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Chapter 11. Personality: Theory and Measurement. Introduction to Personality. Personality = stable patterns of emotions, motives, and behavior that distinguish one person from another. Theories of Personality: Psychodynamic Perspective.

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Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Personality: Theory and Measurement


Introduction to personality
Introduction to Personality

  • Personality = stable patterns of emotions, motives, and behavior that distinguish one person from another.


Theories of personality psychodynamic perspective
Theories of Personality: Psychodynamic Perspective

  • Sigmund Freud characterized personality as conflict, a dynamic struggle.

    • Drives like sex and aggression conflict with social rules and moral codes.

    • The conflict is between opposing inner forces.


Figure 11.1The Human Iceberg According to Freud According to psychodynamic theory, only the tip of human personality rises above the surface of the mind into conscious awareness. Material in the preconscious can become conscious if we direct our attention to it. Unconscious material tends to remain shrouded in mystery.


Theories of personality psychodynamic perspective1
Theories of Personality: Psychodynamic Perspective

  • The Structure of Personality.

    • Psychic structures or mental structures that are the clashing forces of personality.

      • Id

      • Ego

      • Superego


The trait perspective
The Trait Perspective

  • Traits are reasonably stable elements of personality that are inferred from behavior.

    • Gordon Allport catalogued approximately 18,000 human traits from dictionaries.


The trait perspective1
The Trait Perspective

  • Hans Eysenck’s Trait Theory.

    • Eysenck focused his research on two personality traits:

      • Introversion-extraversion

      • Emotional stability-instability (neuroticism).


Figure 11.2Eysenck’s Personality Dimensions and Hippocrates’ Personality Types Various personality traits shown in the outer ring fall within the two major dimensions of personality suggested by Hans Eysenck. The inner circle shows how Hippocrates’ four major personality types—choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholic—fit within Eysenck’s dimensions.


The trait perspective2
The Trait Perspective

  • The Five-Factor Model (The Big Five).

    • Recent research has focused on five basic personality factors:

      • Extraversion

      • Conscientiousness

      • Agreeableness

      • Openness

      • Neuroticism


The trait perspective3
The Trait Perspective

  • The Five-Factor Model (The Big Five) continued.

    • The factors are related to basic temperaments and are largely inborn.

      • Personalities tend to mature rather than be shaped by environmental conditions.

      • Personalities are affected by culture.


The trait perspective4
The Trait Perspective

  • Evaluation of the Trait Perspective.

    • Trait theorists have focused much attention on the development of personality tests.

    • Trait theory has tended to be more descriptive than explanatory.


Learning theory perspectives
Learning-Theory Perspectives

  • Personality is “plastic” -> situational and environmental influences shape preference and behaviors.


Learning theory perspectives1
Learning-Theory Perspectives

  • Social-Cognitive Theory: Bandura.

    • person variables and situational variables interact to influence behavior

  • Reciprocal determinism: people influence their environment just as their environment influences them.


Figure 11.3Person Variables and Situational Variables in Social–Cognitive Theory According to social–cognitive theory, person variables and situational variables interact to influence behavior.


Learning theory perspectives2
Learning-Theory Perspectives

  • Social-Cognitive Theory

    • Observational Learning (modeling).

      • Acquiring knowledge by observing others.

      • Our expectations stem from our observations of what happens to ourselves and other people.


Evaluation of the learning perspective
Evaluation of the Learning Perspective

  • Emphasized the importance of publicly observable behaviors and environmental conditions as determinants of behavior.

  • Behaviorism is limited in its ability to explain personality and may not pay enough attention to genetic variation.


The humanistic existential perspective
The Humanistic-Existential Perspective

  • Focus on:

    • the meaning of life

    • self-awareness

    • free choice

    • self fulfillment/actualization

  • Existentialism:

    • giving personal meaning to things and making personal choices.

  • Maslow argued that people have a conscious need for self-actualization: to become all that they can be.


The humanistic existential perspective1
The Humanistic-Existential Perspective

  • Carl Roger’s Self Theory.

    • Rogers wrote people shape themselves through free choice and action.

    • Defined the self as the center of experience.

    • Choices are made on the basis of your values.


The humanistic existential perspective carl rogers self theory
The Humanistic-Existential Perspective: Carl Rogers Self Theory

  • Self-esteem and Positive Regard.

    • Unconditional positive regard: accept people as having intrinsic merit regardless of their behavior at the moment.

      • Conditional positive regard: I am valued/loved/accepted only if/when I behave how you want me to behave.

      • As a result of conditional regard, we deny our feelings or disown aspects of ourselves, distorting the self concept and resulting in anxiety.


The humanistic existential perspective carl rogers self theory1
The Humanistic-Existential Perspective: Carl Rogers Self Theory

  • Self-actualization requires getting in touch with our genuine feelings, accepting them, and acting upon them.

  • Rogers believed that we have

    • Self-ideals: mental images of what we are capable of becoming.

    • We are motivated to reduce the discrepancy between our self-concepts and our self-ideals.


Evaluation of the humanistic existential perspective
Evaluation of the Humanistic-Existential Perspective Theory

  • Emphasized the importance of personal experience, free choice and personal freedom.

  • Difficult to test because conscious experience is private and subjective.

  • Humanistic-existential perspective has little to say about the development of traits and personality types.


The sociocultural perspective
The Sociocultural Perspective Theory

  • Some psychologists believe that personality cannot be understood without reference to the sociocultural perspective.

    • Aspects of culture, religion, race should be considered.

  • Individualism Versus Collectivism.

    • Individualists:

      • tend to define themselves in terms of their personal identities and to give priority to their personal goals.

    • Collectivists:

      • tend to define themselves in terms of the groups to which they belong and to give priority to the group’s goals.


The sociocultural perspective1
The Sociocultural Perspective Theory

  • Evaluation of the Sociocultural Perspective.

    • The sociocultural perspective provides valuable insights into the roles of ethnicity, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status in personality formation.

    • The sociocultural perspective enhances our sensitivity to cultural differences.


Measurement of personality
Measurement of Personality Theory

  • Personality Assessment

    • take a sample of behavior to predict future behavior.

      • Behavior-rating scales: trained observers check off each occurrence of a specific behavior within a certain time frame.

      • Aptitude assessment aids in gaining insight into whether individuals are suited for certain occupations.


Measurement of personality1
Measurement of Personality Theory

  • Objective Tests.

    • Objective tests present respondents with a standardized group of test items in the form of a questionnaire.

    • Best example: The MMPI.


Measurement of personality2
Measurement of Personality Theory

  • The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) contains hundreds of items in a true-false format.

    • Used to diagnose psychological disorders.

    • Most widely used personality measurement in psychological research.

    • MMPI scales are based on actual clinical data, not on psychological theory.


Table 11 3 minnesota multiphasic personality inventory mmpi scales
Table 11.3 TheoryMinnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) Scales


Measurement of personality projective tests
Measurement of Personality: TheoryProjective Tests

  • People are shown ambiguous stimuli and asked to say what they look like.

    • People project their own personalities into their responses.

  • Examples:

    • The Rorschach Inkblot Test.

    • The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)


Figure 11.5 TheoryA Rorschach Inkblot The Rorschach is the most widely used projective personality test. What does this inkblot look like to you? What could it be?


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