Personality• The consistent, enduring, and unique characteristics of a person• General trends, not absolutes
Purposes of Theories• Ultimately, personality theories attempt to explain, understand and predict behavior by understanding general trends in the cognitive processes of individuals• Also, to identify trait correlations, identify the differences among individuals, and improve life of individuals
Major Schools of Personality Theory• Psychoanalytical• Behaviorists• Social Learning• Cognitive• Humanistic• Trait
Section 2 – Psychoanalytic Theories• Sigmund Freud and the Unconscious, Historical Background – 3min
Unconscious/Subconscious• The part of the mind that contains material of which we are unaware but that strongly influences conscious processes and behaviors
ID, EGO, SUPEREGO
ID• The part of the unconscious personality that contains our needs, drives, instincts and repressed materials• Selfish, demands instant gratification
EGO• The part of the personality that is in touch with reality and strives to meet the demands of the id and the superego in socially acceptable ways.
SUPEREGO• The part of the personality that is the source of conscience and counteracts the socially undesirable impulses of the id.
Defense Mechanisms – certain specific means by which the ego unconsciously protects itself against unpleasant impulses or circumstances• Rationalization• Repression• Denial• Projection• Reaction Formation• Regression• Displacement• Sublimation
Rationalization• “Excuse making”• To attribute (one’s actions) to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives• Using incorrect but self-serving explanations to justify unacceptable behavior, thoughts, or feelings• Example – I cheated on the test because the teacher makes the tests way too hard
Repression• “a mental process by which distressing thoughts, memories, or impulses that may give rise to anxiety are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious”
“Freudian Slip” – saying something youconsciously wouldn’t want to say, but that really reveals repressed desires
Denial• “Confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality”
Projection• “the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects”• Externalizing blame, guilt, or responsibility.• “Blaming”• Example – I’m not a jerk he is…• …I’m not trying to hook up with her, she is trying to hook up with me…
Reaction Formation• One form of behavior substitutes for or conceals the opposite behavior in order to protect against it• Example – a guy that is gay acting like a player trying to deny it (Rajj on Big Bang Theory?)
Regression• “Reversion to an earlier mental or behavioral level or to an earlier stage of development in response to stress”• Example – your girlfriend makes you mad, so you stick your tongue out at her and go “pfhew”
Displacement• Transferring feelings about a person or event onto someone or something else• Example – being best friends with your dog
Sublimation• Channeling unacceptable thoughts and feelings into socially acceptable behavior• Example – getting good grades, working out, holding the door…
Defense Mechanism Songs
Carl Jung – Collective Unconscious/Archetype• Personal unconscious – similar to Freud’s ideas of unconscious• Collective unconscious – universal memories of the common human past• Archetypes – images or thoughts that have the same meaning for all human beings
Alfred Adler – Inferiority Complex• A pattern of avoiding feelings of inadequacy rather than trying to overcome their source• To Adler, these feelings of inadequacy are the main motivating factor of behavior
Learning Theories - Personality
B.F. Skinner - Behaviorism• Belief that the proper subject matter of psychology is objectively observable behavior and nothing else• Concerned with what causes a behavior, how he/she is behaving, not personality• Contingences of reinforcement – occurrence of rewards or punishments following particular behaviors
Albert Bandura• Personality acquired through a combination of reinforcement/puni shment and observational learning/imitation
Humanistic and Cognitive Theories
Humanistic Psychology• a school of psychology that emphasizes person growth and the achievement of maximum potential by each unique individual.
Self Actualization – humanist term for realizing one’s unique potential
Abraham Maslow – Growth and Self Actualization
Carl Rogers – Self Theory• Self - one’s experiences or image of oneself, developed through interaction with others.
Carl Rogers - Concepts• Positive Regard- viewing oneself in a positive light due to positive feedback received from interaction with others.• Condition of worth- the conditions a person must meet in order to regard himself or herself positively.• Unconditional positive regard- the perception that individuals’ significant others value them for what they are, which leads the individuals to grant themselves the same regard.• Fully functioning- an individual whose person and self coincide.
Cognitive Theory• Personal Construct theory – our ideas of ourselves, others, and of our world shape our behavior and personalities• Constructs = schemas (mental representations of people, events, concepts)
Section 5 – Trait Theories
Trait – a tendency to react to a situation in a way that remains stable over time
Gordon Allport: Identifying Traits• Cardinal Trait- a characteristic or feature that is so pervasive the person is almost identified with it.
Raymond Cattell – 16 Trait Theory• Factor Analysis - a complex statistical technique used to identify the underlying reasons variables are correlated.• Surface Traits - a stable characteristic that can be observed in certain situations• Source Traits - a stable characteristic that can be considered to be at the core of personality.
Hans Eysenck Dimensions of PersonalityExtroverts- an outgoing, active person whodirects his or her energies and interests towardother people and things.Introverts- a reserved, with drawn person who ispreoccupied with his or her inner thoughts andfeelings.