Chapter 13 personality l.jpg
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 104

Chapter 13 Personality PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 98 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Chapter 13 Personality. Personality. Personality Personality is an elusive concept. Some psychologists have developed “grand theories” of personality.

Download Presentation

Chapter 13 Personality

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Chapter 13 personality l.jpg

Chapter 13Personality


Personality l.jpg

Personality

  • Personality

    • Personality is an elusive concept.

    • Some psychologists have developed “grand theories” of personality.

    • Others have tried to identify personality types and describe why an individual classified as a certain “personality type” behaves in certain ways.

    • In this chapter, we will examine the ways of understanding personality and also discuss the ways of and problems in measuring this concept.


Module 13 1 l.jpg

Module 13.1

  • Personality Theories


Personality4 l.jpg

Personality

  • Personality derives from the Latin word persona, which translates into English as “mask.”

  • In psychology, personality is defined as the consistent ways in which one person’s behavior differs from that of others, especially in social contexts.


Slide5 l.jpg

FIGURE 13.1 Philosophers Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau held opposing views of human nature. Psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers also held conflicting views. Freud, like Hobbes, stressed the more negative aspects of human nature; Rogers, like Rousseau, the more positive aspects.


Personality6 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • Sigmund Freud, an Austrian physician, developed the first psychodynamic theory of personality.

      • Psychodynamic theory relates personality to the interplay of conflicting forces within the individual.

      • The individual may not be aware of some of the internal forces that are at work influencing thought and behavior.


Personality7 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • Although Freud’s theory had an enormous impact on society during the 20th century, his influence within psychology is waning.

    • His theory is very difficult to test empirically.

    • Although many psychologists find nothing useful in the Freudian paradigm, its tenets are still utilized by some mental health practitioners.


Personality8 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • Freud’s search for the unconscious

      • Medicine was not Freud’s first choice of career; he wished to be a professor of anthropology, but could not obtain a position due to discrimination against Jews in 19th-century Austria.

      • He was influenced by the psychiatrist Josef Breuer, who encouraged patients to recall and discuss the details of traumatic early life experiences in order to relieve the physical complaints that were apparently a manifestation of the unreleased emotions associated with these events.


Slide9 l.jpg

FIGURE 13.2 Freud believed that psychoanalysis could bring parts of the unconscious into the conscious mind, where the client could deal with them.


Personality10 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • Freud’s search for the unconscious

      • Breuer and Freud referred to this process as catharsis, the therapeutic release of pent-up emotional tension.

      • Freud later expanded this “talking cure” into a method of explaining the workings of personality, based on the interplay of conscious and unconscious internal forces, and called it psychoanalysis.


Personality11 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • The unconscious mind contains memories, emotions and thoughts, some of which are illogical or socially unacceptable.

    • These thoughts and feelings influence our behavior although we cannot talk about them and may not even be aware of them.

    • Psychoanalysis brings these thoughts to consciousness to achieve catharsis and help the patient overcome irrational and dysfunctional impulses.


Personality12 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • Freud noticed that some patients were less seriously affected by their early childhood traumas than others were.

    • He developed a series of interesting hypotheses for the “excessive anxiety” that some patients seem to manifest.


Personality13 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • He proposed that excessive anxiety might be due to:

      • Lack of sexual gratification

      • Masturbation

      • Traumatic sexual experiences from early childhood


Personality14 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • He stood by the “seduction hypothesis” for a number of years, putting together the evidence for sexual abuse in childhood from patients’ dream reports, slips of the tongue, and other indirect evidence.

    • Some patients had no recollections of such events, but Freud nonetheless stood by his interpretations.


Personality15 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • Freud later abandoned the seduction hypothesis, claiming that his patients had “misled” him (rather than his interpretations and insistence might have been wrong).

    • He now took the position that his patience had sexual fantasies as young children and never came to terms with their anxiety and guilt over those fantasies.


Personality16 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud and the psychodynamic approach

    • Freud developed the concept of the Oedipus complex.

      • He concluded that children wish to have sex with their opposite sex parent but realize that it is forbidden.

      • He chose the name based on an ancient Greek play by Sophocles in which the protagonist murders his father and marries his mother.

      • Like many other constructs proposed by Freud, there is little reliable empirical evidence to support the notion of an “Oedipus complex.” Freud rarely distinguished between his results and his evidence.


Personality17 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • Freud also developed a framework to explain the development of personality over the course of childhood and adolescence.

    • This framework is known as the Stages of Psychosexual Development.


Personality18 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • Freud based his theory on what he perceived to be the changing nature of the individual’s psychosexual interest and pleasure. Psychosexual pleasure refers to all the strong and pleasurable sensations of excitement that arise from body stimulation.

    • He believed that how we manage this aspect of our development influences nearly all aspects of our personality.


Personality19 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • Freud proposed that people have a libido, a psychosexual energy (from the Latin word for “desire”).

    • Over the course of the lifespan, the preferred channel for gratifying this desire changes.

    • There are five stages, each with its own way for seeking gratification of libidinous desires.

    • If normal development is blocked, a person may become fixated and continue to be preoccupied with gratification of the libido in a manner typical of an earlier time of life.


Personality20 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • The Oral Stage (The first year of life)

      • The infant derives intense psychosexual pleasure from stimulation of the mouth, particularly from breastfeeding but from oral contact with other objects as well.

      • Oral fixation might involve problems with eating, drinking, substance use, and issues of dependence on/independence from others.


Personality21 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • The Anal Stage (About 1 to 3 years old)

      • The child derives intense psychosexual pleasure from stimulation of the anal sphincter, the muscle that controls bowel movements. This is partly related to toilet training, which usually occurs at this stage.

      • Anal fixation might involve problems with extreme stinginess or need to maintain strict order. Sometimes the opposite is true, and the person is very wasteful and messy.


Personality22 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • The Phallic Stage (About 3 to 6 years of age)

      • The child derives intense psychosexual pleasure from stimulation of the genitals, and becomes attracted to the opposite-sex parent.

      • Phallic fixation might involve fear of being castrated (in boys) or “penis envy” in girls.


Personality23 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • The Latent Period (About 6 years to adolescence)

      • The child in this period suppresses his or her psychosexual interest. Children in this age group tend to play mostly with same sex peers.

      • There is some evidence that the “latent period” is a cultural artifact. Children in some non-industrialized societies do not experience a period of “latency.”


Personality24 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • The Genital Stage (Adolescence and beyond)

      • The individual in this period has a strong sexual interest in other people. If he or she has completed the other stages successfully, primary psychosexual satisfaction will be gained from sexual intercourse.

      • The individual who is fixated in an early period of development has little libido left for this stage.


Slide25 l.jpg

Table 13.1 Freud’s stages of psychosexual development.


Personality26 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s psychosexual stages of development

    • Evaluation of Freud’s stages

      • As with the rest of Freudian theory, these stages are difficult to test empirically.

      • Research that has been done on the psychosexual stages has been inconclusive.

      • Although the personality attributes for people who are “fixated” at certain stages do seem to correlate, there is no evidence that they result from the difficulties that Freud hypothesized occur at those ages (i.e. “penis envy” in the Phallic Stage).


Personality27 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s structure of personality

    • According to Freud, there are three components to personality.

      • Id, the part that is comprised of all of our biological drives that demand immediate gratification.

      • Ego, the rational, negotiating, and decision-making component of the personality.

      • Superego, the internalized values and rules we receive from our parents and society.


Personality28 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s structure of personality

    • Freud believed that these components were like “warring factions” struggling for control of the personality and behavior of the individual.

    • Sometimes these struggles cause psychological distress.

    • Psychologists treat this model as a metaphor; most do not believe that it represents the actual structure of mind.


Concept check l.jpg

Concept Check:

Your friend Patricia tells you that she believes that men have all the advantages in the “sexual arena.” Freud would say that she….

Is fixated in the phallic stage or suffers from “penis envy”


Concept check30 l.jpg

Concept Check:

Your friend Oscar can’t seem to go more than 30 minutes without lighting up a cigarette. Freud would say that he…

Is fixated in the oral stage.


Concept check31 l.jpg

Concept Check:

Your friend Annie can’t seem to hang on to a cent. She spends her money wildly. Her roommates are always threatening to call the health department because she never cleans up after herself and her room always looks like a “pigsty.” Freud would say that she…

Is fixated in the anal stage.


Personality32 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s structure of personality

    • The model of personality that Freud created involves conflicts and anxiety over unpleasant impulses and thoughts.

      • Freud proposed the existence of defense mechanisms that function to relegate these unpleasant thoughts and feelings to the unconscious.

      • Most of the time, these mechanisms function as healthy ways to suppress anxiety.

      • They are only viewed as problematic if they prevent the person from effectively dealing with reality.


Slide33 l.jpg

FIGURE 13.3 The ego, or “rational I,” has numerous ways of defending itself against anxiety, that apprehensive state named for the Latin word meaning “to strangle.” We use defense mechanisms to avoid unpleasant realities. They are part of an internal battle that you fight against yourself.


Personality34 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s structure of personality

    • Common defense mechanisms…

      • Rationalization occurs when people “make excuses” and reframe unpleasant events as actually beneficial, or their actions as justifiable or rational (when the actions are arguably not so).

      • Repression is “motivated forgetting” of painful or unacceptable thoughts, feelings or memories.

      • Regression is an apparent return to a more juvenile way of thinking or acting.

        “You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever!”

        -- (Anonymous)


Personality35 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s structure of personality

    • Common defense mechanisms…

      • Denial is refusal to acknowledge a problem or believe any information that causes anxiety.

      • Displacement is the diversion of an unacceptable thought or impulse from its actual target to a less threatening object or person.

      • Reaction formation involves presentation of one’s thoughts or feelings as the extreme opposite of what they actually are.

        “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

        -- (W. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III Scene ii)


Personality36 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s structure of personality

    • Common defense mechanisms…

      • Sublimation refers to the transformation of sexual or aggressive energies into acceptable and pro-social behaviors.

      • Projection is attributing one’s own undesirable characteristics or motives to other people.

        “It’s no secret that a liar won’t believe anyone else.”

        -- (U2, “The Fly” Achtung Baby 1991)


Concept check37 l.jpg

Concept Check:

Name that defense mechanism!

Your psychology professor, who smokes a pack of cigarettes every day, “forgets” to list nicotine on a handout you receive in class that lists addictive substances and drugs of abuse.

Repression


Concept check38 l.jpg

Concept Check:

Name that defense mechanism!

Your ex-spouse, who cheated on you, writes a best-selling nonfiction book arguing that human beings are not naturally monogamous and have an instinctive need for variety.

Rationalization


Concept check39 l.jpg

Concept Check:

Name that defense mechanism!

You are in love with your best friend’s new flame. The friendship is an old one and very valuable to you. You tell everybody that your friend’s new love interest is a terrible human being and you don’t understand the attraction at all.

Reaction formation


Concept check40 l.jpg

Concept Check:

Name that defense mechanism!

Your boss yells at you. You come home and yell at your spouse. Your spouse yells at your child. Your child goes out to the yard and yells at the dog.

Displacement


Personality41 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s legacy

    • It may seem as if all that has been emphasized about Freud is how weak his evidence was, and how wrong some of his conclusions likely are.

    • But he did make some enduring and useful contributions to psychology (although scholars do argue about the extent to which Freud alone was responsible for formulating the following notions).


Personality42 l.jpg

Personality

  • Freud’s legacy

    • Humans apparently have a mental life that is at least partly unconscious.

    • People often have conflicting motives.

    • Childhood experiences contribute to the development of adult personality and social behavior.

    • Relationships with people in our family-of-origin have some impact on relationships we have with others throughout life.

    • Sexual development has an impact on psychological development.


Personality43 l.jpg

Personality

  • Neo-Freudians

    • The Neo-Freudians were psychologists and others who adopted some parts of Freud’s theory and modified other parts.

      • Karen Horney believed that Freud exaggerated the role of sexuality in human behavior and motivation, and misunderstood the motivations of women and the dynamics of family relationships.


Personality44 l.jpg

Personality

  • Neo-Freudians

    • Carl Jung created a version of psychoanalytic theory that put a greater emphasis on the continuity of human experience and the human need for spiritual meaning in life.

    • He proposed the existence of a “collective unconscious.”

    • Present at birth, the collective unconscious reflects the cumulative experiences of all of our ancestors.

    • The collective unconscious also contains archetypes. These are figures and themes that emerge repeatedly in human history and across world cultures.


Personality45 l.jpg

Personality

  • Neo-Freudians

    • Alfred Adler founded the school of “individual psychology.”

    • The word “individual” refers to understanding the whole person, in contrast with the partitioned model of personality that was incorporated into the Freudian framework.


Personality46 l.jpg

Personality

  • Neo-Freudians

    • Adler proposed that humans have a natural desire to seek personal excellence and fulfillment, a striving for superiority. We create a master plan for achieving this, called a style of life.

    • People who do not succeed may suffer from an inferiority complex, an exaggerated feeling of inadequacy, throughout their lives.


Personality47 l.jpg

Personality

  • Neo-Freudians

    • Adler believed that a healthy striving for superiority involved concern for the needs and welfare of others.

    • He believed therefore that a psychologically healthy person also had a social interest, a sense of belonging and identification with other people.

    • Psychopathology, in Adler’s framework, involves the setting of inadequate goals, the adoption of a faulty style of life, and a lack of social interest.


Personality48 l.jpg

Personality

  • The learning approach

    • Some psychologists believe that the whole concept of personality is questionable.

      • People frequently adopt a variety of behavioral styles that depend on the social context.

      • We exhibit one set of behaviors when we interact with our parents, another with our coworkers, and yet another with our friends.

      • The learning approach relates specific behaviors to specific experiences. Often the experiences from which we learn are those of other people in our environment.


Personality49 l.jpg

Personality

  • The learning approach

    • For example, a gender role is a psychological aspect of being male or female (as opposed to your biological sex.)

    • A large amount of cross-cultural research suggests that components of the male and female gender roles are in fact learned.

    • Boys can be observed to imitate men, and girls to imitate women.


Personality50 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Humanistic psychology deals with values, beliefs, and consciousness, including spirituality and guiding principles by which people live their lives.

    • Personality depends on what people believe and how they perceive and understand the world.


Personality51 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Humanistic psychologists see people as essentially good and interested in achieving perfection.

    • This is in contrast with the morally neutral basis of behaviorism and the downright negative view of human nature offered by psychoanalytic theory.


Personality52 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Humanistic psychologists are critical of the deterministic nature of behaviorism and psychoanalysis.

    • They avoid looking for simple cause and effect processes in behavior.

    • Humanistic psychologists reject reductionism, which is also characteristic of behaviorist and psychoanalytic theory.

    • They consider each person as a whole entity.


Personality53 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Humanistic psychologists study peak experiences of individuals, those moments in a person’s life when he or she feels truly fulfilled or content.

    • Research in humanistic psychology is often qualitative in nature, recording narratives and anecdotal evidence about how people behave and think.


Personality54 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Carl Rogers is considered to be one of the founders of the humanistic school.

      • He believed that human nature is essentially good, and that people strive toward a state of self-actualization.

      • Self-actualization refers to a state of achieving one’s full potential.

      • The drive for self-actualization is the fundamental driving force in Roger’s humanistic model.


Personality55 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Rogers believed that children develop a self-concept, an image of the person that they really are.

    • They also develop an ideal self, an image that represents the person they would like to be.

    • In the Rogerian model, psychological distress is generated primarily from the incongruity a person perceives between the self-concept and the ideal self.


Personality56 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Rogers believed that human welfare was best served when people related to each other in an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard.

      • Unconditional positive regard involves the acceptance of the person as he or she is.

    • Most people receive what Rogers referred to as conditional positive regard in their important relationships.

      • This means that the person is only held in esteem when they fulfill certain requirements set for them by the other person or society.


Personality57 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Abraham Maslow proposed that people have a hierarchy of motivating needs and that the highest need of these is the need to become self-actualized.

    • Maslow developed a list of characteristics of the self-actualized person based on people who, in his opinion, had achieved the state.


Personality58 l.jpg

Personality

  • Humanistic psychology

    • Some of the characteristics of the self-actualized individual are:

      • An ability to perceive reality accurately

      • Independence, spontaneity, and creativity

      • Treating others with unconditional positive regard

      • An outlook that emphasizes problem-solving

      • Enjoyment of life

      • A good sense of humor

    • Critics correctly point out that this is not a scientific list, and merely represents characteristics that Maslow admired in people.


Personality59 l.jpg

Personality

  • Personality theory in many ways seeks to describe human nature. It raises some fascinating questions that do not seem easily answerable.

  • Many researchers in the area of personality are working on these questions in small steps in hopes of eventually synthesizing an accurate larger picture of who we as humans really are.


Module 13 2 l.jpg

Module 13.2

  • Personality Traits


Personality61 l.jpg

Personality

  • Two approaches to personality

    • Psychologists have two ways to study and describe personality.

      • The nomothetic approach tries to identify general laws that describe how aspects of personality influence behavior.

      • The idiographic approach uses intensive studies of individuals. It does not seek conclusions that can be applied to people in general.


Personality62 l.jpg

Personality

  • Personality traits and states

    • A trait is a consistent, long-lasting tendency in behavior, such as sociability, shyness or assertiveness.

    • A state is a temporary activation of particular behavior.


Concept check63 l.jpg

Concept Check:

You become very, very nervous whenever you have a psychology test scheduled. Are you experiencing “trait anxiety” or “state anxiety?”

State anxiety


Personality64 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • The idea that people have consistent personality characteristics that can be measured and studies is called the trait approach to personality.

    • Psychologists have studied many familiar personality traits.


Personality65 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • Locus of control

      • One set of traits that psychologists study has to do with an individual’s perception of the amount of control that he or she has over the course of life events.

      • This concept is referred to as locus of control.

      • People who believe that their lives are controlled by external forces are said to have an external locus of control.

      • People who believe that they are in charge of their lives have an internal locus of control.


Slide66 l.jpg

Table 13.2 Sample items from the Internal–External scale.


Personality67 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • The Big Five personality traits

      • Using a statistical technique to determine which traits correlate most strongly with each other (factor analysis), psychologists have found five major groups of related traits.

      • These are: neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to new experience.


Personality68 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • The Big Five personality traits: Neuroticism

      • Neuroticism is the tendency to experience unpleasant emotions very easily.


Personality69 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • The Big Five personality traits: Extraversion

      • Extraversion is a tendency to seek stimulation and enjoy the company of other people.


Personality70 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • The Big Five personality traits: Agreeableness

      • Agreeableness is a tendency to be compassionate rather than antagonistic towards others.


Personality71 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • The Big Five personality traits: Conscientiousness

      • Conscientiousness is the tendency to show self-discipline, to be reliable, and to strive for competence and achievement.


Personality72 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • The Big Five personality traits: Openness to Experience

      • Openness to Experience refers to a tendency to enjoy new experiences and new ideas.


Personality73 l.jpg

Personality

  • The search for broad personality traits

    • Criticisms of the Big Five description:

      • It was based on a study of the English language, not on observations of human behavior.

      • There are too few traits included.

      • There are too many traits included.

      • It has limited applicability cross-culturally.


Personality74 l.jpg

Personality

  • The origins of personality

    • What makes people differ in behavior and disposition, anyway?

      • Heredity – monozygotic (identical) twins tend to resemble each other more strongly than other relatives on measures of personality traits.

      • Heredity – biological relatives tend to resemble each other more than adoptive relatives or unrelated persons.


Slide75 l.jpg

FIGURE 13.16 Five studies—conducted in Great Britain, the United States, Sweden, Australia, and Finland—found larger correlations between the extraversion levels of monozygotic (MZ) twins than those of dizygotic (DZ) twins. (Based on data summarized by Loehlin, 1992)


Slide76 l.jpg

FIGURE 13.17 Three studies—from Britain, Minnesota, and Texas—measured extraversion in members of hundreds of families. Each found moderate positive correlations between parents and their biological children and between pairs of biologically related brothers and sisters. However, all found low or even

negative correlations between parents and adopted children and among adopted children living in the same family. (Based on data summarized by Loehlin, 1992)


Personality77 l.jpg

Personality

  • The origins of personality

    • Environment – one would expect that the resemblance in personality between family members would be stronger than it is given the combined effects of genetic factors and shared environment.

    • Environment – some researchers have proposed that there is an influence from the unshared environment; that there are aspects of the environment that differ from one person too another (i.e., with each new birth in a family, the environment changes).


Personality78 l.jpg

Personality

  • The origins of personality

    • Age – in general, the older a person is, the more consistent his or her personality is over time.

    • Age – the increased consistency as people age can be observed cross-culturally.

    • Historical era – researchers have found that anxiety levels appear to be increasing over the past few generations.


Personality79 l.jpg

Personality

  • Psychologists are still grappling with the enigma of human personality. People are not just different from each other; the same people are different depending on the situation.

  • We are complex creatures and this area of research is very challenging.


Module 13 3 l.jpg

Module 13.3

  • Personality Assessment


Personality assessment l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Personality testing is a tricky business.

  • Creating assessments that seem accurate is easy.

  • That a particular assessment tool is producing accurate results is much, much harder to be certain about.

  • Profiles produced by popular and well-regarded personality assessment tools often appear to suffer from some degree of the Barnum effect.


Personality assessment82 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • A standardized test is administered according to specified rules.

    • The scores of a standardized test are interpreted using a prescribed rubric.

    • Before a standardized test is released for use by psychologists, it is administered to a very large number of people who form representative sample of individuals for whom the test will be utilized.

    • This process facilitates accurate interpretation of the results.


Personality assessment83 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Objective personality tests

      • The most widely used personality tests are administered simply using paper and pencil.

      • The most widely used of these tests is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).


Slide84 l.jpg

Table 13.1 The ten MMPI-2 clinical scales.


Personality assessment85 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Objective personality tests: The MMPI

      • The most current version of the MMPI (the MMPI-2) is comprised of a series of 567 true-false questions.

      • These questions are designed to measure dimensions of personality such as sociability and conscientiousness.

      • They are also designed to detect clinical conditions such as depression and psychotic disorders.


Personality assessment86 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Objective personality tests: The MMPI

      • The original standardization procedure of the MMPI was flawed but nonetheless yielded a test that was useful in practice.

      • The revision that produced the MMPI-2 was done in part to address some of the flaws.


Personality assessment87 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Objective personality tests: The MMPI

      • Poorly designed items were rewritten or dropped.

      • Scales to detect new areas of concern to clinicians were added (drug abuse, for example).

      • The original standardization group was broadened to be more representative of the American population.


Personality assessment88 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • The generalizability of the MMPI

      • Is the MMPI an accurate measure of personality for people from diverse backgrounds?

      • It is unclear at this time whether differences in scores between members of different ethnic groups reflect real personality differences or problems with the test.


Personality assessment89 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Faking it – detecting deception on the MMPI

      • People who take tests like the MMPI may be motivated to make themselves appear more or less mentally healthy than they actually are (“faking good” or malingering).

      • The designers of all versions of the MMPI have included a set of items that are designed to detect possible lying.

      • For example, a person who answers true to the item “I like every person I have ever met” and false to the statement “Occasionally I get angry at someone” will produce an elevation on the “fake good” scale, which will be noted in the score report.


Personality assessment90 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Uses of the MMPI

      • The MMPI is a helpful instrument for research psychologists who study personality.

      • It is a useful instrument for clinical psychologists in familiarizing themselves with clients and planning treatment.


Personality assessment91 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques

      • People frequently feel threatened by personality assessments that ask them for information directly.

      • Projective techniques are designed to avoid this problem.

      • The assumption behind projective tests is that personality characteristics can be detected through the process of asking people to interpret ambiguous stimuli.


Personality assessment92 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques: The Rorschach Inkblots

      • The Rorschach is composed of a series of 10 ambiguous inkblots.

      • The person taking the test is asked to interpret each of the blots.

      • The psychologists hands a card with a black and white or color blot and asks the questions “What might this be?”


Personality assessment93 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques: The Rorschach Inkblots

      • There is probably some truth in the underlying assumption that personality influences behavior in ambiguous situations.

      • The degree of accuracy of any individual psychologist’s interpretation of responses is hard to know.

      • One way to manage this flaw is to use a system for interpreting and scoring the test.

      • One of the most widely used methods was developed by James Exner.


Personality assessment94 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques: The Rorschach Inkblots

      • Exner’s system is useful but does not prevent all problems that may arise in interpreting the test.

      • People with no clinical diagnosis are frequently identified as having disorders.

      • People can give an unlimited number of responses. Since total numbers of types of responses are used, a person who makes many responses is likely to be identified as “disturbed.”


Personality assessment95 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques: The Rorschach Inkblots

      • There are problems with using the test cross-culturally.

      • The correlation between the interpretations of the same protocols of responses made by different clinicians is not strong enough.

      • The individual scales in the Exner system don’t have enough validity.

      • The information provided by the Rorschach can be found in other, more trustworthy ways.


Personality assessment96 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques: The Rorschach Inkblots

      • Some critics believe that this assessment procedure should no longer be used for any reason.

      • Other clinicians feel it is useful at least as a way to start a dialogue with clients.

      • The limitations of the Rorschach should be considered substantive, at any rate.


Personality assessment97 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques: The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

      • The TAT is based upon the presentation of a series of pictures to the test subject.

      • The subject is request to make up a story for each picture. The story for each picture is recorded by the examining clinician.

      • The assumption behind the test is that the story told by the subject is actually a story about him or her.


Personality assessment98 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Standardized personality tests

    • Projective techniques: The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

      • There is no systematic widely used method for interpreting the stories that are produced in response to the cards.

      • It is difficult to do research on the reliability and validity of the test.

      • Research results suggest that reliability and validity of this procedure are weak.


Personality assessment99 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Less commonly used projective techniques

    • Implicit personality tests

      • The assumption behind an implicit personality test is that it is possible to measure aspects of personality that may be beyond a person’s awareness.

      • It is unclear as of yet whether this assumption will receive enough support that widespread use of such procedures will be deemed appropriate.


Personality assessment100 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Less commonly used projective techniques

    • Implicit personality tests: The Emotional Stroop Test

      • The emotional version of the Stroop test requires a person to look at a list of words and say the color of the ink in which the word is printed.

      • Some of the words represent possible sources of concern or anxiety.

      • The assumption is that the task will be more difficult and the pauses of the subject will be longer when trying to say the color of the words that relate to areas of concern.


Personality assessment101 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Less commonly used projective techniques

    • Implicit Personality Tests: The Implicit Association Test

      • The assumption behind the Implicit Association Test relates to the idea of “priming.”

      • This test measures whether the subject responds faster to the categories that combine a particular topic with pleasant or unpleasant words.

      • One advantage of this technique is that it is hard for people to “fake good” or malinger while doing this procedure.


Personality assessment102 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • Uses and misuses of personality tests

    • Personality tests need to be used with great caution.

    • They may be useful as part of interviewing and rapport building.

    • They can be an aid in the total process of personality assessment (a process that requires much more than just a test).

    • They should only be used in the employment process if there is clear evidence that they will make the selection process more accurate.


Slide103 l.jpg

FIGURE 13.11 Even the best personality tests are imperfect. A test for detecting an unusual condition will often identify normal people as having the condition. Here we assume that a certain profile occurs in 95% of people with schizophrenia and 5% of other people. If we relied entirely on this test, we would correctly identify 95 schizophrenic people, but we would also misidentify 495 normal people as schizophrenic.


Personality assessment104 l.jpg

Personality Assessment

  • It would probably be a long, complex process to measure everything worth knowing about an individual’s personality.

  • The tests that are used as part of personality assessment should only be used in a limited fashion. It is all too easy to draw strong conclusions based on weak data


  • Login