Define personality, and explain how Freud's treatment of psychological disorders led to his study of the unconscious mind.
Psychologists consider personality to be an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
In his private practice, Freud found that nervous disorders often made no neurological sense. Piecing together his patients' accounts of thei
Describe Freud's view of personality structure in terms of the id, ego, and superego.
Freud believed that personality arises from our efforts to resolve the conflict between our biologi- cal impulses and the social restraints against them. He theorized that the conflict centers on three interacting systems: the id, which operates on the pl
Identify Freud's psychosexual stages of development, and describe the effects of fixation on behavior.
Freud maintained 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. During the oral stage (0-18 months), pleasure center
Discuss how defense mechanisms serve to protect the individual from anxiety.
Defense mechanisms reduce or redirect anxiety in various ways, but always by unconsciously dis- torting reality. Repression, which underlies the other defense mechanisms, banishes anxiety- arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness; regr
Contrast the views of the neo-Freudians and psychodynamic theorists with Freud's original theory.
The neo-Freudians accepted Freud's basic ideas regarding personality structures, the importance of the unconscious, the shaping of personality in children, and the dynamics of anxiety and defense mechanisms. However, in contrast to Freud, the neo-Freudian
Describe two projective tests used to assess personality, and discuss some criticisms of them.
Projective tests provide ambiguous stimuli that are designed to trigger projection of one's inner dynamics. In the Thematic Apperception Test, people view ambiguous pictures and then make up stories about them. Presumably, their accounts reflect their int
Summarize psychology's current assessment of Freud's theory of psychoanalysis, including its portrayal of the unconscious.
Critics contend that many of Freud's specific ideas are contradicted by new research and that his theory offers only after-the-fact explanations. Recent findings question the overriding importance of childhood experiences, the degree of parental influence
Describe the humanistic perspective in terms of Maslow's focus on self-actualization and Rogers' emphasis on people's potential for growth.
According to Maslow, self-actualization is the motivation to fulfill one's potential, and self- transcendence is the desire to find meaning and purpose beyond the self. It is one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psy
Explain how humanistic psychologists assessed personality, and discuss the major criticisms of the humanistic perspective on personality.
Humanistic psychologists assessed personality through questionnaires on which people reported their self-concept. One questionnaire asked people to compare their actual self with their ideal self. Other humanistic psychologists maintained that we can only
Discuss psychologists' interests in personality types, and describe research efforts to identify fundamental personality traits.
Trait theorists attempt to describe personality in terms of stable and enduring behavior patterns, or dispositions to feel and act. Some theorists use dominant traits and their associated characteristics to describe personality "types."
One strategy that
Discuss the value of using personality inventories to assess traits, and identify the Big Five trait dimensions.
Psychologists assess several traits at once by administering personality inventories on which peo- ple respond to items designed to measure a wide range of feelings and behaviors. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most extensiv
Summarize the person-situation controversy, and explain its importance as a commentary on the trait perspective.
Although people's traits seem to persist over time, critics of the trait perspective note that human behavior varies widely from situation to situation. Thus, traits are weak predictors of behavior. For example, being conscientious on one occasion is only
Describe the social-cognitive perspective, and discuss the important consequences of personal control and optimism.
The social-cognitive perspective applies principles of learning, cognition, and social behavior to the understanding of personality. Reciprocal determinism refers to the interacting influences between personality and environmental factors. Interactions be
Explain why social-cognitive researchers assess behavior in realistic situations, and state the major criticism of the social-cognitive perspective.
Social-cognitive researchers observe how people's behaviors and beliefs both affect and are affect- ed by their situations. They have found that the best way to predict someone's behavior in a given situation is to observe that person's behavior pattern i
Explain why psychology has generated so much research on the self, and discuss the importance of self-esteem to human well-being.
The self is one of Western psychology's most vigorously researched topics. Underlying this research is the assumption that the self, as organizer of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, is pivotal in understanding personality. One example of research on t
Discuss some evidence for self-serving bias, and contrast defensive and secure self-esteem.
Self-serving bias, our readiness to perceive ourselves favorably, is evident in our tendency to accept more responsibility for good deeds than for bad and for successes than for failures. Most people also see themselves as better than average. Defensive s
Identify some ways a primarily individualist culture differs from a primarily collectivist culture.
Individualist cultures value personal achievement and fulfillment as well as individual rights and liberties. Relationships are often temporary and casual, and confrontation is acceptable. Individualists tend to define identity in terms of personal traits