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Theories of personality including Psychodynamic, Behavioristic, Traits and Humanistic

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Psych 1: Personality

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what is personality
What is Personality?
  • A general pattern of your behavior, including traits (which characterize you), and modes of adjustment.
  • Traits

Any psychological characteristic you have.

Behavior patterns that are consistent & characteristic & descriptive of you.

Your unique pattern of thoughts, feelings, & behavior that continues over time & across situations.

Included are: perceptual dispositions, consistencies in reactions, values, abilities, motives, defenses, temperament, identity, personal style, thoughts, feelings, & environmental relationships.

  • Individual Differences

A core concept in psychology

theories of personality
Theories of Personality
  • Psychoanalytic Theory of Freud

Basic Concepts:

Psychic Determinism & the Unconscious

The Structure of the Mind

The Conscious, the Preconscious, and the Unconscious

The Structure of Personality

The Id, Ego, & Superego


Id Ego Superego

Id Ego Superego


You've heard of the

Freudian Slip ...

the ego defenses
The Ego Defenses
  • Repression

The main ego defense. Acting as if an emotionally painful experience doesn’t exist.

  • Denial

Refusing to perceive that an unpleasant thing doesn’t exist.

  • Displacement

Taking out your feelings on those who had nothing to do with them.

  • Intellectualization

Separating yourself from your emotions using formal, logical, intellectual means.

  • Identification

Increasing your feelings of self-worth by identifying with (a) person(s) or institution of note.

  • Introjection

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

the ego defenses8
The Ego Defenses
  • Projection

Placing the blame for your difficulties, shortcomings, unethical desires or unacceptable impulses on to others.

  • Reaction Formation

Hiding anxiety with the opposite emotion and exaggerating the opposite (e.g. love for hate; submission for aggression).

  • Rationalization

Justifying your actions or feelings with socially acceptable explanations rather than acknowledging your true motives or desires.

  • Regression

Retreating to an earlier developmental level with less mature response & usually a lower level of aspiration.

  • Sublimation

Gratifying your frustrated desires in substituted socially acceptable activities.

how personality develops
Stage Description

Oral Stage Child lives & loves through its mouth. Taking

Birth – 2 yrs. through the mouth is behavioral model for

aquisitiveness. Holding on is behavioral model for refusal & pessimism. Fixation can lead to excessive smoking.

Anal Stage Toilet training is important at this time. The

2 – 3 yrs. manner in which the child is toilet trained is the model for generosity. Child learns to “give” (feces) in order to receive something (approval). Anal Retentive & Anal Expulsive fixations.

Phallic Stage Male child wishes to control mother & get rid

3 – 6 yrs. of father (rival). Discovers he has a “special organ.” Assumes all females were castrated. Oedipus complex in males, Electra complex in females. Identifies with the opposite-sex parent to control same-sex parent. Fixation leads to homosexuality.

Stage Description

Latency Repression of sexual feelings. Little interest is

Stage expressed in the opposite sex. Prefers the

6 -12 yrs. Company of the same sex. Fixation can lead to celibacy.

Hetero- The repressed feelings for the opposite sex

sexual or emerge with the natural flow of the hormones.

Genital The person seeks a mate of the opposite sex

Stage with which to live.

12+ yrs.

How Personality Develops
analytical personality theory
Analytical Personality Theory
  • Carl Jung

Personality develops through the drive for “mystical” or “religious” experience.

  • Layers of the Psyche

The Conscious Mind/Ego

The Personal Unconscious

The Collective Unconscious

what are archetypes
What are Archetypes?
  • Primordial universal images inherited from the past (human, prehuman, & animal) that represent the common experience of all humans and are the foundation of the whole personality.
  • The most important archetypes are: anima, animus, shadow, & persona.
polarities in personality
Polarities in Personality
  • Introversion

One who is interested in the inner world of imagination, ideas, & emotions.

Tends to be sensitive, idealistic, or defensive.

  • Extraversion

One who lives according to external demands, Is oriented toward the objective world, is realistic & socially active.

individual psychology
Alfred Adler

We’re governed by the conscious need to express & fulfill ourselves as unique individuals

Our basic problem isInsecurity orInferiority.

Compensation for shortcomings

Feelings of Inferiority can mislead you to emphasize your own self-interest instead of uniting with the interests of humanity & feeling part of humanity.

Neurosis & psychosis develop by having insufficient social feelings toward others.


Individual Psychology
important concepts
The Self

A subjective system that makes experiences meaningful for you & seeks experiences that will fulfill your life-style.

Creative Self

The innate drive for self-realization, completion, & perfection.


The individual characteristic way you learn to express your striving for superiority & pursue your goals.


A mistaken “life-style.”


The conscious compensation to over-come feelings of inferiority.

Birth order

The position you hold in your family due to your birth.

Inferiority complex

A general sense of inadequacy, weakness, and helplessness.


Covering up parts of yourself that you consider unacceptable & substituting more desired traits, sometimes in exaggerated form.

Important Concepts
the first feminine psychology
Karen Horney

Focus was less on the sex drive and more on the role of social & cultural forces in the development of personality.

Importance of early relationships

The parent-child relationship is most important in personality development.

Disturbances in relationships are the cause of psychological problems.


Stronger than libido.

The need for basic security & your response to a real or imagined threat is more important than sex.

Neurotic trends

To deal with anxiety, adults adopt strategies for coping calledNeurotic Trends.

Submission, aggression, or detachment

The First Feminine Psychology
important concepts17
Important Concepts
  • Basic Anxiety

The deep-seated anxiety on children associated with feelings of being isolated & helpless in a potentially threatening world.

  • Basic Hostility

Deep feelings of resentment children may have toward their parents.

  • Womb Envy

The envy men may harbor toward women for their capacity to bear children.

the feminine side
The Feminine Side

Horney insisted that women want the same opportunities, the same rights & privileges that society grants to men. Women must be free to find their personal identities, develop their abilities, and pursue careers if they choose.

psychosocial personality theory
Psychosocial Personality Theory
  • Erik Erikson

Expanded Freud’s 5 stages into 8 life-long stages.

Oral-Sensory Stage Trust vs. Mistrust Infant learns to trust or mistrust depending on the degree and regularity of Birth – 1 yr. care, love, & affection by caregivers.

Muscular-Anal Stage Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt Child learns to express their will & independence, exercise

1 – 3 yrs. some control, & make choices. If not will experience Shame & Doubt.

Locomotor-Genital Stage Initiative vs. Guilt Assumes responsibilities, initiates activities, & Plan & undertake tasks. If

3 – 6 yrs not allowed to assume responsibilities feels stupid considered a nuisance, & may develop a sense of guilt.

Latency Stage Industry vs. Inferiority Develops pride in accomplishments; if not encouraged or rebuffed may 6 – Puberty develop a sense of inferiority.

Puberty & Adolescence Stage Identity vs. Identity Confusion Needs to belong; acquires a feeling of fidelity; good ego identity Adolescence important before choosing a mate.

Young Adulthood Stage Intimacy vs. Isolation Develop a sense of sharing & caring and to commit to another person and 18 – Middle Age relationship; avoiding intimacy brings isolation.

Adulthood Stage Generativity vs. Stagnation Must find a way to contribute to the development of the next

Middle Age generation or become self-absorbed & emotionally impoverished.

Maturity Stage Integrity vs. Despair Reviews life, if satisfied & feeling sense of accomplishment will experience Old Age ego integrity, if not may sink into despair.

humanistic personality theory
Humanistic Personality Theory
  • Carl Rogers

Saw humans as innately good with positive strivings toward self-fulfillment.

The emphasis is on free-will, self-awareness, & self-growth.

We all have an innate urge toself-actualize.

This urge shapes our development.

We have the potential to become a fully-functioning person.

Unconditional Positive Regard

important concepts21
Important Concepts
  • Phenomenal field

Your total experience

  • Self

The portion of your personality consisting of the perceptions of “I” or “me.”

  • Phenomenal self

Your self-image

  • Ideal self

The kind of person you’d like to be.

  • True self

Who you are with your “ego” stripped away & you’re free to be yourself.

  • Unconditional Positive Regard

Complete & total acceptance of another

traits theories
A Hierarchy of Traits

Gordon Allport

Cardinal Traits – the more pervasive dimensions that define your general personality

Central Traits – personality characteristics that have a widespread influence on your behavior across situations.

Secondary Traits – specific traits that influence behavior in relatively few situations.


Committed to social justice

Competitive, generous, independent, funny

Preferences in music, clothes, etc.

Traits Theories
more trait theories
More Trait Theories
  • Mapping the Personality

Raymond Cattell

  • 2 Basic Levels of Traits:

Surface Traits – personality traits at the surface level that can be seen in behavioral observations.

Source Traits – deep level traits that aren’t observed in behavior but must be inferred based on underlying relationships among surface traits.

a simpler trait theory
A Simpler Trait Theory
  • 3 Factors

Hans Eysenick

Introversion-extraversion – the tendency to be solitary & reserved or outgoing & sociable.

Neuroticism – the tendency to be emotionally unstable & given to worry & anxiety.

Psychoticism –the tendency to be perceived as cold & antisocial.

the big five
The Five Factor Model

Paul Costa, Jr. & Robert McCrae

Organizes personality traits into opposing factors and describes differences in personality using five categories. These traits have been see in cultures as widely divergent as American, German, Portuguese, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

Factor Description of Traits


Extraversion vs. Sociable vs. Withdrawn

Introversion Fun-loving vs. Sober

Friendly vs. Aloof

Adventurous vs. Cautious

Neuroticism vs. Anxious vs. Relaxed

Stability Insecure vs. Secure

Emotional vs. Calm

Self-pitying vs. Content

Openness vs. Closed Original vs. Conventional

To Experience Imaginative vs. Down-to-Earth

Broad vs. Narrow Interests

Open vs. Closed to New Ideas

Agreeableness vs. Good-natured vs. Irritable

Antagonism Soft-hearted vs. Ruthless

Courteous vs. Rude

Sympathetic vs. Tough-minded

Conscientiousness vs. Well-organized vs. Disorderly

Undirectedness Dependable vs. Undependable

Hardworking vs. Lazy

Ambitious vs. Easygoing

The “Big Five”
cognitive social learning view
Cognitive Social-Learning View
  • Locus of Control

Julian Rotter

Expectancies – personal predictions about the outcomes of behavior. Expectancies produce effects on behavior.

Subjective Value – the importance you place on desired outcomes.

Locus of Control – whether your efforts can bring about desired outcomes. Locus of control determines if you feel your decisions, behaviors, etc. are controlled inside or outside of yourself.

Self-efficacy – expecting that your efforts will be successful.

cognitive social learning view27
Cognitive Social-Learning View
  • Reciprocal Determinism & Expectancies

Albert Bandura

Reciprocal Determinism – cognitions, behaviors, & environmental factors influence each other.

Outcome Expectancies – Personal predictions about the outcomes of your behavior.