Chapter 13:
Personality
Alexis
Caroline
Monica
Kate
Perspectives of Personality


Psychoanalytic
perspective:
Childhood sexuality,
unconscious motives,
and dreams
influence personality
Humanistic
Perspective: Focused
on our inner
capacities for growth
and self-fulfillment
Sigmund FreudPsychoanalytic
Carl RogersHumanistic
Psychoanalysis

(Freud) Personality and
therapeutic technique
that attributes thoughts
and actions to
unconscious motives
and conflicts. Patient’s
free association,
resistances, dreams
and transferences
release previously
repressed feelings
allowing patient to
gain insight.
Free Association
 Psychoanalysis;
a
method of
exploring the
unconscious in
which the person
relaxes and says
whatever comes to
mind, no matter
how trivial or
embarrassing
Unconscious
 Unacceptable
thoughts, wishes,
feelings and
memories (things
you are unaware
of feeling).
Thoughts
 Some
of these thoughts we store
temporarily in a preconscious area, from
which we can retrieve them into
conscious awareness.
Freud and Repression
 Freud
was the mass of unacceptable
passions and thoughts that he believed
we repress, or forcibly block from our
consciousness because they would be
too unsettling to acknowledge.
Iceberg Theory
Dreams
 Manifest
Contentthe remembered
content of a
dream (story or
plot line)
 Latent Content- the
meaning of a
dream (dreamer’s
unconscious
wishes)
ID, Ego, Superego



ID- Reservoir of
unconscious psychic
energy that strives to
satisfy the basic sexual
and aggressive drives
Ego- Executive part of
personality (mediates
demands of ID and ego;
focuses on reality).
Superego- Represents
internalized ideals and
standards for judgment
(future aspirations).
Cartoon
 ID
says that fifty is
plenty but
superego wants
him to have more
but the ego
mediates between
the two
Psychosexual Stages
Erogenous Zones & Phallic Stage
 Erogenous
zones:
pleasure sensitive
areas that the
pleasure seeking
energies focus on
 Phallic stage: when
males seek genital
stimulation
Electra & Oedipus Complex
 Electra
Complex:
Girl’s sexual desire
for their father and
envy of mother
 Oedipus Complex:
Boy’s sexual desire
for mother and
hatred towards
father
Psychosexual stages and
Identification


Psychosexual stages:
Childhood stages of
development during
which the ID’s pleasure
seeking energies focus
on distinct erogenous
zones
Identification: Process
in which children
incorporate their
parents values into
superegos
Gender Identity and Fixate


Gender Identity: Our
sense of being male
or female
Fixate: A lingering
focus of pleasure
seeking energies at
an earlier
psychosexual stage,
in which conflicts
were resolved
Defense Mechanism
 Defense
Mechanism: the
ego’s protective
methods of
reducing anxiety
by unconsciously
distorting reality
Repression and Regression


Repression: the basic
defense mechanism
that banishes anxietyarousing thoughts,
feelings, and memories
from consciousness
Regression: in which an
individual faced with
anxiety retreats to a
more infantile
psychosexual stage,
where some psychic
energy remains fixated
Reaction Formation &
Projection


Reaction Formation: when
the ego unconsciously
switches unacceptable
impulses into their
opposites. Thus, people
may express feelings that
are the opposite of their
anxiety-arousing
unconscious feelings
Projection: defense
mechanism by which
people disguise their own
threatening impulses by
attributing them to others
Rationalization &
Displacement


Rationalization: defense
mechanism that offers selfjustifying explanations in
place of the real, more
threatening, unconscious
reasons for one’s actions
Displacement: defense
mechanism that shifts
sexual or aggressive
impulses toward a more
acceptable or less
threatening object or
person, as when
redirecting anger toward a
safer outlet
Denial
 Denial:
defense
mechanism by
which people
refuse to believe or
even to perceive
painful realities
Neo-Freudians


They accepted: Freud’s basic
ideas like the personality
structures of id, ego, and
superego; the importance of
the unconscious; the shaping
of personality in childhood;
and the dynamics of anxiety
and the defense mechanisms.
The disagreed: Neo’s focused
more on conscious mind’s role
in interpreting experience and
in coping with the
environment. Also doubted
that sex and aggression were
all-consuming motivations
Adler and Horney
 Adler
and Horney
agreed with Freud
that childhood is
important. But they
believed that
childhood social,
not sexual, tensions
are crucial for
personality
formation.
Penis Envy

Horney countered
Freud’s assumptions
that women have
weak superegos and
suffer “penis envy,”
and she attempted
to balance the bias
she detected in this
masculine view of
psychology.
Carl Jung


Jung believed that the
unconscious contains more
than our repressed
thoughts and feelings. He
believed we also have a
collective unconscious, a
common reservoir of
images derived from our
species’ universal
experiences.
Collective Unconscious:
concept of a shared,
inherited reservoir of
memory traces from our
species’ history
Drew Westen

Most contemporary
dynamic theorists and
therapists are not
wedded to the idea
that sex is the basis of
personality. They do
not talk about ids and
egos, and do not go
around classifying their
patients as oral, anal,
or phallic characters.
Assessment Tests
 Personality
assessment tools
are useful to those
who study
personality or
provide therapy.
Personality Tests


Projective Tests: a
personality test, such as the
Rorschach or TAT, that
provides ambiguous stimuli
designed to trigger
projection of one’s inner
dynamics.
Thematic Apperception
Test: a projective test in
which people express their
inner feelings and interests
through the stories they
make up about ambiguous
scenes.
What do you see?
Rorschach Inkblot Test

Rorschach inkblot
test: the most widely
used projective test,
a set of 10 inkblots,
designed by
Hermann Rorschach;
seeks to identify
people’s inner
feelings by analyzing
their interpretations
of the blots.
New findings contradicting with
Freud




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 (and abuse).
They also doubt that
conscience and gender
identity form as the child
resolves the Oedipus complex
at age 5 or 6.
Argument that repression is a myth


In one survey, 88 percent of
university students believed
that painful experiences
commonly get pushed out of
awareness and into the
unconscious
Ditto for the world’s literature,
report a Harvard team that
offered $1000 to anyone who
could provide a pre-1800
medical or even fictional
example of a healthy person
who had blocked out a
specific traumatic event and
retrieved it a year or more later
Anthony Greenwald
 Many
now think of
the unconscious
not as seething
passions and
repressive
censoring but as
cooler information
processing that
occurs without our
awareness.
Power of the unconscious





the schemas that automatically
control our perceptions and
interpretations
the priming by stimuli to which
we have not consciously
attended
the parallel processing of
different aspects of vision and
thinking
the emotions that activate
instantly, before conscious
analysis
the self-concept and
stereotypes that automatically
and unconsciously influence
how we process information
about ourselves and others
False Consensus Effect
 false
consensus
effect: the
tendency to
overestimate the
extent to which
others share our
beliefs and
behaviors.
 Freud called this
projection
Terror Management Theory


Terror-management
theory: a theory of
death-related anxiety;
explores people’s
emotional and
behavioral responses to
reminders of their
impending death.
How it isn’t pro-social:
For example, death
anxiety increases
prejudice—contempt
for others and esteem
for oneself
Being pro-social when faced with
death

The prospect of
death promotes
religious sentiments,
and deep religious
convictions enable
people to be less
defensive—less
likely to rise in
defense of their
worldview—when
reminded of death
Seligman’s thoughts on Freud

Freud’s premises
may have
undergone a steady
decline in currency
within academia for
many years, but
Hollywood, the talk
shows, many
therapists, and the
general public still
love them.
Humanistic vs. Freud’s study on
sick people

In contrast to Freud’s
study of the base
motives of “sick”
people, these
humanistic
psychologists
focused on the ways
“healthy” people
strive for selfdetermination and
self-realization.
Third force perspective
 Created
by
Maslow and Rogers
 emphasized
human potential
Self-Actualization and SelfTranscendence


Self-Actualization: selfactualization: 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.
Self-Transcendence:
purpose, and
communion beyond the
self.
Maslow
 Studied
healthy,
creative people
rather than
troubled clinical
cases
Maslow’s Discovery

Discovered similar qualities
between Lincoln, Jefferson,
and Eleanor Roosevelt.
They were self-aware and
self-accepting, open and
spontaneous, loving and
caring, and not paralyzed
by others’ opinions. Secure
in their sense of who they
were, their interests were
problem-centered rather
than self-centered. They
focused their energies on a
particular task, one they
often regarded as their
mission in life.
Peak Experiences
 Peak
experiences:
spiritual or personal
experiences that
surpassed ordinary
consciousness.
People with mature adult qualities

People who have
learned enough about
life to be
compassionate, to
have outgrown their
mixed feelings toward
their parents, to have
found their calling, to
have acquired enough
courage to be
unpopular, to be
unashamed about
being openly virtuous.
E. Roosevelt.
Maslow’s work
 Maslow’s
work with
college students
led him to
speculate that
those likely to
become selfactualizing adults
were likable and
caring.
Rogers thoughts on Maslow

Rogers believed that
people are basically
good and are
endowed with selfactualizing
tendencies. Unless
thwarted by an
environment that
inhibits growth, each
of us is like an acorn,
primed for growth
and fulfillment
Rogers’ Beliefs
 Rogers
believed
that a growthpromoting climate
required three
conditions—
genuineness,
acceptance, and
empathy.
How to nurture someone
 Rogers
believed
that you need to
nurture someone’s
growth by
accepting
Unconditional Positive Regard

An attitude of
total
acceptance
toward
another
person
Being Empathetic
 Being
empathetic
is an attitude of
grace that values
us knowing our
failures
Most potent force of change
 Listening
with
unconditional
positive regard
 Genuineness,
acceptance, and
empathy
Secret of life
 To
show
unconditional
positive regard
Self-Concept

All our
thoughts and
feelings
about
ourselves, in
an answer to
the question,
“Who am I?”
Negative or positive self- concept
 If
our self-concept
is negative, we will
do everything
negatively
 If our self-concept
is positive, we will
do everything
positively
Description of self
 Rogers
asked
people to describe
themselves both as
they would ideally
like to be and as
they actually are
Humanistic views
 Some
humanistic
psychologists
believed that any
standardized
assessment of
personality, even a
questionnaire, is
depersonalizing.
Maslow and Rogers
 Maslow’s
and
Roger’s ideas have
influenced
counseling,
education, childrearing, and
management.
Criticism of humanistic view
 Concepts
are
vague
 Concepts are also
subjective, not
specific enough
Theories based off heroes


After starting to study
the heroes, the
psychologist would
begin to think that selfactualizing people are
underrated by other’s
needs and opinions.
They are also
comfortable with
power and motivated
to achieve.
First step towards loving others
 Becoming
secure
about yourself,
become nondefensive, and selfaccepting
Naïve?
 People
think
humanistic
psychology is naïve
because it fails to
appreciate the
reality of human
capacity
Traits


Characteristics in a
pattern of
behavior
A disposition to
feel and act, as
assessed by selfreport inventories
and peer reports
Allport
 Counted
words to
describe someone
and found 18,000
 Defined personality
as your sense of
the person
MBTI



the most widely
researched and
clinically used of all
personality tests
originally developed
to identify emotional
disorders (still
considered its most
appropriate use)
now used for many
other screening
purposes
Criticism of MBTI
 Remains
as
counseling tool not
research
instrument
 It is absent of
scientific data
 When assessing
workers, you can
make yourself
seem better
Factor Analysis
 Statistical
procedure to
identify clusters of
test questions
Jon Steward caption
Jon Stewart: The extravert Trait labels
such as extraversion can describe our
temperament and typical behaviors.
Extraversion vs. Introversion
 Outgoing
vs. Shy
 Extraverted people
are more likely to
explore their
surroundings while
introverted people
keep to themselves
Stability vs. Instability
 Stable
people are
more likely to be
calm in stressful
situations
 Instable people
tend to react on
their emotions and
not make logical
decisions
The Eysencks
 Believe
that the
factors of
Extraversionintroversion,
stability-instability
are key to
personality
variation and
defining specific
traits
Eysenck’s chart
Extraverts and Stimulation


Extraverts seek
stimulation because
their normal brain
arousal is low
For example, PET scans
show that a frontal lobe
area involved in
behavior inhibition is less
active in extraverts than
in introverts. Dopamine
and dopamine-related
neural activity tend to
be higher in extraverts.
Shyness and autonomic
nervous system

Jerome Kagan, for
example, has attributed
differences in children’s
shyness and inhibition to
their autonomic nervous
system reactivity. Given a
reactive autonomic
nervous system, we
respond to stress with
greater anxiety and
inhibition. The fearless,
curious child may become
the rock-climbing or fastdriving adult.
Bird Example


“In lean years, bold
birds are more likely to
find food; in abundant
years, shy birds feed
with less risk.”
This relates to humans
because the more
extraverted are more
likely to inspect new
things but shyer people
are more likely to keep
to themselves
Personality Inventories

A questionnaire
(often with true-false
or agree-disagree
items) on which
people respond to
items designed to
gauge a wide range
of feelings and
behaviors; used to
assess selected
personality traits.
Profiling
 “Some
profile a
person’s behavior
patterns—often
providing quick
assessments of a
single trait, such as
extraversion,
anxiety, or selfesteem.”
MMPI

Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory:
The most widely
researched and
clinically used of all
personality tests.
Originally developed to
identify emotional
disorders (still considered
its most appropriate
use), this test is now used
for many other
screening purposes.
Scales in MMPI-2
 Work
attitudes
 Family problems
 Anger
Empirically Derived
A
test (such as the
MMPI) developed
by testing a pool of
items and then
selecting those
that discriminate
between groups.
Flaw of MMPI

MMPI for employment
purposes can give
socially desirable
answers to create a
good impression. But in
so doing they may also
score high on a lie
scale that assesses
faking (as when
people respond False
to a universally true
statement such as “I
get angry sometimes”).
Scale to test lies

For example, individuals
taking the MMPI for
employment purposes can
give socially desirable
answers to create a good
impression. But in so doing
they may also score high on
a lie scale that assesses
faking (as when people
respond False to a universally
true statement such as “I get
angry sometimes”). The
objectivity of the MMPI has
contributed to its popularity
and to its translation into
more than 100 languages.
Trait factors
 Today’s
trait
researchers believe
that simple trait
factors are
important but
don’t tell the whole
story
Trait factors vs. Eysenck’s
view

Today’s trait
researchers believe
that simple trait factors,
such as the Eysencks’
introverted-extraverted
and unstable-stable
dimensions, are
important, but they do
not tell the whole story.
A slightly expanded set
of factors—dubbed
the Big Five—does a
better job.
Expanded factors
 CANOE:
 Consciousness
 Agreeableness
 Neuroticism
 Openness
 Extraversion
Error Graphologists make
 Graphologists
will
often perceive a
correlation
between
handwriting and
personality when
there is none.
Techniques used by mind
readers and palm readers
 Read
clothing,
physical features,
non verbal
gestures, and
reactions.
Barnum Effect
A
general
statement that you
can connect to
yourself
 Quote: “There’s a
sucker born every
minute.”
Relating to readings
 When
mediums
cannot see the
person who has
come to them,
their clients cannot
recognize the
reading that was
meant for them
from among other
readings.
Big Five Predictions
 They
predict other
personal attributes, for
example, conscious
people are more likely to
earn better high school
and university grades.
They are also more likely
to be morning types.
People who prefer the
night or evening are
more extraverted.
Michel de Montaigne
 “There
is as much
difference between
us and ourselves, as
between us and
others.”
 Quote shows we
can have
contradicting
thoughts or multiple
personalities
JRR Tolkien and Pirandello

Our behavior is
influenced by the
interaction of our inner
disposition with our
environment.
Person-Situation
Controversy
 When
we explore
this person-situation
controversy, we
look for genuine
personality traits
that persist over
time and across
situations.
Considering Friendliness
 If
we are to
consider
friendliness a trait,
friendly people
must act friendly at
different times and
places.
Stability vs. change

Interests may change—
the avid collector of
tropical fish may become
an avid gardener.
Careers may change—
the determined
salesperson may become
a determined social
worker. Relationships may
change—the hostile
spouse may start over
with a new partner. But
most people recognize
their traits as their own.
Traits
 “Although
our
personality traits
may be both
stable and potent,
the consistency of
our specific
behaviors from one
situation to the
next is another
matter.”
Walter Mischel
 Pointed
out that
people do not act
with predictable
consistency.
Situations
 “People’s
average
outgoingness,
happiness, or
carelessness over
many situations is
predictable.”
Rating personality
 When
rating
someone’s shyness
or agreeableness,
we look at:




Music preferences
Dorm and Room
offices
Personal Websites
E-mail
Unfamiliar situations
 In
unfamiliar, formal
situations—perhaps
as a guest in the
home of a person
from another
culture—our traits
remain hidden as
we carefully attend
to social cues.
Expressiveness vs.
Inexpressiveness
 “Inexpressive
people, even
when feigning
expressiveness,
were less
expressive than
expressive people
acting naturally.”
Change in situation
A
quick change in
situation can bring
out our traits and
show our true
personality
Quote
 “Traits
exist. We
differ. And our
differences
matter.”
 This quote shows
how traits stay the
same but we act
differently in
different situations
Social-Cognitive
Perspective
 Views
behavior as
influenced by the
interaction
between people’s
traits (including
their thinking) and
their social context.
 Proposed by Albert
Bandura
Social-Cognitive theorists


They emphasize the
interaction of our traits
with our situations. Much
as nature and nurture
always work together, so
do individuals and their
situations.
They view behavior as
influenced by the
interaction between
people’s traits (including
their thinking) and their
social context.
Reciprocal Determinism
 The
interacting
influences of
behavior, internal
cognition, and
environment.
Ways people interact with
their environments



Different people
choose different
environments.
Our personalities shape
how we interpret and
react to events.
Our personalities help
create situations to
which we react.
Behavioral influences
 “At
every moment,
our behavior is
influenced by our
biology, our social
and cultural
experiences, and
our cognition and
dispositions.”
The biopsychosocial approach to the study of personality As
with other psychological phenomena, personality is fruitfully studied
at multiple levels.
Personal Control
A
sense of
controlling your
environment rather
than feeling
helpless.
Studying personal control


One: correlate
people’s feelings of
control with their
behaviors and
achievements.
Two: experiment, by
raising or lowering
people’s sense of
control and noting the
effects.
External and Internal locus
of control


External: the
perception that
chance or outside
forces beyond your
personal control
determine your fate.
Internal: the
perception that you
control your own
fate.
Julian Rotter
 People
with an
internal locus of
control are happier
Self-Control
 The
ability to
control impulses
and delay
gratification
 “In the long-run,
self-control requires
attention and
energy.”
Lowering risk for depression
 Students
who plan
their day’s activities
and then live out
their day as
planned are also
at low risk for
depression.
Increasing performance

In one experiment,
hungry people who had
resisted the temptation to
eat chocolate chip
cookies gave up sooner
on a tedious task. People
also become less
restrained in their
aggressive responses to
provocation and in their
sexuality after expending
willpower on laboratory
tasks.
Learned Helplessness
 The
hopelessness
and passive
resignation an
animal or human
learns when
unable to avoid
repeated aversive
events.
Nursing Home Study

Measures that increase
control—allowing
prisoners to move
chairs and control
room lights and the TV,
having workers
participate in decision
making, offering
nursing home patients
choices about their
environment—
noticeably improve
health and morale.
Personal Freedom
 “Under
conditions
of personal
freedom and
empowerment,
people thrive.”
Tyranny of Choice
 It
brings information
overload and a
greater likelihood
that we will feel
regret over some
of the unchosen
options.
Attribution Style

Perhaps you have
known students
whose attributional
style is pessimistic—
who attribute poor
performance to their
lack of ability (“I
can’t do this”) or to
situations enduringly
beyond their control
(“There is nothing I
can do about it”).
Positive Psychology
 The
scientific study
of optimal human
functioning; aims to
discover and
promote strengths
and virtues that
enable individuals
and communities
to thrive.
Three Pillars
1.
2.
3.
Positive emotions
Positive character
Positive groups,
communities, and
cultures
Quote
 “I
didn’t think it
couldn’t happen
to me.”
 This is showing how
when you are too
optimistic you
don’t think about
things that could
really happen
Ignorance of ones
incompetence


Phenomenon that it
takes competence
to recognize
competence
Example: If your
grammar is poor you
might think your
grammar is good
because you don’t
know what good
grammar is.
Low Scoring Students
 Students
that score
low but think they
did well on the
exam are ignorant
of their grade
because they
don’t know the
right answers.
Social-Cognitive
 “Social-cognitive
psychologists
explore how
people interact
with situations.”
Donald Trump

Assessing behavior in
situations Reality TV
shows, such as Donald
Trump’s “The
Apprentice,” may take
“show me” job interviews
to the extreme, but they
do illustrate a valid point.
Seeing how a potential
employee behaves in a
job-relevant situation
helps predict job
performance.
Assessing Faculty Members
 Colleges
assess
potential faculty
members by
observing them
teach
Quote
 “The
socialcognitive
perspective on
personality
sensitizes
researchers to how
situations affect,
and are affected
by, individuals.”
Critics of Social-Cognitive
 Critics
charge that
the socialcognitive
perspective
focuses so much
on the situation
that it fails to
appreciate the
person’s inner traits.
Self
 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,
performance, and
blunders (as if we
presume a
spotlight shines on
us).
Hazel Markus


Hazel and colleagues
created possible selves
Your possible selves
include your visions of the
self you dream of
becoming—the rich self,
the successful self, the
loved and admired self.
They also include the self
you fear becoming—the
unemployed self, the
lonely self, the
academically failed self.
Dreams

University of Michigan
students in a
combined
undergraduate/medic
al school program earn
higher grades if they
undergo the program
with a clear vision of
themselves as
successful doctors.
Dreams do often give
birth to achievements.
Self-focused perspective
 “Our
self-focused
perspective may
motivate us, but it
can also lead us to
presume too
readily that others
are noticing and
evaluating us.”
Self-esteem
 Ones
feelings of
high or low selfworth
 “Today’s selfesteem sometimes
predicts
tomorrow’s
achievements.”
Low Self-Esteem
 Down
sides to
having low selfesteem are you
lack confidence
and tend to have
a peccimistic out
look
Self-Serving Bias
A
readiness to
perceive oneself
favorably.
Carl Rogers

Once objected to the
religious doctrine that
humanity’s problems
arise from excessive
self-love, or pride. He
noted that most
people he had known
“despise themselves,
regard themselves as
worthless and
unlovable.”
Better than average


When people rate
themselves, most of the time
they rate themselves better
than average
In several studies, 90 percent
of business managers and
more than 90 percent of
college professors rated their
performance as superior to
that of their average peer. In
Australia, 86 percent of
people rate their job
performance as above
average, and only 1 percent
as below average.
Quote
 “To
love oneself is the
beginning of a life-long
romance.”
 Saying that when you
treat yourself with
respect and have
positive actions toward
yourself, you will create
more opportunities in
your life that will make
you love yourself more
John Powell & Self-serving
bias
 “All
of us have
inferior complexes,
those who seem not
to have such a
complex are only
pretending.”
Large Egos
 People
with large egos
put others down and
act/react violently
 Affects wars by making
them more likely to
begin and less likely to
end
High self-esteem
 The
dark side of high
self-esteem is having a
big ego
 Also can increase
amount of aggression
Compared to others?
 When
we compare
ourselves to others and
they seem superior, it
makes a loss
understandable and a
victory noteworthy
 All of us at one point in
time will feel inferior to
another person
Types of Self-esteem


Defensive self-esteem is
fragile. It focuses on
sustaining itself, which
makes failures and
criticism feel threatening.
Secure self-esteem is less
fragile, because it is less
contingent on external
evaluations. To feel
accepted for who we
are, and not for our looks,
wealth, or acclaim,
relieves pressures to
succeed and enables us
to focus beyond
ourselves.
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Chapter 13: Personality