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Personality Theory & Assessment Chapter 14 Part I. William G. Huitt. Personality Theories Last revised: May 2005. Summary. A human being is inherently. biological able to be conditioned sensing & perceiving emotional intelligent

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Personality Theory & AssessmentChapter 14Part I

William G. Huitt

Personality Theories

Last revised: May 2005

  • A human being is inherently
  • biological
  • able to be conditioned
  • sensing & perceiving
  • emotional
  • intelligent
  • knowledge creating
  • rational thinking
  • creative thinking
  • language using
  • social
  • motivated
  • patterned
defining personality and traits
Defining Personality and Traits
  • Personality
    • Distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behaviors, thoughts, motives, and emotions that characterizes an individual throughout life.
  • Trait
    • A characteristic of an individual, describing a habitual way of behaving, thinking, and feeling.
personality theories
Personality Theories
  • Distinctive, unique
    • Patterns of behaviors, thoughts, motives, and emotions that make a person different from others
  • Commonalities
    • Dimensions on which all human beings can be measured and compared
  • Physiological dispositions to respond to the environment in certain ways.
    • Ancient Greeks proposed temperaments
      • Sanguine
      • Melancholy
      • Choleric
      • Phlegmatic
    • Thomas, Chess, and Birch
      • Studied 2- to 3-month-old infants on 9 factors and followed them into adolescence and adulthood
  • Three general types of temperament emerged from the study
    • Easy (40%) –generally pleasant moods; adaptable; approached new situations and people positively; established regular sleeping, eating, and elimination patterns
    • Difficult (15%) –generally unpleasant moods; reacted negatively to new situations and people; intense in their emotional reactions; showed irregularity of bodily functions
    • Slow-to-warm-up (10%) – tended to withdraw; slow to adapt; had a medium mood
  • Martin, Wisenbaker and Huttunen
    • Inhibition (approach-avoidance)
    • Negative emotionality
    • Adaptability
    • Activity level
    • Task persistence
  • Similar to the Big Five factors identified in the study of adult personality
  • Research indicates that
    • temperament is strongly influenced by heredity
    • environmental factors, such as parents’ childrearing style, also affect temperament
    • temperament is relatively stable over time; the various dimensions of temperament can predict behavioral problems that may appear later in childhood or in adolescence
personality theories9
Personality Theories
  • Learning
    • B. F. Skinner
  • Social Cognition
    • George Kelly
    • Walter Mischel
    • Albert Bandura
    • Albert Ellis
  • Transpersonal
    • Roberto Assagioli
    • Ken Wilber
  • Psychoanalytic
    • Freud
    • Neo-Freudians
      • Carl Jung
      • Erik Erikson
      • Alfred Adler
      • Karen Horney
  • Humanistic
    • Abraham Maslow
    • Carl Rogers
    • Viktor Frankl
sigmund freud
Sigmund Freud
  • Psychoanalysis
    • Freud’s term for his theory of personality and his therapy for treating psychological disorders
  • The conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious
    • Freud believed that there are three levels of awareness in consciousness: the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious
sigmund freud11
Sigmund Freud
  • The conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious
    • Conscious
      • The thoughts, feelings, sensations, or memories of which a person is aware at any given moment
    • Preconscious
      • The thoughts, feelings, and memories that a person is not consciously aware of at the moment but that may be brought to consciousness
    • Unconscious
      • For Freud, the primary motivating force of behavior, containing repressed memories as well as instincts and wishes that have never been conscious
sigmund freud12
Sigmund Freud
  • Freud proposed three systems of personality
    • Id
      • The unconscious system of the personality, which contains the life and death instincts and operates on the pleasure principle
    • Ego
      • The rational, largely conscious system of personality, which operates according to the reality principle
    • Superego
      • The moral system of the personality, which consists of the conscience and the ego ideal
sigmund freud14
Sigmund Freud
  • Defense mechanisms
    • An unconscious, irrational means used by the ego to defend against anxiety; involves self-deception and the distortion of reality
    • Repression
      • Involuntarily removing an unpleasant memory or barring disturbing sexual and aggressive impulses from consciousness
    • Projection
      • Attributing one’s own undesirable thoughts, impulses, traits, or behaviors to others
      • Allows people to avoid acknowledging unacceptable traits and thereby to maintain self-esteem, but seriously distorts their perception of the external world
sigmund freud15
Sigmund Freud
  • Defense mechanisms
    • Denial
      • Refusing to acknowledge consciously the existence of danger or a threatening condition
    • Rationalization
      • Supplying a logical, rational, socially acceptable reason rather than the real reason for an action
      • When people rationalize, they make excuses for, or justify, failures and mistakes
    • Regression
      • Reverting to a behavior characteristic of an earlier stage of development
sigmund freud16
Sigmund Freud
  • Defense mechanisms
    • Reaction formation
      • Denying an unacceptable impulse, often sexual or aggressive, by giving strong conscious expression to its opposite
    • Displacement
      • Substituting a less threatening object for the original object of an impulse
    • Sublimation
      • Rechanneling sexual or aggressive energy into pursuits that society considers acceptable or admirable
sigmund freud17
Sigmund Freud
  • The psychosexual stages of development
    • Psychosexual stages
      • A series of stages through which the sexual instinct develops
    • Fixation
      • Arrested development at a psychosexual stage occurring because of excessive gratification or frustration at that stage
sigmund freud18
Sigmund Freud
  • Evaluating Freud’s contribution
    • Unconscious forces may motivate behavior,
    • Emphasizing the influence of early childhood experiences on later development
    • Psychoanalysis is still viewed as a useful therapeutic technique
carl jung
Carl Jung
  • Disagreed with Freud
    • the sexual instinct is not the main factor in personality
    • the personality is not almost completely formed in early childhood
carl jung20
Carl Jung
  • Personality consists of three parts
    • Ego
      • the rational, largely conscious system of personality, which operates according to the reality principle
    • Personal unconscious
      • all of the thoughts and experiences that are accessible to the conscious, as well as repressed memories and impulses
    • Collective unconscious
      • contains the universal experiences of humankind transmitted to each individual; not available to conscious thought
  • Archetype
    • Existing in the collective unconscious, an inherited tendency to perceive and respond in particular ways to universal human situations (Joseph Campbell)
carl jung21
Carl Jung
  • Personality functions
    • Extroversion vs Introversion (orientation)
    • Sensing vs Intuition (data collection)
    • Thinking vs Feeling (making judgments)
    • Judging vs Perceiving (preferred function)
  • Temperaments
    • SP (sanguine, artist)
    • SJ (melancholy, guardian)
    • NT (choleric, rational)
    • NF (phlegmatic, idealistic)
alfred adler
Alfred Adler
  • Emphasized the unity of the personality rather than the separate warring components of id, ego, and superego
  • Maintained that the drive to overcome feelings of inferiority acquired in childhood motivates most of our behavior
  • Claimed that people develop a “style of life” at an early age – a unique way in which the child and later the adult will go about the struggle to achieve superiority
erik erikson
Erik Erikson
  • Developed theory of socioemotional development
  • Believed that a healthy adult personality depends on acquiring the appropriate basic attitudes in the proper sequence during childhood and adolescence
  • Developed lifespan approach to personality development
karen horney
Karen Horney
  • Believed that personality could continue to develop and change throughout life
  • Believed that many of women’s psychological difficulties arise from failure to live up to an idealized version of themselves
  • To be psychologically healthy, women, she claimed, (and men for that matter) must learn to overcome irrational beliefs about the need for perfection