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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
2
Theories of Personality
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Defining personality
and traits
2
Personality
Distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behaviors,
thoughts, motives, and emotions that characterizes a person
throughout life
Trait
A characteristic of an individual, describing a habitual way of
behaving, thinking, and feeling
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Psychodynamic theories
Psychoanalysis
A theory of personality and a method
of psychotherapy originally formulated
by Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes
unconscious motives and conflicts
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2
CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
The structure of
personality
Id
A reservoir of unconscious energy divided
into two drives:
1. the sexual instinct (fueled by the libido)
2. the death instinct
Ego
Referees between instinctive needs and
social demands
Helps to rein in the impulses of the id
Superego
Moral ideals, conscience, and social
standards
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2
CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Defense mechanisms
•Methods used by the ego to prevent
unconscious anxiety or threatening thoughts
from entering consciousness
Repression
Projection
Displacement
Regression
Denial
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2
CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Personality development
2
Freud’s psychosexual stages, in which
sexual energy takes different forms as a
child matures
1.Oral
2.Anal
3.Phallic
4.Latency
5.Genital
Fixation occurs when stages aren’t
resolved successfully.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Jungian theory
Collective unconscious
The universal memories, symbols, and experiences of the
human kind, represented in the symbols, stories, and images
(archetypes) that occur across all cultures
Some examples of archetypes:
• mandala
• the hero
• the nurturing Earth mother
• the powerful father
• the shadow
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2
CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
The Object-Relations
School
•A psychodynamic theory within psychoanalytic
psychology
•Emphasizes the importance of the infant’s first
two years of life and the baby’s formative
relationships, especially with the mother.
•Points out the need for a child to learn the
difference between him/herself and others.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Popular personality tests
2
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Popular in business, at motivational seminars, and with
matchmaking services.
Assigns people to one of 16 different types, depending on how the
individual scores on the dimensions of introverted or extroverted,
logical or intuitive.
Low reliability
Objective tests (inventories)
Standardized questionnaires requiring written responses; they
typically include scales on which people are asked to rate
themselves.
Produce a personality “profile.”
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Core personality traits
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
2
Extroversion vs. introversion
Neuroticism vs. emotional stability
Agreeableness vs. antagonism
Conscientiousness vs. impulsiveness
Openness to experience vs. resistance to
new experience
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Consistency and change
in personality
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2
CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
2
Genetics vs Environmental
Influences on Personality
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Biology and animal traits
2
•Evolutionarily adaptive for animals to vary in their
ways of responding to the world and those around
them.
•Like humans, bears, dogs, pigs, hyenas, goats, cats,
and of course primates have distinctive, characteristic
ways of behaving that make them different from others
in their species.
•Evidence has been found for most of the Big Five
factors in 64 different species, including the squishy
squid.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Heredity and
temperament
2
Temperaments
•Physiological dispositions to respond to the environment in
certain ways
•Present in infancy, assumed to be innate
•Relatively stable over time
Includes
Reactivity
Soothability
Positive and negative emotionality
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Heredity and traits
2
Heritability
A statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variance in
some trait that is attributable to genetic differences among
individuals within a group
Heritability of personality traits is
about 50%
Within a group of people, about 50% of the variation associated
with a given trait is attributable to genetic differences among
individuals in the group.
Genetic predisposition is not genetic
inevitability.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Reciprocal determinism
2
Two-way interaction between aspects of the
environment and aspects of the individual in the
shaping of personality traits
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Non-shared
environment
•Unique aspects of a person’s
environment and experience that are not
shared with family members.
•Partially explains why siblings raised in
the same home would not have identical
personalities. Not every encounter each
has is shared by the other.
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2
CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
The power of parents
2
•The shared environment of the home has little if any
influence on personality.
The non-shared environment is a more important influence.
Few parents have a single child-rearing style that is
consistent over time and that they use with all their
children.
Even pwhen parents try to be consistent in how they
treat their children, there may be little relation
between what they do and how their children turn out.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
The power of peers
Peers play a tremendous role in
shaping our personality traits and
behavior, causing us to
emphasize some attributes or
abilities and downplay others.
Our temperaments and
dispositions also cause us to
select particular peer groups (if
they are available) instead of
others, and our temperaments
influence how we behave within
the group.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Cultural Influences on
Personality
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Culture, values, and
traits
Culture
A program of shared rules that govern the behavior of
members of a community or society
A set of values, beliefs, and attitudes shared by most
members of that community
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Culture, values, and
traits
Individualist cultures
Cultures in which the self is regarded as autonomous,
and individual goals and wishes are prized above duty
and relations with others
Collectivist cultures
Cultures in which the self is regarded as embedded in
relationships, and harmony with one’s group is prized
above individual goals and wishes
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Culture and traits
2
•When culture is not appropriately considered,
people attribute unusual behavior to personality.
Timeliness and tardiness
In some cultures, time is seen as a linear construct; being
“on time” is seen as conscientious and thoughtful.
In other cultures, time is organized in a parallel fashion; the
idea of being “on time” as being more important than a
person is contradictory to the cultural norm.
How might this create a problem for a person from one culture
operating in a foreign cultural setting?
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Aggressiveness
2
•Emphasis on aggressiveness and vigilance in
herding cultures, creates culture of honor.
•Used to explain increased likelihood of fighting in
the South and the West, versus the North and
Midwest.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Aggression and cultures
of honor
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Evaluating cultural
approaches
•Cultural psychologists face the problem of how to
describe cultural influences on personality without
oversimplifying or stereotyping.
•People vary according to their temperaments,
beliefs, and learning histories, and this variation
occurs within every culture.
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
The Inner Experience
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Evaluating humanist
approaches
•Hard to operationally define many of the
concepts
•Added balance to the study of personality
•Encouraged others to focus on “positive
psychology”
•Fostered new appreciation for resilience
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Abraham Maslow
Humanistic psychology
An approach that emphasizes personal
growth, resilience, and the achievement of
human potential
Peak experiences
Rare moments of rapture caused by the
attainment of excellence or the experience of
beauty
Self-actualization
Striving for a life that is meaningful,
challenging, and satisfying
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Carl Rogers
2
Unconditional positive regard
Love and support given to another person with no
conditions attached.
Conditional positive regard
When the love and support we get from others come
with strings attached; that is, to get these positive
messages we must satisfy certain conditions or
“costs.”
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CHAPTER
Invitation to Psychology, 5e  Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Rollo May
2
Shared with humanists the belief in free will
and freedom of choice but also emphasized
loneliness, anxiety, and alienation.
Existentialism
• The search for the meaning of life
• The need to confront death
• The necessity of taking responsibility for our own actions
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