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Personality. Chapter 12. What About Your Personality?. What is Personality?. An individual’s unique pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that are relatively stable over time and across situations

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  1. Personality Chapter 12

  2. What About Your Personality?

  3. What is Personality? • An individual’s unique pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that are relatively stable over time and across situations • It influences your preferences – for how you handle situations, your sense of humor, or your expectations of others

  4. What is Personality? • Personality is a complex combination of characteristics and the challenge in trying to understand another person, lies in identifying the unique combination of that individual’s personality characteristics • Words such as character, temperament and mood are ways of describing people and should not be used interchangeably with the term personality.

  5. Personality – Comes from the Latin word persona meaning ‘masks’ Some personality theories focus on the mask while others focus on what is behind the mask

  6. Assessing your own personality • Complete LA 12.1 (pg 509) • Questions 1 & 2 • Should have a description of you personality!

  7. What do Other People Think Of Your Personality? • Think about the personality of the person you are sitting next to • What personality characteristics do you associate with them? • Write down the first 5 that come to mind when you think of this person • NOTE: Try to be positive or at least neutral. Even if there are negative characteristics that are part of this person’s personality (and we definitely all have them!!) there is no need to write these ones down

  8. An Objective Assessment of our Personality • Dr Phil Personality Quiz •

  9. Theories of Personality • Many different perspectives on personality and the study of personality psychology • Thus, many different theories have emerged, attempting to explain how personality develops, why personality varies between people and how best to measure and evaluate an individual’s personality

  10. Theories of Personality • A personality theory is an approach to describing and explaining the origins and development of personality. • Each perspective contains a set of theories that share certain assumptions about human nature – how personality forms and then develops; whether people are inherently good or bad, the relative importance of biological and environmental factors; and the question of stability and change • Each theory has its own strengths and weaknesses, which need to be assessed along with the theory itself • We will discuss three approaches to personality: • Psychodynamic Theories • Trait Theories • Humanistic Theories

  11. Psychodynamic theories of personality

  12. Psychodynamic Theories of Personality • Basic understanding of a psychodynamic theory of personality is that personality is a result of unconscious psychological conflicts and that these are effectively resolved by the individual • The origin of these conflicts are seen to be in childhood experiences, due to the fact that an individual’s instinctive urges often do not match up to what is viewed as ‘acceptable’ in society • Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) • Freud’s psychodynamic theory is considered to be the first developmental theory of psychology • It attempts to explain how personality develops throughout the lifespan • In relation to his theory of personality Freud is known for his use of The Iceberg Metaphor

  13. Freud’s Structure of Personality • The Iceberg Metaphor • Freud believed that the human mind is like an iceberg, where most of it is beneath the surface • 3 different levels within the mind: -- conscious -- pre-conscious -- unconscious

  14. Freud’s Structure of Personality • 3 different levels within the mind: -- conscious Everything we are thinking, remembering, feeling, sensing or aware of at this particular moment -- pre-conscious Contains information that lies in ‘the back of our mind’ – can easily be brought into the conscious level merely by thinking about it -- unconscious Storage area for all the information about ourselves that is not acceptable to the conscious mind Memories that emotionally painful, extremely frightening and very difficult for us to bring into our conscious minds. Freud believed these memories have an influence over our conscious thoughts and behaviour, although we are not directly aware of them

  15. Freud’s Structure of Personality • Personality is fully formed by age of 5 or 6 and is made up of 3 parts each pulling the individual in a different direction – the id, ego and superego • Freud believed that the conflict between these 3 parts and the manner in which it is resolved is the cause of a person’s behaviour and shapes an individual’s personality

  16. Freud’s Structure of Personality • Id • Represents innate, biological needs which require fulfilment for our survival • Needs such as hunger, thirst, sleep and sex • It is not a structure, but a force which consists of a demanding, impulsive, illogical, irrational and relatively selfish part of our personality • The id operates on the Pleasure principle – its needs must be met to increase pleasure and avoid pain I WANT IT NOW!!!!!!

  17. Freud’s Structure of Personality • The id seeks immediate satisfaction, regardless of society’s rules or the rights or feelings of others • If our behaviour was completely driven by the id, we would demand to have our own way all the time • Good example is a new born baby! I WANT IT NOW!!!!!!

  18. Freud’s Structure of Personality • Ego • Develops as child grows and begins to understand how the world works – that their needs cannot always be satisfied immediately • Operates out of the Reality principle – deals with the Id’s demands by applying some logic and ‘real-life’ restrictions to it • Plays a mediating role, as it attempts to deal with id demands and superego demands

  19. Example • Suppose that you have decided you will complete your Psychology assessment task tonight, because it is due tomorrow. At 8:30 pm, you still have about an hour’s work left to complete the task. But a movie you really want to watch is just about to start. • Id: “Do the work later. Go relax and watch the movie.” • Superego: “If you leave it until later you won’t do it, forget about the movie and get your work done.” • Ego:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  20. Freud’s Structure of Personality • Superego • Our conscience or judging element of our personality, the superego weighs our thoughts, feelings and actions according to the morals and ideals of the society in which we live • Operates by the moral principle, informing our decisions with knowledge of what is right and wrong • Therefore, also the cause of our feelings of guilt – punishment to the ego when it does not make the ‘right’ decision

  21. Freud’s Structure of Personality • The superego always aims for perfection and is not satisfied with anything less than that • Main functions are to block the urges of the id, to persuade ego to be moralistic rather than realistic, and to strive for perfection– otherwise punishes in guilt

  22. Freud’s Structure of Personality • The id is impulsive, the ego is realistic, and the superego is idealistic and judgemental • Freud suggested that these 3 forces are constantly in conflict and that all of our behaviour is produced as a result of this interaction

  23. Tasks: • Role play in groups of 3 • Use scenarios from LA 12.4 on page 515 • Each member is assigned as the id, ego or superego • 1-2 min role play: think about how your structure may act in this situation! • Learning Activity 12.3 Q4 & 5 • Learning Activity 12.5 Q 1

  24. Healthy Psyche OK Guys – I’m in charge. Anything you want has to go through me. OK. OK. Ego Id Superego

  25. Neurotic Listen up! I’m in charge, and you are not here to enjoy yourselves. Get ready for a double-size portion of anxiety with a side order of guilt! No fun. >whimper< Superego Id Ego

  26. Psychotic Sex! Food! Drink! Drugs! NOW! Who turned out the lights? Id Ego Superego

  27. •

  28. Freud’s Structure of Personality • Defence Mechanisms (Table 12.1) • Thus, the ego is constantly playing the role of trying to mediate between the id and the superego • There are many instances when this conflict is not effectively resolved and according to Freud, this results in individuals feeling anxiety • However, it is the ego’s role to protect us from such anxiety • The unconscious processes by which the ego attempts to protect us from the anxiety arising out of unresolved internal conflict are called defencemechanisms • By denying, falsifying or distorting reality at an unconscious level, our ego leads us to believe that there is no need to feel anxious

  29. Freud’s Structure of Personality • Denial: claiming/believing that what is true to be actually false. • Displacement: redirecting emotions to a substitute target. • Projection: attributing uncomfortable feelings to other people around. • Compensation: covering up weaknesses by emphasizing perceived strengths • Intellectualisation: Ignoring emotions and feelings by talking about painful events in a ‘cold’ way

  30. Freud’s Structure of Personality • Rationalization: creating false but credible justifications. • Reaction Formation: overacting in the opposite way to your true feelings. • Regression: going back to acting as a child. • Repression: pushing uncomfortable thoughts into the subconscious. • Sublimation: redirecting 'wrong' urges into socially acceptable actions. • Fantasy: Fulfilling unconscious wishes by imagining them in activities

  31. Tasks: • Complete the definition and matching activity worksheet *note: there are three mechanisms that are not there so you have to add these, the definition and an example (using table on pg 517) • Complete the case study worksheet • Learning Activity 12.7 – choose two case studies

  32. Psychosexual Stages of Development • Freud developed a theory of how our sexuality starts from a very young age and develops through various stages. • Freud used the word ‘sex’ broadly to describe anything ‘physically pleasurable’ within these stages. • If these stages are not psychologically completed and released, we can be trapped by them and they may lead to various fixations to avoid the anxiety produced from the conflict in leaving of the stage. • He suggested that we progress sequentially through 5 stages: -- Oral Stage -- Anal Stage -- Phallic Stage -- Latency Stage -- Genital Stage

  33. Jigsaw Group Activity • Find your ‘expert’ group – other people with the same picture card as you • Take your textbook and pen along to these groups • Each group will present to the class and everyone will need to take notes/ fill in table • Discuss answers to the following for your stage only: --Stage name? --What age range are individuals in this range at? --What is termed as the ‘focus of pleasure’ in this stage? --What fixations may develop at that stage? -- What are the characteristics of these fixations?

  34. Psychosexual Stages of Development • Oral Stage (Birth to 18 months) • During the oral stage, the child is focused on oral pleasures (sucking). • Too much or too little gratification can result in an Oral Fixation or Oral Personality which is evidenced by a preoccupation with oral activities. • This type of personality may have a stronger tendency to smoke, drink alcohol, over eat, or bite his or her nails. • Personality wise, these individuals may become overly dependent upon others, gullible, and perpetual followers. On the other hand, they may also fight these urges and develop pessimism and aggression toward others.

  35. Psychosexual Stages of Development • Anal Stage (18 months to three years) • The child’s focus of pleasure in this stage is on eliminating and retaining feaces. • Through society’s pressure, mainly via parents, the child has to learn to control anal stimulation. • In terms of personality, after effects of an anal fixation during this stage can result in an obsession with cleanliness, perfection, and control (anal retentive). On the opposite end of the spectrum, they may become messy and disorganized (anal expulsive).

  36. Psychosexual Stages of Development • Phallic Stage (ages three to six) • The pleasure zone switches to the genitals. Freud believed that during this stage boy develop unconscious sexual desires for their mother. Because of this, he becomes a rival with his father and sees him as competition for the mother’s affection. • During this time, boys also develop a fear that their father will punish them for these feelings, such as by castrating them. This group of feelings is known as Oedipus Complex ( after the Greek Mythology figure who accidentally killed his father and married his mother). • Later it was added that girls go through a similar situation, developing unconscious sexual attraction to their father. Although Freud Strongly disagreed with this, it has been termed the Electra Complex by more recent psychoanalysts. • According to Freud, out of fear of castration and due to the strong competition of his father, boys eventually decide to identify with him rather than fight him. By identifying with his father, the boy develops masculine characteristics and identifies himself as a male, and represses his sexual feelings toward his mother. A fixation at this stage could result in sexual deviancies (both overindulging and avoidance) and weak or confused sexual identity according to psychoanalysts

  37. Psychosexual Stages of Development • Latency Stage (age six to puberty) • The stage begins around the time that children enter into school and become more concerned with peer relationships, hobbies, and other interests. • It is during this stage that sexual urges remain repressed and children interact and play mostly with same sex peers. • The latent period/stage is a time of exploration in which the sexual energy is still present, but it is directed into other areas such as intellectual pursuits and social interactions. This stage is important in the development of social and communication skills and self-confidence.

  38. Psychosexual Stages of Development • Genital Stage (puberty onwards) • The final stage of psychosexual development begins at the start of puberty when sexual urges are once again awakened. • Through the lessons learned during the previous stages, adolescents direct their sexual urges onto opposite sex peers, with the primary focus of pleasure is the genitals. • Where in earlier stages the focus was solely on individual needs, interest in the welfare of others grows during this stage. • If the other stages have been completed successfully, the individual should now be well-balanced, warm and caring. The goal of this stage is to establish a balance between the various life areas.

  39. Fixations • Fixation: Strong conflict within the progress of each stage can fixate people at early stages. • Oral fixation: Oral fixation has two possible outcomes. • The Oral receptive personality is preoccupied with eating/drinking and reduces tension through oral activity such as eating, drinking, smoking, biting nails. They are generally passive, needy and sensitive to rejection. They will easily 'swallow' other people's ideas. • The Oral aggressive personality is hostile and verbally abusive to others, using mouth-based aggression. • Anal fixation • Anal fixation, which may be caused by too much punishment during toilet training, has two possible outcomes. • The Anal retentive personality is stingy, with a compulsive seeking of order and tidiness. The person is generally stubborn and perfectionist. • The Anal expulsive personality is an opposite of the Anal retentive personality, and has a lack of self control, being generally messy and careless.

  40. Fixation • Phallic fixation • At the age of 5 or 6, near the end of the phallic stage, boys experience the Oedipus Complexwhilst girls experience the Electra conflict, which is a process through which they learn to identify with the same gender parent by acting as much like that parent as possible. • Boys suffer a castration anxiety, where the son believes his father knows about his desire for his mother and hence fears his father will castrate him. He thus represses his desire and defensively identifies with his father. • Girls suffer a penis envy, where the daughter is initially attached to her mother, but then a shift of attachment occurs when she realizes she lacks a penis. She desires her father whom she sees as a means to obtain a penis substitute (a child). She then represses her desire for her father and incorporates the values of her mother and accepts her inherent 'inferiority' in society. • This is Freud, remember. He later also recanted, noting that perhaps he had placed too much emphasis on sexual connotations.

  41. Tasks • Complete psychosexual case studies/ which psychosexual fixation? worksheet • Read 12. 3 Slips of the tongue – has this ever happened to you? • Summarise the strengths and weaknesses of psychodynamic theories (pg 521-22)

  42. Strength and weaknesses of psychodynamic theories

  43. Trait theories of personality

  44. Trait Theories of Personality • A personality trait is a personality characteristic that endures (lasts) over time and across situations • Trait theoriesof personality focus on measuring, identifying and describing individual differences in personality in terms of traits or characteristics • The trait approach emphasises differences between individuals rather than similarities • Most personality tests are based on the trait approach to personality

  45. Trait Theories of Personality • Trait approach based on 4 main assumptions: • personality traits are relatively stable and predictable over time • personality traits are stable across different situations • personality is made up of many different traits, individuals can have ‘more’ or ‘less’ of a particular characteristic • some personality traits are more closely interrelated than others and have a tendency to occur together

  46. Allport’s hierarchy of Traits • Gordon Allport (1897 – 1967) • Widely recognized as the first trait approach to studying personality • Compiled a list of all the words that could be used to describe personality • ~ 18000 words