personality

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Personality:

Personality “Characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and acting.” Four major perspectives on Personality Psychoanalytic - unconscious motivations Trait - specific dimensions of personality Humanistic - inner capacity for growth Social-Cognitive - influence of environment

Psychoanalytic Perspective:

Psychoanalytic Perspective “first comprehensive theory of personality” (1856-1939) University of Vienna 1873 Voracious Reader Medical School Graduate Specialized in Nervous Disorders Some patients’ disorders had no physical cause!

Psychoanalytic Perspective:

Psychoanalytic Perspective “first comprehensive theory of personality” Q : What caused neurological symptoms in patients with no neurological problems? Unconscious Hypnosis Free Association “Psychoanalysis”

The Unconscious:

The Unconscious “the mind is like an iceburg - mostly hidden” Conscious Awareness small part above surface (Preconscious) Unconscious below the surface (thoughts, feelings, wishes, memories) Repression banishing unacceptable thoughts & passions to unconscious Dreams & Slips

Freud & Personality Structure:

Freud & Personality Structure “Personality arises from conflict twixt agressive, pleasure-seeking impulses and social restraints” Satisfaction without the guilt? Ego Super Ego Id

Freud & Personality Structure:

Freud & Personality Structure Id - energy constantly striving to satisfy basic drives Pleasure Principle Ego - seeks to gratify the Id in realistic ways Reality Principle Super Ego - voice of conscience that focuses on how we ought to behave Ego Super Ego Id

Freud & Personality Development:

Freud & Personality Development “personality forms during the first few years of life, rooted in unresolved conflicts of early childhood” Psychosexual Stages Oral (0-18 mos) - centered on the mouth Anal (18-36 mos) - focus on bowel/bladder elim. Phallic (3-6 yrs) - focus on genitals/“Oedipus Complex” (Identification & Gender Identity) Latency (6-puberty) - sexuality is dormant Genital (puberty on) - sexual feelings toward others Strong conflict can fixate an individual at Stages 1,2 or 3

Defense Mechanisms:

Defense Mechanisms Id Super Ego Ego When the inner war gets out of hand, the result is Anxiety Ego protects itself via Defense Mechanisms Defense Mechanisms reduce/redirect anxiety by distorting reality

Defense Mechanisms:

Repression - banishes certain thoughts/feelings from consciousness (underlies all other defense mechanisms) Regression - retreating to earlier stage of fixated development Reaction Formation - ego makes unacceptable impulses appear as their opposites Projection - attributes threatening impulses to others Rationalization - generate self-justifying explanations to hide the real reasons for our actions Displacement - divert impulses toward a more acceptable object Sublimation - transform unacceptable impulse into something socially valued Defense Mechanisms

The Unconscious & Assessment:

Thematic Apperceptions Test (TAT) Rorschach Inkblot Test The Unconscious & Assessment How can we assess personality? (i.e., the unconscious) Objective Tests? No - tap the conscious Projective Tests? Yes - tap the unconscious

Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective:

Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective Were Freud’s theories the “best of his time” or were they simply incorrect? Current research contradicts many of Freud’s specific ideas Development does not stop in childhood Dreams may not be unconscious drives and wishes Slips of the tongue are likely competing “nodes” in memory network

Freud’s Ideas as Scientific Theory:

Freud’s Ideas as Scientific Theory Theories must explain observations and offer testable hypotheses Few Objective Observations Few Hypotheses (Freud’s theories based on his recollections & interpretations of patients’ free associations, dreams & slips o’ the tongue) Does Not PREDICT Behavior or Traits

Trait Perspective:

Trait Perspective No hidden personality dynamics… just basic personality dimensions Traits - people’s characteristic behaviors & conscious motives How do we describe & classify different personalities? ( Type A vs Type B or Depressed vs Cheerful ?) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - classify people based upon responses to 126 questions

Are There “Basic” Traits?:

Are There “Basic” Traits? What trait “dimensions” describe personality? Combination of 2 or 3 genetically determined dimensions Expanded set of factors “The Big 5” Extraversion/Introversion Emotional Stability/Instability

The Big Five:

The Big Five Emotional Stability Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness Calm/Anxious Secure/Insecure Sociable/Retiring Fun Loving/Sober Imaginative/Practical Independent/Conforming Soft-Hearted/Ruthless Trusting/Suspicious Organized/Disorganized Careful/Careless

Assessing Traits:

Assessing Traits How can we assess traits? (aim to simplify a person’s behavior patterns) Personality Inventories MMPI most widely used personality inventory assess psychological disorders (not normal traits) empirically derived - test items selected based upon how well they discriminate twixt groups of traits

The Humanistic Perspective:

The Humanistic Perspective Maslow’s Self-Actualizing Person Roger’s Person-Centered Perspective “Healthy” rather than “Sick” Individual as greater than the sum of test scores

Maslow & Self-Actualization:

Maslow & Self-Actualization Physiological Safety Love Needs Esteem Self-Actualization the process of fufilling our potential Studied healthy, creative people Abe Lincoln, Tom Jefferson & Eleanor Roosevelt Self-Aware & Self-Accepting Open & Spontaneous Loving & Caring Problem-Centered not Self-Centered

Roger’s Person-Centered Perspective:

Roger’s Person-Centered Perspective People are basically good with actualizing tendencies. Given the right environmental conditions, we will develop to our full potentials Genuineness, Acceptance, Empathy Self Concept - central feature of personality (+ or -)

Assessing & Evaluating the Self:

Assessing & Evaluating the Self ? Primarily through questionnaires in which people report their self-concept. ? Also by understanding others’ subjective personal experiences during therapy X Concepts are vague & subjective. Assumptions are naïvely optimistic.

Social-Cognitive Perspective:

Social-Cognitive Perspective Behavior learned through conditioning & observation What we think about our situation affects our behavior Interaction of Environment & Intellect

Reciprocal Determinism:

Reciprocal Determinism Personal/ Cognitive Factors Behavior Environment Factors Internal World + External World = Us

Personal Control:

Personal Control Internal Locus of Control You pretty much control your own destiny External Locus of Control Luck, fate and/or powerful others control your destiny Methods of Study Correlate feelings of control with behavior Experiment by raising/lowering people’s sense of control and noting effects

Outcomes of Personal Control:

Outcomes of Personal Control Learned Helplessness Uncontrollable bad events Perceived lack of control Generalized helpless behavior Important Issue Nursing Homes Prisons Colleges

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