Ch. 2 Theories of Personality (final)


-a distinct and relatively stable pattern of behavior, mannerisms, thoughts, motives, that characterizes an individual over time and across different situations
-pattern consists of many distinctive traits, habitual ways of behaving, thinking, and feeling

Theories of Personalites

1. Environmental Theories of Personalities: emphasizes cultural role of social learning, situations, parents, and peers
2. Cultural Theories: emphasizes cultural influences
3. Humanistic and Existential Approaches: emphasizes self determination and people


Psychoanalysis: a theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy originally formulated by freud, that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts
-Freud's theory is called-->WHAT THE ANSWER IS because it emphasizes the movement of psychological ener

Structure of Personailty

our behavior results form the integration of three major personality systems
1. The id
2. The Ego
3. Super Ego

The id

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

The Ego

-refer between the needs of its own instinctive and the outside demands of society
-rational mediator seeking satisfaction for the id's wants but waiting until the needs can be met in a suitable socially appropriate way
-ego allows

The Super Ego

-represents mortality (rules of parents and society as well as power for authority)
-judges the wishes and activity of the id (guilt and shame if you're breaking rules, the conscience)
-pride and satisfaction (if you are doing something well, ego is ideal

Freud's View on Personality

-according to Freud the healthy personality must keep all three systems in balance
1. someone who is too controlled by the id is governed by impulses and selfish desires
2. someone who is too controlled by the superego is rigid, moralistic, and bossy
3. s

Defense Mechcanisms

-deny or distort reality, but they also protect us from conflict and anxiety
-they become unhealthy only when they cause self defeating behavior and emotional problems
-if a person feels anxious or threatened when the wishes of the id conflict with social


in psychoanalysis the psychic energy that fuels the life or sexual instincts of the id


defense #1
-threatening ideas, memories, or emotions are blocked from conscious
-EX: forgetting you flunked you chem 2 years ago or that your high school sweetheart dumped you last summer
-Freud used this term to mean both unconscious expulsion of disturb


defense #2
-unacceptable or threatening feelings repressed then attributed to someone else
EX: you hate you teach but you believe he hates you (and he doesn't even know your name)
EX: a person who is embarrassed about having sexual feelings toward members


defense #3
-emotions (especially anger) are directed at people, animals or other things that are not the real object of your felling
EX: child is angry at his parents for sending him to his room for misbehaving and on the way he punches his sister, kicks


defense #4
-person reverts back back to a previous phase of personality development, this is if an event overwhelms ones current coping strategies the person may revert to strategies that worked earlier in life.
EX: after major natural disasters, school a


defense #5
-the person does not even recognize that something unpleasant is happening
-suppression is when you know the bad event is happening but you consciously decide to put it out of mind
EX: you are aware that the relationship between close friend an


defense #6 bonus stage
-if displacement serves a useful purpose
-Freud believed society helps people sublimate their unacceptable impulses for the sake of the society
Ex: An angry child who would like to stab people who make him mad, but is terrified of b

Reaction Formation

-when threatening unconscious anxiety is transformed into its opposite in consciousness.
Ex 1: The fervent, zealous, antipornography crusader may be using this defense mechanism to hide the fact from himself that pornography is quite stimulating for him.

Development of Personality

-at each stage of early childhood development, specific events produce frustration, conflict, and anxiety. How the person deals with these issues become the foundation for their adult personality
-called Psychosexual stages because the life forces (sexual

Oral Stage

-0 to 1 years old
-child is very dependent upon others for survival.
-mouth is the focus of sensation.
-challenge , weaning (from the bottle or breast).
Possible fixations in personality:
1. oral gratification - Smoking, drinking, overeating, chronic nail

Anal Stage

-2 to 3 years old
-aware of "self" -- ego is rapidly developing
-self control (societal regulation of bodily functions) imposed on the child
-challenge - toilet training (battle of the "wills".)
Possible fixations in personality (or nasty things you can c

Phallic Stage

3 to 6 years old
-time for gender identification and development of the superego.
-genitals are the focus of sensations.
boys: the oedipus complex
girls: penis envy?

Latency Stage

-end of phallic to puberty
-learning to live in society
-intrapsychic conflicts are repressed
-quiet stage of life.
-social skills and social relationships refined

Genetical Stage

-puberty strikes
-sexual energy reemerges in the genitals
-sexual interest directed toward adult/peer relationships and sexual intercourse

Freud's Legacy

-there are widely differing opinions about Freud's legacy -- from a hero who bravely battled public pressure to seek the truth, to an arrogant bully whose patients would be suing him for malpractice if he were practicing today
Negative Interpretation:

The Oedipus Complex

-in the phallic stage a journey of symbolism
-keenly aware of their penis and stimulated by life forces, the boy wants to possess the parent of the opposite sex
-early model for the development of appropriate adult relationships with the opposite sex and

Penis Envy

in the phallic stage girls discover at some point that they must have had their penis removed
-the only way they can get one back is to identify with Mom. They can grow up and symbolically get a penis by getting a man (just like dear old dad).
Possible fi

Jungian Theory

-jung differed from Freud on the nature of the unconscious and its influence, as well as the strength of the ego
-collective unconscious: apart of the unconscious that contains the universal memories, symbols, and images that shape the behavior of human k

Object Relations School

-need for attachment in early life highlighted the social nature of human development
1.central problem in life is to find a balance between a need for independence and the need for others
2.adjustment to separation and losses.
-way we respond to these se

Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories

-psychodynamic ideas are better thought of as literary metaphors than scientific explanation
-psychodynamic theories are guilty of three scientific failings
----see elsewhere
-in response to these criticisms, more empirical methods are being used to evalu

3 Scientific Failings of Psychodynamic Theories

1. Violates Principles of Falsifiability: impossible to confirm or disconfirm
2. Drawing universal principles from the experiences of few atypical parties is risky and can easily overgeneralize and Freud did not confirm has ideas with larger sample of peo

Popular Personality Test

-unscientific tests are hugely popular but only objective tests of personality are scientifically valid
Popular Perosnality Tests:
1. Myers Briggs Type Indicator
2. Objective Tests (inventories)

Collective Unconscious

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

Myers Briggs Type Indicator

-not reliable
-does not predict behavior on the job or in relationships
Moral: many of the personalities tests used by industry and government are nearly useless from a scientific standpoint

Objective tests (inventories)

-scientifically valid and useful for research
-standardized questionnaires requiring workers to respond to, multiple or true false items
-providing info on needs, values, interests, self esteem, emotional problems, and typical ways of responding

Core Personality Traits

-allport's trait theory
-cattel's Factor Analysis of Traits
Big 5 Fundamental Traits
1. extroversion v. introversion
2. neuroticism (negative emotionally) v. emotionally stable
3. agreeable versus antagonism
4. conscientiousness v. impulsiveness
5. openne

Allports Trait Theory

-multiple levels of traits combined to give us out unique characteristics
Central (global) traits
---characteristic ways of behaving
---individual possesses 5 to 10 central traits
---EX: some people see the world as hostile and dangerous place
Secondary t

Cattels Factor Analysis of Traits

-cattell used another procedure for identifying underlying traits
-factor analysis

Factor Analysis

-items on personality tests are statistically grouped into clusters that seem to be measuring underlying common factors
-identifies clusters of correlated items

The Big Five Fundamental Traits

-five fundamental factors of personality are stable over a persons lifetime
1. extroversion v. introversion
-extroversion:=outgoing, introversion=shy
2. neuroticism v. emotional stability
-neuroticism=negative emotionality, the tendency to negative emotio

The Big 5 Overall

-while culture can influence, the evidence for the Big Five continues to mount across cultures (self-reports or reports by others)
-these traits remain stable over time, once you hit the ripe old age of 30
-ages 16-21 are the most neurotic, least agreeabl


-how heredity affects personality
-basic unit of heredity.
---DNA form codes for synthesis of proteins
---proteins affect every aspect of body structure and processes.
-can affect personality traits.
-through effects on infant's developing brain a

Puppies and Personality

-the Big Five has evolutionary importance
-octopuses demonstrate personality differences in how they attack and devour crabs.
-personality is evolutionarily adaptive.
-like humans, it is beneficial for other species if some members are bold and impulsive


Disposition to respond to the environment in certain ways appears so early in life they probably have a genetic basis.
Reactivity, soothability, and positive and negative emotionality.

Kagans Study

-he studied reactive/nonreactive temperament style in children
-2-% of children at the extremes and 80% fall (styles. 1)highly reactive temperament, editable, shy, timid, react negatively to novel situations 2) nonreactive, easygoing, curious and extrover


-behavioral geneticists: study the genetic basis pf personality
-official definition "a statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variation in a trait that is attributable to genetic variation within the group"
'we hope" -height is highly he

Computing Heritability

-more problems, you cant measure heritability directly, it must be inferred by studying people whose genetic similarity is known
-families, not good because they also share the same environment as well as genes
Adopted Children
-while adopted children

Separate Twin strategy

-avoids problem that fraternal twins may not have the same kind of environment as identical twins
-twins separated early in life and reared apart share their genes but not their environments,
-therefore any similarity should be primarily genetic

How Heritable are Personality Traits

-heritability for most traits is about .20 and .50 which means: within a group of people up to 50% of the variation in a particular trait is due to genetic differences among the group
-high heritability for TV watching in childhood
-high heritability for

Evaluating Genetic Theories

-data that provide the greatest evidence for the influence of genes is the same data that shows the greatest evidence for the influence of environment (that .50 means only 50% of variation due to genes)
Lesson: genetic predisposition does not imply geneti

Environmental Influences on Personality

the influence of the environment can be divided into 3 categories:
1. situation you find yourself in
2. how your parents treat you
3. your peers

Situations and Social Learning

-depending upon situation almost everyone exhibits a wide range of behaviors
-behaviorists (learning theory) believe inconsistence of behavior can traced
-in one situation around friends you are rewarded for being goofy, in another situation around pa

Social Cognitive Learning Theory

-traits result in part from your learning history and your resulting expectations and beliefs
-child studies hard, gets good grades (rewards), and comes to expect (belief) that hard work will pay off in similar situations, "industrious child"
-same ch

Reciprocal Determinism

-interaction between environment and aspects of the individual
Individual: temperament (genetic components), learned habits, beliefs and expectations
Situation: rewards and punishments (consequences of behavior) and types of opportunities
Overall: combine

Nonshared Enviornment

-what makes kids in the same family so different?
-there are an assortment of experiences including chance events, that are unique for each child
-outside situation, peer groups, may differ between siblings

Parental Influences

1. shared environment of the home has little if any influence on personality
-shared=family you grew up and experiences you shared with siblings, weak to no correlation between personality characteristics between adopted children and their adoptive parent

Power of Peers

-2 environments: home and the world outside the home
-when these environments clash, peer influence wins out
-what does it take to get accepted by peers is more important than approval by family?
Example: Breaking the law in high school to impress friends

Culture Value Traits

-how you respond to the question "who are you" reflect the culture you belong to
-individualistic culture's
-collectivist culture's

Individualist Culture

-influence on the concept of self
-self regarded as autonomous
-independence of individual often takes precedence over the needs of group
-self is the collection of individual personality traits or occupation (I am outgoing and ambitious, I am a third gra

Collective Culture

-influence on the concept of self
-group harmony more important then individual
-self is defined in terms of relations (I am the fourth sam of Emily of the Swift Water Clan, and whose maternal uncle is Bob of the Slow Talker Clan)
-sense of self varies ac

Culture and Traits

-many actions of others are due to cultural beliefs
Behaviors that are due to culture process rather than personality:
-american children scored least altruistic and most egotistic
-culture values inidvidual achievement and self advancement
-altruistic ch

Male Aggressivness

-testosterone has been the biological explanation for male aggressiveness, but its more then that
-the rates of aggression vary across all cultures and subcultures
EX: rates of violence in regions of the US
-west/south have higher homicide rates

Humanist Approaches

-humanist psychology: a psychological approach that emphasizes personal growth, resilience, and the achievement of human potential
-emphasizes personal growth and human potential
-represented a third force focusing on real problems and searching for a ful

Abraham Maslow

-this person in humanistic approaches
-striving for self actualization
-emphasis on positive aspects of human nature: joy, laughter, love, happiness, peak experiences
-self actualization person: personality development is progression toward the state of s

Carl Rodgers

-this person in humanistic approach
-the fully functional person
-tried to understand the "fully functional person" who:
1. experiences congruence
2. harmony between their self image and their true feelings, perceptions, and wishes
3. trusting, warm and o

Unconditional Positive Regard

-to carl rogers and humanistic approach, love or support given to another person with no conditions attached
-importnat element in devloping a fully functional person
-love and support for who we are without conditions
-can correct childs behavior without

Conditional Regard

-Carl Rodgers, humanistic approach
-I'll love you if you behave well and I won't love you if you behave badly"
-lead to suppression or denial of parts of their personality that are unacceptable to those they love

Rollo May

-this person in humanistic approach
-existential search for meaning in life
-emphasized the difficult aspects on the human condition (loneliness, anxiety, and alienation)
-adds existentialism to american psychology (search for the meaning of life, need to

Evaluating Humanist Theories

-closer to a philosophy than a science
-many assumptions are simply untestable (EX: what is the operational definition of self actualization)
-humanistic psychology added a balance to the study of personality by emphasizing posit


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