Theories of Personality Sigmund Freud ...a distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behavior, thoughts, motives, and emotions that characterizes an individual. Alfred Adler Carl Jung Carl Rogers Jung and Adler were “Neo-Freudians”, who used some Freudian ideas but developed many ideas of their own... Rogers was a “Humanistic” theorist with a completely different approach. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Three Main Components • Thoughts and behavior are guided mainly by the unconscious part of the mind. • Sexual motivation plays a central role in everyday life. • Concept of “infantile sexuality”: erotic experiences in infancy and early childhood shape personality in adulthood. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Three Levels of the Mind • Conscious: everything we are aware of at the moment; just the “tip of the iceberg”. • Preconscious: memories that we can bring to consciousness. • Unconscious: memories, wishes, and instincts (desires) that are too threatening or painful to bring to consciousness. According to Freud, much of what people do, think and feel is really a way of avoiding anxiety. Anxiety is the way the body signals us that we face a threatening situation. For Freud, the threat comes from the unconscious: an unacceptable sexual or aggressive impulse. Protecting ourselves from this anxiety is normal and natural. Carried to an extreme, it becomes a psychological disorder: Neurosis: a disorder in which one’s efforts to avoid anxiety interfere with or limit normal human functioning; it involves self-punishing, selfdefeating behavior, and emotional or physical symptoms. Freud based his theory mainly on a small number of neurotic patients. He assumed that they were like normal individuals; they just went too far in their efforts to avoid anxiety. The theory is harder to apply to a more severe type of disorder: Psychosis: an extreme mental disturbance involving distorted perceptions of reality and irrational behavior; basically, a complete break with reality. Freud said that personality is divided into 3 parts, ID, EGO, and SUPEREGO. They are always in conflict but most of the time the conflict is unconscious. The Id • Contains life instincts (sex, hunger, thirst, etc.) and death instincts (aggressive, destructive tendencies). • Libido: sexual energy that fuels the entire personality; needed for everyday life. • Pleasure Principle: seeks immediate gratification of impulses regardless of consequences. • Pleasure = reduction in tension. Tension increases if we don’t release energy from impulses. Everything in the id is unconscious (intensity of desires, goals that would give the most satisfaction). The Ego • Logical, rational. • Executive of personality: determines where, when, and how impulses are expressed. • Goal: to satisfy the id in ways that are socially and morally acceptable. This requires use of the... • Reality Principle: tendency to delay gratification of impulses until they can be expressed in socially and morally acceptable ways. The ego is part conscious and part unconscious. The unconscious part distorts our perceptions of reality (including ourselves). The Superego • Contains moral values; not rational; doesn’t care about consequences (like id). • Consists of two parts: Conscience: memories of behaviors that have been punished; if we repeat these actions, we feel guilty. Ego Ideal: memories of behaviors for which we have been praised or rewarded; repeating them gives us feelings of pride. The superego is part conscious and part unconscious; if we feel guilty and don’t know why, it’s caused by the unconscious part.