel used factor analysis to identify 30-35 basic traits Eysenck argued there are 3 distinct traits in personality Extraversion/introversion Neuroticism Psychotocism Allport

Overview of the Big “5”:

Overview of the Big “5”

Assessing Traits: An Example :

Assessing Traits: An Example Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests developed to identify emotional disorders

MMPI: examples:

MMPI: examples “Nothing in the newspaper interests me except the comics.” “I get angry sometimes.”

Evaluating Trait Theory:

Evaluating Trait Theory Trait theory, especially the Big 5 model, is able to describe personality Cross-cultural human studies find good agreement for the Big 5 model in many cultures Appear to be highly correlated not only in adulthood, but also in childhood and even late preschoolers Three dimensions (extraversion, neuroticism and agreeableness) have cross-species generality Problems with trait theory include: Lack of explanation as to WHY traits develop Issue of explaining transient versus long-lasting traits

Psychoanalytic Theory:

Psychoanalytic Theory Psychoanalytic theory, as devised by Freud, attempts to explain personality on the basis of unconscious mental forces Levels of consciousness: We are unaware of some aspects of our mental states Freud argued that personality is made up of multiple structures, some of which are unconscious Freud argued that as we have impulses that cause us anxiety; our personality develops defense mechanisms to protect against anxiety

Freudian Theory:

Freudian Theory Levels of consciousness Conscious What we’re aware of Preconscious Memories etc. that can be recalled Unconscious Wishes, feelings, impulses that lies beyond awareness Structures of Personality Id Operates according to the “pleasure principle” Ego Operates according to the “reality” principle Superego Contains values and ideals

Freudian Theory:

Freudian Theory Anxiety occurs when: Impulses from the id threaten to get out of control The ego perceives danger from the environment The ego deals with the problem through: coping strategies defense mechanisms

Defense Mechanisms:

Defense Mechanisms Defense mechanisms refer to unconscious mental processes that protect the conscious person from developing anxiety Sublimation: person channels energy from unacceptable impulses to create socially acceptable accomplishments Denial: person refuses to recognize reality Projection: person attributes their own unacceptable impulses to others Repression: anxiety-evoking thoughts are pushed into the unconscious

Defense Mechanisms:

Defense Mechanisms Rationalization: Substituting socially acceptable reasons Intellectualization: Ignoring the emotional aspects of a painful experience by focusing on abstract thoughts, words, or ideas Reaction formation: Refusing to acknowledge unacceptable urges, thoughts or feelings by exaggerating the opposite state Regression: Responding to a threatening situation in a way appropriate to an earlier age or level of development Displacement: Substituting a less threatening object for the original object of impulse

Assessing the Unconscious:

Assessing the Unconscious Projective Tests used to assess personality (e.g., Rorschach or TAT tests) How? provides ambiguous stimuli and subject projects his or her motives into the ambiguous stimuli

Assessing the Unconscious -- Rorschach:

Assessing the Unconscious -- Rorschach Rorschach Inkblot Test the most widely used projective test a set of 10 inkblots designed by Hermann Rorschach Rorschach

Assessing the Unconscious--Rorschach:

Assessing the Unconscious--Rorschach used to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots

Assessing the Unconscious--TAT:

Assessing the Unconscious--TAT Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) people express their inner motives through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes

Psychoanalytic Neo-Freudian:

Psychoanalytic Neo-Freudian Alfred Adler Humans are motivated by social interest Takes social context into account First Born Privileged until Dethroned Second Born In shadow of 1 st Born  inferiority, restlessness Youngest Pampered, dependent Only Child Higher intellect, timid, passive, & withdrawn

Psychoanalytic Neo-Freudian:

Psychoanalytic Neo-Freudian Carl Jung A collective unconscious is represented by universal archetypes Two forms of unconscious mind Personal unconscious : unique for each person Collective unconscious : consists of primitive images and ideas that are universal for humans

Humanistic Theory:

Humanistic Theory Humanistic personality theories reject psychoanalytic notions Humanistic theories view each person as basically good and that people are striving for self-fulfillment Humanistic theory argues that people carry a perception of themselves and of the world The goal for a humanist is to develop/promote a positive self-concept

Humanistic Perspectives:

Humanistic Perspectives Carl Rogers We have needs for: Self-consistency (absence of conflict between self-perceptions Congruence (consistency between self-perceptions and experience) Inconsistency evokes anxiety and threat People with low self-esteem generally have poor congruence between their self-concepts and life experiences.

Humanistic Perspectives:

Abraham Maslow emphasized the basic goodness of human nature and a natural tendency toward self-actualization . Humanistic Perspectives

Social/Cognitive Perspective:

Social/Cognitive Perspective Proposed that each person has a unique personality because of our personal histories and interpretations shape our personalities Albert Bandura’s social-cognitive approach focuses on self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism. Julian Rotter’s locus of control theory emphasizes a person’s internal or external focus as a major determinant of personality.

Locus of Control (Rotter):

Locus of Control (Rotter) Internal locus of control Life outcomes are under personal control Positively correlated with self-esteem Internals use more problem-focused coping External locus of control Luck, chance, and powerful others control behavior

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