Personality theory attempts todescribe and explain how peopleare similar, how they are different,and why every individual is unique.Personality Theory
Personality Perspectives• Psychoanalytic — importance ofunconscious processes and childhoodexperiences• Humanistic — importance of self andfulfillment of potential• Social cognitive — importance of beliefsabout self• Trait — description and measurement ofpersonality differences
Psychoanalytic Approach• Developed by Sigmund Freud• Psychoanalysis is both an approach totherapy and a theory of personality» Emphasizes unconscious motivation – themain causes of behavior lie buried in theunconscious mind» Personality and Behavior resulting from aconstant interplay between conflictingpsychological forces that operate at 3different levels of awareness.
Psychoanalytic Approach• Conscious –all things weare aware ofat any givenmoment• Thoughts,feelings andsensations.
Psychoanalytic Approach• Preconscious –everything thatcan, with a littleeffort, be broughtintoconsciousness• (childhoodmemories, SSN)
Psychoanalytic Divisions of the Mind-3 basic structures of personality• Id — instinctual drives present at birth– does not distinguish between reality and fantasy-primitive,immediate satisfaction– operates according to the pleasure principle-immune to logic,values, danger, morality & demands of external world• Ego — develops out of the id in infancy– understands reality and logic-organized, rational planning– mediator between id and superego-operates on reality principle• Superego– internalization of society’s moral standards– responsible for guilt-internal rules & values, internal parentalvoice
Id: The Pleasure Principle• Pleasure principle — drive towardimmediate gratification, mostfundamental human motive• Sources of energy– Eros — life instinct, perpetuates life– Thanatos — death instinct, aggression,self-destructive actions• Libido — sexual energy or motivation
Ego: The Reality Principle• Reality principle — the ability topostpone gratification in accordancewith demands of reality• Ego — rational, organized, logical,mediator to demands of reality• Can repress desires that cannot bemet in an acceptable manner
Superego: Conscience• Internalization of societal andparental values• Partially unconscious• Can be harshly punitive, usingfeelings of guilt
Defense MechanismsUnconscious mental processesemployed by the ego to reduceanxietyWhen demands of id or superego threatento overwhelm the ego anxiety results-egotries to reduce anxiety by distorting thoughtsor perceptions of reality with defensemechanisms.
Defense Mechanisms• Repression — keeping anxiety-producing thoughts out of theconscious mind• Reaction formation — replacingan unacceptable wish with itsopposite
Defense Mechanisms• Displacement — when a drive directed toone activity by the id is redirected to amore acceptable activity by the ego-unconscious forgetting• Sublimation — displacement to activitiesthat are valued by society-sexual urgesput to productive, socially acceptable,non-sexual activities.
Defense Mechanisms• Projection — reducing anxiety byattributing unacceptable impulses tosomeone else• Rationalization — reasoning awayanxiety-producing thoughts• Regression — retreating to a mode ofbehavior characteristic of an earlierstage of development
Psychosexual Stages• Freud’s five stages of personalitydevelopment, each associated witha particular erogenous zone• Fixation — an attempt to achievepleasure as an adult in ways thatare equivalent to how pleasure wasachieved in these stages
Oral Stage (birth – 1 year)• Mouth is associated with sexualpleasure-sucking, chewing, biting• Weaning a child can lead tofixation if not handled correctly• Fixation can lead to oral activitiesin adulthood
Anal Stage (1 – 3 years)• Anus is associated with pleasure• Toilet training can lead to fixation ifnot handled correctly• Fixation can lead to anal retentiveor expulsive behaviors inadulthood
Phallic Stage (3 – 5 years)• Focus of pleasure shifts to the genitals• Oedipus or Electra complex can occur• Fixation can lead to excessivemasculinity in males and the need forattention or domination in females
• Oedipus Complex• A child’s unconscious sexual desirefor the opposite-sex parent, usuallyaccompanied by hostile feelingstowards same-sex parent.• Freud believed most critical occursduring phallic stage
Latency Stage (5 years – puberty)• Sexuality is repressed• Children participate in hobbies,school, and same-sex friendships
Genital Stage (puberty and older)• Sexual feelings re-emerge andare oriented toward others• Healthy adults find pleasure inlove and work, fixated adultshave their energy tied up inearlier stages
Post-FreudianPsychodynamic Theories• Carl Jung’s collective unconscious• Karen Horney’s focus on security• Alfred Adler’s individual psychology
Carl Jung• More general psychic energy• Universality of themes —archetypes• Collective unconscious — humancollective evolutionary history(archetypes)• First to describe introverts andextraverts• Personality continues to developin significant ways throughoutlifespan.
Karen Horney• Looked at anxiety relatedto security and socialrelationships• Basic anxiety — the feelingof being isolated andhelpless in a hostile world• Moving toward, against, oraway from other people
Alfred Adler• Most fundamental humanmotive is striving forsuperiority• Arises from universal feelingsof inferiority that areexperienced during childhood• Overcompensation may causesuperiority complex, in which aperson exaggerates their ownachievements and importance
Evaluation of Psychoanalysis• Evidence is inadequate — data arenot available or able to be reviewed• Theory is not testable — lack ofoperational definitions; good atexplaining past, but not at prediction• Sexism — believed that women wereweak and inferior; used malepsychology as basis for all people
Humanistic Perspective• Free will• Self-awareness• Psychological growth• Abraham Maslow• Carl Rogers
Carl Rogers• Actualizing tendency — innate driveto maintain and enhance the humanorganism• Self-concept — set of perceptionsyou hold about yourself• Positive regard — conditional andunconditional
Evaluating Humanism• Difficult to test or validate scientifically• Tends to be too optimistic, minimizingsome of the more destructive aspects ofhuman nature
Social Cognitive Perspective• Social cognitive theory — the importance ofobservational learning, conscious cognitiveprocesses, social experience, self-efficacyand reciprocal determinism in personality• Reciprocal determinism — model thatexplains personality as the result ofbehavioral, cognitive, and environmentalinteractions• Self-efficacy — belief that people have abouttheir ability to meet the demands of a specificsituation
Evaluation of Social CognitivePerspective• Well grounded in empirical, laboratoryresearch• However, laboratory experiences arerather simple and may not reflect thecomplexity of human interactions• Ignores the influences of theunconscious, emotions, and conflicts
Trait and Type Theories• Trait — relatively stable predispositionto behave in a certain way• Surface trait — characteristic that canbe inferred from observable behavior• Source trait — most fundamentaldimensions of personality; relatively few
Theorists• Raymond Cattell — 16PF• Hans Eysenck — Three-factor model• McCrae and Costa — Five-factormodel
Raymond Cattell• Used factor analysis to come up with16 basic personality traits, also calledsource traits• 16PF test that was developed tomeasure these traits• Generally considered too many traits
Hans Eysenck• Similar method to Cattell• Had 3 different source traits– Introversion-extraversion– Neuroticism-stability– Psychoticism• Generally considered too few traits
Five-Factor Model (Most widelyaccepted model)• Described somewhat differently amongresearchers• Factors — usually rated from low tohigh– Extraversion– Neuroticism– Openness to Experience– Agreeableness– Conscientiousness
Behavioral Genetics• Interdisciplinary field that studies theeffects of genes and heredity onbehavior• Heredity seems to play a role in fourof the ―big five‖ personality traits —extraversion, neuroticism, opennessto experience, and conscientiousness
Evaluation of Trait Perspective• Don’t really explain personality, simplydescribe the behaviors• Doesn’t describe the development of thebehaviors• Trait approaches generally fail to addresshow issues such as motives, unconscious,or beliefs about self affect personalitydevelopment
Personality AssessmentProjective Techniques• Interpretation of an ambiguous image• Used to determine unconsciousmotives, conflicts, and psychologicaltraits
Rorschach Inkblot Test• Presentation and interpretation of aseries of black-and-white and coloredinkblots• Numerous scoring systems exist
Thematic Apperception Test• Series of pictures depicting ambiguousscenes• Person is asked to create a story aboutthe scene• Answers are scored according to themes,motives, and anxieties of main character
Drawbacks to Projective Tests• Examiner or test situation mayinfluence individual’s response• Scoring is highly subjective• Tests fail to produce consistentresults (reliability problem)• Tests are poor predictors of futurebehavior (validity problem)
Self-Report Inventory• Psychological test in which an individualanswers standardized questions abouttheir behavior and feelings• The answers are then compared withestablished norms
MMPI• Most widely used self-report inventory• Originally designed to assess mentalhealth and detect psychological symptoms• Includes more than 500 questions to whichperson must reply ―True‖ or ―False‖• Includes ―lying scales‖
Strengths of Self-Reports• Standardized — each personreceives same instructions andresponds to the same questions• Use of established norms: results arecompared with previously establishednorms and are not subjectivelyevaluated
Weaknesses of Self-Reports• Evidence that people can ―fake‖responses to look better (or worse)• Tests contain hundreds of items andbecome tedious• People may not be good judges oftheir own behavior
Possible Selves• The aspect of the self-concept thatincludes images of the selves thatyou hope, fear, or expect to becomein the future.