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AS Psychology The Core studies. Individual Differences approach & Psychodynamic perspective. What IS personality?. Write a definition of what YOU think personality means. What IS personality?. Personality is a hypothetical construct! We can never observe one

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as psychology the core studies

AS PsychologyThe Core studies

Individual Differences approach& Psychodynamic perspective

what is personality
What IS personality?
  • Write a definition of what YOU think personality means...
what is personality3
What IS personality?
  • Personality is a hypothetical construct!
  • We can never observe one
  • We can only infer personality from behaviour
what is personality4
What IS personality?
  • Personality is not a THING but can only be inferred from how we interact with other people and generally deal with the world
what is personality5
What IS personality?
  • Baron & Byrne (1991)
  • Personality is …
  • ……the combination of those relatively enduring TRAITS which influence behaviour in a predictable way in a variety of situations…...
trait theories of personality
Trait theories of personality..
  • EYSENCK (1953)
  • The INTROVERT personality
  • A typical introvert is quiet, retiring, introspective, fond of books rather than of people, reserved & distant...
trait theories of personality7
Trait theories of personality..
  • EYSENCK (1953)
  • The EXTROVERT personality
  • A typical extrovert is sociable, likes parties, has many friends, needs people to talk to, craves excitement, and likes change…
the biological basis for personality
The BIOLOGICAL basis for personality
  • EYSENCK.. Biological differences in nervous systems
  • Extroverts have STRONG nervous systems which tend to DAMP down incoming sensory data - thus they are UNDER AROUSED and need to ‘arouse themselves’ with activity’
  • Introverts have SENSITIVE nervous systems which AMPLIFY incoming sensory data, thus they need to ‘reduce sensory input’...
personality traits
Personality traits...
  • Does the EYSENCK theory of a biological basis for personality predict
    • STABLE personality traits?
    • VARIABLE personality traits?
    • This is a reductionist theory of personality
    • What do we mean by ‘reductionist’
freud s psychodynamic theory of personality
Freud ‘s psychodynamic theory of personality

The tripartite structure of personality




the three faces of eve
The THREE faces of EVE

A case study

multiple personality disorder

Thigpen & Cleckley (1954)

the three faces of eve12
The THREE faces of EVE
  • This is a case study
  • and
  • a record of a therapeutic process
the three faces of eve13
The THREE faces of EVE
  • Who were Thigpen & Cleckley?
  • They were psychiatrists
  • (medically qualified)
  • Their paper was published in the Journal of abnormal & social psychology (1954)
the three faces of eve14
The THREE faces of EVE
  • Who was EVE?
  • A 25 year old woman who was referred
  • because of her SEVERE & BLINDING HEADACHES and spells of amnesia
  • Thigpen & Cleckley tested her with
  • Psychometric tests, projective tests,
the three faces of eve15
The THREE faces of EVE
  • In the initial interviews (EVE WHITE)
  • EVE complained of (symptoms)
  • Blinding Headaches
  • Blackouts
  • Marital Problems
  • Personal problems
the three faces of eve16
The THREE faces of EVE
  • What was EVE WHITE like?
  • IQ score 110
  • memory - excellent
  • repressive personality
  • conservative, shy, dutiful
  • loving wife and mother
the three faces of eve17
The THREE faces of EVE
  • EVE showed amnesia for a recent trip and was HYPNOTISED in order to restore her memory
the three faces of eve18
The THREE faces of EVE
  • A letter arrived which was written in two kinds of handwriting!
the three faces of eve19
The THREEfaces of EVE

The letter

is objective evidence

the three faces of eve20
The THREE faces of EVE
  • What did EVE say about the letter?
  • She denied writing it, though she did say she had begun a letter which she had not finished
the three faces of eve21
The THREE faces of EVE
  • What happened then?
  • Eve became distressed and asked
  • “whether hearing voices in her head meant she was insane”
  • she said that she had heard a voice in her head speaking to her
the three faces of eve22
The THREE faces of EVE
  • This was a critical interview
  • Several times she put her hands to her head as if in pain
  • AND THEN...
the three faces of eve23
The THREE faces of EVE
  • 1st ‘alter-ego?
the three faces of eve24
The THREE faces of EVE
  • The therapist noted
  • A quick reckless smile…”HI DOC”
  • Eve White now displayed
  • a childishly daredevil air
  • an erotic glance
  • even her sitting posture changed
  • Eve White became Eve Black
the three faces of eve25
The THREE faces of EVE
  • What was EVE BLACK like?
  • IQ score 104
  • memory - poor
  • regressive personality
  • childish, extrovert, mischievous
  • denied being a wife & mother
the three faces of eve26
The THREE faces of EVE
  • The therapy lasted 14 months and 100 hours of interviews
  • Eve Black would sometimes ‘appear’ but could only be CALLED OUT under hypnosis
the three faces of eve27
The THREE faces of EVE
  • Eve White was not aware of Eve Black
  • Eve Black was aware of Eve White
  • Eve Black had existed since childhood
  • Eve Black - “would emerge, would behave badly and then retreat and let Eve White take the blame…(parents verified incidents)
the three faces of eve28
The THREE faces of EVE
  • How T & C described Eve Black
  • “childish, irresponsible & shallow
  • “seeking pleasure & excitement
  • “denied marriage to EW’s husband
      • whom she despised
  • “denied relationship with EW’s daughter
the three faces of eve29
The THREE faces of EVE
  • Did her family not notice ANYTHING odd
  • When they observed EB they put her harshness & aggression down to ‘occasional temper tantrums in a normally gentle woman
how did the therapists measure the variables of personality
How did the therapists measure the variables of personality?
  • Personality tests (psychometric tests)
  • Rorschach ink blot tests
  • EW = repressive (FREUD)
  • EB = regressive (FREUD)
  • Electroencephalograms (EEG) to record brain activity)
how did the therapists measure the variables of personality31
How did the therapists measure the variables of personality?

Rorschach ink blot test = a projective test

  • Discussion:
  • What do you see?
  • Is what you see a projection of your unconscious mind?
  • Is this a quantitative or qualitative measure?
  • How valid is this measure?
how did the therapists measure the variables of personality32
How did the therapists measure the variables of personality?

Thematic Apperception Test = a projective test

  • Write a storyline for the pic:
  • What has been happening?
  • What is happening?
  • What will happen?
  • Is your story a projection of your unconscious fears/desires?
  • How valid is this measure?
as treatment progressed
As treatment progressed
  • EW headaches recurred & got worse
  • Blackouts increased
  • Both EW & EW denied awareness in these blackouts
  • EW state of mind deteriorated
      • (confinement was considered)
another personality appears
Another personality appears!
  • A THIRD personality
  • who called herself JANE
  • JANE had full awareness of EW and EB
  • Neither EW nor EB were aware of JANE
what did thigpen cleckley do
What did Thigpen & Cleckley do?
  • All THREE personalities were tested by electroencephalogram
  • clear differences were recorded
  • therapy continued to treat all THREE women in the ONE body
the decision of thigpen cleckley
The decision of Thigpen & Cleckley
  • Jane seemed to be
  • the person most likely
  • to bring a solution
  • to the troubled mind
  • She was increasingly dominant over the other personalities
the moral dilemma ethics
The moral dilemma (ethics)
  • They noted the moral problem re:
  • the problem of killing one or more of the personalities
other explanations
Other explanations?
  • Was the woman a very good actress
  • (were T & C conned?)
  • Was the woman psychotic (schizophrenic?)
  • Could the hypnotism have caused the multiple personality effect?
what did t c conclude
What did T & C conclude?
  • They did wonder whether they had become so involved that they ‘lost their sense of judgement and over dramatised the case’
  • They remain convinced that they witnessed a case of multiple personality
      • Note: A film was made!
another strange case
Another strange case

The multiple personalities of SYBIL

(see SCHREIBER 1973)

back to the question
Back to the question?
  • What do we mean by personality?
  • Is personality a stable trait?
  • What do we mean by
    • not like himself/herself
    • s/he’s a changed person
    • acting out of character
the three faces of eve postscript
The Three faces of Eve - postscript
  • In 1975 a woman came forward and said SHE was EVE White
  • said she had experienced many other personalities both before therapy and since (22 in all)
  • that the fragmentation of her personality had been to protect herself from ‘unbearable experiences’
ethical problems
Ethical problems
  • Killing one/more of the personalities - who should decide this?
  • Making a film for profit - who benefits & what about patient confidentiality?
  • During the treatment Eve White got worse
  • ‘Who’ gives informed consent for the treatment procedures ?
ethical problems44
Ethical problems
  • Which personality do you think T & C approved of most?
  • Might there be a ‘culture & gender bias issue here? Were their judgements biased by the ‘social norms’ of the 1950s
questions you should be able to answer
Questions you should be able to answer
  • What were the similarities & differences between Eve White and Eve Black?
  • What is the main difference between multiple personality disorder & schizophrenia?
  • What problems with the case study method does this study highlight?
  • What factor(s) may have influenced their diagnosis?
a question to think about
A question to think about
  • If Eysenck’s theory of biological basis for personality is CORRECT could Eve have had multiple personalities?
  • Note: These days MPD is called DID !

Disassociative Identity Disorder

multiple personality disorder
Multiple Personality Disorder
  • Frequency distribution
  • 14 cases between 1944 - 1969
  • 50 cases in the 1970s ! (6 by Sybil’s therapist)
  • even more in the 1980s (an epidemic)
  • the rise & fall correlates with the impact of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory
  • MOSTLY in the USA
the three faces of eve48
The three faces of Eve
  • There is NO universally accepted definition even among psychiatrists in the USA
  • Read the study & read up about HYPNOTISM – is this an altered state of consciousness or an extreme case of demand characteristics?
  • Draw up a table of similarities and differences between EW, EB and Jane