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Theories of Personality

Theories of Personality

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Published by Avayant Kumar Singh

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Published by: Avayant Kumar Singh on Mar 19, 2010
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  • Theories of Personality
  • Measuring Personality
  • Defining Personality and Traits
  • Projective Tests
  • Thematic Apperception Test
  • The Rorschach Inkblot Test
  • Objective Tests
  • MMPI Score Profile
  • MMPI Sample Items
  • Heredity and Temperament
  • Heredity and Traits
  • The Power of Parents
  • The Power of Peers
  • Situations and Circumstances
  • Reciprocal
  • determinism
  • Cultural Influences on Personality
  • Culture, Values, and Traits
  • Customs in Context
  • Aggressiveness
  • Altruism
  • Key terms
  • The Structure of Personality
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • The Development of Personality
  • Other Psychodynamic Approaches
  • Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories
  • The Humanistic Approach
  • Abraham Maslow
  • Carl Rogers
  • Carl Rogers¶ Personality Theory
  • Rollo May
  • Evaluating Humanists

Theories of Personality

Chapter 13

Measuring Personality 

Genetic influences on personality Environmental influences on personality Cultural influences on personality Psychodynamic influences on personality The inner experience

Defining Personality and Traits. 


Distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behaviours, thoughts, motives, and emotions that characterizes an individual throughout life. A characteristic of an individual, describing a habitual way of behaving, thinking, and feeling. 


Projective Tests 

Projective tests  

Based on the assumption that the test taker will transfer (³project´) unconscious conflicts and motives onto an ambiguous stimulus. Examples include the Thematic Apperception Test and the Rorschach

Thematic Apperception Test  Person is asked to tell a story about the ³hero´ in the picture  Another projective test  Based on Murray¶s personality theory  People are distinguished by the needs that motivate their behaviour .

The Rorschach Inkblot Test    Ambiguous stimuli Person is asked to report what they see This type of test is called projective  No clear image. so the things you see must be ³projected´ from inside yourself Sample Rorschach Card .

Better at predicting behaviour.Objective Tests  Standardized questionnaires requiring written responses. typically include scales on which people rate themselves:   µI am easily embarrassed¶ T or F µI like to go to parties¶ T or F   More reliability and validity than projective tests. .

 Factor analysis:   A statistical method for analysing the intercorrelations among various measures or test scores. clusters of measures or scores that are highly correlated are assumed to measure the same underlying trait or ability (factor). . Example: Cattel¶s 16 Personality Factors (PF) Questionnaire.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory  Most widely used personality instrument  Now the MMPI .2   Clinical & Employment settings Measures aspects of personality that.g..567 questions . if extreme. suggest a problem  e. extreme suspiciousness  Long test .

Characteristics of the MMPI-2   Has several different scales (multiphasic) Scales thought to measure different kinds of psychological disorders  e. depression   Scale scores indicate how you compare with others Overall assessment is interpretive  From inspecting profile of different scales .g..

MMPI Score Profile .

  ³I smile at everyone I meet´ (T) ³I read every editorial every day´ (T) .Trying too hard to present self in a positive light.MMPI Validity Scales   Four scales designed to determine whether respondent is presenting self accurately. Example: L scale (µFake Good¶) .

MMPI Sample Items  I usually feel that life is worthwhile and interesting  Depression Paranoia   Evil people are trying to influence my mind  I seem to hear things that other people can¶t hear  Schizophrenia .

³Big Five´ Personality Dimensions      Extroversion Neuroticism Agreeableness Conscientiousness Openness to experience .

³Big Five´ Personality Dimensions     The Big Five have emerged as distinct. . central personality dimensions in many countries around the world. religiosity) are missing Others (Eysenck) argue for only 3 factors. Some argue it is incomplete.g. other important dimensions (e. Are stable over a lifetime..

Genetic Influences on Personality   Heredity and temperament Heredity and traits .

Genetic Influences on Personality    123 pairs of identical twins and 127 pairs of fraternal twins Measured on ³Big Five´ personality dimensions Results suggest that personality differences in the population are 40 . .50% genetically determined.

. Present in infancy and assumed to be innate.Heredity and Temperament  Temperaments    Physiological dispositions to respond to the environment in certain ways. Includes: Reactivity  Soothability  Positive and Negative Emotionality   Temperaments are relatively stable over time.

about 50% of the variation associated with a given trait is attributable to genetic differences among individuals in the group. .Heredity and Traits  Heritability  A statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variance in some trait that is attributable to genetic differences among individuals within a group.  Within a group of people.  Heritability of personality traits is about 50%.  Genetic predisposition is not genetic inevitability.

Environmental Influences on Personality    The power of parents The power of peers Situations and circumstances .

there may be little relation between what they do and how their children turn out. .  The nonshared environment is a more important influence. Even when parents try to be consistent in the way they treat their children.The Power of Parents    The shared environment of the home has little influence on personality. Few parents have a single child-rearing style that is consistent over time and that they use with all children.

Peer acceptance is so important to children and adolescents that being bullied.The Power of Peers   Adolescent culture includes different peer groups organized by different interests. victimized or rejected by peers is far more traumatic that punitive treatment by parents. .

Why are there variations in individual expressions of traits? Depending on context. some behaviours are rewarded and others are not. Reciprocal determinism  In social-cognitive theories. . the two way interaction between aspects of the environment and aspects of the individual in the shaping of personality traits.Situations and Circumstances     People routinely reveal all of the big five traits in their everyday behaviour.

Reciprocal determinism .

Cultural Influences on Personality    Culture. values and traits Customs in context Aggressiveness and altruism .

Values. and a set of values. and Traits  Culture   A program of shared rules that govern the behaviour of members of a community or society. .Culture. beliefs and attitudes shared by most members of that community.

and individual goals and wishes are prized above duty and relations with others. and Traits  Individualist cultures  Cultures in which the self is regarded as autonomous. Values.  Collectivist cultures  . and harmony with one¶s group is prized above individual goals and wishes. Cultures in which the self is regarded as embedded in relationships.Culture.

schedules and deadlines valued over people. people valued over schedules and deadline.  Polychronic cultures  . Examples include bathing and tardiness. Time is ordered horizontally.Customs in Context   When culture isn¶t appropriately considered.  Monochronic cultures  Time is ordered sequentially. people attribute unusual behaviour to personality.

. In cultures in which competition for resources is fierce and survival is difficult. men are ³toughened up´ and pushed to take risks.Aggressiveness   Considerable cross-cultural evidence suggests that male aggression results more from cultural factors than biological ones.

Altruism  Culture also strong influence on moral behaviour. the Phillipines and Okinawa. Mexico. India. . American children were less likely to be altruistic when compared with children from Kenya.

Psychodynamic Influences on Personality    Defining key terms Freud and psychoanalysis Other psychodynamic approaches .

Emphasize unconscious motives and conflicts.Key terms  Psychodynamic theories  Explain behaviour and personality in terms of unconscious energy dynamics within the individual.  Psychoanalysis   . A theory of personality and method of psychotherapy developed by Sigmund Freud.

The Structure of Personality  Id: Operates according to the pleasure principle  Primitive and unconscious part of personality  Ego: Operates according to the reality principle  Mediates between id and superego  Superego: Moral ideals and conscience .


Defense Mechanisms       Repression Projection Displacement Reaction formation Regression Denial .

The Development of Personality   Freud¶s stages  Oral  Anal  Phallic  Latency period  Genital Fixation occurs when stages aren¶t resolved successfully. .

art. and dreams.   2 important archetypes are maleness and femaleness which he believed existed in both sexes. stories. .Other Psychodynamic Approaches  Jungian Theory  Collective unconscious The universal memories. symbols. and experiences of humankind.  represented in the archetypes or universal symbolic images that appear in myths.

Other Psychodynamic Approaches  The Object-Relations School  Emphasizes the importance of the infants first two years of life and the baby¶s formative relationships.  Emphasized children¶s needs for a powerful mother and to be in relationships. especially with the mother. .

Drawing universal principles from the experiences of a few atypical patients. Basing theories of personality development on retrospective accounts and the fallible memories of patients.Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories  Three scientific failings    Violating the principle of falsifiability. .

The Humanistic Approach     Abraham Maslow Carl Rogers Rollo May Evaluating Humanists .

achieving one¶s full potential.Abraham Maslow  Humanist psychology  An approach that emphasizes personal growth. . personality development can be viewed as a gradual progression toward self-actualization . resilience. and the achievement of human potential.  For Maslow.

Maslow¶s Hierarchy of Needs Self-Actualization Esteem Belongingness Safety Physiological .

 Conditional Positive Regard  . A situation in which the acceptance and love one receives from significant others is contingent upon one¶s behaviour.Carl Rogers  Unconditional Positive Regard  Love or support given to another person with no conditions attached.

.Carl Rogers¶ Personality Theory  The needs for self-actualization and positive regard create a potential for conflict.

Rollo May   Shared with humanists the belief in free will and freedom of choice but also emphasized loneliness. anxiety and alienation. Extistentialism  Free will confers on us responsibility for our actions. .

. Have added balance to the study of personality.´ The argument that we have the power to choose our own destiny has fostered a new appreciation for resilience. The approach has encouraged others to focus on ³positive psychology.Evaluating Humanists     Hard to operationally define many of the concepts.

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