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What is Personality?
 People differ from each other in meaningful ways  People seem to show some consistency in behavior

Personality is defined as distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting

• Personality refers to a person’s unique and relatively stable pattern of thoughts, feelings, and actions • Personality is an interaction between biology and environment
– Genetic studies suggest heritability of personality – Other studies suggest learned components of personality



Psychoanalytic 3.Four Theories of Personality 1. Trait 2. Socio-Cognitive . Humanistic 4.

The First Trait Theory Moody Anxious Rigid Sober Pessimistic Reserved Unsociable Quiet UNSTABLE Touchy Restless Aggressive Excitable Changeable Impulsive Optimistic Active melancholic choleric • Two Factor Trait Theory of Personality INTROVERTED EXTRAVERTED phlegmatic sanguine Passive Sociable Careful Outgoing Thoughtful Talkative Peaceful Responsive Controlled Easygoing Reliable Lively Carefree Even-tempered Leadership Calm STABLE .

Personality Traits • Traits are relatively stable and consistent personal characteristics • Trait personality theories suggest that a person can be described on the basis of some number of personality traits – Allport identified some 4.500 traits – Cattel used factor analysis to identify 30-35 basic traits – Eysenck argued there are 3 distinct traits in personality • Extraversion/introversion • Neuroticism • Psychotocism Allport .

Overview of the Big “5” .

Assessing Traits: An Example • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) – the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests – developed to identify emotional disorders .

MMPI: examples • “Nothing in the newspaper interests me except the comics.” .” • “I get angry sometimes.

neuroticism and agreeableness) have cross-species generality • Problems with trait theory include: – Lack of explanation as to WHY traits develop – Issue of explaining transient versus long-lasting traits .Evaluating Trait Theory • Trait theory. especially the Big 5 model. but also in childhood and even late preschoolers – Three dimensions (extraversion. is able to describe personality – Cross-cultural human studies find good agreement for the Big 5 model in many cultures – Appear to be highly correlated not only in adulthood.

some of which are unconscious – Freud argued that as we have impulses that cause us anxiety. as devised by Freud. attempts to explain personality on the basis of unconscious mental forces – Levels of consciousness: We are unaware of some aspects of our mental states – Freud argued that personality is made up of multiple structures.Psychoanalytic Theory • Psychoanalytic theory. our personality develops defense mechanisms to protect against anxiety .

impulses that lies • Contains values and beyond awareness ideals . feelings. that can – Ego be recalled • Operates according to the “reality” principle – Unconscious – Superego • Wishes.Freudian Theory  Levels of consciousness – Conscious • What we’re aware of  Structures of Personality – Id • Operates according to the “pleasure principle” – Preconscious • Memories etc.

Freudian Theory  Anxiety occurs when: – Impulses from the id threaten to get out of control – The ego perceives danger from the environment  The ego deals with the problem through: – coping strategies – defense mechanisms .

Defense Mechanisms • Defense mechanisms refer to unconscious mental processes that protect the conscious person from developing anxiety – Sublimation: person channels energy from unacceptable impulses to create socially acceptable accomplishments – Denial: person refuses to recognize reality – Projection: person attributes their own unacceptable impulses to others – Repression: anxiety-evoking thoughts are pushed into the unconscious .

or ideas • Reaction formation: Refusing to acknowledge unacceptable urges. thoughts or feelings by exaggerating the opposite state • Regression: Responding to a threatening situation in a way appropriate to an earlier age or level of development • Displacement: Substituting a less threatening object for the original object of impulse . words.Defense Mechanisms • Rationalization: Substituting socially acceptable reasons • Intellectualization: Ignoring the emotional aspects of a painful experience by focusing on abstract thoughts.

Rorschach or TAT tests) – How? provides ambiguous stimuli and subject projects his or her motives into the ambiguous stimuli ..Assessing the Unconscious • Projective Tests – used to assess personality (e.g.

Assessing the Unconscious -Rorschach • Rorschach Inkblot Test – the most widely used projective test – a set of 10 inkblots designed by Hermann Rorschach Rorschach .

Assessing the Unconscious-Rorschach used to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots .






Assessing the Unconscious--TAT Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) • people express their inner motives through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes .



timid. passive. restlessness – Youngest • Pampered. & withdrawn . dependent – Only Child • Higher intellect.Psychoanalytic Neo-Freudian  Alfred Adler – Humans are motivated by social interest – Takes social context into account – First Born • Privileged until Dethroned – Second Born • In shadow of 1st Born  inferiority.

Psychoanalytic Neo-Freudian  Carl Jung – A collective unconscious is represented by universal archetypes – Two forms of unconscious mind • Personal unconscious: unique for each person • Collective unconscious: consists of primitive images and ideas that are universal for humans .

Humanistic Theory • Humanistic personality theories reject psychoanalytic notions – Humanistic theories view each person as basically good and that people are striving for self-fulfillment – Humanistic theory argues that people carry a perception of themselves and of the world – The goal for a humanist is to develop/promote a positive self-concept .

.Humanistic Perspectives  Carl Rogers – We have needs for: • Self-consistency (absence of conflict between selfperceptions • Congruence (consistency between self-perceptions and experience) – Inconsistency evokes anxiety and threat – People with low self-esteem generally have poor congruence between their self-concepts and life experiences.

.Humanistic Perspectives ▲Abraham Maslow emphasized the basic goodness of human nature and a natural tendency toward self-actualization.


▲Julian Rotter’s locus of control theory emphasizes a person’s internal or external focus as a major determinant of personality. .Social/Cognitive Perspective • Proposed that each person has a unique personality because of our personal histories and interpretations shape our personalities ▲Albert Bandura’s social-cognitive approach focuses on self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism.

chance. and powerful others control behavior .Locus of Control (Rotter)  Internal locus of control – Life outcomes are under personal control – Positively correlated with self-esteem – Internals use more problem-focused coping  External locus of control – Luck.