an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
Psychodynamic theories
of personality view human behavior as a dynamic interac- tion between the conscious and unconscious mind, including associated motives and conflicts. view person- ality with a focus on the unconscious and the importance of childhood experiences.
Psychodynamic theories are descended from Freud’s psychoanalytic theory
Freud’s theory of personality and the associated techniques for treating psychological disorders. Freud’s work was the first to focus clinical attention on our unconscious mind.
How did Sigmund Freud’s treatment of psychological disorders lead to his view of the unconscious mind?
a patient might have lost all feeling in a hand—yet there is no sensory nerve that, if damaged, would numb the entire hand and nothing else. Freud’s search for a cause for such disorders set his mind running in a direction destined to change human self-understanding.Might some neurological disorders have psychological causes? Observing patients led Freud to his belief that beneath our awareness is a larger unconscious mind, a dwelling place of largely unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories
according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feel- ings, and memories. According to contemporary psychologists, information processing of which we are unaware.
free association
in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.
Basic to Freud’s theory was his belief that the mind
is mostly hidden
What was Freud’s view of personality?
n Freud’s view, human personality—including its emotions and strivings—
arises from a conflict between impulse and restraint—between our aggressive, pleasure-seeking biological urges and our internalized social controls over these urges. Freud believed personality arises from our efforts to resolve this basic conflict—to express these impulses in ways that bring satisfaction without also bringing guilt or pun- ishment.To understand the mind’s dynamics during this conflict, Freud proposed three interacting systems: the id, ego, and superego
a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. The id operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification.
the largely conscious, “executive” part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality prin- ciple, satisfying the id’s desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain.
the part of personality that, according to Freud, represents internalized ide- als and provides standards for judgment (the conscience) and for future aspirations.
What developmental stages did Freud propose?
He concluded that children pass through a series of psychosexual stages, during which the id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct pleasure-sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones (TABLE 12.1). Each stage offers its own challenges, which Freud saw as conflicting tendencies.
Phallic Stage
Freud believed that during the phallic stage, for example, boys seek genital stimu- lation, and they develop both unconscious sexual desires for their mother and jeal- ousy and hatred for their father, whom they consider a rival. Given these feelings, he thought, boys also experience guilt and a lurking fear of punishment, perhaps by castration, from their father. Freud called this collection of feelings the Oedipus complex after the Greek legend of Oedipus, who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. Some psychoanalysts in Freud’s era believed that girls experi- enced a parallel Electra complex.
psychosexual stages
the childhood stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) during which, according to Freud, the id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones.
Oedipus [ED-uh-puss] complex
accord- ing to Freud, a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father.
the process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate their parents’ values into their developing superegos.
accordingtoFreud,alingeringfocus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psycho- sexual stage, in which conflicts were unresolved.
defense mechanisms
in psychoanalytic theory, the ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
How did Freud think people defended themselves against anxiety?
As members of social groups, we must control our sexual and aggressive impulses, not act them out. But some- times the ego fears losing control of this inner id-superego war.The presumed result is a dark cloud of unfocused anxiety that leaves us feeling unsettled but unsure why. actics that reduce or redirect anxiety by distorting reality. All defense mechanisms function indi- rectly and unconsciously. Just as the body unconsciously defends itself against disease, so also does the ego unconsciously defend itself against anxiety
in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feel- ings, and memories.
defense mechanisms
Retreating to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated.
A little boy reverts to the oral comfort of thumb sucking in the car on the way to his first day of school.
Reaction formation
Switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites.
Repressing angry feelings, a person displays exaggerated friendliness.
Disguising one’s own threatening impulses by attributing them to others.
“The thief thinks everyone else is a thief” (an El Salvadoran saying).
Offering self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening unconscious reasons for one’s actions.
A habitual drinker says she drinks with her friends “just to be sociable.”
Shifting sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more accept- able or less threatening object or person.
A little girl kicks the family dog after her mother sends her to her room.
Refusing to believe or even perceive painful realities.
A partner denies evidence of his loved one’s affair.
Which of Freud’s ideas did his followers accept or reject?
neo-Freudians, accepted Freud’s basic ideas: the personality structures of id, ego, and superego; the importance of the unconscious; the shaping of personality in childhood; and the dynam- ics of anxiety and the defense mechanisms. But they broke away from Freud in two important ways. First, they placed more emphasis on the conscious mind’s role in inter- preting experience and in coping with the environment.And second, they doubted that sex and aggression were all-consuming motivations. Instead, they tended to emphasize loftier motives and social interactions.
Alfred Adler
Adler (who had proposed the still- popular idea of the inferiority complex) himself struggled to overcome childhood illnesses and accidents, and he believed that much of our behavior is driven by efforts to con- quer childhood inferiority feelings that trigger our strivings for superiority and power.
Horney said childhood anxiety triggers our desire for love and security. She also coun- tered Freud’s assumptions, arising as they did in his conservative culture, that women have weak superegos and suffer “penis envy,” and she attempted to balance the bias she detected in his masculine view of psychology.
Carl Jung—Freud’s disciple-turned-dissenter
placed less emphasis on social factors and agreed with Freud that the unconscious exerts a powerful influence. But to Jung [Yoong], the unconscious contains more than our repressed thoughts and feelings. He believed we also have a collective unconscious
collective unconscious
CarlJung’scon- cept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species’ history.
projective test
apersonalitytest,suchas the Rorschach, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics.
Rorschach inkblot test
the most widely used projective test, a set of 10 inkblots, designed by Hermann Rorschach; seeks to iden- tify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.
what modern they agreed upon
with Freud and with much support from today’s psychological science, is that much of our mental life is unconscious.With Freud, they also assume that we often struggle with inner conflicts among our wishes, fears, and values, and that childhood shapes our personality and ways of becoming attached to others.
What are projective tests, how are they used, and what are some criticisms of them?
The first requirement would be some sort of a road into the unconscious, to unearth the residue of early childhood experiences, to move beneath surface pretensions and reveal hidden conflicts and impulses. Objective assessment tools, such as agree-disagree or true-false questionnaires, would be inadequate because they would merely tap the conscious surface. scious surface.
Projective tests aim to provide this “psycho- logical X-ray,” by asking test-takers to describe an ambiguous stimulus or tell a story about it. The clinician may presume that any hopes, desires, and fears that people see in the ambiguous image are projections of their own inner feelings or conflicts.
How do today’s psychologists view Freud’s psychoanalysis?
But both Freud’s admirers and his critics agree that recent research contradicts many of his specific ideas.Today’s developmental psychologists see our development as lifelong, not fixed in childhood.They doubt that infants’ neural networks are mature enough to sustain as much emotional trauma as Freud assumed. Some think Freud overestimated parental influence and underestimated peer influence.They also doubt that conscience and gender identity form as the child resolves the Oedipus complex at age 5 or 6.We gain our gender identity earlier and become strongly masculine or feminine even without a same-sex parent present.And they note that Freud’s ideas about childhood sexuality arose from his skepti- cism of stories of childhood sexual abuse told by his female patients—stories that some scholars believe he attributed to their own childhood sexual wishes and conflicts
What is the most serious problem with Freud’s theory?
It offers after-the-fact expla- nations of any characteristic (of one person’s smoking, another’s fear of horses, another’s sexual orientation) yet fails to predict such behaviors and traits.
Modern Research Challenges the Idea of Repression
et, many contend that repression, if it ever occurs, is a rare mental response to terrible trauma. Even those who witnessed a parent’s murder or survived Nazi death camps have retained their unrepressed memories of the horrorome researchers do believe that extreme, prolonged stress, such as the stress some severely abused children experience, might disrupt memory by damaging the hippo- campus, which is important for processing conscious memoriesBut the far more common reality is that high stress and associated stress hormones enhance memory (see Chapter 8). Indeed, rape, torture, and other traumatic events haunt survi- vors, who experience unwanted flashbacks.They are seared onto the soul.
How has modern research developed our understanding of the unconscious?
• the schemas that automatically control our perceptions and interpretations (Chapter 6).
• the priming by stimuli to which we have not consciously attended (Chapters 6 and 8).
• the right-hemisphere activity that enables the split-brain patient’s left hand to carry out an instruction the patient cannot verbalize (Chapter 2).
• the implicit memories that operate without conscious recall, even among those with amnesia (Chapter 8).
• the emotions that activate instantly, before conscious analysis (Chapter 10).
• the stereotypes that automatically and unconsciously influence how we process
information about others (Chapter 13).
What are three values that Freud’s work in psychoanalytic theory has contributed? What are three ways in which Freud’s work has been criticized?
Freud first drew attention to (1) the importance of childhood experiences, (2) the existence of the unconscious mind, and (3) our self-protective defense mechanisms. Freud’s work has been criticized as (1) not scientifically testable—drawing on after-the-fact explanations, (2) focusing too much on sexual conflicts in childhood, and (3) based upon the idea of repression, which has not been supported by modern research
Which elements of traditional psychoanalysis do modern-day psychodynamic theorists and therapists retain, and which elements have they mostly left behind?
Today’s psychodynamic theories still rely on the interviewing techniques that Freud used, and they still tend to focus on childhood experiences and attachments, unresolved conflicts, and unconscious influences. However, they are not likely to dwell on fixation at any psychosexual stage, or the idea that resolution of sexual issues is the basis of our personality.
freudian psychodynamic
the unconscious parts of the self
psychodynamic psychoanalytic
these theories of human personality focus on the inner forces that interact to make us who we are
in this view behavior as well as human emotions and personality develop in a dynamic interplay between conscious and unconscious processes including various motives and inner conflicts
sigmund freud’s life
started his career as a physician
he decided to explore how mental and physical symptoms could be caused by purely psychological factors
he became aware that many powerful mental processes operate in the unconscious without our awareness
this insight grew into a theory of the structure of human personality and its development
his name for his theory and his therapeutic technique psychoanalysis
he used creative techniques such as free association encourage the patient to speak whatever comes to mind
the therapist then interprets any potential unconscious wishes hidden in the clients hesitations slips of the tongue and dreams
rational self to resolve tension between our id
based in biological drives
society’s rules and constraints
the unconscious
in frauds view a reservoir of thoughts wishes feelings and memories that are hidden from awareness because they feel unacceptable
we are anxious about our unacceptable wishes and impulses
and we repress this anxiety with the help of the strategies below
psychodynamic theorists
adler horney and jun accepted Freud’s ideas about:
-the importance of the unconscious and childhood relationships in shaping personality
-the id ego superego
structure of personality
-the role of the defense mechanisms in reducing anxiety about uncomfortable ideas
psychodynamic theorists differed from Freud in a few ways
adler and horney believed that anxiety and epersonality are a function of social not sexual tensions in child hood
collective unconscious containing images from our species experiences
carl jung
highlighted universal themes in the unconscious
alfred adler
focused on the fight against feelings of inferiority as a theme at the core of personality although he may have been projecting from his own experience
karen horney
criticized the freudian portrayal of women as weak and subordinate to mean
she highlighted the need to feel secure in relationships
he developed theories that are hard to prove or disprove can we test to see if there is an id
post factor explanations
hindsight bias rather than predictions: whether or not a situation makes you anxious or not you could either be fixated or repressing
baised observations
he based theories on his patients which may give him an incentive to see them as unwell before his treatment
How did humanistic psychologists view personality, and what was their goal in studying personality?
Maslow proposed that we are motivated by a hierarchy of needs (Chapter 10). If our physi- ological needs are met, we become concerned with personal safety; if we achieve a sense of security, we then seek to love, to be loved, and to love ourselves; with our love needs satisfied, we seek self-esteem. Having achieved self-esteem, we ultimately seek self- actualization (the process of fulfilling our potential) and self-transcendence (meaning, purpose, and communion beyond the self).
humanistic theories
view personality with a focus on the potential for healthy per-
sonal growth.
self actualization
accordingtoMaslow, one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one’s potential.
unconditional positive regard
accord- ing to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person
carl rogers
Fellow humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers agreed with much of Maslow’s thinking. Rogers believed that people are basically good and are, as Maslow said, endowed with self-actualizing tendencies.
Rogers (1980) believed that a growth-promoting climate required three conditions:
Genuineness: When people are genuine, they are open with their own feelings, drop their facades, and are transparent and self-disclosing.
• Acceptance: When people are accepting, they offer unconditional positive regard, an attitude of grace that values us even knowing our failings. It is a profound relief to drop our pretenses, confess our worst feelings, and discover that we are still accepted. In a good marriage, a close family, or an intimate friendship, we are free to be spontaneous without fearing the loss of others’ esteem.
• Empathy: When people are empathic, they share and mirror other’s feelings and reflect their meanings.”Rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy,” said Rogers.”Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.”
How did humanistic psychologists assess a person’s sense of self?
Humanistic psychologists sometimes assessed personality by asking people to fill out questionnaires that would evaluate their self-concept. One questionnaire, inspired by Carl Rogers, asked people to describe themselves both as they would ideally like to be and as they actually are.When the ideal and the actual self are nearly alike, said Rogers, the self-concept is positive.Assessing his clients’ personal growth during therapy, he looked for successively closer ratings of actual and ideal selves. however many psychologists and researchers believed that these standardized tests resulted in depersonalization and would rather subject patients to undergoing intimate conversations
self concept
all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question, “Who am I?”
How have humanistic theories influenced psychology? What criticisms have they faced?
They have also influenced—sometimes in ways they did not intend—much of today’s popular psychology. Is a positive self-concept the key to happiness and success? Do acceptance and empathy nurture positive feelings about oneself? Are people basically good and capable of self-improvement? Many people answer Yes,Yes, and Yes. Respond- ing to a 1992 Newsweek Gallup poll, 9 in 10 people rated self-esteem as very important for “motivating a person to work hard and succeed.” Given a choice, today’s North American collegians say they’d rather get a self-esteem boost, such as a compliment or good grade on a paper, than enjoy a favorite food or sexual activity
Humanistic psychologists have countered by saying that a secure, nondefensive self- acceptance is actually the first step toward loving others. Indeed, people who feel intrin- sically liked and accepted—for who they are, not just for their achievements
First, said the critics, its concepts are vague and subjective. Consider Maslow’s description of self-actualizing people as open, spontaneous, loving, self-accepting, and productive. Is this a scientific description? Isn’t it merely a description of the theorist’s own values and ideals?
The only question which matters is, ‘Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me?'” (quoted by Wallach & Wallach, 1985). This emphasis on individualism— trusting and acting on one’s feelings, being true to oneself, fulfilling oneself—could lead to self-indulgence, selfishness, and an erosion of moral restraints
How did humanistic psychology provide a fresh perspective?
This movement sought to turn psychology’s attention away from drives and conflicts and toward our growth potential, with a focus on the way healthy people strive for self-determination and self-realization, which was in contrast to Freudian theory and strict behaviorism.
What does it mean to be empathic? How about self-actualized? Which humanistic psychologists used these terms?
To be empathic is to share and mirror another person’s feelings. Carl Rogers believed that people nurture growth in others by being empathic. Abraham Maslow proposed that self-actualization, the motivation to fulfill one’s potential, is one of the ultimate psychological needs (the other is self-transcendence).
How do psychologists use traits to describe personality?
Allport came to define personality in terms of iden- tifiable behavior patterns. He was concerned less with explaining individual traits than with describing them.
Classifying people as one or another distinct personality type fails to capture their full individuality. We are each a unique complex of multiple traits
One technique is factor analysis, the statistical procedure used to identify clusters (fac- tors) of test items that tap basic components of a trait (such as, for intelligence, spatial ability or verbal skill)
Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. When their answers were analyzed, the extraversion and emotionality factors inevitably emerged as basic personality dimensions
a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self- report inventories and peer reports.
biological and neural explanation or the comparison between extroverts and introverts
Brain-activity scans of extraverts add to the growing list of traits and mental states that have been explored with brain-imaging procedures. Such studies indicate that extraverts seek stimulation because their normal brain arousal is relatively low. For example, PET scans have shown that a frontal lobe area involved in behavior inhibition is less active in extraverts than in introverts
Which two primary dimensions did Hans and Sybil Eysenck propose for describing personality variation?
introversion-extraversion and emotional stability-instability
What are personality inventories, and what are their strengths and weaknesses as trait-assessment tools?
longer questionnaires covering a wide range of feelings and behaviors—assess several traits at once.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Although it assesses “abnormal” personality tendencies rather than normal personality traits, the MMPI illustrates a good way of developing a personality inventory. One of its creators, Starke Hathaway (1960), compared his effort to that of Alfred Binet. Binet, as you may recall from Chapter 9, developed the first intelligence test by selecting items that identified children who would probably have trouble pro- gressing normally in French schools
Unlike subjective projective tests, personality inventories are scored objectively—so objectively that a computer can administer and score them.
Which traits seem to provide the most useful information about personality variation?
conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion; see TABLE 12.3), it has said much of what there is to say about your personality. Around the world—across 56 nations and 29 languages in one study (Schmitt et al., 2007)— people describe others in terms roughly consistent with this list.
What are the Big Five personality factors, and why are they scientifically useful?
The Big Five personality factors are conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism (emotional stability vs. instability), openness, and extraversion (CANOE). These factors may be objectively measured, and research suggests that these factors are relatively stable across the life span and apply to all cultures in which they have been studied
Does research support the consistency of personality traits over time and across situations?
The Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello had a different view. For him, personality was ever-changing, tailored to the particular role or situation. In one of Pirandello’s plays, Lamberto Laudisi describes himself:”I am really what you take me to be; though, my dear madam, that does not prevent me from also being really what your husband, my sister, my niece, and Signora Cini take me to be—because they also are absolutely right!” To which Signora Sirelli responds,”In other words you are a different person for each of us.”
Who, then, typifies human personality,Tolkien’s consistent Sam Gamgee or Pirandello’s inconsistent Laudisi? Both. Our behavior is influenced by the interaction of our inner disposition with our environment
In considering research that has followed lives through time, some scholars (especially those who study infants) are impressed with personality change; others are struck by personality stability during adulthood
But most people recognize their traits as their own
How well do personality test scores predict our behavior? Explain.
Our scores on personality tests predict our average behavior across many situations much better than they predict our specific behavior in any given situation.
humanistic theories of personality
in the 1960s some psychologists began to reject the dehumanizing ideas in behaviorism and the dysfunctional view of people in psychodynamic thought
maslow and rogers sought to offer a third force in psychology
they studied healthy people rather than people with mental health problems
maslows view
people are motivated to keep moving up a hierarchy of needs growing beyond getting basic needs met
self actualization
in this ideal state a personality includes being self aware self accepting open ethical spontaneous loving caring focusing on a greater mission than social acceptance
barriers to self actualization
the jonah complex: we fear and doubt our own abilities and potentialities. to become self actualized one must have enough courage to sacrifice safety for personal growth
the cultural environment may impose limiting norms on major segments of the population. definitions of manliness may prevent the male child from developing traits such as sympathy
rogers person centered perspective
rogers agreed that people have natural tendencies to grow become healthy and move toward self actualization
genuineness: being honest direct not using a facade
acceptance aka unconditional positive regard acknowledging feelings without passing judgment
empathy: turning into the feelings of others showing your efforts to understand listening well
perceived self
i see myself as introverted understanding compassionate loving caring desire to know the truth, enflamed with the passion to spread love and wisdom, seek goodness in the world, strive to achieve self actualization and self transcendence so as to become an instrument to the world, view myself in others, become one with others elevate my state of mind, remove myself from ignorance, open minded, spiritual, all inclusive, overwhelming joy of the human potential, and seek to contribute to the fulfillment of that potential in others
this is my ideal self
stand as a symbol of God’s presence and love through my words and actions
assessing the self in humanistic psychology ideal self vs actual self
in the humanistic perspective the core of personality is the self concept our sense of our nature and identity
people are happiest with a self concept that matches their ideal self
thus it is important to ask people to describe themselves as they are and as they ideally would like to be
critiquing the humanist perspective
some say that the pursuit of self concept an accepting ideal self and self actualization encouraged not self transcendence but self indulgence self centeredness
humans response the therapist using this preach should not encourage selfishness and should keep in mind
what about evil
some say rogers did not appreciate the human capacity for evil
rogers saw evil as a social phenomenon not an individual trait
when i look at the world i’m pessimistic but when i look at people i am optimistic -rogers
self acceptance is not the end it then allows us to move on from defending our own needs to loving and caring for others
is the organization of enduring behavior patterns that often serve to distinguish us from one another
trait theory of personality
gordon all port decided that freud overvalued unconscious motives and and undervalued our real observable personality styles traits
myers and briggs wanted to study individual behaviors and statements to find how people differed in personality having different traits
that we are made up of a collection of traits behavioral predispositions that can be identified and measured traits that differ from person to person
an enduring quality that makes a person tend to act a certain way
honest shy or hard working
mbti traits come in pairs
factor analysis and eysencks
personality dimensions
personality inventory
questionnaire assessing many personality traits by asking which behaviors and response the person would choose
empirically derived test
all test items have been selected to because they predictably match the qualities being assessed
minnesota multiphasic personality inventory
designed to identify people with personality difficulties
the big five
conscientiousness self discipline careful pursuit of delayed goals
agreeableness helpful trusting friendliness
neuroticism anxiety insecurity emotional instability
openness flexibility nonconformity variety
extraversion drawing energy from others sociability
questions about traits
stability: one’s distinctive mix of traits doesn’t change much over the lifespan
more conscientious and agreeable and less extraverted neurotic unstable and less open
predictive value
levels of success in work and relationships relates to traits such as openness
How do social-cognitive theorists view personality development, and how do they explore behavior?
Today’s psychological science views individuals as biopsychosocial organisms. The social-cognitive perspective on personality proposed by Albert Bandura (1986, 2006, 2008) emphasizes the interaction of our traits with our situations. Much as nature and nurture always work together, so do individuals and their situations.
Social-cognitive theorists believe we learn many of our behaviors either through conditioning or by observing and imitating others. (That’s the “social” part.) They also emphasize the importance of mental processes:What we think about a situation affects our behavior in that situation. (That’s the “cognitive” part.) Instead of focusing solely on how our environment controls us (behaviorism), social-cognitive theorists focus on how we and our environment interact: How do we interpret and respond to external events? How do our schemas, our memories, and our expectations influence our behavior patterns?
social cognitive perspective
views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people’s traits (including their think- ing) and their social context.
reciprocal determinism
theinteracting influences of behavior, internal cognition, and environment.
what did bandura believe
In such ways, we are both the products and the architects of our environments.
If all this has a familiar ring, it may be because it parallels and reinforces a perva- sive theme in psychology and in this book: Behavior emerges from the interplay of external and internal influences.
Albert Bandura proposed the – perspective on personality, which emphasizes the interaction of people with their environment. To describe the interacting influences of behavior, thoughts, and environment, he used the term
social-cognitive; reciprocal determinism
What criticisms have social-cognitive theorists faced?
Critics charge that social-cognitive theories focus so much on the situation that they fail to appreciate the person’s inner traits.Where is the person in this view of personality, ask the dissenters, and where are human emotions? True, the situation does guide our behavior. But, say the critics, in many instances our unconscious motives, our emotions, and our pervasive traits shine through. Personality traits have been shown to predict behavior at work, love, and play. Our biologically influenced traits really do matter.
According to the social-cognitive perspective, what is the best way to predict a person’s future behavior?
Examine the person’s past behavior patterns in similar situations
in contemporary psychology, assumed to be the center of personality, the organizer of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
spotlight effect
overestimating others’ noticing and evaluating our appearance, per- formance, and blunders (as if we presume a spotlight shines on us).
self esteem
one’s feelings of high or low self-worth.
self efficacy
one’s sense of competence and effectiveness.
Why has psychology generated so much research on the self? How important is self-esteem to psychology and to our well- being?
Now, more than a century after James, the self is one of Western psychology’s most vigorously researched topics. Every year, new studies galore appear on self-esteem, self-disclosure, self-awareness, self-schemas, self-monitoring, and so forth. Even neuroscientists have searched for self, by identifying a central frontal
ANSWER: Examine the person’s past behavior patterns in similar situations.
lobe region that activates when people respond to self-reflective questions about their traits and dispositions
What evidence reveals self-serving bias, and how do defensive and secure self-esteem differ?
Actually, most of us have a good reputation with ourselves. In studies of self-esteem, even those who score low respond in the midrange of possible scores. Moreover, one of psychology’s most provocative and firmly established recent conclusions concerns our potent self-serving bias
Most people see themselves as better than average. This is true for nearly any com- monplace behavior that is subjectively assessed and socially desirable
Threatened egotism, more than low self-esteem, it seems, predisposes aggression.This is true even in childhood, when the recipe for frequent fighting mixes high self-esteem with social rejection. The most aggressive children tend to have high self-regard that gets punctured by other kids’ dislike
Generation Me (born in the 80s and 90s) is expressing more narcissism by agreeing more often with statements such as, “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place,” or “I think I am a special person.” Agreement with such narcissistic statements correlates with materialism, the desire to be famous, inflated expectations, more hookups with fewer committed relationships, more gambling, and more cheating, all of which have been increasing as narcissism has increased.
self serving bias
a readiness to perceive oneself favorably
excessive self-love and self-absorption
The tendency to accept responsibility for success and blame circumstances or bad luck for failures is called – . The tendency to overestimate others’ attention to and evaluation of our appearance, performance, and blunders is called the
self-serving bias; spotlight effect
givingprioritytoone’sown goals over group goals and defining one’s iden- tity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications.
giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly.
How do individualist and collectivist cultures influence people?
If as our solitary traveler you pride yourself on your individualism, a great deal of your identity would remain intact—the very core of your being, the sense of “me,” the awareness of your personal convictions and values. Individualists (often people from North America, Western Europe, Australia, or New Zealand) give relatively greater priority to personal goals and define their identity mostly in terms of personal attributes (Schimmack et al., 2005).They strive for personal control and individual achievement. In American culture, with its relatively big I and small
In a collectivist culture, group identifications provide a sense of belonging, a set of values, a network of caring individuals, an assurance of security. In return, collectivists have deeper, more stable attachments to their groups— their family, clan, or company. In South Korea, for example, people place less value on expressing a consistent, unique self-concept, and more on tradition and shared practices
Valuing communal solidarity means placing a premium on
preserving group spirit and ensuring that others never lose
face.What people say reflects not only what they feel (their
inner attitudes) but what they presume others feel (Kashima et
al., 1992). Avoiding direct confrontation, blunt honesty, and
uncomfortable topics, collectivists often defer to others’ wishes
and display a polite, self-effacing humility (Markus & Kita-
yama, 1991). Elders and superiors receive respect, and duty
to family may trump personal career and mate preferences
How do individualist and collectivist cultures differ?
Individualists give priority to personal goals over group goals and tend to define their identity in terms of their own personal attributes. Collectivists give priority to group goals over individual goals and tend to define their identity in terms of group identifications
albert bandura
believes that personality is the result of an interaction that takes place between a person and their social context involving how we think about ourselves and our situations
example of reciprocal
a tendency to enjoy risky behavior affects choice of friends who in turn may encourage rock climbing which may lead to identifying with the activity
reciprocal determinism
how personality thoughts social environment all reinforce cause each other
a happy person attracts other happy people
blindness to one’s own faults
assessments based on performance in such simulations predict future job performance better than interviews and questionnaires
donald trump as a politician could not understand why more people didn’t join his candidacy, his debates his birther theories
social cognitive perspective (bandura)
focus on the interaction of behaviors thoughts and social situations
this focus though may distract us from noticing an individual’s feelings emotions inner qualities
critics note that traits may be more a function of genetics and upbringing not just situation
the spotlight effect
assuming that people are have attention focused on you when they actually may not be noticing you
self esteem
people who have normal high self esteem feeling confident and valuable get some benefits
increased resistance to conformity pressure
decreased harm from bullying
increased resilience and efforts to improve their own mood
but maybe this high self esteem is really realistic and is a result not a cause of these successes
low self esteem even temporarily lowered by insults leads to problems prejudice being critical of others
self serving bias 2
we all generally tend to think we are above average
this bias can help defend our self esteem as it does for the people in this wheel
self focus and narcissism
since 1980 song lyrics become more focused on the self both gratification and self praise
there is a rise in narcissi self absorption
self disparagement self acceptance
left behind in the supposed increase in egotism those who feel worthless unlovable
some people have a habit of self disparaging self talk i’m no good
sometimes such remarks are a sign of depression or at least feeling inferior
sometimes such remarks may elicit pity or prepare us for possible bad events or help us learn from mistakes
moving from defensive to secure self esteem requires realistic expectations and self acceptance
culture and the self individualism and collectivism
individualist cultures value independence. they promote personal ideals strengths and goals pursued in competition with others leading to individual achievement and finding a unique identity
collectivist cultures value interdependence they promote group and societal goals and duties and blending in with group identity with achievement attributed to mutual support