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Summer at the Academy. Introduction to Psychology Days 7 & 8: Personality Ms. Mary-Liz Fuhrman. * Personality *. Chapter 15 pp 595-637. Ch 15: Personality Overview. Psychoanalytic Perspective Humanistic Perspective Trait Perspective Social-Cognitive Perspective Exploring the Self.

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summer at the academy

Summer at the Academy

Introduction to Psychology

Days 7 & 8: Personality

Ms. Mary-Liz Fuhrman


* Personality *

Chapter 15

pp 595-637

ch 15 personality overview
Ch 15: Personality Overview
  • Psychoanalytic Perspective
  • Humanistic Perspective
  • Trait Perspective
  • Social-Cognitive Perspective
  • Exploring the Self
what is personality
What is personality?
  • Q: How do you describe your own personality?
  • Personality: an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting
  • Focus is on individual not general human nature
    • Explores:
      • Traits
      • Uniqueness
      • Personal control
      • Sense of self
4 perspectives of personality
4 Perspectives of Personality
  • Psychoanalytic theory emphasizes the unconscious and irrational aspects of personality.
  • Humanistic theory draws attention to the concept of self and to human potential for healthy growth.
  • Trait theory led to advances in techniques for evaluating and describing personality.
  • The social-cognitiveperspective emphasizes the effects of our interactions with the environment
  • Contributions & short-comings
psychoanalytic perspective
Psychoanalytic Perspective

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

  • Austria
  • Medical Doctor:
    • nervous disorders/neurology
  • Developed theory based on evaluations of self and patients:
    • Unconscious region of the mind
    • Psychosexual stages
    • Defense mechanisms
psychoanalytic perspective1
Psychoanalytic Perspective

Exploring the Unconscious

  • Free Association: person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind
  • Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory of personality and associated techniques that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts
    • seek to expose and interpret unconscious tensions
  • Unconscious:
    • FREUD: reservoir of unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories
    • TODAY: info processing of which we are unaware
psychoanalytic perspective2
Psychoanalytic Perspective



  • Id: pleasure principle—immediate gratification; strives to satisfy sexual and aggressive drives
  • Ego: reality principle—satisfying the id’s desires realistically; mediates between the id and superego; mostly conscious
  • Superego: internalized ideals and provides standards for judgments
psychoanalytic perspective3

Personality Development


psychoanalytic perspective4
Psychoanalytic Perspective
  • Oedipus Complex: boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father
    • Electra Complex
  • Identification: children incorporate their parents’ values into their developing superegos
  • Fixation: lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, where conflicts were not resolved
psychoanalytic perspective5
Psychoanalytic Perspective

Defense Mechanisms

Ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality

Repression: *Basic defense mechanism; banishes anxiety arousing thoughts, feelings, & memories

** Dreams and “Slips-Of-The-Tongue”

Regression: When faced w/ anxiety, retreat to an earlier psychosexual stage where some energy remains fixated

Reaction Formation: unconsciously switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites; express feelings opposite of anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings

psychoanalytic perspective6
Psychoanalytic Perspective

Defense Mechanisms Cont’d

  • Projection: people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others
    • ex: He doesn’t love me ~~ I don’t love him
  • Rationalization: offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one’s actions
    • ex: well I had to check his text messages because…
  • Displacement: shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person; redirecting anger toward a safer outlet
    • ex: yelling at your boyfriend when you are angry w/ your parents
the humanistic perspective
The Humanistic Perspective
  • 1960s
  • Unhappy w/ Freud and Skinner
  • Freud’s focus was on “sick” people
  • Humanistic: focus on how healthy people strive for self-determination and self-realization
    • Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers
the humanistic perspective1
The Humanistic Perspective

Abraham Maslow’s Self-Actualizing Person

Heirarchy of Needs

pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base w/ physiological needs that must first be satisfied before moving up to psychological needs

  • Goal: Self-Actualization
    • fulfilling one’s potential
the humanistic perspective2
The Humanistic Perspective

Maslow studied healthy, creative people

  • Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Self-aware, self-accepting, open and spontaneous, loving and caring, not paralyzed by other’s opinions
  • Interests were problem-centered not self-centered
the humanistic perspective evaluating the humanistic perspective

Influenced counseling, education, child-rearing, and management strategies

Today’s popular psych:

“Positive Self-Concept is the key to happiness and success”

Hierarchy of Needs relates to Business


Vague, subjective

Assumptions are too optimistic

Individualization can lead to self-indulgent, selfish behaviors

The Humanistic Perspective Evaluating the Humanistic Perspective
the humanistic perspective elizabeth kubler ross stages of grieving
The Humanistic PerspectiveELIZABETH KUBLER-ROSS: Stages of Grieving
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
the trait perspective
The Trait Perspective
  • stable and enduring behavior patterns
  • Traits: a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports
  • Gordon Allport (1920s)
    • Less explaining; more describing
  • “Types” of personalities
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator sorts people according to Jung’s personality types
    • Extroverted/Introverted, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perceiving
the trait perspective1
The Trait Perspective

Assessing Traits

Personality Inventories: questionnaire (often t/f or agree/disagree) on which people respont to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; assesses selected personality traits

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): the most widely researched and clinically used personality test. Originally designed to identify emotional disorders.

the trait perspective2
The Trait Perspective

The Big 5 Factors

  • Conscientiousness
    • Organized/disorganized, careful/careless, disciplined/impulsive
  • Agreeableness
    • Soft-hearted/ruthless, trusting/suspicious, helpful/uncooperative
  • Neuroticism (emotional stability v. unstability)
    • Calm/anxious, secure/insecure, self-satisfied/self-pitying
  • Openness
    • Imaginative/practical, variety/routine, independent/conforming
  • Extraversion
    • Sociable/retiring, fun-loving/sober, affectionate/reserved
the trait perspective3
The Trait Perspective
  • How stable are these traits?
    • Conscientiousness increases in 20s
    • Agreeableness increases in 30s
  • How heritable are they?
    • About 50% per dimension
  • How well do they apply to other cultures?
    • Well supported for other cultures
  • Do the Big Five traits predict other personal attributes?
    • Yes! Morning people (conscientious) v. night owls (extraverted)
    • Marital satisfaction decreases with low agreeableness, stability, and openness
the trait perspective4
The Trait Perspective

Evaluating The Trait Perspective

  • The person-situation controversy
    • Effects of interaction w/ the environment
    • Personality traits persist over time and situations
    • Specific behaviors are less consistent
  • Consistency of Expressive Style
    • Unfamiliar/Formal situations—wait for social cues
    • Familiar/Informal (friends)– more comfortable
    • Expressiveness is relatively, consistent
      • Even modest outgoing people are more expressive than inhibited people at their peek
the social cognitive perspective
The Social-Cognitive Perspective
  • Views behavior as influenced by interaction between persons and their social context
  • Albert Bandura
  • Social: Learn behaviors through conditioning or by observing others and modeling our behavior after theirs
  • Cognitive: What we think about our situations affects our behavior
  • Interaction: How we interpret and respond to external events.
the social cognitive perspective1
The Social-Cognitive Perspective

Reciprocal Influences

Reciprocal Determinism: the interacting influences between personality and environmental factors

*Different people choose different environments:

friends, school, jobs– you choose the environment that shapes you

*Personalities shape how we interpret and react to events

anxious– notice threatening events more

*Personalities help create situations to which we react

how we view and treat people influences how they treat us

social cognitive perspective
Social-Cognitive Perspective

Personal Control

Def: Our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling helpless

  • Internal Locus of Control: we control our own fate
  • External Locus of Control: fate is determined for us

Learned Helplessness: the more traumatic events faced, the more helpless, hopeless, and depressed we become

evaluating the social cognitive perspective

More focus on cognition and learning

Reminds us that the situation does impact individuals


Too much focus on situation and not traits


Evaluating the Social-Cognitive Perspective
exploring the self
Exploring The Self
  • Self is Center of our personality

Includes Possible self & feared self

  • Spotlight Effect: overestimating others’ noticing and evaluating our appearance, mistakes, and performance
exploring the self1
Exploring The Self

Benefits of Self-Esteem

  • Self-Esteem: one’s feelings of high or low self-worth
  • Lower self-esteem– more personal problems
  • Why?
    • Success leads to higher self esteem
    • self-esteem reflects reality
    • Gauges our relationships w/ others
exploring the self2
Exploring the Self

Self Serving Bias

Def: A readiness to perceive oneself favorably

  • Accept more responsibility for good deeds and success than for bad deeds and failures
  • Most people see themselves as above average