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Personality. Defining and Measuring Personality. “Who am I?” – what makes a personal quality part of your personality? characteristic, enduring pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. My observations of you. Results from personality testing. Assessing Personality.

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Defining and measuring personality
Defining and Measuring Personality

  • “Who am I?” – what makes a personal quality part of your personality?

    • characteristic,enduringpattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

My observations of you
My observations of you

Results from personality testing

Assessing personality
Assessing Personality

Rorschach Inkblot Test TAT

Assessing personality1
Assessing Personality

Objective measures (examples from your text?)

Different perspectives on personality
Different perspectives on personality

  • psychoanalytic

  • biological / trait

  • humanistic

  • social-cognitive

The psychoanalytic perspective
The Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • Psychoanalysis

    • Background

    • Freud’s theory in a nutshell -- thoughts and actions are driven by unconscious motives and conflicts


  • Free Association

  • Interpretation of dreams and “slips”

Freud s personality theories
Freud’s Personality Theories

  • Personality Structure

  • Personality Development

Personality structure
Personality Structure

Mediator: Ego

Internalized ideals: Superego

Unconsciouspsychic energy: Id

Personality development
Personality Development

  • Psychosexual Stages

    • stages of development: pleasure-seeking energies focus on erogenous zones (i.e., oral, anal, phallic…)

  • Oedipus Complex


  • Freud’s belief that we can get “stuck” at an earlier stage (where conflicts were unresolved)…

  • Nail-biting, etc.?

  • Don’t be so “anal”

Defense mechanisms
Defense Mechanisms

  • The Ego’s methods of reducing anxiety – by unconsciously distorting reality

    • Repression

    • Regression

    • Displacement

      (“mechanisms of defense” exercise)

What can we say about freud
What can we say about Freud?

  • Scientific?

  • Impact

    • Psychology & madness

    • Everyday language

  • Why?

    • Sex

    • Turn-of-the-century science

    • Applicable

Biological trait perspective
Biological / Trait perspective

We’ve discussed this perspective a lot already this semester… Examples…?

Humanistic perspective
Humanistic Perspective

  • Background

  • Major theorists:

    • Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) -- self-actualization (the motivation to fulfill one’s potential)

    • Carl Rogers (1902-1987) -- growth and fulfillment of individuals -- requires:

      • genuineness

      • acceptance - unconditional positive regard

      • empathy

Humanistic perspective1
Humanistic Perspective

  • Recognizes the impact of culture on personality

    • Individualism vs. Collectivism

Social cognitive perspective

Internal personal/

cognitive factors

(enjoy high-risk







(learning to

rock climb)

Social-Cognitive Perspective

  • Reciprocal Determinism

    • the interacting influences between personality, behavioral, & environmental factors

Social cognitive perspective1
Social-Cognitive Perspective

  • Personal Control

    • our sense of how well we control our environments

  • Locus of control scale (handout – if we have time)

    • External Locus of Control -- the perception that chance or outside forces beyond one’s personal control determine one’s fate

    • Internal Locus of Control -- the perception that one controls one’s own fate

Social cognitive perspective learned helplessness


bad events


lack of control


helpless behavior

Social-Cognitive Perspective – Learned Helplessness

  • Learned Helplessness

Personality summary

The Four Perspectives on Personality

Perspective Behavior Springs From Assessment Techniques Evaluation

Psychoanalytic Unconscious conflicts Projective tests aimed at A speculative, hard-to-test

between pleasure-seeking revealing unconscious theory with enormous cul-

impulses and social restraints motivations tural impact

Trait Expressing biologically (a)Personality inventories A descriptive approach crit-

influenced dispositions, such that assess the strengths icized as sometimes under-

as extraversion or introversion of different traits estimating the variability

(b)Peer ratings of behavior of behavior from situation

patterns to situation

Humanistic Processing conscious feelings (a)Questionnaire A humane theory that

about oneself in the light of assessments reinvigorated contemporary

one’s experiences (b)Empathic interviews interest in the self; criticized

as subjective and sometimes

naively self-centered and


Social-cognitive Reciprocal influences between (a)Questionnaire assessments Art interactive theory that in-

people and their situation, of people’s feelings of control tegrates research on learning,

colored by perceptions of (b) Observations of people’s cognition, and social behavior,

control behavior in particular criticized as underestimating

situations the importance of emotions and enduring traits

Personality- Summary