Chapter 10

Like motivation, emotion, and intelligence, personality is characterized by a variety of
theoretical approaches, and there is no one accepted definition of it. In this unit, students learn
about personality as viewed by the major perspectives. Tying these theories to the opening unit
on psychology’s major perspectives will help students understand the roots of these theories,
each of which is derived from one of those perspectives. In addition, application of the theories
to the area of personality assessment gives students concrete ways to understand how these
theoretical perspectives influence the ways that psychologists attempt to describe and explain
individual differences.
Honor Student or Craigslist Killer? 257
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory: Mapping the Unconscious Mind 259–262
Structuring Personality: Id, Ego, and Superego 259–260
Developing Personality: Psychosexual Stages 260–261
Defense Mechanisms 261–262
Evaluating Freud’s Legacy 262
The Neo-Freudian Psychoanalysts: Building on Freud 262–264
Jung’s Collective Unconscious 262–263
Horney’s Neo-Freudian Perspective 263
Adler and the Other Neo-Freudians 263–264
Allport’s Trait Theory 264
Factor Analysis 264–265
The Big Five Factors of Personality 265–266
Evaluating Trait Approaches to Personality 266
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Skinner’s Behaviorist Approach 266
Social Cognitive Approaches 266–267
Self-Efficacy 267
Self-Esteem 267
Evaluating Learning Approaches to Personality 267–268
Rogers and the Need for Self-Actualization 269–270
Evaluating Humanistic Approaches 270–271
Self-Report Measures of Personality 272–273
Projective Methods 273–274
Behavioral Assessment 274
Key Concept 10–1: How do psychologists define and use the concept of personality? 258
Key Concept 10–2: What do the theories of Freud and his successors tell us about the structure
and development of personality? 258–264
Key Concept 10–3: What are the major aspects of the trait, learning, biological and
evolutionary, and humanistic approaches to personality? 264–271
Key Concept 10–4: How can we most accurately assess personality? 271–274
Key Concept 10–5: What are the major types of personality measures? 271–274
10–1 Define personality and describe the basic structure of personality according to
Sigmund Freud.
10–2 Outline the five stages of personality development according to Freud.
10–3 Define and describe the defense mechanisms and their role in psychoanalytic
10–4 Discuss the contribution made by Freud, the criticisms of the psychoanalytic
theory of personality, and the contributions made by the neo-Freudians.
10–5 Describe and evaluate the trait theory approaches to personality development.
10–6 Describe and evaluate the learning theory approaches to personality development.
10–7 Describe and evaluate the biological and evolutionary approaches to personality
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Describe and evaluate the humanistic approaches to personality development.
Discuss personality assessment and define the concepts of validity, reliability, and
Differentiate between and cite examples of the following methods of personality
assessment: self-report, projective, and behavioral assessment.
Evaluate the various personality assessment methods.
Connect Psychology Activity: Defense Mechanisms
Video vignettes are used to illustrate each of the defense mechanisms. Following these segments,
students complete a drag-and-drop activity in which they match statements with defense
Defense Mechanisms in Everyday Life
Have students complete Handout 10–1 on defense mechanisms.
Defense Mechanisms
Choose one of the Freudian defense mechanisms and answer these questions:
 Define the defense mechanism in your own words.
 Describe a situation that happened to you in which you used a defense mechanism.
 Provide a brief analysis regarding why you think you used this defense mechanism.
Comparing Neo-Freudian Psychoanalysts
Ask students these questions:
 List one idea of each of the three neo-Freudians (Jung, Adler, and Horney) that you find
particularly useful.
 Why do you find this idea to be useful?
 Give an example from a popular movie in which this idea is represented.
Connect Psychology Activity: Your Ideal Self
Students rate the extent to which they fit a series of personality descriptions according to their
current and ideal selves.
Connect Psychology Activity: Trait Theory of Personality
In this activity, students evaluate the qualifications of five different job applicants for the role of
manager at a fictional workplace. They will be asked to review résumés, phone referrals, and
personality tests to choose the candidate whose personality will best fit the position.
Online Learning Center: What Provokes You?
Ratings of what situations provoke anger and feelings of being hurt; students’ results are
compared to others of the same sex.
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Online Learning Center: Styles of Responses
Have students complete this activity in which they state how they would respond in a particular
scenario; this activity assesses personality styles.
Comparison of Personality Theories
Ask students these questions:
 Select the personality theory that you think is the best at explaining individual
 State which theory this is, and describe why you chose it.
 Use examples from your experience to support your choice of this as “best.”
 Describe any limitations or problems with the theory.
Comparison of Personality Theories (with Regard to Defense Mechanisms)
Ask students the questions below. If you have already done the Defense Mechanisms exercise
above, you can just have students apply question 4 below to the scenario that they used for the
Defense Mechanisms exercise. Alternately, you can have them choose another example from
their lives. :
1. Think of a recent instance in your life in which you used a particular defense mechanism.
2. Describe what happened and which defense mechanism you used.
3. Why do you think you used this defense mechanism?
4. Would your behavior be better explained by another personality theory?
Textbook Website: Shyness Inventory
By completing this shyness questionnaire, students will have exposure to a self-report
personality measure of shyness, a personality attribute studied in the context of biological
theories of personality.
Self-Testing of Traits
A Big Five mini-test is available online at:
If this link is no longer active, here is another link that has a “shareware” version of a Five Factor
After students complete the test, have them answer these questions:
 Did you feel that the test accurately reflected your personality? Why or why not?
 Do you think that the Big Five factors are a good way to evaluate personality differences?
Self-Efficacy Scale
Have students complete the items in Handout 10–2, “Self-Efficacy Scale.” However, indicate
that self-efficacy is also established for specific areas of abilities and is usually not measured as a
general trait or quality.
Connect Psychology Activity: Self-validation and Personality Assessment
In this interactivity, students learn about the “Barnum effect” (explained below in relation to
Handout 10–3) by providing answers to a series of bogus personality questions and then rating
how closely a generic personality feedback description applies to them. Through this activity
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they learn to be more critical of such “diagnostic” descriptions as horoscopes and handwriting
Online Learning Center Activity: How Anxious Are You?
Have students complete this anxiety questionnaire, which will give them an opportunity to take a
self-report test of anxiety.
Online Learning Center Activity: Shyness Inventory
By completing this shyness questionnaire, students will have exposure to a self-report
personality measure that will give them some insights into this important feature of behavior.
Personnel Assessment
Give students the following assignment:
You are the personnel manager of a large corporation and decide that you want to change the
company’s test procedures for new employees, which include some outdated instruments that are
no longer being used. Answer these questions about designing a new test procedure:
 Which tests would you want to use to screen new employees? Why?
 Do you think it is fair to use psychological tests in evaluating new employees? Why or
why not?
Opening Considerations
As was true with intelligence, this topic covers a theoretical construct that cannot be directly
observed. The wealth of theories can frustrate some students seeking clear-cut definitions and
answers. By pointing out that each theory has something worthwhile to offer, you can address
these concerns. Students can use these theories as a way to understand their beliefs and
assumptions about human nature. Emphasize that what is covered in personality theories is
fundamental to understanding abnormal behavior and treatment, topics that interest most
Freudian Theory
Ideas regarding Freud’s theory are most easily understood as falling into these categories:
 Structures of the mind (id, ego, superego)
 Defense mechanisms
 Stages of personality development
Emphasize that Freud developed his theory within the context of his clinical practice. However,
he had the lofty ambition of creating a “science of the mind.” Therefore, he used his patients as a
way to test the components of his theory. This was both a strength and a limitation. As he was
creating new ideas about personality, he was also gathering data from sources that were limited
in time and place within the historical context of late 19th- and early 20th-century Vienna.
Regardless of what students may think about the validity of his theory, Freud’s ideas had a major
impact on 20th-century (and beyond) culture.
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Biography of Jung (from Pettijohn’s “Connectext”)
Carl Jung was born in Kesswil, Switzerland, on July 26, 1875. His father and eight uncles were
pastors, leading to a very religious upbringing.
Jung earned his M.D. in 1902 in psychiatry. He then worked at the Burghölzli Mental
Hospital in Zurich. Jung became interested in Freud’s work and became a close friend of Freud’s
until he realized that he did not want to place as much emphasis on sex as Freud did in his
Jung became a lecturer at the University of Zurich in 1905. However, his private practice
grew so large that he had to quit to devote all his energy to his practice.
Jung had many interests outside of psychology and wrote on such topics as religion,
astrology, telepathy, art, and even flying saucers. His numerous books include Two Essays on
Analytical Psychology (1953), Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961), Collected Works, and The
Red Book (1914–1930; 2009). He died at the age of 85 on June 6, 1961.
Biography of Horney (from Pettijohn’s “Connectext”)
Karen Horney was born in Hamburg, Germany, on September 16, 1885. She was a bright student
and decided to attend medical school, even though, as a female, she was strongly discouraged.
She earned her M.D. in 1913 from the University of Berlin. Horney continued her education by
studying psychiatry at Berlin-Lankwitz. She taught at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute from
1918 to 1932.
Horney moved to the United States in 1932 and taught at the Psychoanalytic Institute in
Chicago and the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. In 1941 she was one of the founding
members of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.
She wrote a number of books, including Neurosis and Human Growth, New Ways in
Psychoanalysis, and Self-Analysis. Horney died on December 4, 1952.
Neo-Freudian Theory
Each of the three neo-Freudians described in the chapter began their work as traditional
psychoanalysts, but each found the theory too limiting. Jung was interested in the spiritual roots
of personality; Adler in the relationship between the individual and society; and Horney rejected
Freud’s ideas about women but also felt that his theory did not place enough weight on social
factors in development.
Here are specific points for each theorist:
 Collective unconscious at the center of personality
 Unconscious urges built on archetypes
 Healthy personality strives for balance
 Humans strive for self-improvement
 Inferiority complex the basis for neurosis
 Women not motivated by penis envy; instead, envy men’s higher social status
 Emphasized discrepancy between real and ideal self
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Helpful Hints for Students
To keep the neo-Freudian theorists straight try these tricks:
Adler: Always wanted an “A” (inferiority was a focus of his theory)
Horney: Use this rebus—
Jung: The “Jung” and the restless
Overhead: Defense Mechanisms Chart
Show this overhead of defense mechanisms:
Demonstration: Defense Mechanisms (“What’s My Defense Mechanism?”)
Have students create improvisational skits in which they act out the Freudian defense
mechanisms. Make sure they understand the defense mechanisms before they take the stage. This
activity can be enhanced by having a panel of students (or the entire class, if it is not too large)
try to guess what defense mechanisms are being portrayed. Leave the overhead on the screen
during this activity.
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Biography of Cattell (from Pettijohn’s “Connectext”)
Raymond B. Cattell was born in Staffordshire, England, on March 20, 1905. He earned his
undergraduate degree in chemistry and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of London in
1929. He taught college and worked in a psychological clinic in London until 1937.
In that year, he moved to the United States. He taught at Clark University and Harvard
University before becoming, in 1942, the director of the Laboratory of Personality and Group
Analysis at the University of Illinois.
Cattell was a prolific writer, having written more than 500 articles and 50 books. His
important works include Description and Measurement of Personality (1946), Personality and
Motivation: Structure and Measurement (1957), and Personality and Mood by Questionnaire
(1973). Cattell developed the popular personality inventory called the “Sixteen Personality
Factor Questionnaire” (16PF).
In 1978, when he was in his seventies, he accepted a part-time position at the University
of Hawaii. Cattell died on February 4, 1998, at the age of 92.
Biography of Carl Rogers (from Pettijohn’s “Connectext”)
Carl R. Rogers, the son of prosperous businesspeople, was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1902.
He was reared in a strict religious environment that placed great emphasis on the value of hard
work and the sharing of responsibility. Rogers enrolled in the University of Wisconsin with the
intention of studying agriculture. However, he soon decided to prepare for the ministry.
Leaving Wisconsin in 1924, he entered Union Theological Seminary in New York. He
became deeply involved in clinical work with disturbed children, and his interests shifted to
clinical psychology. He received his doctorate from Columbia University in 1931 and went to
work at a guidance clinic in Rochester, New York. He later taught at Ohio State University, the
University of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin before settling at the Center for Studies
of the Person in La Jolla, California.
Throughout his career, Rogers continued to work extensively with delinquent and
underprivileged children. He wrote many influential books, including Client-Centered Therapy
(1951), On Becoming a Person (1961), and A Way of Being (1980). He was a leader of the
humanistic psychology movement until his death in 1987.
Biography of Abraham Maslow (from Pettijohn’s “Connectext”)
Abraham H. Maslow was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1908. He studied primate behavior at
the University of Wisconsin, where he received his doctorate in psychology in 1934.
Early in his career, Maslow was drawn to the study of human motivation and personality. His
work in this area upset strict behaviorists, whose explanations of motivation and personality
failed to account for what Maslow called the whole person. His theory of the hierarchy of needs,
which leads to the “self-actualized” individual, was a strong catalyst for the founding of
humanistic psychology. Maslow successfully bridged motivation and personality in his theories
of needs, self-actualizing persons, and peak experiences.
Maslow is considered an important figure in contemporary psychology. His career was a
formidable one. For 14 years he taught at Brooklyn College, then went to Brandeis University as
chairman of the Psychology Department. In 1968 he was elected president of the American
Psychological Association. In 1969 he went to the Laughlin Foundation in Menlo Park,
California. He wrote two important books: Toward a Psychology of Being (1962) and Motivation
and Personality (1954). Abraham Maslow died of a heart attack in 1970.
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Maslow’s Theory: Characteristics of Self-Actualized People
In addition to discussing the hierarchy of needs, as presented in Chapter 8, summarize this list of
the characteristics of self-actualized people. Be sure to indicate that self-actualization is not a
state of perfection or “completion” but is a process and is highly individualized. Given these
qualifications, here is the list:
 Realistic
 Accept self, others, world
 Spontaneous
 Problem (not self-) centered
 Can be detached and private
 Autonomous
 Fresh, not stereotyped perceptions
 Capable of “peak” experiences
 Identify with humankind
 Profound, deep relationships
 “Democratic” values
 Don’t confuse means with ends
 Philosophical sense of humor
 Fund of creativeness
 Resist conformity
 Transcend the environment, don’t
just cope
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Trait Theory
The major theorists are Allport, Cattell, and Eysenck. They agreed that personality is made up of
stable dispositions or dimensions along which people differ. Big Five or Five Factor theory
incorporates other trait theories into a set of five.
The Big Five Factors of Personality , are Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness,
Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
To remember these names, think of “OCEAN” or “CANOE” (or a canoe on the ocean!).
Here are brief descriptions of each trait:
Openness to experience: Toleration for and exploration of the unfamiliar
Conscientiousness: Degree of organization, persistence, and motivation in goal-directed
Extroversion: Capacity for joy, need for stimulation
Agreeableness: One’s orientation along a continuum from compassion to antagonism in
thoughts, feelings, and actions
Neuroticism: Proneness to psychological distress, excessive cravings or urges, and unrealistic
Social Cognitive (Learning) Theory
People acquire new behaviors by watching the consequences of behavior reinforced by others.
Self-efficacy is the belief you have in your ability to succeed at a given task. It is acquired on the
basis of observing the results of your own actions.
Biological Theories
Temperament reflects genetic inheritance and is manifested early in life.
Humanistic Theories
The major points of Rogers:
 People are basically good
 Self-actualization requires unconditional positive regard
In conjunction with Handout 10–2, indicate that self-efficacy is usually measured with regard to
specific situations. You can have students choose one area of their lives for which they feel that
performance is important and rate their self-efficacy for that area. This would take into account:
 Expectations for success or failure
 Self-assessments of abilities
 Evaluation of the challenges faced
 Past record of success or failure
Self-efficacy is applied to a variety of situations, such as fears or phobias, stress, addictive
behavior, achievement in school, career choice, and ability to recover from a major illness, such
as coronary heart disease.
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Comparison of Personality Theories
Download the comparison of personality theories chart from the Online Learning Center. Use it
to help students review the theories and relate them back to the perspectives they learned about
in Chapter 1. This framework will also be helpful when they learn about the major approaches to
abnormality in Chapter 12.
Review of Theories: Personality Jeopardy
Use these questions to create your own Jeopardy game that reviews the concepts associated with
the major personality theories. (You can create slides or put these on overheads; if you are using
PowerPoint, triggers can be activated to move to a specific slide that goes with each dollar
Well-Known General Facts
Defense mechanisms:
$100: An example of this defense mechanism would be a woman yelling at her husband after she
got fired.
Q: What is displacement?
$200: In this defense mechanism, people “forget” important but difficult past events.
Q: What is repression?
$300: When displaying this defense mechanism, people unconsciously pretend they like
someone whom they secretly hate.
Q: What is reaction formation?
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$400: This defense mechanism causes people to attribute their unwanted thoughts and feelings
to someone else.
Q: What is projection?
$500: If someone is using this defense mechanism, he directs his unwanted impulses into
something constructive.
Q: What is sublimation?
Famous people:
$100: This psychoanalyst challenged Freud’s ideas about women.
Q: Who was Karen Horney?
$200: This personality researcher discovered 18,000 words in the dictionary that refer to
personality traits.
Q: Who was Gordon Allport?
$300: Observational learning plays an important role in personality, according to this researcher
and theorist.
Q: Who is Alfred Bandura?
$400: The study of identical twins formed the basis for this researcher’s ideas about personality
Q: Who is Auke Tellegen?
$500: For this personality theorist, psychoticism was one of three basic personality traits.
Q: Who was Hans Eysenck?
$100: In Freud’s theory, the concept that women view themselves as castrated males.
Q: What is penis envy?
$200: In Adler’s theory, a person’s feelings of low self-esteem.
Q: What is an inferiority complex?
$300: For Jung, the universal symbolic representations of people, objects, and experiences.
Q: What is an archetype?
$400: The basic, innate dispositions that infants are born with, according to biological theories.
Q: What is temperament?
$500: According to Carl Rogers, the situation that exists when parents show consistent love and
acceptance of their children.
Q: What is unconditional positive regard?
Well-known tests:
$100: This “true–false” personality test is named after a state.
Q: What is the MMPI?
$200: Inkblots form the basis of this test.
Q: What is the Rorschach?
$300: You would tell a story about people in a picture in this test.
Q: What is the TAT?
$400: A psychologist watches you and records what you do.
Q: What is behavioral assessment?
$500: Use of racial norming on this test was discontinued in the 1990s.
Q: What is the General Aptitude Test Battery?
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General facts and knowledge (or swap for “trivia” about your college or department):
$100: This theory regards human behavior as being shaped by external forces.
Q: What is behaviorism?
$200: According to this theory, personality consists of five major traits.
Q: What is the “Big Five”?
$300: This tragic Greek figure formed the basis for a Freudian personality stage.
Q: Who was Oedipus?
$400: A Jungian would regard this sci-fi movie as illustrating archetypes of good and evil.
Q: What is Star Wars?
$500: By improving our faith in ourselves, social learning theorists say we can increase this
personality quality.
Q: What is self-efficacy?
Comparison of Personality Theories and Terms: “Family Feud” (or you could call
it “Family F(r)eud”)
Survey students in the class on these categories:
 Favorite psychological term
 Most Freudian food item
 Best psychological song
 Other (could be trivia from the psychology department)
Here are ideas generated by previous classes:
Favorite psychological term:
 Anal retentive (19%)
 Humanistic (19%)
 Libido (9%)
 Id (7%)
 Oedipus complex (7%)
 Penis envy (7%)
 Self-efficacy (7%)
Most Freudian food item:
 Banana (68%)
 Hotdog (20%)
 Pickle (4%)
 Cucumber (4%)
 Popsicle (2%)
 Sausage (2%)
Most psychological song:
 “Isn’t It Ironic” (27%)
 “I’m a Loser” (19%)
 “You Oughta Know” (11%)
 “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” (7%)
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“Comfortably Numb” (7%)
Class Demonstration: The “Barnum Effect,” or Problems with Self-Report
Inventories (do not use this if you are assigning Connect Psychology Activity
which demonstrates the same concept)
The “Barnum Effect” refers to the tendency to place our faith in generic feedback. The term is
derived from the expression (wrongly attributed to) circus producer P. T. Barnum: “There’s a
sucker born every minute.” For this demonstration, you will give students a generic personality
inventory, such as the Marlow-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Alternatively, you can make up
an innocuous personality questionnaire with items that sound like those on the MMPI or the
online Big Five questionnaire. For this demonstration to work, you must present the
questionnaire as though it is known to have great validity and provides an accurate picture of an
individual’s personality. Give out the questionnaire two weeks before the lecture so that students
will not associate the questionnaire with the feedback. The rationale for this is that it will take
two weeks for the data to be analyzed. Have students complete the questionnaire on a machinescoring format (an Opscan sheet), with an ID number that they give to themselves but that you
do not have access to. They should write this ID number down so that they’ll be able to retrieve
it later.
On the day that you are giving feedback, copy the feedback in Handout 10–3 onto a sheet
of paper and insert it into an envelope with the ID number on it. Hand this back to the students,
along with the rating sheet. Do not allow them to talk or share comments. (Ensure this by stating
that the feedback is highly individualized and may contain very revealing facts. To protect
themselves, they should keep it private.) Then collect their ratings. You should be able to scan
them quickly to determine that the majority rate the applicability of the feedback as very high
(you can calculate this later and report the actual number during the next class). In class testings
of this demonstration, the percentages with ratings of 4 or 5 ranged from 70% to 80%. Then
point out that the name of the questionnaire, the “SUCR,” actually stands for “sucker,” and that
they have been victims of the Barnum Effect!
Projective Measures
Find and show a card from the TAT (the one of the young person and the older person are best).
Have students write a brief story using the TAT instructions—who are the figures, what are they
thinking and feeling, what is happening? Then ask the students to indicate whether they saw the
figures as two men, two women, or one man and one woman (and which was which); whether a
theme of their story was aging, death, or family relationships; and whether the characters were
both real or whether one character was “thinking” about the other. These are common themes of
stories based on this card of the TAT.
Find two illustrations from the Rorschach test. One should be in color, and one should be blackand-white.The instructions for the Rorschach are to ask, “What might this be?” Ask this question
and then have students write down three brief answers for each stimulus (separately). Note that
the scoring of these responses would occur along the following dimensions: (a) whether or not
color is mentioned; (b) whether the answer takes into account the whole figure or a part of it; (c)
if the figures are seen as two halves of a single figure or as mirror images; (d) and whether the
images look like cartoon, comic, or animal-like figures. Although the Rorschach’s validity is
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often questioned, these are the types of considerations given in assessments using standardized
Cattell’s 16PF
Present this table of the scales on Cattell’s 16PF test.
The Primary Source Traits Covered by the 16PF Test
Fact Low Sten Score Description
High Sten Score Description
Cool, reserved, impersonal,
Warm, outgoing, kindly,
detached, formal, aloof
easygoing, participating, likes
Concrete thinking, less
Abstract thinking, more
intelligent, bright
Lower scholastic mental
Higher scholastic mental
Affected by feelings,
Emotionally stable, mature,
emotionally less stable, easily faces reality, calm
Higher ego strength
Lower ego strength
Submissive, humble, mild,
Dominant, assertive,
easily led, accommodating
aggressive, stubborn,
competitive, bossy
Sober, restrained, prudent
Enthusiastic, spontaneous,
taciturn, serious
heedless, expressive, cheerful
Expedient, disregards rules,
Conscientious, conforming,
moralistic, staid, rulebound
Weaker superego strength
Stronger superego strength
Shy, threat sensitive, timid,
Bold, venturesome,
hesitant, intimidated
uninhibited, can take stress
Tough-minded, self-reliant,
Tender-minded, sensitive,
no-nonsense, rough, realistic overprotected, intuitive, refined
Trusting, accepting
Suspicious, hard to fool,
conditions, easy to get on
distrustful, skeptical
Practical, concerned with
Imaginative, absentminded,
“down to earth” issues,
absorbed in thought,
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Forthright, unpretentious,
open, genuine, artless
Self-assured, secure, feels
free of guilt, untroubled, selfsatisfied
Untroubled adequacy
Conservative, respecting
traditional ideas
Conservatism of
Group-oriented, a joiner and
sound follower, listens to
Group adherence
Undisciplined, self-conflict,
lax, careless of social rules
Low integration
Relaxed, tranquil, composed,
has low drive, unfrustrated
Low ergic tension
Shrewd, polished, socially
aware, diplomatic, calculating
Apprehensive, self-blaming,
guiltprone, insecure, worrying
Experimenting, liberal, critical,
open to change
Self-sufficient, resourceful,
prefers own decisions
Following self-image, socially
precise, compulsive
High self-concept control
Tense, frustrated, overwrought,
has high drive
High ergic tension
Documentary: The Young Dr. Freud
This PBS documentary is available for purchase (; it chronicles
Freud’s life and theory. This website provides other useful resources.
A&E Biography: “Sigmund Freud: Analysis of a Mind”
This hour-long biography traces Freud’s life, focusing on the relationship between his personal
life experiences and his theory. The documentary is interspersed with interviews with
psychoanalysts and historians.
The DVD is available for purchase at
Popular Movies: Defense Mechanisms
There are many popular movies involving defense mechanisms, some of which can be
humorous. A character from old Saturday Night Live skits, the Church Lady, is a good example
of reaction formation (this can be purchased in the Best of Dana Carvey collection):
Popular Movies: Jungian Archetypes
Show a scene from a movie illustrating archetypes. Some examples are Star Wars, Lord of the
Rings, or another movie with archetypal themes. The Broadway musical Into the Woods is an
excellent example of Jungian theory, as the characters are all archetypes. In addition, they seek
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greater balance within their personalities. Each looks in the “woods” (i.e., the unconscious) to
find happiness, but instead almost all the main characters are eaten by the Giant! See:
Popular Movie: Aggression
As was the case in Chapter 5 (“Learning”), a movie illustrating the learning of aggression
through imitating violent models would be appropriate in the context of social cognitive
personality theory.
Popular Television Show: Unconditional Positive Regard
Show a clip from the PBS children’s show Mr. Rogers to illustrate the theory of Carl Rogers
(interesting coincidence!), in which the main character discusses the importance of children
feeling good about themselves.
Documentary: 49 Up
This British documentary (which can be rented from a video store) describes the lives of British
adults at 49 who have been studied since they were 7 years old. It provides a fascinating view of
personality stability over time. Information is available at:
Popular Movie: Armageddon
In this movie, trainees take a battery of psychological tests, including the Rorschach.
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