Chapter 2: Theories of Personality

Personality
is a distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behavior, thoughts, motives, and emotions that characterizes and individual.

Trait
is a characteristic of an individual, describing a habitual way of behaving, thinking, or feeling.

Sigmund Freud
-Freud came up with a theory of psychoanalysis dealing with the structure and development of personality.

Psychoanalysis
is a theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts.

Psychodynamic theories
are theories that explain behavior and personality in terms of unconscious energy dynamics within the individual.

id
-is present at birth and is the reservoir of unconscious psychological energies and the motives to avoid pain and obtain pleasure.
-the id contains two competing instincts: the life, or sexual, instinct (fueled by psychic energy called the libido) and the death, or aggressive, instinct.

Libido
is the psychic energy that fuels the life or sexual instinct of the id.

Ego
-is the part of the personality that represents reason, good sense, and rational self-control.
-is both conscious and unconscious, and it represents “reason and good sense.”

Superego
is the part of the personality that represents conscience, morality, and social standards.

Defense mechanisms
are methods used by the ego to prevent unconscious anxiety or threatening thoughts from entering consciousness.

Some primary defenses
1. Repression occurs when a threatening idea, memory, or emotion is blocked from consciousness. (Freud used the term repression to mean both unconscious expulsion of disturbing material from awareness and conscious suppression of such material.
2. Projection occurs when a person’s own unacceptable or threatening feelings are repressed and then attributed to someone else.
3.Displacement occurs when people direct their emotions toward things, animals, or other people that are not the real object of their feelings. (When displacement serves a higher cultural or socially useful purpose, as in the creation of art or inventions, it is called sublimation.)
4.Regression occures when a person reverts to a previous phase of psychological development.
5. Denial occurs when people refuse to admit that something unpleasant is happening, such as mistreatment by a partner; that they have a problem, such as drinking too much; or that they are feeling a forbidden emotion, such as anger.

Psychosexual stages
in Freud’s theory is the idea that sexual energy takes different forms as the child matures; the stages are oral, anal, phallic (Oedipal), latency and genital.
1. Oral stage occurs during the first year of life, when babies experience the world through their mouths.
2. Anal stage occurs at ages 2 to 3 when toilet training and control of bodily wastes are the key issues.
3. Phallic (Oedipal) stage lasts roughly from age 3 to age 5 or 6 when the child unconsciously wishes to possess the parent of the other sex and to get rid of the parent of the same sex.
4. Latency stage is when the child settles into a supposedly nonsexual stage.
5. Genital stage begins puberty and leads to adult sexuality.

Oedipus complex
is a conflict occurring in the phallic (Oedipal) stage, in which a child desires the parent of the other sex and views the same sex parent as a rival.

Penis envy
-Clara Thompson and Karen Horney argued that it was insulting and unscientific to claim that half the human race is dissatisfied with its anatomy.
-When women feel inferior to mean, they said, we should look for explanations in the disadvatages that women live with their second-class status.

Carl Jung
-(1875-1961) was originally one of Freud’s closest friends and a member of his inner circle, but the friendship ended with a furious quarrel about the nature of the unconscious.
-Jung said all human begins share a vast collective unconscious, containing univeral memories, symbols, images and themes, which he called archetypes.

Collective unconscious
in Jungian theory, is the universal memories and experiences of humankind, represented in the symbols, stories, and images (archetypes) that occur across all cultures.

Mandala
“magic circle” in Eastern religions, which Jung thought symbolizes the unity of life and “the totality of the self.”

Shadow
archetype reflects the prehistoric fear of wild animals and resents the bestial, evil side of human nature.

Object- relations school
– a psychodynamic approach that emphasizes the importance of the infant’s first two years of life and the baby’s formative relationships, especially with the mother.
-Melanie Klein, D. W. Winnicott, and others developed in Great Britain.

Mental representation
the child’s view of a mother is someone who is kind and fierce, protective or rejecting.

Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories
1. Violating the principle of falsifiablility
2. Drawing universal principles from the experiences of a few atypical patients.
3. Basing theories of personality development on the retrospective accounts of adults.

illusion of causality
– people often assume that if A cmae before B, the A must have caused B.

Myers-Briggs
-Type Indicator, is hugely popular in business, at motivational seminars, and with matchmaking services’ at least 2.5 million Americans a year take it.
-The test assigns people to one of the 16 different types, depending on how the individual scores on the dimensions of introverted or extroverted, logical or intuitive.
-Myers-Briggs test is not much more reliable than measuring body fluids’ one study found that fewer than half of the respondents scored as the same type a mere five weeks later.

Objective tests (inventories)
ae standardized questionnaires requiring written responses; they typically include scales on which people are asked to rate themselves.

Gordon Allport
-One of the most influential psychologists in the empirical study of personality,(Are some personality traits more important or central than others?Dos some of them overlap or cluster together?) the answer to both questions was yes.
-Allport (1961) recognized that not all traits have equal weight and significance in people’s lives.

Central traits
reflect a characteristic way of behaving, dealing with others, and reactin gto new situations.

Secondary traits
are more changeable aspects of personality, such as music preferences, habits, casual opinions, and the like.

Raymond B. Cattell
-(1973) advanced the study of this issue by applying a statistical method called factor analysis.

Factor analysis
is a statistical method for analyzing the intercorrelations amony various measures or test scores; clusters of measures or scores that are highly correlated are assumed to measure the same underlying trait, ability, or attitude (factor).

Five central “robust factors”
-Known informally as the Big Five
1. Extroversion versus introversion describes the extent to which people are outgoing or shy.
2. Neuroticism (negative emotionality) versus emotional stability describes the extent to which a person suffers from such traits as anxiety, an inability to control impulses, and a tendency to feel negative emotions such as anger, guilt, contempt, and resentment.
3. Agreeableness versus antagonism describes the extent to which people are good-natured or irritable, cooperative or abrasive, secure or suspicious and jealous.
4. Conscientiousness versus impulsiveness describes the degree to which people are to give up, steadfast or fickle, tidy or careless, self-disciplined or impulsive.
5. Openness to experience versus resistance to new experience describes the extent to which people are curious, imaginative, questioning, and creative or conforming, unimaginative, predictable and uncomfortable with novelty.

Edward L.Thorndike
(1903) one of the leading psychologists of the early 1990s, staked out the nature position by claiming that “in the acual race of life… the chief determining factor is heredity.”

John B. Watson
(1925) insisted that experience could write virtually any message on the blak slate of human nature.

Genes
the functional units of heredity; they are composed of DNA and specify the structure of proteins.

Temperaments
-are physiological dispositions to respond to the environment in certain ways; they are present in infancy and assumed to be innate.
-Temperaments include reactivity (how excitable, arousable, or reponsive a baby is), soothability (how easily the baby is calmed when upset), and positive and negative emotionality.

Heritability
is a statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variance in some trait that is attributable to genetic differences among individuals within a group.

Behavioral genetics
are an interdisciplinary field of study concerned with the genetic bases of individual differences in behavior and personality.

Identical twins
develop when a fertilized egg divides into two parts that then become separate embryos.

Fraternal twins
develop when a woman’s ovaries release two eggs instead of one and each egg is fertilized by a different sperm.

Robert Plomin
(1989) a leading behavioral geneticist, once observed, “The wave of acceptance of tidal wave that threatens to engulf the second message of this research: These same data provide the best available evidence for the importance of enviornmental influences.”

Social- cognitive learning theory
is a major contemporary learning view of personality, which holds that personality traits result from a person’s learning history and his or her expectations, beliefs, perceptions of events, and other cognitions.

Reciprocal determinism
is the two-way interaction between aspects of the environment and aspects of the individual in the shaping of personality traits.

Nonshared environment
are unique aspects of a person’s environment and experience that are not shared with family members.

Parent’s influence on children
-Three kinds of evidence
1. The shared environment of the home has little if any influence on personality. The shared environment includes the family you grew up with and experiences and background you shared with your siblings and parents.
2. Few parents have single child-rearing style that is consisten over time and that they use with all their children. The parent is inconsistent
3. Even when parents try to be consistent in the way they treat their children, there may be little relation between what they do and how they children turn out. Some children of troubled and abusive parents ar resilient and do not suffer lasting emtional damage.

Culture
is a program of shared rules that govern the behavior of members of a community or society and set of values, beliefs, and attitudes shared by most members of that community.

Individualist cultures
are cultures in which the self is regarded as autonomous, and individual goals and wishes are prized above duty and relations with others.

Collectivist cultures
are cultures in which the self is regarded as embedded in relationships, and harmony with one’s group is prized above individual goals and wishes.

Tachiba
(Japanese) to perform your social roles correctly so that there will be harmony with others.

Richard Nisbett
-(1993) began by examining the historical record.
-He found that the American South, along with some western regions of the country originally settled by Southerners, have much higher rates of white homicide and other biolence than the rest of the country has—but only particular kinds of violence: the use of fists or guns to protect a man’s sense of honor, protect his property, or respond to perceived insults.

Life narrative
the story that each of us develops to explain ourselves and make meaning of our experiences.

Humanist psychology
is a psychological approach that emphasizes personal growth, resilience, and the achievement of human potential.

Abraham Maslow
-Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Rollo May are the chief leaders
-Argued that it was time to replace psychoanalysis and behaviorism with a “third force” in psychology, one that would draw a fuller picture of human potential and personality.
-said psychology ignored many of the positive aspects of life, such as joy, laughter, love, happiness, and Peak Experiences.

Peak Experiences
are rare moments of rapture caused by the attainment of excellence or the experience of beauty.

Self-actualized person
is someone who strives for a life that is meaningful, challenging, and satisfying.

Carl Rogers
-As a clinician was interested not only in why some people cannot function well but also in what he called the “fully functioning individual.”
-How you behave he said, depends on you subjective reality, not on the external reality around you.

Congruence
harmony between the image they project to others and their true feelings and wishes.

Unconditionlal positive regard
To Carl Rogers, love or support given to another person with no conditions attached.

Rollo May
-Emphasized some of the inherently difficult and tragic aspects of the human condition, including loneliness, anxiety, and alienation.
-Brought to the American psychology elements of the European philosophy existentialism.

Existentialism
a philosophical approach that emphasizes the inevitable dilemmas and challenges of human existence.

Positive Psychology
follows in the footsteps of humanism by focusing on the qualities that enable people to be optimistic and resilient in times of stress.