What is Personality?
an individual’s characteristic pattern
of thinking, feeling, and acting
Approaches To Personality
The trait approach makes two important
Personality consists of traits that are unique to
Traits are stable and enduring dispositions.
We know that humans have five senses.
But how many traits do they have?
The Big Five
The English vocabulary contains nearly 20,000 trait terms. But there is a
lot of redundancy among them (sociable, outgoing).
Decades of research on similarities between traits have yielded five
These tendencies mix in different proportions to create different
Focuses on the role of biology in determining personality.
There are a number of ways to look at the role of biology in
personality. One way is to look at the heritability of personality
Another way is to look at the effect of brain damage on personality.
Let’s look at the famous case of Phineas Gage, a railroad worker,
who suffered a terrible accident.
Social Learning Approach
States that our personality is shaped by what we learn
from our experiences.
We develop expectations about the outcome of our
behaviour in certain situations.
One particularly interesting effect of such expectations is
reflected in what is known as self-handicapping.
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
in psychoanalysis, a method of
exploring the unconscious
person relaxes and says whatever
comes to mind, no matter how trivial or
according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly
unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings
contemporary viewpoint- information
processing of which we are unaware
contains a reservoir of unconscious
strives to satisfy basic sexual and
operates on the pleasure principle,
demanding immediate gratification
the part of personality that presents
provides standards for judgement (the
conscience) and for future aspirations
the largely conscious, “executive” part of
mediates among the demands of the id,
superego, and reality
operates on the reality principle, satisfying
the id’s desires in ways that will
realistically bring pleasure rather than pain
the childhood stages of development during
which the id’s pleasure-seeking energies
focus on distinct erogenous zones
a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and
feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival
of the mind’s
The conflicts created by the id’s strong impulses and the inhibitions
imposed by the ego and superego can be very upsetting.
the ultimate psychological need that arises
after basic physical and psychological
needs are met and self-esteem is
the motivation to fulfill one’s potential
Carl Rogers (1902-1987)
focused on growth and fulfillment of
Unconditional Positive Regard
an attitude of total acceptance toward
all our thoughts and feelings about
ourselves, in an answer to the question,
“Who am I?”