PSYC 001: Social Psychology & Personality Assessment and Theory

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Social Psychologists
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explore how we think about, influence and relate to one another
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Primary Effect
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the likelihood that an overall impression or judgement of another will be influenced more by the first information received about that person than by information that comes later
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Expectations
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once formed, our expectations affect how we perceive the behavior of others
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Attributions
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inferences about the cause of our own or another’s behavior
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Situational Attribution
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attribution of a behavior to some external cause or factor operating in the situation; an external attribution
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Dispositional Attributions
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attribution of one’s own or another’s behavior to some internal cause such as a personal trait, motive, or attitude; an internal attribution.
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Actor-Observer Bias
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the tendency of observers to make dispositional attributions for the behaviors of others but situational attributions for their own behaviors.
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Fundamental Attribution Error
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the tendency to overemphasize internal factors and underemphasize situational ones when explaining other people’s behavior.
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Self-Serving Bias
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our tendency to attribute our successes to dispositional causes, and our failures to situational causes.
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Proximity
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geographic closeness; a major factor in attraction
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Mere-Exposure Effect
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the tendency of people to develop a more positive evaluation of some person, object or other stimulus with repeated exposure to it
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Halo Effect
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tendency to attribute generally positive or negative traits to a person as a result of observing one major positive or negative trait
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Matching Hypothesis
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notion that people tend to have spouses, lovers or friends who are similar to themselves in social assets such as physical attractiveness.
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Conformity
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changing or adopting behavior or attitude to be consistent with the norms of a group or the expectations of others
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Norms
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the attitudes and standards of behavior expected of members of a particular group
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Obedience
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following orders ex. Stanley Milgram study
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Asch’s Classic Study of Conformity
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one of eight participants in the Asch experiment who were asked to pick line 1, 2, or 3 that matched the standard line- if everyone chose #3 would you be more likely to choose line 3 even if you differed from your answer
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Stanley Milgram Study
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people torn between obeying the experimenter and responding to another’s pleas to stop the shocks- usually chose to obey orders considered an authority figure. Results indicated majority obey authority even if obedience caused great pain/was life-threatening
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Foot-In-Door Technique
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a strategy designed to secure a favorable response to a small request first, with the aim of making the subject more likely to agree later to a larger request
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Door-In-Face Technique
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a strategy in which someone makes a large, unreasonable request with the expectation that the person will refuse but will then be more likely to respond favorably to a smaller request later.
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Low-Ball Technique
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a strategy to gain compliance by making a very attractive initial offer to get a person to agree to an action and then making the terms less favorable
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Social Facilitation
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any positive or negative effect on performance due to the presence of others; either an audience effect or a co-action effect
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Audience Effects
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impact of passive spectators on performance
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Co-Action Effects
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impact on performance caused by the presence of others engaged in the same task
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Robert Zajonc
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presence of others heightens arousal which leads to better performance on tasks we are good at and worse performance on tasks that are challenging
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Social Loafing
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the tendency to exert less effort when working with others than when working alone
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Group Polarization
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group discussion often causes a person to shift to more extreme positions
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Groupthink
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tight-knit groups often make poor decisions because they are more interested in maintaining group cohesion than getting the right answer- focus on the relationship dynamic
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Roles
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behaviors considered to be appropriate for individuals occupying certain positions within a group
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Attitudes
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a relatively stable evaluation of a person, object, situation or issue
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Cognitive Component
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thoughts and beliefs about attitudinal object
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Emotional Component
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feelings toward attitudinal object
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Behavioral Component
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predisposition to act toward attitudinal object
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Three Components of Attitude
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cognitive, emotional, behavioral
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Cognitive Dissonance
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the unpleasant state that can occur when people become aware of inconsistencies between their attitudes or between their attitudes and their behaviors
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Methods of Reducing Cognitive Dissonance
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changing their behavior, changing their attitude, explaining away the inconsistency, or reducing importance.
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Persuasion
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deliberate attempt to influence the attitudes and behavior of another
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Four Elements of Persuasion
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source of the communication, audience, message and medium
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Source of Communication (persuasion)
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credibility, attractiveness and likeability (persuasion)
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Audience (persuasion)
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people with low intelligence are easier to persuade
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Message (persuasion)
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unemotional vs. emotional (persuasion)
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Medium (persuasion)
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repetition can influence people (persuasion)
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Prejudice
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negative attitudes toward others based on their gender, religion, race or membership in a particular group
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Discrimination
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behavior, usually negative directed toward others based on their gender, religion, race or membership in a particular group
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Realistic Conflict Theory
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notion that prejudice arises when social groups must compete for scarce economic resources (good jobs, land, political power)
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In-Group Conflict
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social group with a strong sense of togetherness, others are excluded
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Out-Group Conflict
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social group specifically identified by the in-group as not belonging
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Stereotypes
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widely shared beliefs about the characteristic traits, attitudes, and behaviors of members of various social groups
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Reverse Discrimination
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giving special treatment or higher evaluations to individuals from groups that have been the target of discrimination
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Fajardo Study (1985)
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a group of teachers (white) asked to grade essays that were identified as written by black or white students. Teachers graded higher for students presumed to be black despite essay quality.
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Contact Hypothesis
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the notion that prejudice cen be reduced through increased contact with members of different social groups; group interaction, intergroup contact, informal contact, favor group equality and individuals considered typical members of the groups to which they belong.
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Bystander Effect
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as the number of bystanders at an emergency increases, the probability that the victim will receive help from them decreases- likely delayed help if given.
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Diffusion of Responsibility
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feeling among bystanders at an emergency that the responsibility for helping is shared by the group. Each individual feels less compelled to act than if they alone bore the total responsibility.
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Prosocial Behavior
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behavior that benefits others; helping, cooperation or sympathy
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Altruism
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behavior aimed at helping another, requiring some self-sacrifice, not designed for personal gain
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Aggression
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intentional infliction of physical or psychological harm on another
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Biological Factors in Aggression
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genetics, level of arousal, testosterone
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Frustration
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interference with the attainment of a goal or the blocking of an impulse
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Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis
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hypothesis that frustration produces aggression
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Scapegoating
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displacing aggression onto minority groups or other innocent targets who were not responsible for the frustration causing the aggression (displacement from parents, coworkers, bosses to children, spouses or pets)
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Personality
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a person’s characteristic patterns of behaving, thinking and feeling.
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Psychoanalysis
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a theory for personality; also a therapy for treating psychological disorders
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Major Components of Freud’s Theory
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central role of the sexual instinct, infantile sexuality, role of the unconscious in influencing our thoughts and behaviour
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Three levels of awareness
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conscious, preconscious and unconscious
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Conscious
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the thoughts, feelings, sensations and memories of which we are aware at any given moment
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Preconscious
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the thoughts, feelings, and memories that we are not consciously aware of at the moment but that may be brought to consciousness
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Unconscious
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considered by Freud to be the primary motivation of behavior, containing repressed memories as well as instincts and wishes that have never been allowed into consciousness
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Freud’s Conception of Personality
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id, ego and superego.
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Id
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the unconscious system of personality which contains the life and death instincts and operates on the pleasure principle.
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Ego
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the Freudian theory, the rational and largely conscious system of one’s personality; operates according to the reality principle and tries to satisfy the demands of the id without violating moral values
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Superego
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the moral system of the personality which consists of the conscience (guilt) and ego ideal (praise and reward)
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Defense Mechanism
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an unconscious, irrational means used by the ego to defend against anxiety; involves self-deception and the distortion of reality
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Types of Defense Mechanisms
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repression, projection, denial, rationalization, regression, reaction formation, displacement, sublimation
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Projection
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the act of attributing our own undesirable thoughts, impulses, personality traits or behaviors to others or of minimizing the undesirable in ourselves and exaggerating it in others
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Denial
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the act of refusing to consciously acknowledge the existence of a danger or a threatening condition
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Rationalization
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the act of supplying a logical, rational, socially acceptable reasons rather than the real reason for an unacceptable thought or action
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Regression
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the act of reverting to a behavior that might have reduced anxiety at an earlier stage of development
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Reaction Formation
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the process of denying an unacceptable impulse, usually sexual or aggressive by giving strong conscious expression to its opposite
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Displacement
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the substitution of a less threatening object for the original object of an impulse; taking out frustrations on objects or people who are less threatening than those who provoked us
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Sublimation
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re-channeling sexual and aggressive energy into pursuits that society considers acceptable or even admirable
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Psychosexual Stages
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a series of stages through which the sexual instinct develops, each stage is defined by an erogenous zone that becomes the centre of new pleasures and conflicts
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Five Psychosexual Stages
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oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital
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Fixation
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arrested development at a psychosexual stage occurring because of excessive gratification or frustration at that stage
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Oral Stage
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First psychosexual stage (birth to 12 or 18 months) in which sensual pleasure is derived mainly through stimulation of the mouth (sucking, chewing, biting).
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Anal Stage
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second psychosexual stage (12 or 18 months to 3 years) in which the child derives sensual pleasure mainly from expelling and withholding feces.
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Phallic Stage
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the third psychosexual stage (3 to 5-6 years) during which sensual pleasure is mainly derived through touching of genitals; oedipus complex arises
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Oedipus Complex
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occurring the in phallic stage, a conflict in which the child is sexually attracted to the opposite sex parent and feels hostility towards the same-sex parent
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Latency Period
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the period following Freud’s phallic stage (5-6 years to puberty) in which the sex instinct is largely repressed and temporarily sublimated in school, sports and play activity
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Genital Stage
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final psychosexual stage (from puberty on) in which for most people the focus of sexual energy gradually shifts to the opposite sex, culminating in the attainment of full adult sexuality
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Neo-Freudian
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Carl Jung followed Freud but thereafter modified aspects of the theory and presented original ideas about personality
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Carl Jung’s Three Components of Personality
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personal unconscious, collective unconscious and archetype
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Personal Unconscious
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Jung’s theory, the layer of the unconscious that contains all experiences, thoughts and perceptions that are accessible to the conscious, as well as repressed memories, wishes and desires
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Collective Unconscious
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Jung’s theory, the most inaccessible layer of unconscious which contains universal experiences of humankind transmitted to each individual
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Archetype
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existing in the collective unconscious, an inherited tendency to respond in a particular ways to universal human situations
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____________ and _____________ are unique to individuals and ________________ is shared by all individuals
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ego and personal unconscious, collective unconscious
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Trait
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stable and consistent personal characteristics that are used to describe or explain personality
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Trait Theories
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theories that attempt to explain personality and differences between people in term of personal characteristics
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Cardinal Trait
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Allport’s name for a personal quality that is so strong a part of a person’s personality that he or she may become identified with that trait
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Central Traits
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Allport’s name for the type of trait you would mention in writing a letter of recommendation
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Surface Traits
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Cattell’s name for observable qualities of personality, such as those used to describe a friend
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Source Traits
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Cattell’s name for the traits that underlie the surface traits, make up the most basic personality structure, and cause behavior
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Three Kinds of Traits by Allport
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cardinal, central, secondary (Allport)
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Cattel Theories of Personality
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used factor anakysis, identified 16 source traits- the basic elements of personality
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Allport Theories of Personality
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three types of traits, proprium
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Proprium
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sense of self, unifying core of personality proposed by Allport
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Eysenck Theories of Personality
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personality types- basic dimensions that underlie traits, broad general categories; two basic dimensions- neuroticism, introversion-extroversion
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Five Factor Theory (Model)
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a trait theory that attempts to explain personality using five broad dimensions each of which is composed of a constellation of personality traits (extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, aggreeableness, openness to experience)
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Raymond Cattell
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considered personality to be a pattern of traits providing key to understanding and predicting a person’s behavior; surface and source
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Hans Eysenck
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stressing two factors- extroversion and introversion
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Extraversion
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tendency to be outgoing, adaptable and sociable
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Introversion
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tendency to be quiet, reserved, unsociable
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Extraversion (Five Factor Theory)
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degree of sociability
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Neuroticism (Five Factor Theory)
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degree of emotional instability
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Conscientiousness (Five Factor Theory)
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degree of dependability
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Agreeableness (Five Factor Theory)
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degree of friendliness
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Openness to Experience (Five Factor Theory)
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degree of open-mindedness
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What are the Five Factors of the Five Factory Theory?
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extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to experience
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B.F. Skinner Perspective on Personality
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personality does not exist- he described the variables in the environment that shape an individual’s behavior (ex. good environment = good/normal behaviour; bad enviornment = abnormal/bad behaviour)
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Reciprocal Determinism
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concept that personal/cognitive factors, our behavior and the external environment all influence and are influenced by each other (Albert Bandura)
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Environmental Factors in Reciprocal Determinism
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Friends who bungee jump > learning to bungee jump > liking high risk acitivities
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Behavior in Reciprocal Determinism
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learning to bungee jump > liking high risk activities > bungee-jumping friends
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Internal Personal/Cognitive Factors in Reciprocal Determinism
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liking high risk activities > having bungee-jumping friends > learning to bungee-jump
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Locus of Control
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Julain Rotter’s concept used to explain how people account for what happens in their lives (internal = personal responsibility/control of behaviors/fate; external = fate responsibility/control of behaviors/fate)
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Humanistic Personality
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optimistic view human personality believing people are good by nature and focuses on the uniqueness and capacity for choice, growth and psychological health
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Abraham Maslow
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hierarchy of needs (bottom to top: physiological needs, safety/security, love/belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization)
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Self-Actualization
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developing to one’s fullest potential; the highest need on Maslow’s hierarchy
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Carl Rogers
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created theory of personality through insights gain from his patients, viewed humans as basically good and natural development leads to happy and psychologically healthy people
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Conditions of Worth
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conditions upon which the positive regard of others rests (Carl Rogers)
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Unconditional Positive Regard
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unqualified caring and non-judgmentable acceptance of another (Carl Rogers)
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Behavioral Genetics
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field of research that investigates the relative effects of heredity and environment on behavior and ability
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Heritability
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An index of the degree to which a characteristic is estimated to be influenced by heredity
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Twin Studies
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using twins research suggests that heredity may explain 40-50% of the variation in personality characteristics other variables such as social influence, parenting, and education predicting the rest
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Assessment
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can be grouped in a few broad categories; observation, interviews and rating scales
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Rating Scales
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used to record data from interviews and observation, standardized format, focus the rater’s attention on all relevant traits so that some are not overlooked or weighed too heavilty
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Inventory
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paper and pencil test with questions about a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors which measures several dimensions of personality and can be scored according to a standard procedure
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Projective Tests
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personality test in which people respond to inkblots, drawings of ambiguous human situations, incomplete sentences and the like by projecting their own inner feelings, thoughts, fears and conflicts onto the test
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Minnesota Muliphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI 2)
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a revision of the most extensively researched and widely used personality test; used to screen and diagnose psychiatric problems and disorders
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Jackson Personality Inventory (JPI)
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highly regarded personality test to assess normal personality measuring a variety of normal traits relevant to the prediction of behavior consisting of 300 true/false statements representing 15 scales
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Rorschach Inkblot Test (ROR-Shok)
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projective test composed of 10 inkblots to which a participant responds used to reveal unconscious functioning and presence of psychiatric disorders
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Thematic Apprerception Test (TAT)
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consists of drawings of ambiguous human situations which the subject describes thought to reveal inner feelings, conflicts and motives that are projected onto the test materials

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