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Chapter 11: Personality. Dr. M. Davis-Brantley. What is Personality?. Personality An individual’s unique and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving Personality Theory

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chapter 11 personality

Chapter 11: Personality

Dr. M. Davis-Brantley

what is personality
What is Personality?
  • Personality
    • An individual’s unique and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving
  • Personality Theory
    • Attempt to describe and explain how people are similar, how they are different, and why every individual is unique
personality perspectives
Personality Perspectives
  • Psychoanalytic—importance of unconscious processes and childhood experiences
  • Humanistic—importance of self and fulfillment of potential
  • Social cognitive—importance of beliefs about self
  • Also, Behaviorism (discussed extensively in Chap 5)
psychoanalytic approach
Psychoanalytic Approach
  • Developed by Sigmund Freud
  • Psychoanalysis is both an approach to therapy and a theory of personality
  • Emphasizes unconscious motivation – the main causes of behavior lie buried in the unconscious mind
psychoanalytic approach conscious forces
Psychoanalytic Approach: Conscious Forces
  • Conscious – all things we are aware of at any given moment
  • Wishes, desires, or thoughts we are aware of , or can recall, at any given moment
psychoanalytic approach preconscious forces
Psychoanalytic Approach: Preconscious Forces
  • Preconscious – everything that can, with a little effort, be brought into consciousness
psychoanalytic approach unconscious forces
Psychoanalytic Approach: Unconscious Forces
  • Unconscious –inaccessible warehouse of anxiety-producing thoughts and drives
  • Represents wishes, desires, or thoughts that, because of their disturbing or threatening content, we automatically repress and have difficulty accessing
psychoanalytic divisions of the mind
Psychoanalytic Divisions of the Mind
  • Id—instinctual drives present at birth
    • does not distinguish between reality and fantasy
    • operates according to the pleasure principle
  • Ego—develops out of the id in infancy
    • understands reality and logic
    • mediator between id and superego
  • Superego
    • internalization of society’s moral standards
    • responsible for guilt
id the pleasure principle
Id: The Pleasure Principle
  • Pleasure principle—drive toward immediate gratification, most fundamental human motive
  • Libido—sexual energy or motivation
  • Id’s psychological energy is derived from two conflicting drives Eros (life instinct) and Thanatos (death instinct)
ego the reality principle
Ego: The Reality Principle
  • Reality principle—ability to postpone gratification in accordance with demands of reality
  • Ego—rational, organized, logical, mediator to demands of reality
  • Can repress desires that cannot be met in an acceptable manner
superego conscience
Superego: Conscience
  • Internalization of societal and parental values
  • Partially unconscious
  • Can be harshly punitive using feelings of guilt
defense mechanisms
Defense Mechanisms

Unconscious mental processes employed by the ego to reduce anxiety

psychosexual stages
Psychosexual Stages
  • Freud’s five stages of personality development, each associated with a particular erogenous zone
  • Fixation—an attempt to achieve pleasure as an adult in ways that are equivalent to how it was achieved in these stages
neo freudian psychodynamic theories
Neo-Freudian Psychodynamic Theories
  • Carl Jung
  • Karen Horney
  • Alfred Adler
  • Erik Erikson
eriksonian psychosocial stages of development
Eriksonian Psychosocial Stages of Development
  • Trust vs. Mistrust—babies learn to trust others will care for their basic needs (birth to 1 year)
  • Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt—child learns that they can be self-sufficient (1-3 years)
  • Initiative vs. Guilt—children learn to undertake many adult activities or be punished by parents and made to feel guilty (3-6 years)
  • Industry vs. Inferiority—child learns to be competent and productive or unable to do anything (6-11 years)
  • Identity vs. Role Diffusion—Begin to understand/figure out “Who am I”? Or are confused about who they are (adolescence)
  • Intimacy vs. Isolation—Person seeks companionship and love or can become isolated because of fear of rejection or disappointment (Young adulthood)
  • Generativity vs. Stagnation—Person explore contribution to next generation such as meaningful work, raising a family, etc…(Middle Adulthood)
  • Integrity vs. Despair—Person tries to make sense of life and sees it as meaningful or not goal-directed (Older adulthood)
evaluation of psychoanalysis
Evaluation of Psychoanalysis
  • Evidence is inadequate—data are not available or able to be reviewed
  • Theory is not testable—lack of operational definitions. Good at explaining past but not at prediction
  • Sexism—believed that women were weak and inferior. Used male psychology as basis for all people
humanistic perspective
Humanistic Perspective
  • Free will
  • Self-awareness
  • Psychological growth
  • Abraham Maslow
  • Carl Rogers
carl rogers
Carl Rogers
  • Actualizing tendency—innate drive to maintain and enhance the human organism
  • Self-concept—set of perceptions you hold about yourself
  • Positive regard—conditional and unconditional
evaluating humanism
Evaluating Humanism
  • Difficult to test or validate scientifically
  • Tends to be too optimistic, minimizing some of the more destructive aspects of human nature
social cognitive perspective
Social Cognitive Perspective
  • Social cognitive theory—the importance of observational learning, social experience, self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism in personality
  • Reciprocal determinism-model that explains personality as the result of behavioral, cognitive, and environmental interactions
  • Self-efficacy—belief that people have about their ability to meet demands of a specific situation

Social-Cognitive Cont’d

Reciprocal Determinism—Albert Bandura

cognitive social learning theory
Cognitive Social-Learning Theory
  • Developed by Albert Bandura
  • Reciprocal Determinism
    • Complex interaction of individual factors (person variables), behavior, and environment stimuli
  • Person Variables
    • Factors within the person that influence behavior such as expectancies, competencies, attitudes, beliefs, or prior Sr+ history
      • These variables are in addition to your effect on the environment and the environment’s effect on you
    • Ex: Beginning an exercise regimen
    • Reciprocal Determinism:


evaluation of social cognitive perspective
Evaluation of Social Cognitive Perspective
  • Well grounded in empirical, laboratory research
  • However, laboratory experiences are rather simple and may not reflect the complexity of human interactions
  • Ignores the influences of unconscious, emotions, conflicts