Unit 11: Personality Module 44
Personality • Personality: an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. • This unit is all about you! We emphasize you, the individual! • We will look at two main theories: • A. Psychoanalytic Theory • B. Humanistic Approach
Sigmund Freud • (1856 – 1939) Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis. • Widely considered one of the greatest psychologist of all time. • Influenced our understanding of personality, clinical psychology, human development, and abnormal psychology. • Suffered from cancer of the jaw and friend helped with suicide.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Psychoanalytic Theory: First theory on personality. • Attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts. • Treated patients by exploring the unconscious region of the mind. • Theory included psychosexual stages and defense mechanisms for dealing with anxiety.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Freud thought our mind was like an iceberg with most of our thoughts hidden.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Free Association: A method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing. • Freud thought free association would allow him to explore patient’s unconscious.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Three levels of the mind: • Conscious: includes everything we are aware of. • Preconscious: contains information and feelings we can easily recall. • Unconscious: contains wishes, impulses, memories, and feelings we are unaware of.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Repress: to block from our conscious because they are too disturbing to acknowledge. • Freud thought these repressed thoughts influenced our daily lives. • Freudian Slip: an error in speech or writing that really isn’t an error, but an unconscious thought. • Ex. Calling your boyfriend by your ex-boyfriend’s name.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Freud believed personality is a battle between our pleasure seeking impulses and the social restraints against them. • We seek to satisfy ourselves without feeling guilty. • There were three parts of our mind involved in this battle: the id, ego, and superego.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Id: Unconscious part of our mind that exists to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. • Exists entirely in the unconscious, so we are never aware of it. • Our true hidden animalistic wants and desires. • Works on the pleasure principle (avoid pain and seek instant gratification).
Psychoanalytic Theory • Ego: Part of mind that negotiates between the id and reality. • Mostly in our unconscious mind. • Guided by the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires in realistic ways. • This is what everyone sees as our personality. • The ego keeps our id in check!
Psychoanalytic Theory • Superego: composed of the conscience that punishes us by making us feel guilty, and the ego-ideal that rewards us by making us feel proud of ourselves. • Ego-ideal: the inner image of oneself that you would like to become. • Your perfect self which the ego aspires to.
Psychoanalytic Theory • Superego exists partly in the conscious and partly in the unconscious. • Makes the ego consider not only reality, but how you ought to behave. • Opposite of id, so ego has to mediate between the id and the superego.
Psychoanalytic Theory Ego Id Superego
Psychoanalytic Theory • Scenario: You see money on the floor in my classroom! • Id: Goes and grabs the money. • Ego: Asks if anyone dropped some money, but will keep it if no one claims it. • Superego: Turns in the money to the teacher.
Psychosexual Stages • Psychosexual Stages: The childhood stages of development during which, the id’s pleasure seeking energies focus on the erogenous zones. • There are conflicts in each stage and if the conflict is not successfully resolved, the result is fixation.
Psychosexual Stages • Fixation: unresolved conflict within a certain stage. • Your id will continue to focus on that stage until conflicts are resolved. • Ex. Thumb sucking may be an oral fixation. It triggers relaxation and often relieves stress.
Psychosexual Stages • Stage: Oral (0 – 18 months) • Pleasure: sucking, biting, chewing • Conflict: Weaning from the bottle or breast. • Fed too much: Oral-dependent personalities are gullible, overeaters, and passive. • Not fed enough: Oral-aggressive personalities are sarcastic and argumentative.
Psychosexual Stages • Fixation at oral stage results in issues with dependency or aggression. • Success means you learn to trust people and your environment. • Unsuccessful stage results in oral fixation which can result in problems with drinking, eating, smoking, or nail biting.
Psychosexual Stages • Stage: Anal (18 – 36 months) • Pleasure: pooping and peeing! • Conflict: Toilet training • Too much pressure: Anal-retentive personalities are orderly, obsessively neat, stingy, and stubborn. • Too little pressure: Anal-expulsive personalities are messy, disorganized, and lose their temper.
Psychosexual Stages • Anal stage is about controlling behavior and urges. • A child needs to learn certain boundaries so there is no confusion as what is overstepping the boundaries.
Psychosexual Stages • Stage: Phallic (3 – 6 years) • Pleasure: touching of genitals • Conflict: a desire to possess opposite sex parent. • Children begin to discover the differences between males and females. • Boys develop sexual desires for their mother and jealousy and hatred of father.
Psychosexual Stages • Oedipus Complex: A boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for his father, the rival. • Boys fear that they will be punished for these feelings (castration anxiety). • Electra Complex: The girl’s equivalent of the Oedipus complex. • Girls experience penis envy.
Psychosexual Stages • Eventually child identifies with the same-sex parent and resolves this stage. • Fixation may result in problems with authority or relationship problems. • Mamma’s boy or Daddy’s little girl.
Psychosexual Stages • Stage: Latency (6 – puberty) • Pleasure: Individual accomplishments, not sex related • Sexuality is dormant. • Child learns to adapt to real world and infantile amnesia occurs. • Focus on academics and athletics. • Same-sex friendships develop.
Psychosexual Stages • Stage: Genitalstage (Puberty on) • Pleasure: intercourse and intimacy with another person. • No conflict to resolve – this is the final stage. • Improper transitioning to genital stage may result in failure to form heterosexual relationships in the future.
Defense Mechanisms • The ego fights a battle between the id and superego. • If it is losing, it experiences anxiety, which results in defense mechanisms • Defense mechanisms: extreme measures that protect the ego from threats. • Operate unconsciously and deny, falsify, or distort reality.
Defense Mechanisms • Repression: unconscious forgetting; the pushing away of threatening thoughts, feelings, and memories into the unconscious mind. • The most frequently used and powerful defense mechanism. • Ex. People who have been abused may deny having it ever happening because they have repressed the memories.
Defense Mechanisms • Regression: retreat to an earlier level of development characterized by more immature, pleasurable behavior. • Ex. Again, in abused victims, they may act child-like in reaction to the abuse.
Defense Mechanisms • Rationalization: making unconscious excuses; offering socially acceptable reasons for our inappropriate behavior. • Ex. “I got an F in AP Biology because it’s such a hard class! I’m just not ready for college level work”
Defense Mechanisms • Projection: attributing our own undesirable thoughts, feelings, or actions to others. • Ex. When you’re mad at your friend, you might think they’re verbally attacking you when you have a conversation.
Defense Mechanisms • Displacement: shifting unacceptable thoughts, feelings, or actions from a more threatening person or object to another less threatening person or object. • Ex. Punching the wall when you’re angry.
Defense Mechanisms • Reaction formation: acting in a manner exactly opposite to our true feelings. • Ex. You’re sad that your grandmother passed away, but you are acting happy-go-lucky.
Defense Mechanisms • Sublimation: the redirection of unacceptable sexual or aggressive impulses into more socially acceptable behaviors. • Ex. You have a lot of anger, so you take up boxing.
Defense Mechanisms • Denial: the inability to face reality or admit an obvious truth. • There may be overwhelming evidence that something is true, but the person will still deny it because its too uncomfortable to face. • Ex. Drug addicts may deny that they have a problem.
Defense Mechanisms • Others: • Acting out: engaging in actions instead of reflecting on feelings. • Affiliation: turning to other people for support. • Avoidance: refusing to deal with situation. • Humor: joking about situation. • Compensation: overachieving in one area to compensate for another.
Carl Jung’s Analytic Theory • Analytic theory emphasizes the influence of our ancestors on our personality with the collective unconscious. • Collective unconscious: a shared, inherited collection of memories from our species’ history.
Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology • Emphasizes social interest as the primary determinant of personality. • We strive for superiority and try to compensate for inferiority complexes. • Inferiority Complex: lack of self-worth and feelings of not measuring up to society’s standards.
Karen Horney’s Psychoanalytic Theory • Horney attacked Freud’s male bias and suggested the male counterpart for penis envy is womb envy, the inability of men to carry children. • She thought females were more envious of the male’s social status.
Psychology Today • Today, psychologists do not use Freud’s terms (id, ego, phallic, etc.) on their patients. • They delve into your unconscious and try to pull out manifest content (actual content) and then talk about latent content (hidden meaning).
Assessing the Unconscious • Projective Tests: personality tests that provides you with a stimulus and ask you to describe it. It attempts to delve into your unconscious. • We will discuss two such tests: • A. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) • B. Rorschach Inkblot Test
Assessing the Unconscious • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): Giving the subject an ambiguous picture and asking them what is occurring. • Picture can have multiple meanings and the story given by the subject gives the psychologist insight into the unconscious.
Assessing the Unconscious • Rorschach Inkblot Test: A set of 10 inkblots designed to identify people’s feelings when they are asked to interpret what they see in the inkblot. • Most widely used projective test. • Designed by Hermann Rorschach.