We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Week 17: Personality

Is personality monogenetic?
– no, it is composed of multiple traits

4 major theories of personality
– trait
– psychodynamic
– humanistic
– social-cognitive

2 Objective Personality Tests
– Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory (MMPI-2)
– NEO personality inventory

– minnesota multiphasic inventory
– asks people to answer series of true/false questions about themselves

NEO Personality Inventory
– measures 5 personality factors
– provides series of statements that a person agrees or disagrees with on a 5-point scale

What does NEO stand for?
N = neuroticism
E = extroversion
O = openness to expereince

3 Projective Tests
– Rorschach test

the Rorschach test
– series of inkblots presented, person describes what he or she sees in the inkblots
– called projective because person may project his/her personality onto the inkblot

– another projective test in which the person makes up stories about a series of ambiguous pictures presented on cards

The traditional/trait approach
– trait perspective
– classifies and describes psychological characteristics by which people differ consistently between situations and over time

Gordon Allpot
– identified 18,000 English adjectives that could describe an individual’s personality

– narrowed Allport’s list to 16 core personality traits
– used factor analysis

Factor Analysis
– technique used to reveal the factors or basic dimensions that underlie a questionnaire data set
– examines all correlations among questionnaire items

Critics of Cattell’s personality questionnaire
– too complex and contains many redundant personality traits
– newer measure based on fewer distinct personality traits

5-factor model
– current best trait model and dominant approach used today
– the Big Five

5 factors in Big Five
– openness to experience
– conscientousness
– extraversion
– agreeableness
– neuroticism

Big 5 questionnaire
– NEO personality inventory

People with high neuroticism scores pay less or more attention to threats and unpleasant experience
– more attention than people with low neuroticism scores

How consistent do traits remain over time?
– remain fairly consistent, but we also behave according to social norms and environmental cues

2 Explanatory approaches to personality
– psychodynamic (psychoanalytic)
– humanistic perspective

– primary theorist in the PSYCHODYNAMIC literature
– came to believe that disturbing childhood experience caused suffering of patients
– concluded that mind is more than just conscious perception!
– believed the mind largely consists of unconscious forces and desires

Psychoanalytic theory
– term used by Freud to describe personality and the techniques he used to examine patients
– unconcious as reservoir filled with mostly unacceptable feelings, desires and memories

Freud’s 3 parts of the mind
– Id
– Ego
– Superego

– completely unconscious reservoir of psychic energy
– strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives
– operates on a pleasure principle and demanding immediate gratification

– large conscious, mediating the conflicting demands of the id, superego and reality

– partly conscious, partly unconscious
– strives to live up to our internalized ideals and desires to follow rules/restrictions society places on us
– punishes ego by creating feelings of guilt and shame

Psychosexual Development
– Freud believed personality develops through a series of childhood stages, during which pleasure-seeking energies of the id become focused on distinct erogenous zones on the body

What happens if psychosexual stages are completed successfully? if they are not resolved?
– if completed successfully, result is a healthy personality
– if issues or conflicts are not resolved at appropriate stage, fixation can occur!

– lingering focus of pleasure seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage
– until conflict is resolved, individual will remain “stuck” in this stage
– ex. person stuck in oral stage dependent on smoking , drinking, eating, chewing gum

Defence Mechanisms
– mental systems that become active whenever the unconscious instinctual drives of the id come into conflict with the prohibitions of the superego
– way that people handle fixations or unwanted thoughts/desires

Anna Freud
– Freud’s daughter
– very influential in developing the theory of defense mechanisms
– said we employ defensive mental mechanisms (ex. repression) to keep anxiety-producing motives/desires from our conscious awareness

3 Categories of Defenses
– immature defenses
– intermediate defenses
– mature defenses

Immature Defenses
– distort reality the most
– lead to the most ineffective behaviour
– projections, regression, displacement

Intermediate Defenses
– involved less distortion of reality
– lead to somewhat more effective behaviour
– repression, reaction formation, sublimation

Mature Defenses
– least reality distortion
– association with the most adaptive coping
– humour and suppression (negative info is available to conscious mind but doesn’t overrun it)

2 types of psychoanalysis
– free association
– dream analysis

Free association
– patients say whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing
– can be clue to unconscious motivators

Dream analysis
– Freud though dreams were gateways to the unconscious

Criticism of Freud’s Theories
– very controversial
– theory is largely untestable
– not the simplest, most straightforward way to explain personality (lacks parsimony)

Humanistic Perspective
– emphasizes people’s conscious understanding of themselves and their capacity to choose their own paths to self-fulfillment
– focus on aspects of human nature that separate us from other animals

Phenomenological reality
– person’s conscious understanding of his or her own world

2 influential humanistic theorists
– Rogers
– Maslow

Carl Rogers
– concluded that self-concept plays a crucial role in shaping one’s phenomenological reality
– found that many people were striving to discover or become their real selves
– thought that if others aren’t happy with us, we can’t be happy with ourselves
– proposed that to become true selves, people need to receive unconditional positive regard

Abraham Maslow
– believed that a person’s behaviour stems from motivation to reach his/her full potential
– thought that people must first satisfy their lower-level needs before focusing on higher-level needs of self-fulfillment
– 5 levels

Maslow’s 5 levels of needs
1. physiological needs
2. safety needs
3. belonging needs
4. esteem needs
5. self-actualizing (discovering and fully enjoying true meaning of life)

Self-actualization qualities
– Maslow studied people he viewed as the most productive and well- adjusted, and looked from commonalities
– included accurate perception of reality, independent and creative mind, sophisticated sense of humour, interest in helping society, true enjoyment of life
– ex. Einstein and Gandhi

Therapeutic Value
– most therapies help clients to a limited extent
– cognitive behavioural therapy and medication are most effective
– humanistic/psychoanalytic treatments take a lot of time and are hard to assess

Reciprocal Determinism
– cyclical notion that personalities affect how we interact with our environment, and how the environment influence us is affected by our personalities

Cognitive Constructs
– general belief system that affects how a person understands events and selects behaviour

Julian Rotter
– believe that people decide to believe that what happens to them either is or is not controllable by their own efforts
– belief is locus of control!!

Internal locus of control
– people who believe that they are in control of their own rewards/fate

External locus of control
– people who feel that chance or outside forces determine their fate

Qualities of people who tend towards an internal locus of control
– more likely to take preventative healthcare measures
– likely to succeed in weight-loss
– likely to resist group pressure in tests of conformity
– likely to achieve strong academic goals
– less anxious and more content with life

learned helplessness
– people who are unable to control repeated adverse external events eventually lose their internal locus of control
– learn that hopelessness and passive resignation are the only possible responses to adverse external enviornment

Seligman’s research on dogs
– dogs and electric shocks
– dogs that had not originally been harnessed and shocked almost immediately figured out how to escape and avoid the shocks
– previuosly harnessed dogs failed to escape the shock and laid down and whimpered
– showed learned helplessness!

– people’s belief about their ability to perform a specific task
– good predictor of task performance
– proposed by Bandura!!

Low-self efficacy
– if you are not confident of your ability to perform a particular task

Maladaptive Optimism
– people maintain extremely unrealistic and self-delusional beliefs
– can lead to taking unnecessary risks (ex. not studying)

Motivation in Individualistic vs. Collectivist cultures
individual = people are motivated by their success
collectivist = people are motivated by their failure

Heritability and Personality
– finding that the Big Five are strongly affected by genetic factors
– shared environment contributes less than unique environment
– children sharing an environment are more likely to be different than similar (carving out niche in family)

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.

Our customer support team is available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm EST. If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less.

By clicking "Send Message", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
No results found for “ image
Try Our service