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The Healthy Personality

Definition and characteristics of personality

• The term personality is taken from the Latin term Persona meaning “masks”.
• Hilgard defines personality as the arrangement or configuration of individual
characteristics and ways of behaving that determine one’s unique adjustment to his
• Gordon W. Allport mentions at least 50 different meanings that personality has acquired

A. Philosophy- it is synonymous with selfhood, with the ideal of perfection, and with
the supreme value.
B. Theology- there is mention of the 3 divine persons in one God.
C. Law- those enjoying legal status or an incorporated group of persons constitute
personality or person.

Characteristics of personality

1. Physical: bodily build, height, weight, texture of the skin, shape of the lips. etc.
2. Mental: range of ideas, mental alertness, ability to reason, to conceptualize, etc.
3. Emotional: one’s temperament, moods, prejudices, bias, emotional responses, like
aggressiveness, calmness, etc.
4. Social: relations with other people, likes, dislikes, social responsiveness, concern for
others, etc.
5. Moral: his positive or negative adherence to the do’s and don’t of his society, his value
systems, moral principles, etc.
6. Spiritual: his faith, beliefs, philosophy of life, etc.

Factors in Personality Development

Morgan divides these factors into four convenient terms:

A. Inherited predisposition: this means that we are only predisposed, through heredity, to
develop patterns of personality which are not set or fixed but which are only tendencies.
B. Abilities: these, too, may be inherited or acquired. One’s intelligence, inherited through
genes and honed by various experiences, make one’s abilities distinctly one’s own.
C. Family and Home environment: these play a most vital role in personality development.
One’s early associations are in the home. As the individual matures, the influence of the
family group in emotional responses, beliefs morals, social interrelations, attractiveness,
outlook, religious affiliations, etc. cannot be overemphasized.
D. Culture: the set-up of families is shaped by culture. This is the mold which the family
consciously or unconsciously fits the personality of the child.
Theories of Personality

1. TYPE THEORIES or Constitutional Types

 these theories postulate that human subjects can profitably be classified into a smaller
number of classes or types, each class or type having characteristics in common which set
its members apart from other classes or types
A. Physique(Body Types)

1. William Sheldon- bases his theory on the three layers of tissue in the human embryo:
the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm.
a. Endomorphy: tends towards roundness, heaviness and a preponderance of visceral
b. Mesomorphy: tends towards stockiness and good muscular development.
c. Ectomorphy: tends towards a long, stringy, skinny body.

Three primary temperaments:

a. Visceratonia: love of physical comfort, enjoys companionship, eating, deep sleep,

relaxing under alcohol, orientation toward a childhood and family relations.
b. Somatotonia: assertiveness, love of adventure, need and enjoyment of exercise, love or
risk, physical courage, indifference to pain, aggressiveness under alcohol, orientation
toward youth.
c. Cerebrotonia: restraint in posture, overly fast reactions, hypersensitivity to pain,
sensitivity, avoidance of social contacts, resistance to alcohol.

 Each of these temperamental and bodily components is measured on 7-point


4-4-4: average individual

7-1-1: an extreme ectomorphy
1-7-1: an extreme vicerotonic
1-1-7: an extreme endomorphy

2. Ernest Kretschmer: was a German psycho-artist, who described four types of

techniques and their related characteristics:

a. Pyknic: rounded full face, short neck, stocky build, short limbs, mood
fluctuations and a tendency to extroversion and manic- depression.
b. Asthenic: thin and angular, introverted and a tendency to schizophrenia.
c. Athletic: strong, solid muscular build and comparable introverted tendencies.
d. Dysplastic: characterized by bodily disharmony and temperamentally
o Schizophrenia- the name for psychotic reactions characterized by withdrawal,
disturbances in emotional and affective life, and depending upon the type, the presence of
hallucinations, delusions, negativistic behavior and progressive deterioration.
o Manic-depressive psychoses- a severe mental disorder characterized by cyclic swings in
emotion or mood.

B. Behavior
1. Carl Jung- was a Swiss psychoanalyst and founder of analytical psychology. He
classified personality types according to:

A. Attitude types:
1. Extrovert- a tendency to direct the personality outward rather than inward
toward the self.
2. Introvert- orientation inward toward the self; pre-occupied with his own
thoughts, avoids social contacts and tends to run away from reality.
B. Function types: (based on the analysis of the chief varieties of human expression

1. Thinking
2. Feeling
3. Sensation
4. Intuition

Principal classes of Personality

1. Extraverted thinking type- concerned with facts and their classification.

2. Extraverted feeling type- wishes to be in harmony with the outside world and is able to
achieve close sympathy with others.
3. Introverted-feeling type- chiefly concerned with the internal harmony and tends to
depreciate the influence of other factors.
4. Sensation- principally influenced by pure pleasure and pain.
5. Intuitive types- dominated by indirect judgments or “hunches”, either extroverts or

C. Physiology or Body Chemistry

1. Hippocrates and Galen

 Hippocrates laid the foundation for the doctrine of temperaments based on the humors
(fluids) of the body.
 Galen elaborated this

Temperaments Humors
Quick-strong (choleric) Yellow bile
(Easily angered, quick to react)

Quick-weak (sanguine) Blood

(Generally warm hearted, pleasant
Had a prominence of blood)

Slow-strong (melancholic) Black bile

(Suffers from depression and sadness, much black bile)

Slow-weak (phlegmatic) Phlegm

(Listless and slow)

2. R.J. Williams- “Biochemical Individuality”.

-“Each person has his own distinctive pattern of endocrine activity.
Endocrine activity is a kind of endocrine symphony”.
3. Macey, Bateman and Van Lehn- “Individuals may demonstrate quite specific patterns of
physiological response.”

2. Trait Theories

A. Gordon W. Allport (Theory of Personal Dispositions)

Two traits:

1. Common traits- traits comparable among people and are appraised by comparing one with
another according to preferred values
2. Personal dispositions- traits unique for the person.
a. Cardinal disposition: characteristics so pervasive influencing all aspects of behavior.
b. Central traits: a few traits that centrally describe their personalities
c. Secondary traits: traits expressing relatively isolated interests or modes of responding.

B. Raymund B. Cattell- formulated the Theory of Surface and Source Traits or the Factorial
Theory of Personality.

3. Developmental Theories

A. Sigmund Freud’s “Psychoanalytic Theory”

 divided his theory into three divisions or sub theories:
a. Theory of Personality Structure
b. Theory of Personality Development
c. Theory of Personality Dynamics

Theories of Personality Structure

1. Id- the repository of unconscious wishes primarily libidinal and aggressive

2. Ego- mediator between the demands of the Id and the outer forces of reality.
3. Superego- this maintains the standard of personality. It corresponds to one’s conscience.

Theory of Personality Development

1. Oral (1st two years of life) - The infant finds gratification through stimulation of the lips
and mouth region as in sucking and nursing.

Two phases:
1. Oral receptive- oral activities involving intake of food for body use or pleasure.
2. Oral aggressive- biting to represent pleasure.

2. Anal (Between 12-30 months) - the child receives primary pleasure from anal activities.

Two phases:
1. Anal phase- related to expelling waste
2. Retentive phase- related to the pleasurable stimulation from retaining feces.
3. Phallic (Between the third and sixth year of life) - the child demonstrates instinctual
attraction for the opposite sex parent.
 Oedipus Complex- the attraction and fear brings severe conflict and this is the son-
mother relationship.
 Electra complex- the daughter-father relations.

4. Latency (The period of repressed sexual activity between 6 and puberty) - this is the
period of the older-childhood years are the same.

5. Genital (stage of normal adulthood) - the child’s basic interest and sources of erotic
satisfaction become centered in heterosexual behavior.

 Fixation- occurs when there is arrested development or inability to pass to the next stage.

Theory of Personality Dynamics

1. Life instincts include urges which have to do with the survival of the organism. They derive
their energy from the libido- a word meaning all the mental energy available of the individual.
2. Death instincts are the destructive urges in man.

 Cathexis- is the investment of libidinal energy in an idea, memory, object or activity.

Learning Theories

A. Karen Horney’s “Anxiety Theory”

⇒ the neurotic need for affection and approval is developed if the child learns cope with
anxiety by running to mother for affection and approval.
B. Alfred Adler’s “Superiority and Compensation Theory”
⇒ we are always seeing ways in which we fall short of our aspirations and hence, ways in
which we are influenced.

Ways of Improving Personality

1. Self Appraisal- listing down and evaluating your physical, intellectual, social and
emotional traits in terms of effectiveness, ineffectiveness or partial effectiveness.
2. Effective regulation of emotional life- one must develop a high degree of control over
one’s emotions and not allowing one’s emotions to control you.
3. Social relations- one should be capable of social intimacy
4. Work- one must be committed to some form of work that is satisfying as well as
economically good.
5. Love and sex- one must able to forego personal gratification, even sexual gratification, to
satisfy the loved one.
6. Self- one must have a positive regard of one’s self as distinguished part of the world he
7. Philosophy of Life. one should live by the philosophy of life that he should give direction
to one’s actuations.

Conflict, Frustration, and Adjustment

Frustrating situations:
a. Social frustrations- result from social conditions or those that have to do with
relations with people
b. Non- social frustrations- arise from the conditions beyond your help
c. Personal- defect like a weak leg might hamper you from joining the athletic
d. Internal Conflict- occurs in the mind of the person

Kinds of Conflicts

1. Approach-approach Conflict
• Conflict occurs when two positive goals, both equally attractive, are presented at the
same time. For instance, conflict may arise when one wants to go both to a dance and
swimming party scheduled for the same time.
2. Avoidance-avoidance Conflict
• The individual is attracted at the same time to two goals which are incompatible to each
• Two kinds of behavior:
1. Vacillation- As one nears the negative goal, he finds it increasingly repelling
and withdraws. When he does this, he nears the other negative goal.
2. Tendency to run away from the conflict situation- Ex: A child who does not want to
do his arithmetic nor to get a spanking may run away from home.

3. Approach-avoidance Conflict
• It is often the most difficult to resolve.
• In this conflict, the person is both attracted and repelled by the same goal object.
• Arise out of social values acquired in early training which conflict with the satisfaction of
certain motives.

4. Double-approach-avoidance Conflict
• Here, two goals have both positive and negative signs.
• As long as the person remains committed to both goals, the conflict remains. A person
may do either one of the following however:
1. Tolerate the frustration;
2. Give up or modify one or both of the goals;
3. Engage in self-deception in which the goal or frustration of it is denied.

Consequences of Frustration
• Frustration- a condition in which a course of action cannot be carried out or brought to
its conclusion for some reason or another.

A. Restlessness and Tension

• There is excess movement as the result of homeostatic change generally referred to as
“general adaptive syndrome”.
• This excess movement may be fidgeting, scribbling, scratching. Some may blush,
tremble, or clench one’s fists.

B. Aggression and Destructiveness

• Intense rage may lead to destructiveness and hostile attack like kicking, knocking one’s
head, breaking or destroying objects. It might take the form of Direct Attack, either
physically or verbally.
• Displaced Aggression (Displacement)- the aggressive action may be directed toward an
object or an innocent person rather than the actual source of frustration.
• Scapegoat-the victim of a displaced aggression
• Scapegoating- the practice of displaced aggression

C. Apathy
• This is characterized as indifference, inactivity, inattention.
• A form of non-verbal aggression.
• It may take the form of rebelliousness, sullenness, tendency towards inconveniencing
others, vengefulness, resistance to discipline, excessive disagreement with others and

D. Fantasy
• Here, the individual tries to seek escape in a dream world of his own creation.
• Severe frustration may result in a complete escape into fantasy that might result in the
inability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

E. Stereotypy
• There is a tendency to blind, repetitive, fixated behavior.
• Flexibility is expected in ordinary problem-solving.
• Repeated frustrations, however, may so affect the individual that he loses his flexibility.

F. Regression
• There is a return to a more primitive form of behavior.
• Retrogressive Behavior- the person returns to modes of behavior as in early childhood
where in the midst of insecurity, he returns to behavior characteristic of seeking security.
• Primitivation- the childish behavior is simply of a more primitive quality.

Abnormal Behavior
• Viewpoints:
1. Normative View: Anybody who is different from the one making the judgment is said
to be abnormal.
2. Statistical View: Anybody who is abnormal who diverges very much from the
3. Social Viewpoint: The normal person is the one who is adjusted to his environment, to
such an extent that he finds life enjoyable – and the abnormal one is the unadjusted – the
one who would like to escape from reality.
4. General View: The individual is recognized as normal if he has some socially
acceptable goals around which his activities are integrated, if he finds the pursuit of his
goal worthwhile and if in general, he gets pleasure out of living.
• An abnormal behavior is a neurosis or a psychoneurosis that is characterized by:
a) Incomplete insight into the nature of the difficulty;
b) Conflicts;
c) Anxiety reactions;
d) Partial impairment of personality;
e) Presence of phobias, digestive disturbances and obsessive-compulsive behavior.
• The classification of psychoneurosis generally includes the following types of behavioral

1. Anxiety Reaction: The primary symptom is chiefly anxiety. The person is

continually uneasy, with secondary complaints like insomnia, inability to
concentrate, and other autonomic nervous system signs of chronic disturbance.
▪Free floating- the kind of anxiety in which the person cannot identify the
objective source of the apprehension.

• Anxiety reactions may be chronic or acute.

a) Acute anxiety reaction or panic state- the person senses an impending danger without
being able to specify its nature.
- they may be precursors of more severe psychosis.

b) Chronic anxiety reaction- the person has never developed a reasonably

successful defense mechanism for dealing with his conflicts unlike the panic reaction
where a previously successful defense has broken down.

2. Neurasthenia: This is an early classification of anxiety reaction characterized by

physical and mental fatigue as well as anxiety.
- The person has difficulty concentrating, is easily distracted and does not have the
sufficient energy to carry on the ordinary tasks of life.
- There are frequently somatic complaints like headaches, indigestion, pain, and

3. Hypochondriasis: This is another variation of the anxiety state focused

primarily on the bodily health. Such a person is often fearful that he may die or be
seriously ill.
- The hypochondriacal person can use his symptoms to manipulate others by
obtaining sympathy or support.

4. Dissociative Reactions: The common quality is a dissociation of disturbing

memories or thoughts, from the rest of the personality.
-These are neurotic reactions which include:
a) Amnesia- a condition where the person cannot recall certain past experiences of
his life.
b) Fugus States- characterized by a general amnesia for the person’s entire past,
including who he is and where he lived.
c) Multiple Personalities-it is as if several parts of personality have not been
successfully integrated so they become separated or dissociated from each other and the
person frequently shifts from one to the other.
d) Somnambulism- there is some dissociation of some sub-system within the
personality which is expressed during sleep and for which nothing is remembered
during the waking state.
5. Conversion Reaction: The person suffers from physical symptoms with no organic
basis. It could be in the form of anesthesia where the person does not feel any pain or
sensation in that part of the body.
-Other examples are: hysterical blindness, deafness, convulsions or inability to
talk or to swallow.
◦La Belle Indifference (beautiful indifference)-one type of this reaction where the
patient apparently presents no overt anxiety over his stress and that he is simply
suffering from some symptom that he wants cured.
• Cohen, Hilgard and Wendt (1933)- found experimental proof that such disorders had
psychological basis rather than neurological ones.
• Early Greeks-linked these conditions to sexual difficulties.
• Freud-believed that this originates in an unresolved Oedipal complex and the energy of
the repressed sexual impulse was converted to a physical symptom.

6. Phobias: These are reactions characterized by intense and chronic fear of something.
The patient is aware of the irrationality of the fear but is unable to resolve it or to avoid or
remove himself from the situation.
• Psycho-analytic theory- phobias are acquired from a shameful impulse or act early in life
of which one had been too ashamed or frightened to talk about and which had been

7. Obsessive-Compulsive Reactions
◦Obsession- a useless or irrational thought that persists. It involves the displacement of
certain unacceptable or threatening impulses into another form.
◦Compulsions- are useless irrational acts which one is impelled to carry out. These are
attempts to deal with danger by ordering things in a way as to feel safe or attempts to do
unacceptable wishes.

Kinds of Adjustments
• Changes in our environment require adjustment responses, which are called adjustment
mechanisms. They are not only in response to threats of physical survival but also are in
terms of our self-concepts.
• Freud noted that these mechanisms are used to defend the ego.

A. Motives for Adjustment

 Three possible motives to reduce anxiety:
1) His goal-directed behavior is blocked; he is frustrated.
2) There is a conflict between motives.
3) There is an increase in intensity of a motive.

B. Types of Adjustment Mechanisms

1. Repression- the dismissal from consciousness of a thought or feeling which is too painful to
experience or recall.

2. Projection- instead of accepting an impulse as one’s own, one may attribute it to someone else

3. Identification- this is a defense mechanism by which an individual enhances self- esteem by

behaving in fantasy or in actual conduct as if he were another person- the one with whom he

4. Reaction Formation- is concealing a motive by giving strong expression to the opposite.

5. Rationalization- the process of justifying one’s conduct by offering plausible or socially

acceptable reasons in place of real reasons.
6. Substitution or Compensation- this is like reaction formation but the cover behavior is an
unrelated one rather than the opposite.

7. Intellectualization- a person gains detachment from a threatening event in order to remain

untouched by it emotionally.

8. Withdrawal or Escape Responses- one form of withdrawal is Negativism characterized by a

purposeful rebellion against requests or wishes of others.

Defense Mechanism: Advantages and Disadvantages

Values or Advantages

1. They help us meet the anxiety-creating situations immediately and allow us time to gather
strength to meet them more directly at a later time.
2. One may learn new ways of behaving by assuming parts of the observed role of others as in
3. It may lead to a more consistent and valuable view of one’s self.
4. The resultant behavior may have a potential value as in sublimation or substitution.


1. Defense mechanism usually work to circumvent problems rather than to face them directly.
2. Their excessive use may lead to greater personal or social difficulty.
3. The roles adopted may remain unrealistic as in identification or work through the exploits of
others as in compensation.
4. They do not generally solve the problem which requires their use and therefore are not fully
tension- reducing.

Mental Health and Psychotherapy

Definition of Mental Health

o Mental health- is a state of good adjustment with a subjective state of well being, zest for
living and the feeling that one is exercising his talents and abilities.

Characteristics of a mentally- healthy personality.

1. Adjusted- a mentally- healthy person is not unduly distressed by conflicts- not that he has no
conflicts. He handles his conflicts in a realistic manner.
2. Productive- he has spontaneity in work and play. He uses his potentials to the full
3. Zest for living- he has a high energy level and can do hard work with enthusiasm. He is not
easily discouraged.
4. Sensitive- he is sensitive of his own needs, motives, potentials and does not make demands on
others. He is able to give and to receive.

Personality- Appraisal Techniques

 Personality is concerned with uniqueness and commonality of behavior, measurements of
this behavior must be oriented towards assessing personality differences and


1. Personality Inventories- this method subjects to answer “yes” or “no” to printed

questions or statements.
Sample Statements:
a. I do not like everyone I know.
b. At times I feel like swearing.
c. Someone had been trying to rob me.
d. I believe in a life hereafter.

Validation scales:
Hs- Hypochondriasis- abnormal concern for bodily functions
D- Depression- mood state of pessimism and depression.
Hy- Hysteria- using physical symptoms to cover up conflicts.
Pd- Psychopathic deviancy- a moral and a social personality disorder.
Mf- Masculinity- presence of masculine interests.
Pa- Paranoid- presence of delusional beliefs.
Pt- Psychasthenia- obsessions, compulsions, and abnormal fears.
Sc- Schizophrenia- withdrawal, delusions and disorientation
Ma- Hypomania- overactivity and emotional excitement.

2. Projective Tests- these tests are unstructured and ambiguous stimuli to which the
subject responds imaginatively.

Two commonly used projective tests:

a. The Rorschach Ink-Blot Tests- consists of ten cards, each displaying a rather
complex in blot.
b. The Thematic Apperception Test- requires imaginative stories about relatively
ambiguous pictures of people in situations.

3. Rating Scale- this is a device by which a rater can record his judgment if another
person according to the traits defined by a scaled.

4. Case History- this is an attempt to summarize and define a person’s personality

in terms of his past actions, ancestry, experience, health record etc.

5. Behavior Tests- these tests individuals in actual situations. It is difficult to carry out
with sophisticated subjects.

6. Free Association and Dream Analysis- the patient is asked to say anything that comes
to his mind, occasionally being directed by the therapist by some questions.

Psychotherapy and Psychotherapeutic Procedures

 is the application of specialized techniques to treat mental disorders or to
everyday problems of adjustment.
 the term is derived from the Greeks, meaning literally “to serve” or “to treat
 it refers to the application of psychic or psychological methods to remedy
diseases or disorders.
 the term therapy means to cure.

 Both Breuer and Freud believed that there was a splitting of the psyche-
Breuer believing that constitutional weakness being the cause while
Freud formulated his Psychoanalytic Theory. In place of hypnosis, he
used free association

1. Free Association
 a procedure where the patient relaxes, and is allowed to let his thoughts wander
as he muses without any apparent preconceived goal or prodding from the

Three main experiences can be the cause of patient’s cure.

a. Abreaction or catharsis- when the patient experiences a kind of

emotional cleansing because of the free expression of his feelings.
b. Insight- has to do with gradual self-understanding. The patient must
understand his feelings and feel what he understands.
c. Working- through- is a lengthy process of re-education and problem
solving. He learns to face reality, to become more mature and becomes
stronger to face the threats without anxiety.

2. Client- Centered or Nondirective Therapy

 this is the method devised by Carl Rogers and his associates where the task of
the therapist is to provide a warm, pleasant atmosphere wherein to explore his
attitudes and feelings.

3. Psychotherapy Based on the Learning Theory

a. Principle of Counter- conditioning

⇒ This is a technique whereby maladaptive responses are weakened or
eliminated by strengthening incompatible or antagonistic ones.

b. The Principle of Reinforcement(Punishment or aversion therapy)

⇒ Drug addicts as a punishment are given doses of a chemical formula called
Scoline every time they reach for their heroin hypodermics.

4. Group Therapy
 The members of a group, say a family, discuss their personal problems under
the leadership of a therapist. It is like individual therapy, only, it is
characterized by the interaction of the members of the group.

5. Psychodrama
 This is a diagnostic and therapeutic technique developed by J.L. Moreno which
consists of having the individual act out on a stage his relations with others
around whom conflict centers.
6. Role Playing
 This is a more informal type of psychodrama as is used to prepare patients
about to be discharged from hospitals.

7. Family Therapy
 The group consists of the patient and the members of his family with whom he

8. Eclectic Approach
 The term eclectic means “coming from various sources” hence, this method
utilized any number of methods. It also involves a change in the environment as
when it has been diagnosed that the problem stems from a conflicting situation
in the home.

Homosexuals, Lesbians, Bi-sexuals, and Transsexuals

Lesbians- women homosexuals. They enjoy the company of their own sex rather than of the
opposite one.

Bisexuals- enjoying relations with the both sexes, as in married people (man or woman) who have
homosexual relations on the side.

Transsexuals- are homosexuals obsessed with their appearance. Preoccupied with the belief that
they should have been born in another sex, they may undergo hormonal treatment or surgical
operations to change their appearace.

 Is an illness into which little research has been done hence, the sufferer gets
very little sympathy.
 Hypochondriac is one who is morbidly preoccupied about his health and
imagines all sorts of illnesses.