Myers’ PSYCHOLOGY
(7th Ed)
Chapter 15
Personality
James A. McCubbin, PhD
Clemson University
Worth Publishers
1
Ch. 15: Personality:
What is Personality?
 1 definition: long-lasting patterns of behavior based
on “traits”
 Personality: relatively permanent set of traits that
affect how we respond to certain situations
 Person’s usual pattern of thinking, feeling, & acting
 Basic perspectives: several views…
Psychoanalytic: Freud
Humanistic (Rogers, Maslow)
Traits (Allport)
  …Or…is it all situational & there is NO such
thing as personality?? (Mischel)
2
Psychoanalytic Perspective
 Freud’s theory that says…
Personality = our thoughts & actions
based on unconscious motives &
childhood conflicts
 childhood sexuality & unconscious
motivations influence personality &
mental disorders come from problems w/
this!
 Psychoanalysis
 methods to treat psych. disorders
by exposing & interpreting
unconscious tensions
 Jewish Austrian physician
 wanted to be a researcher, but had to
settle for MD (no Jews allowed in
research…was 1890’s - 1930’s)
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The Psychoanalytic Perspective
 Unconscious
 according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly
unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings and
memories
*Contemporary viewpoint of “unconscious”:
Info processing of which we are unaware
 Free Association
 in psychoanalysis, method of exploring the
unconscious
 person relaxes & says whatever comes to mind, no
matter how trivial or embarrassing…(“couch” for
relaxation, etc.)
 Also can use word association (“say the 1st thing
that comes to your mind…”)
4
Many of Freud’s ideas are no longer accepted by
psychologists b/c they did not “test out”
empirically…NOT valid…SO why still study him?
*B/C….
 His ideas did & do have great influence on
psych AND on our culture
 His BEST & BIGGEST contribution probably
= acceptance of the unconscious & the
subconscious (aka preconscious) : the
hidden parts of personality
 Basically “invented” psychotherapy
5
Freud’s Personality Structure (578):
 Id: a “reservoir of unconscious psychic energy”
 attempts to satisfy basic sexual & aggressive drives
 operates on the pleasure principle, demanding
immediate gratification (want what I want when I
want it!) NOT “evil” …just self-centered
 Superego: the part of personality that presents
internalized ideals
 provides standards for judgment (the conscience) &
for future aspirations
 Ego: the largely conscious, “executive” (in charge) part
of personality
 mediates among the demands of the id, superego, &
reality
 operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s
desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure,
not pain
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Freud (“froid”):
Personality
Structure:
Superego, Ego,
and the Id
 Freud’s idea of the
Ego
Conscious mind
Unconscious
mind
Superego
Id
mind’s structure:
Iceberg analogy:
Conscious: what we
are aware of
Preconscious (aka
subconscious):
just at or below
the surface
Unconscious: below
the surface…what
we hide from
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ourselves
Freud’s “iceberg” of personality:
8
Some of Freud’s terms/ideas:
 Psychosexual Stages
 childhood stages of development during which the
id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct
erogenous zones (oral, anal, phallic, genital)
 Identification
 process by which kids incorporate their same sex
parents’ values into their developing superegos
 Fixation: lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies
at an earlier psychosexual stage, where conflicts were
unresolved (“stuck” in a stage…)
 Oedipus Complex
 a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother & feelings
of jealousy & hatred for the rival father
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Personality Development
Freud’s Psychosexual Stages: See Anal Retentive Chef!)
Stage
Focus
Oral
(0-18 months)
Pleasure centers on the mouth-sucking, biting, chewing…task = weaning
Anal
(18-36 months)
Pleasure focuses on bowel and bladder
elimination; coping with demands for
control; task = toilet training
Phallic
(3-6 years)
Pleasure zone = genitals; cope w/ incestuous
sexual feelings; task = ID w/ S-S parent
Latency
(6 to puberty)
Dormant sexual feelings; no major focus
& no major task; gender self-segregation
Genital
(puberty on)
Maturation of sexual interests; task = form
intimate relationships w/ opposite sex
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Defense Mechanisms:
The way the ego reduces anxiety & protects the
personality by unconsciously distorting reality
8 Well-known defense Mech. of Freud’s:
1. Projection : defense mechanism by which people disguise
their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others
2. Regression: defense mechanism in which an individual
faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual
stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated
3. Reaction Formation: defense mechanism by which the
ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their
opposites
 ppl may express feelings that are the opposite of their
anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings
4. Repression: basic defense mechanism that banishes
anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, & memories from
consciousness: This is the most common def. mech.
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AND the one that is the basis for most of the others
5. Displacement: defense mechanism that shifts sexual or
aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less
threatening object or person (kick the cat or scream at kid
when you are angry at your boss)
 as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet
6. Denial: defens. mech. in which we refuse to accept
something that is fairly obvious b/c the truth would be too
painful or make us feel bad about ourselves (“…Oh, no, he
would never go out on me…he loves me…”)
7. Sublimation: redirecting problems, stresses, etc., into a
more socially acceptable outlet (abused as a child writing a
novel about an abused child surviving)
8. Rationalization : defense mechanism that offers selfjustifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening,
unconscious reasons for one’s actions (“…I only drink to
socialize…”)
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Assessing (measure or test) the Unconscious
[Used MAINLY by psychoanalytical (aka psychodynamic)
psychologists]
Projective Tests
 a personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that
provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection
of one’s inner dynamics…that is, get into your
unconscious, the “real you…”
 Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
 a projective test in which people express their inner
feelings and interests through the stories they make up
about ambiguous scenes
 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
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interpretations of the blots (again, ambiguous…)
Assessing the Unconscious—TAT:
View & tell what happened in the past,
present, & future
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Assessing the Unconscious—Rorschach:
“inkblot tests”…What do you see?
15
Examples of Rorschach Projective
Test items: What do you see?
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Neo-Freudians: (aka psychodynamic, psychosocial)
 Alfred Adler
 importance of childhood social tension
 birth order determines personality (has NOT tested out)
 Also superiority & inferiority complexes: self-image
 Karen Horney
 sought to balance Freud’s masculine biases; contested
penis-envy
“…it’s not the penis; it’s the power they envy!”
 Carl Jung: Freud’s chosen…but they had big blow-up
 emphasized the collective unconscious…& archetypes as
support for this (“mandelas”?)
 concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory
traces from our species’ history
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 established idea of introvert vs. extrovert
Humanistic Perspective:
2 big guys = Carl Rogers & Abraham Maslow
 Maslow (1908-1970):
studied self-actualization
processes of productive &
healthy people (e.g., A. Lincoln)
 Also hierarchy of needs
 Self-Actualization
 the ultimate psychological
need that arises after
basic physical &
psychological needs are
met & self-esteem is
achieved
 the motivation to fulfill
one’s potential…”be all
you can be!”
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Humanistic Perspective
 Carl Rogers (1902-1987): founder of
humanist movement
 focused on growth & fulfillment of individuals;
“All people are basically good…”
 We want to be good & do well
Therapist should help us by showing….
 genuineness
 acceptance
 empathy
 *Unconditional positive regard
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Humanistic Perspective
 Unconditional Positive Regard
 an attitude of total acceptance toward
another person
 “You are a good person & I like you…”
 Self-Concept
 all our thoughts & feelings about ourselves,
is an answer to the question, “Who am I?”
 how we see
ourselves
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Contemporary Research – Trait Perspective
 See Gordon Allport’s encounter w/ Freud (t-591)
-this began Allport’s study & theories of traits in
behavior…which became the trait perspective
Allport wanted to describe traits… not explain them…
 Trait
 a characteristic pattern of behavior
 a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by selfreport inventories and peer reports
 Personality Inventory
 a questionnaire (often with true-false or agreedisagree items) on which people respond to items
designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and
behaviors
 used to assess selected personality traits
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Trait
Perspective
Factor Analysis:
 Hans & Sybil Eysenck
use 2 primary
personality factors
(traits) as axes (axis)
UNSTABLE
Moody
Touchy
to describing
Anxious
Restless
Rigid
personality variation
Aggressive
Sober
Excitable
Pessimistic
Introvert vs. extrovert
Changeable
Reserved
Impulsive
Unsociable
Stable vs. unstable
Optimistic
Quiet
Active
melancholic choleric
 Look at N/S & E/W
INTROVERTED
EXTRAVERTED
phlegmatic sanguine
Passive
Sociable  Can also see a
Careful
Thoughtful
Peaceful
Controlled
Reliable
Even-tempered
Calm
Outgoing
Talkative
Responsive
Easygoing
Lively
Carefree
Leadership
connection to old idea
of “humors” to explain
personality
STABLE
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The “4 bodily humors” from ancient Greeks:
Sanguine = amorous, happy, generous, optimistic,irresponsible
Melancholic = Introspective, sentimental, gluttonous (spleen)
Phlegmatic = unemotional, sluggish, pallid, cowardly
Choleric = violent, vengeful, short-tempered, ambitious (liver)
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The Trait Perspective
 Empirically (?) Derived Test: test developed by testing a
pool of items & then selecting those that discriminate betwn
groups EX: the MMPI
 Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
 the most widely researched & clinically used of all
personality tests
(now is MMPI-2)
 originally developed to ID emotional disorders (still
considered its most appropriate use) v. long! (567?’s)
 now used for many other screening purposes
EX:?: Choose 1: yes…no…or unsure:
“I'm afraid that I
might make the cause of my head pain worse if I concentrate ...”
 Myers-Briggs type indicator: Looks at personality
“types” using 126 item inventory of ?’s (not
disorders)
--based on G. Allport’s trait ideas
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Stress & the Heart: Personality Types
(these are NOT traits, but a separate theory RE: stress)
 Type A
 Friedman and Rosenman’s term for competitive,
hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, &
anger-prone people
*Possible sub-category of “A”?? Some say there’s a..
TYPE D: Newer term:
--gets very angry, is destructive emotionally
…road-rage, etc. (distressed, destructive)
-A special form of Type A
Type B
 Friedman & Rosenman’s term for easygoing,
relaxed people (“calm-water”)
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Personality & Stress on the Heart:
Pessimists: ___%
Optimists: ___%
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Trait Perspective: Assessing Traits w/ MMPI
b4 & after therapy (treatment)
Clinically
significant
range
Hypochondriasis 1
(concern with body symptoms)
2
Depression
(pessimism, hopelessness)
3
Hysteria
(uses symptoms to solve problems) 4
After
treatment
(no scores
in the clinically
significant range)
Psychopathic deviancy 5
(disregard for social standards)
Before
treatment
(anxious,
depressed,
and
displaying
deviant
behaviors)
Masculinity/femininity 6
(interests like those of other sex)
7
Paranoia
(delusions, suspiciousness)
8
Psychasthenia
(anxious, guilt 9
feelings)
Schizophrenia
(withdrawn, bizarre thoughts)10
MMPI
profile
(“test
score”)
Hypomania
(overactive, excited, impulsive)
Social introversion
(shy, inhibited)
0
30
40
50
60
T-score
70
80
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Trait Perspective (t-595):
The “Big
Five” Personality Factors
Trait Dimension
Description
Emotional Stability
Calm vs. anxious
Secure vs. insecure
Self-satisfied vs. self-pitying
Extraversion
Sociable vs. retiring
Fun-loving vs. sober
Affectionate versus reserved
Openness (to
experience)
Imaginative versus practical
Preference for variety versus
preference for routine… risk-taking
Independent versus conforming
Agreeableness
Soft-hearted versus ruthless
Trusting versus suspicious
Helpful versus uncooperative
Conscientiousness
Organized versus disorganized
Careful versus careless
Disciplined versus impulsive
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Scoring “BIG 5” Personality Inventory :
NOTE: Reverse means that…...if you put 1, change it to 5;
2 becomes 4, & 3 = 3, 4 = 2, 5 = 1
Ex:
Extroversion: If for #7 I had put 4, I would change
to a 2 & put that into the space beside #7, & If I’d put 2
for #19, it would = 4, & if 5 for # 33, it would = 1.
Reverse 7___ 19___ 33___
AFTER reversing,put others as they are, THEN add ‘em up!
--------------------------NOTE:
Ppl that did the 2-factor analysis…what are factors they…&
who came up w/ these 2?
16 factor analysis…R. Catell
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?’s to look at in Big 5 trait studies:
1) How stable are the traits? (childhood  adulthood?)
2) How heritable are they? (generally 50%+ )
3) How well do they apply to other cultures? (Cross-
cultural?)
4) Do the Big 5 traits predict other personal attributes?
(Yes…
EX: Introverts are usually AM folks
Extroverts usually PM folks)
BUT…Is it the person or is it situational?
Effects on Personality & Health/Happines/Life
Choices?? 
(from Stress & Health Chapter 14)
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Life events
Personal appraisal
Challenge
Threat
Personality type
Hostile
Depressed
Pessimistic
Easy going
Nondepressed
Optimistic
Personality habits
Smoking
Sedentary
Poor nutrition
Nonsmoking
Regular exercise
Good nutrition
Level of social support
Close, enduring
Lacking
Tendency toward
Health
Illness
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Mischel & situational factors:
Walter Mischel said it’s the situation…NOT really a
“personality trait”
Scores on personality inventories only mildly predict
actual behaviors… situation IS a factor
EX: Good day or bad day: How does it affect your
response?
Dispositional? (their disposition…)
Or situational?
*When it’s us, we say = situation (Bad day! Tired! )
When it’s others we say = person (Mean, snobby
person!) This is part of the self-serving bias…
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Social-Cognitive Perspective
Albert Bandura:
behaviorist (which area?) w/ view that says conditioning,
modeling, etc., influence us to think & act certain ways
Views behavior as influenced by the interaction between
ppl & their environment
  Reciprocal Determinism
 Bandura’s process of the interacting influences between
personality & environmental factors
 1 thing influences us…
…which causes us to choose certain things…
…which continue to influence us more
(“Interaction”) EX’s: ?? 
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Social-Cognitive Perspective:
34
Social-Cognitive Perspective & Stress w/ Personality
Personal Control: Our sense of control over our
environments rather than feeling helpless
 External Locus of Control
 belief that chance or outside forces beyond one’s
personal control determine one’s fate…Luck, chance,
God, etc.
 Internal Locus of Control
 the perception that “I control my OWN fate”
 Poem “Invictus”: “I am the master of my fate, I am the
captain of my soul…”
 Learned Helplessness: complete extern. L-O-C
 hopelessness & passive acceptance an animal or human
learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events…
“ Nothing helps…Why try?” EX: Dog & shock?
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WHO has control in your life?
(Plural = “loci”)
Internal vs. External Locus of Control…
Which leads to Learned Helplessness?
36
Social-Cognitive Perspective
 Learned Helplessness
Uncontrollable
bad events
Perceived
lack of control
Generalized
helpless behavior
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Social-Cognitive Perspective
Positive Psychology
(604):
Martin Seligman
 scientific study of optimal human functioning
 Idea that a culture at certain levels of
development & prosperity can focus on making
that society better for all
 aims to discover & promote conditions that enable
individuals & communities to thrive
3 pillars of positive psy.:
positive subjective well-being: satisfaction w/ past,
present, & hope about future: optimism
positive character: Enhance virtues (which ones?)
pos. groups, communities, & cultures: schools,
neighborhoods, families, media, etc.
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Exploring the Self
Spotlight Effect: Overestimating
others noticing & evaluating our
appearance, performance, &
blunder
I’ll mess up! Everyone is
watching me!
-espec. affects ppl w/ social
anxiety disorders
Self Esteem: one’s feelings of
high or low self-worth
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Self-Serving Bias:
Readiness to perceive
oneself favorably
EX: Most ppl see self as
better than avg. &
tend to take credit
for success,
But find excuses for
any failure… “odds
were against me!”
But…Other ppl “get
what they deserve…”
“It’s their own fault if
they are poor…etc.”
Remember “just world
phenomenon?”
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Cultural Aspects of how we see our “Self”
Individualism: giving priority to one’s own goals over group
goals & defining one’s
identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group
identifications
EX: most Western Eur. & N. Amer. Cultures
“Nuclear family” = my family
Collectivism: giving priority to the goals of one’s group
(often one’s extended family or work group) & defining one’s
identity accordingly
EX: most Asian, Latin Amer., & African cultures
“Extended family” = My Family
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Exploring the Self (613)
Value Contrasts Between Individualism and Collectivism
Concept
Individualism
Collectivism
Self
Independent
(identity from individual traits)
Interdependent
identity from belonging)
Life task
Discover and express one’s
uniqueness
Maintain connections, fit in
What matters
Me--personal achievement and
fulfillment; rights and liberties
We-group goals and solidarity;
social responsibilities and
relationships
Coping method
Change reality
Accommodate to reality
Morality
Defined by individuals
(self-based)
Defined by social networks
(duty-based)
Relationships
Many, often temporary or casual;
confrontation acceptable
Few, close and enduring;
harmony valued
Attributing
behaviors
Behavior reflects one’s personality
and attitudes
Behavior reflects social
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and roles
Modern View of Unconscious Mind/ Anxiety
 Freud’s views today: Psy. no longer stick w/ Freud’s
“iceberg” theory
 Note: Some of Freud’s ideas have been redefined…
EX: ”Projection” now is false consensus effect..
“Everyone cheats on their taxes” (just b/c you do so…
There’s not as much evidence for displacement, but
some for reaction formation
Anal retentive now = __?__
 Terror-Management Theory
 Idea that faith in our worldview & the pursuit of selfesteem give us protection against a deeply rooted fear
of death
 ...i.e, if we feel good about the world & have a good
feeling about who we are, we are less likely to have a
high level of anxiety about death
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Ck. yerself!
Answer the following w/o checking yr
notes:
1. 2 types of projective tests
2. Main problem w/ proj. tests
3. Main psychologist + others who may be ID’ed w/
each personality perspective below:
a) humanistic
b) trait
c) psychoanalytical
(+ later psychodynamic/psychosocial)
d) no real “personality”: it’s all just situational
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Can U ID each below?
 Self-serving bias…
 Reciprocal Determinism (Social-Cognitive
Perspective)
 Locus of Control (Personal Control)
 Learned Helplessness:
 3 pillars of positive psy
 Spotlight Effect
 (Extra related idea: “Halo Effect”)
 Terror-Management Theory
 Individualist vs collectivist cultures
 False consensus effect: now know as
what?
45
(Further explanation of Freud’s theories: Optional but
helpful)
 PARTS OF THE Personality: Id, ego, & superego…
-id: These are our basic drives, our wants & desires; “I
want what I want when I want it…” not really “evil”,
just selfish, self-centered
-superego: tells you to follow society’s rules & moral
teachings; “Listen to your mother!!”
-ego: has to negotiate between these 2 & make
decisions about how to behave…
 Conflicts among/between these 3 personality parts
cause mental disorders and stresses
 Freud said we use defense mechanisms” to “hide” these
conflicts from ourselves; we hide them in our
unconscious….and this keeps the disorders going…
-we have to face them to “clear the air”
-therapist is the one to guide you to this
*Like a “festering sore”…we have to clean out this
infections which can cause these mental problems
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 Ways to access the unconscious & subconscious:
1) free association: Say the 1st things that comes to
mind… “I say a word & you tell me what pops into your
mind…” OR relax on couch & say 1st thing in your mind
2) dream analysis & symbolism in dreams:
psychoanalyst interprets & explains dreams to help rid
you of what’s bothering you
3) info you give to the analyst RE: your childhood,
thoughts, etc.: he/she interprets & “figures you out”
4) hypnosis could also access unconscious mind
 Psychosexual Development: Fr. thought all human
development was based on sexual stages that were tied
to the development of our personalities & our minds
-these stages were controlled by certain “erogenous
zones” at different times thru our childhood
-he felt we had to work out or “solve” a certain task at
each of these stages in order to move on properly to
the next stage
-if didn’t work it out properly, we could get “stuck”47in
a stage & have problems from that (fixation)
 Freud’s Stages of psychosexual devel.:
(Remember…NOT valid!!)
1) oral stage: birth – 18 months; main task = weaning
--if don’t do properly can be sarcastic (“biting”) or
obsessed w/ things in their mouth…chew fingernails,
pencils, smoke, etc.
2) anal stage: about 1 ½ yrs. – 3 yrs.
-main task = toilet training
-conflicts or problems w/ this can cause either anal
retentiveness (extremely neat/orderly/concerned with details)
or anal expulsiveness (extremely messy, disorderly)
3) phallic stage: about 3 yrs. – 6 yrs.: task = identify
sexually w/ same sex parent
-if not done properly, could = either Oedipus or Electra
complex
-boys love Mom & want to replace/kill father
-girls love Daddy & want to replace/kill mother
-girls also develop “penis envy” at this stage b/c see
themselves as missing something & blame Mom
-also said homosexuality could devel. from problems at
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this time
4) latent stage: 6 yrs. – 11 yrs.; no real task to work out
--experience gender segregation: separate selves by
gender
5) genital stage: 11 yrs. thru adolescence: Identify
romantic feeling for opposite sex
-then develop into “normal” relationships
--homosexuality was seen as a disorder
NOTE: it is no longer viewed as disorder by psych.
-libido: to Freud, was the drive & the energy that
pushes & motivates us to do and/or get things; it now
mainly refers to our “sex drives”
**There are now very few if any true Freudian
psychoanalytical psychologists
-those now based on Freud’s ideas call themselves
psychodynamic or psychosocial psychologists
(neo-Freudians)
--no longer believe sex = main motivation
-they say the urge to socialize with others is the main
driving urge in humans, from parents to friends to
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lovers, etc…
OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
Invictus:
Can you
relate this to
personality?
Learned
helplessness
vs.
resiliency?
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
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