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Psychology 105 Dr.

Gordon
Chapter 13 Personality (Ebook 13.1--13.4)

A. Introduction: What is personality?


1. Defining personality 2. The American way: Trait theory! 3. The Big Five

Jim Carey has many play-doh or personality molds!

What is a personality? In the ebook, Myers defines personality as a persons characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. Myers cites renowned personality psychologist, Dan Adams, who proposes that personality is an individuals unique variation on the generally evolutionary design for human nature. Personality is really like play-doh. It is something that can be shaped and molded but still maintains a consistency or hangs together. No clump of play dough has the same shape. In other words, this clump consists of typical qualities that make people different from each other. In addition, the core of our clump is stable and enduring. That is, some of our typical and unique characteristics stay the same over time and consistent across situations. However, other parts (traits) of ones personality are receptive to change due to the situations they encounter.

1. Defining personality

2. The American way: Trait theory!

Gordon Allport

This brings us to the Gordon Allport, the renowned personality theorist. Pictured to the left, Gordon Allport is considered the master of personality trait theory. Although he was not an advocate of Freud's depth psychology, he agreed with Freuds view that personality trait theory was misleading and too statistical. Nevertheless, Allport and Freud maintained fundamentally different views of personality. According to Freuds psychodynamic view, personality tendencies were determined by unconscious motives. In contrast, Allport believed in describing traits or peoples characteristic behaviors and conscious motives (Myers, 2004). Allport contends that the most important traits are connected to our personal values.

Sigmund Freud

2. The American way: Trait theory!


Reflecting on his historical meeting with Freud, Allport noted that unlike trait theory psychoanalysis with all it merits, may plunge too deep, and that psychologists would do well to give full recognition to manifest motives before probing the unconscious (Myers, 2004) . So what is a trait? Most textbooks define a trait as a characteristic pattern of behavior and motivation. Others offer similar but more expanded definitions such as a personality trait is a consistent predisposition to behave in a particular way across a variety of situations. A trait is constitutional (neurological, from the body), bipolar (has extremes), quantifiable, and can be employed to predict states (e.g., emotions, moods, values, motives, etc) and observable behaviors.

Gordon Allport

2. The American way: Trait theory!


Like Freud, Allport argued that trait theory could be misleading. That is, contemporary trait theory describes everyone in general and no one in particular. He argued that contemporary views of the personality trait bypassed the meaning of ones experiences and the individuals way of responding to these experiences. Allport called the individuals way of responding the core of personality traits. He was more into describing rather than explaining or employing personality traits as a way of predicting outcomes.

Gordon Allport

2. The American way: Trait theory!


Today, contemporary trait personality theorists rely on the nomothetical or statistical approach to personality traits. As we will see the Big Five approach to personality traits is very much nomothetical. The nomothetical approach involves employing statistical means among individual subjects. As a result, it has led to what some psychologists refer to as the psychology of the stranger. On the contrary, Allport advocated the ideographic approach that stressed the individuals personality trait makeup. Allport believed that people trait patterns are unique to one another.

Gordon Allport stressed the ideographic approach to trait theory

2. The American way: Trait theory!

Mother Teresa

Babe Ruth

So, lets take a closer examination of Allports ideographic or individual approach to personality. Over the years, Gordon Allport identified three types of traits. These included a cardinal, central, and secondary traits trait. Cardinal traits (dominant and rare.) dominate or influence everything about the person. Allport believed that most persons do not possess cardinal traits. Can you think of anyone who possesses a cardinal trait? For Mother Teresa, the cardinal trait of altruism permeated everything she did during her life. Babe Ruth likely had the cardinal trait of extreme extraversion. According to Allport, another type of trait describing the person is the central trait. Central traits are defined as the most common traits of the individual. They are core and everyone possesses them to a varying degree. Personality inventories typically tap into central traits (e.g., Cattells 16 personality factors or the big five).

2. The American way: Trait theory!


Lastly, Allport proposes secondary traits. According to Allport, secondary traits are unique responses to relatively specific situations. Secondary traits tend to describe a specific aspect of the individuals personality. On the 60s television show, Leave it to Beaver, Eddie Haskell displayed secondary traits. In one situation, he would show Wally and Beavers mother a charming personality but around the Beaver he would display a rude, and bossy personality. The idea of situations determining personality has always challenged most trait theorists. We will address the issue of traits and situations in greater depth when we discuss social learning theory

Eddie and Wally from Leave it toBeaver

3. The Big 5 traits

Eddies mastery of the secondary trait

Through advanced statistical procedures (factor analysis), personality researchers have been able to reduce the infinite field of personality characteristics to five factor model or big five traits. The slide above illustrates the five primary traits identified through extensive factor analysis studies by Costa and colleagues. The big five are influenced by ones genetic inheritance and experiences and are considered stable over time.

3. The Big 5 traits

Descriptions Of the Big Five

The Big Five traits are described above and include: 1) extraversion (positive emotionality), 2) neuroticism (emotional stability, anxiety, ), 3) openness to experience (creative, original, unconventional, curious, flexible), 4) agreeableness (good natured, softhearted, forgiving, selfless), and 5) conscientiousness (dependable, productive, constraint, well organized, diligent, hardworking). Each of these traits consists of opposing adjectives and can be assessed through personality testing as well as brain technologies. Functional MRI studies have validated the existence of neuroticism and extraversion.

3. The Big 5 traits

Descriptions Of the Big Five

Studies have shown that subjects who display higher scores on neuroticism tend to show greater brain activity in the right hemisphere of the cerebral cortex when presented sad scenes evoking negative emotions. In addition, if shown positive images, highly extraverted subjects show greater brain activation in the prefrontal cortex of the left hemisphere and limbic structures such as the amygdala. In contrast, introverts (low on extraversion) tend to show significantly less brain activities when presented the same images.

What is this Big Five Trait?

Personality tests are not usually presented in a Big Book.

Lets talk about personality assessment. Personality can be assessed in a variety of ways. Assessments range from the highly subjective to the highly objective. The purpose of such assessments is threefold: 1) employed to determine a persons typical behavior, 2) employed for research purposes, and 3) employed clinically to determine the patients treatment goals. Psychologists usually employ a variety of personality assessments to obtain a complete picture of the individual. Each perspective of personality discussed utilizes different types of assessment. For example, psychoanalytical perspective employs subjective assessments such as interviews and projective tests. Social learning theorists rely on observations and rating scales. Those adhering to the humanistic perspective typically use unstructured or structured interviews. Lastly, trait theorists rely on objective personality tests.

4. Assessing traits

The most valid of personality assessments is the objective personality test. These tests generally measure an individuals traits. Objective personality tests usually include written items that are in a true-false and forced choice format. These tests are based on normative data (compared with answers of others). Myers discusses the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality InventorySecond Edition (MPPI-2). This test is given specifically to clinical populations.

4. Assessing traits
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

The Millon Adolescent Personality (MAPI) is used to diagnose and formulate hypotheses about the clinical nature of teenagers.

The MMPI-2 contains 10 clinical scales. Each scale has items that persons with various clinical syndromes tend to endorse. For example, a total scale score indicates that one is schizophrenic. This means that the one taking the MMPI-2 answered many of the items similarly to a group of people who were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The same process can be applied to any clinical syndrome such as depression, anxiety disorders, etc Interestingly, the MMPI2 is a fairly valid test in that it is an accurate predictor about 80 percent of the time. This might explain why the MMPI is a reliable test and has been used for several years.

4. Assessing traits

B. The classic theories of personality: Freuds psychoanalytical theory


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Introduction to Freud Structure of personality Levels of Awareness Psychological defenses Psychosexual theory of personality Assessing unconscious processes: Projectives 7. Evaluating Freud

Freuds psychoanalytic theory represents a perspective from which most personality theories are derived or compared. Freud emphasized the mysteries of the unconscious and how it influenced behavior. A neurologist and physician by training, Freud based his psychoanalytical theory on his clinical observations of neurotic or anxiety disordered patients. Specifically, Freuds theory had a profound impact on our understanding of conversion disorders. A conversion disorder is a psychogenic condition in which an apparent medical condition (usually neurological) has no apparent organic cause.

1. An Introduction to Freud

Sigmund Freud

Freud believed early childhood experiences to be critical for persons developing unconscious conflicts that later manifest themselves as neurotic conditions such as conversion disorders (Read Laheys review of Freemans story on Joseph Breuers and Freuds work with Anna O). Freuds claims were met with criticism. Most criticisms stemmed from his emphasis on irrational processing, mans lack of free will, and sexual instincts. Most science historians consider Freuds contributions as having a significant impact on our understanding of human nature and the dynamics of personality.

1. An Introduction to Freud

Sigmund Freud: His views on our understanding of human nature were profound!

His contributions were so profound that some historians believe that Freud introduced the third insult associated with how human beings view themselves (i.e., a bruising of the ego so to speak) What about the first two insults? The first insult was derived from the work of Nicolaus Copernicus who claimed that the earth was not the center of the universe. This view challenged religious doctrine too such a degree that it nearly cost Copernicus his life. Charles Darwin introduced the second insult. Darwin believed that who human beings were connected to other animals through evolution (e.g., primates). Though controversial, some 20th century thinkers embraced Darwins view of evolution. Freud was among those scientists who agreed with Darwin. From the evolutionary connection with humans and other animals, Freud proposed the third insult. That is, human beings were now seen as irrational and not rational organisms.

1. An Introduction to Freud

Copernicus

Darwin

1. An Introduction to Freud

G. Stanley Hall (Below) organized the Clark Conference to welcome Freud to the United States to exchange ideas about human nature.

As human beings, we wanted to see ourselves as superior and unique from other animals. Freuds notion that our nature was irrational, hedonistic, and determined was not well received by the scientific community. At the Clark conference in 1908 (below), Freud introduced what historians consider the third insult toward human nature toward the American public. Though controversial, Freuds ideas of irrationality were incorporated in his theory of personality. Lets start with the structure of personality.

2. Structure of the personality

Structures are continually in conflict with each other

Freud divided the personality into three dynamic structures. The slide above illustrates the dynamic interplay between these structures. They include the id, ego, and superego respectively. Each structure emerges at a predictable time (e.g, the id at birth, the ego around 2 years, and the superego around 3 to 5 years). Therefore, Freuds personality theory is developmental. At this time, we will view a short clip illustrating the dynamic nature of these structures and how each structure interacts with reality. In the film, Chocolat, the mayor of a small French village experiences conflict between his inflated superego and demanding id as he watches people succumb to the pleasures of chocolate. Observing the lent season, reality eventually forces the mayor to confront his internal conflict between his id and superego. Lets watch!

2. Structure of the personality

Chocolate and the power of the id

This scene from Chocolat captures Freuds three dynamic personality structures. Each can be inferred from the mayors actions. Lets start with the id. According to Freud, the id is the personality structure that emerges at birth. The id comes into the world with two basic instincts, the libido (life instinct) and thanatos (death instinct). The function of the libido is to promote and sustain life (e.g., the mayor taking pleasure in the chocolate). In contrast, the function of the thanatos is to destroy life (destruction of the shop window). This might explain why Freud viewed sexuality and aggression as critical aspects of personality. The id is driven by the pleasure principle. That is, the id demands immediate gratification and wants to avoid pain. The id operates through primary process thinking. This processing is illogical, irrational and fantasy based.

2. Structure of personality

Does the libido drive our desire for chocolate?

2. Structure of personality
2. Structure of personality

The ego is the decision making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle. The ego mediates the ids desires and social reality. The ego operates according to the reality principle which seeks to delay gratification of the ids immediate desires until appropriate outlets and situations can be found. The ego is a problem solver. It relies on secondary process thinking or cognitive abilities that control and manage the id and prevent the super ego from becoming overbearing. Secondary process thinking is rational, realistic, and focuses on solving problems. It looks for practical and safe ways to satisfy sexual and aggressive urges. In the slide below, two persons are exercising secondary process thinking by working on a jigsaw puzzle.

In the film clip, the mayor plans and executes a course of action by breaking into the chocolate shop to destroy what he believes to be a immoral influence on his town. Rational beliefs and executing plans are all ego functions. For example, the mayor chooses a back window to break in rather than the front door. By pursuing the back entrance, the mayor makes a more logical ego generated choice.

The ego asks for one scoop. The id asks for three. What personality structure was victorious?

The superego is the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong. The superego is largely influenced by parents. Like the id, it is an irrational structure. However, it is irrational in a different way. The superego internalizes moral inhibitions or what Freud termed the conscience and rewards for proper conduct known as ego ideal. If actions vary from the consciences moral inhibitions, one experiences guilt. If one meets the expectations of the ego ideal, one experiences pride. According to Freud, if one has problems with impulse control and consistently breaks rules, one was considered to have a weak superego. A weak superego was typical of persons who were diagnosed as sociopaths. These were individuals who lacked a conscience and experienced no remorse after wrongdoings. The slide to the right is an illustration of Charles Manson, a notorious sociopath.

2. Structure of personality

Charles Manson (above) did not develop a Superego (below)

2. Structure of personality
Freud would say that Manson did not have opportunities to internalize a code of moral conduct from his parents or they never gave Manson an opportunity to do so. In the film Chocolat, it was the mayors strong superego that motivated and justified his actions to break into the chocolate shop. He became obsessed by his convictions of removing any unsavory character from his small village. His decisions were clearly the result of irrational processes of an overbearing superego. According to Freud, persons with too much superego possess as obsessive compulsive traits and were often viewed as perfectionists.

Freud would say that Jerry Farwell (above) had a strong superego

Freud proposed that personality was mediated by three levels of awareness. These levels were represented as an iceberg and included the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The unconscious having the greatest impact! These levels are connected to the structures of personality. For example, the id operates almost entirely from an unconscious level.

3. Levels of awareness

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3. Levels of awareness

The conscious level consists of our immediate awareness of the world. If we think of the levels as representing an iceberg, the conscious represents just the tip of the iceberg suggesting that this level of processing has a minimal impact on personality

The preconscious contains information just beneath the surface of awareness that can be easily accessed to a conscious level. Even though one does not hold old telephone numbers in immediate awareness, they can be retrieved to a conscious level. Preconscious information is not repressed but just out of reach! However, what about the unconscious?

3. Levels of awareness

Lastly, ones unconscious is a reservoir of threatening emotions, memories, and instinctual urges that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but nonetheless exert great influence on behavior. These threatening elements are repressed and inaccessible to the conscious mind. Through psychoanalysis, these unconscious elements were the prime targets of therapy.

3. Levels of awareness

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3. Levels of awareness

Freuds Original office

For Freud, the unconscious was the therapeutic target. He relied on several techniques to uncover painful memories, desires, conflicts, etc Some of these techniques included free association, dream interpretation, transference, etc Free association refers to a psychoanalytical technique in which the therapist focuses on whatever comes to mind no matter how trivial.

3. Levels of awareness

A Freudian Slip: Have you ever put your foot in your mouth?

The above cartoon illustrates what clinical researchers called a Freudian slip. The unconscious does not try to fool us. Rather, it tries to conceal what is unacceptable. In the cartoon, the king reveals an unacceptable impulse consistent with the death instinct. Dream interpretation was always controversial. With this technique, patients reported their surface content of the dream (What happened in the dream). From this content, the psychotherapist interprets the meaning of the dream or latent content.

4. Psychological defenses

Freud viewed the three personality structures operating simultaneously and in continual conflict when confronted with reality. From a Freudian perspective, what kind of reaction would we expect from a Wright State University male if he saw this woman walking on campus? First, the id would say

come on baby, do you feel lucky? The ego might respond with a how do I approach this beautiful woman without making a fool of myself? Lastly, the superego might respond with a I do not think my girlfriend would approve of me being seen with this woman especially since I am walking my sweetheart to her next class. Such everyday situations place demands on the ego and too much anxiety results. According to Freud, as the conflict and anxiety increase, ego defenses are accessed and one must settle for a substitute for the goal of the id.

According to Freud, many unconscious conflicts stem from sexual and aggressive impulses and prohibited by social realities.

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4. Psychological defenses

Competition through sports is a way of sublimating unacceptable aggressive impulses into an acceptable activity. When these conflicts do surface, anxiety is felt causing the ego to worry about both the id and superego raging out of control (i.e., social consequences because of id gratification and intense superego guilt). To reduce or repress the anxiety, Freud proposed that persons employ psychological defense mechanisms. A defense mechanism is primarily an unconscious reaction that protects a person from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety and guilt. Freud believed that defenses were ego driven to prevent threatening impulses from being consciously recognized. The slide below illustrates more immature psychological defenses that protect us from unconscious conflicts. As one matures, defenses become more sophisticated and potentially healthy (e.g., altruism, humor, suppression, sublimation and identification).

Below, the table outlines a brief list of psychological defenses and provides an example of each. This list does not include such healthy defenses as altruism (helping others), sublimation (channeling id impulses in socially acceptable ways), suppression, etc

4. Psychological defenses

5. Psychosexual development
Freud states the child is father to the man. This statement basically means that personality has been determined by by the time one reaches five years of age. Personality develops from the interactions of erogenous zones (body areas that release sexual energy when stimulated) with significant social objects. The development of these zones follow a predictable course (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) or what Freud termed psychosexual stages. Excessive punishments or rewards (deprivation versus overindulgence) and traumatic events can disrupt personality development causing it to fixate or become stuck (e.g. anal retentive, oral dependent, etc).

How we are toilet trained have an impact on our personality?

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5. Psychosexual development

LeBron James, of NBA fame, frequently bites his fingernails during NBA basketball games. Would Freud call LeBron Oral Dependent? Psychosexual stages are based on changes in the release of sexual energies. One of the key factors in determining the course of psychosexual development is the process of fixation. Fixation is a failure to move forward from one stage to another as expected. Fixation causes personality development to stall. Fixation occurs by either excessive gratification or excessive frustration from deprivation. These fixations are manifested in the adult years. According to Freud, a child receiving excessive gratification at the oral stage could likely become a chain smoker as an adult. Freud proposed that such a person would possess an oral dependent personality. Each stage has its own developmental challenge. For example, if a child receives overly strict or punitive toilet training, one may become anal retentive as an adult like SNLs Phil Hartman and the anal retentive chef.

The anal retentive personality

5. Psychosexual development

Was Freuds desire for a good cigar associated with his own excessive bottle feeding as an infant? Freud believed that orally fixated adults are especially likely to exhibit oral dependence. In addition, oral dependency is observed in one who is extremely gullible. In contrast, the oral sadistic or aggressive personality results when the child is deprived oral stimulation. This personality reveals itself through verbal hostility (e.g., gossip, cursing, etc).

Oral stage is the first of the psychosexual stages. Lets take a look at the next slide

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An Anal-Retentive In the making?

The anal stage is about control! It is about gaining parental approval or subject to parental punishment depending on how the child approaches his or her toilet training. If the training is too strict, the child may fixate and develop the anal-retentive personality (e.g., stubborn, orderly, stingy, compulsive) or analexpulsive (e.g., messy, disorganized, noncompliant, pushy, etc). This might explain why child psychologists encourage parents to determine the readiness of their childs toilet training. Parents often make the mistake of starting their children too early in the toilet training process. In this case, the child is at greater risk for anal fixation.

5. Psychosexual development

5. Psychosexual development

Descriptions of Freuds proposed five psychosexual stages are shown below. The most controversial of Freuds psychosexual stages is the phallic stage. During this stage, the childs sexual energy is directed to the size and functioning of ones genitals. This stage also represents a critical time in the development of the superego and formation of a gender identity.

Freud was well educated about the Greek classics. Borrowing from Sophocles legend of King Oedipus (Oedipus unknowingly kills his father and marries his widowed mother), Freud reveals of a desire in all of us. That is, Freud believed that all young males repress their desire for their mothers but fear the consequences (castration anxiety) of their father if such impulses were revealed. Repression of these sexual urges turns to identification with the aggressive father. This identification leads to the development of a male gender identity. Furthermore, by incorporating the fathers values and morals, the young male also develops his superego or conscience.

5. Psychosexual development

From Greek mythology, Oedipus solves the Sphinxs riddle before arriving in Thebes to eventually marry his widowed mother.

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Freud also discussed the young female during the phallic stage. Her personality destiny is as controversial as the males Oedipus complex. For the young female, Freud proposed that she must endure the Electra complex. Again, Freud employs Greek mythology to reveal how the young female develops her superego and gender identity. Electra is devoted to her father, Agamemnon (not the nicest guy). Returning to Greece after ten years of fighting in the Trojan war, Agamemnon is murdered by his wife and lover, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus respectively. In response, Electra recruits her brother, Orestes, to avenge their fathers death by killing her mother and her lover.

5. Psychosexual development

Electra and her brother Orestes plotting to eliminate her mother.

According to Freud, following the libidinal shift to the penis, the young female develops her first sexual impulses towards her mother. However, the young female comes to understand that she is not physically equipped to have a sexual relationship with her mother. Nevertheless, the young female develops what Freud termed, penis envy, possessing a penis and the power that it represents. Freud proposes that the young female begins her resolution by obtaining her fathers penis and developing a sexual desire for him. Because she lacks a penis, the young female blames her mother for her apparent castration. Furthermore, this castration is viewed as the mothers punitive action toward the young females attraction for her father.

5. Psychosexual development

Electra from Greek mythology

5. Psychosexual development

Did this young female really want to replace her mother? Freud would say yes but to avoid punishment, she identifies with her mother thus developing the feminine side to her personality. As noted by Freud, the young females desire for her father turns into to the desire to replace and eliminate her mother. As such, the young female identifies with her mother so that she can replace her (i.e., development of a female gender identity). However, given that this scenario ends punitively, the young female employs displacement of her sexual desires from her father to men in general. The young female must transform her feeling toward her father as healthy affection. The young female then incorporates her mothers values and morals thus developing a superego. If failure to resolve the Oedipus or Electra complexes occurs, Freud believes that ones personality becomes fixated and described as a lack of empathy, impulsive, egocentric, and selfish.

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6. Assessing unconscious processes

The forward thrust of the antlers shows a determined personality, yet the small sun indicates a lack of selfconfidence. The slide to the top left illustrates Henry Murrays Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) projective personality test. The slide (above right) directs humor at the TAT. A projective test provides patients or subjects an ambiguous stimulus (like the picture to the left) from which they express their inner feelings or meaning. This technique is especially effective if the patient is resistant (does not want to reveal unconscious conflict). As a psychoanalytical technique, the major assumption behind projective testing is that the ego will not be able to fully censor the contents of the unconscious mind. The TAT requires the interviewee to create a story about the characters in the picture.

Rorschach Ink Blot

Herman Rorschachs Inkblot test is also employed to help the patient project ones inner conflicts. The inkblot itself is a symmetrical figure. The client simply describes what they see in the ambiguous inkblot. A healthy description would involve projecting meaning into the entire inkblot not just a part of it (usually human and active). Like the TAT, the Rorschach asks the client to project repressed feelings onto ambiguous stimuli. In short, the Rorschach is a controversial projective test and has poor predictive validity. Overall, both the TAT and Rorschach have poor validity. As a result, their use has decreased over the years. However, when clinicians face a highly resistant or imaginative client, projective testing can be helpful in formulating hypotheses about clients personality.

6. Assessing unconscious processes

Freuds theory of personality has been criticized because it offers few testable predictions that allow one to determine its validity. However, this may be the very reason why Freud has survived. That is, when methods are not agreed upon by the scientific community, theories tend to stay around longer. Nevertheless, Freuds theory has significantly influenced a number of renowned thinkers in psychoanalytical theory, especially the Neo-Freudians. In addition, some historians argue that it is unfair to criticize Freud because he did not have access to other psychological knowledge (e.g., understanding of neurotransmitters, DNA, emotions, and thinking)

3. Evaluating Freud

Dream analysis has not been an accepted method by todays scientific standards.

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Other criticisms regarding Freuds personality have been cited. First, theorists point to Freuds overestimated parental effects and minimized peer influences on personality. Second, developmental psychologists argue that personality is not stamped during childhood, but rather is a lifelong process. Third, current research indicates that gender identity is established long before the Electra and Oedipus complexes occur. Fourth, Freudian slips may stem not from unconscious conflicts but memory retrieval problems. Lastly, Freuds view of sexuality remains controversial especially in lieu of research findings related to false memory and abuse cases.

3. Evaluating Freud

Personality is a lifelong process contradicts Freuds original view that personality was stamped before age five.

Regardless of these criticisms, Freuds theory is heuristic. That is, it has generated a number of theoretical views and research. For example, Freuds theory of personality emphasizes repression as the primary process of keeping unwanted memories from reaching ones consciousness. Empirical support for repressive processes is not well established. Studies show that it is difficult to forget traumatic memories. Other research indicates that stress hormones may account for improved as well as impaired memory function. However, Freud may have been right about the existence of unconscious processes but wrong about what they do. Along these lines, Myers cites Greenwald who argues that it may be time to abandon Freuds ideas of unconscious.

3. Evaluating Freud

Should we totally abandon Freuds view of the unconscious?

A contemporary view of unconscious suggests that we are usually unaware of processing information. For example, implicit procedural memories do not require conscious effort when retrieving them. In fact, implicit memory is quite resistant to amnesiac effects. Instead of serving a protective function, unconscious defense mechanisms may actually be other cognitive processes. Freuds view of projection (projecting our shortcomings on to others) may be actually be the false consensus effect (overestimating the extent to which others share our beliefs).

3. Evaluating Freud

With some exceptions, Freuds view psychological defenses have not been well supported.

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C. The Neofreudians: Evaluating Freud


1. An introduction 2. Jungs, Adlers and Horneys perspectives: A step beyond Freud? 3. Despite all his critics, why does Freud live on?

Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and a host of others followed Freud but eventually abandoned the id perspective. The Neofreudians were ready for a more positive view of personality and social relationships. Furthermore, there was a distaste for Freuds treatment of women as concepts such as penis envy were not received well by the scientific community. Unlike Freud, Jungs analytical psychology emphasized culture, religion and history in his theory of personality and abandoned Freuds emphasis on the id and sexual tensions. Like Freud, Jung believed in the personal unconscious, but expanded the concept to include the collective unconscious. The collect unconscious is a storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from peoples ancestral past. Jungs extensive research on the collective unconscious was based on his observations of cultural similarity.

1. An introduction

Carl Jung

2. Jungs, Adlers and Horneys

According to Jung, the collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankinds evolution, born a new in the brain structure of every individual. It also contains what Jung termed, archetypes. Jung identified the persona as an archetype. According to Jung, the persona is a public self that conceals ones private self. Archetypes are emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meaning. Archetypes manifest themselves in dreams, and cultural symbols. They also reveal themselves as opposites.

The Persona

Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi represent the archetypes of shadow and hero respectively.

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Therefore, the collective unconscious includes the presence of archetypes, similarities in the form of myths and dreams throughout the world, and possible biologically based human thought forms. It also contained symbols found universally in art and architecture. An example of a symbol is the Mandala or magic circle. The Mandala is a symbol for wholeness across a number of cultures. Freud believed personality as stamped before the age of five years. In contrast, Jung viewed middle age as a dynamic time for personality development. Jung believed that personality development stemmed from the resolution of opposites. To Jung, all important elements of the mind exist as opposites. That is, one achieves a sense of wholeness or balance among these opposites. This was especially evident when reaching ones midlife years. Opposites manifest themselves as extroversion (other oriented) or introversion (attention on self), masculine (animus) or feminine (anima) and good (hero) or evil (shadow) to name a few.

2. Jungs, Adlers and Horneys

The Mandala: A symbol for wholeness has strong implications for personality

Adler also abandoned Freuds idea of sexual motivation as driving force in personality development. According to Adler, it was not pleasure that motivated people. Instead, Adler proposed that personality was driven by one mastering their perceived inferiorities and in turn striving for a sense of superiority. Initially, Adler limited his view of inferiorities to children and physically impaired persons. Interestingly, Adler was born with a club foot, a physical handicap that restricted him in boyhood activities. However, Adler compensated for his inferiority by becoming adept in social relations. This might explain why Adler was Freuds favorite colleague. It was a difficult time for Freud when Adler moved on and developed his own ideas.

2. Jungs, Adlers, and Horneys.

Alfred Adler

A closer examination of striving for superiority is warranted. Adler viewed striving for superiority as a universal drive to adapt, improve oneself, and master lifes challenges. Adler did not believe this to be a striving for superiority over other people. Rather, Adlers view of superiority evolved into the concept of social interest. To Adler, a healthy personality involved social interest. That is, persons are internally motivated to establish loving, helpful relationships with other people. Furthermore, our goals reflect the degree and direction of our innate social interest. Adlers view of goals makes him a true Neofreudian because of his emphasis on ego as opposed to id functioning. The slide to the right illustrates Jim Abbott who pitched in the major leagues with one arm. He would throw and catch with his left arm. A birth defect caused his right arm to never develop past the elbow. Jim Abbott reflects some of Adlers earlier views of personality development.

2. Jungs, Adlers, and Horneys.

Jim Abbott exemplifies Adlers view of personality

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2. Jungs, Adlers, and Horneys.

Some consider Karen Horney (pictured to the right) as the most influential NeoFreudian. Like Freud, Karen Horney argued that inadequate parenting negatively affected the childs personality development. She also agreed with Freud that unconscious conflicts are the source of ones maladjustment in the world. However, Horney differs from Freud in that she viewed the child-parent dynamic and not id motives as the cause of neurotic tendencies. In contrast, a child feeling love and security develops a healthy personality with minimal neuroses. According to Horney, the childs perception of parental indifference, harshness, or even minimizing the childs feelings promoted anxious insecurities within the child. In this case, the child is his way to develop the neurotic personality. To

Horney, dealing with neuroses is a life long struggle.

Karen Horney proposed the neurotic personality and engineered the feminine psychology movement.

2. Jungs, Adlers, and Horneys.

Like most Neo-Freudians, she received most attention from her theoretical departures. In particular, Horney strongly disagreed with Freuds concept of penis envy. Horney believed that anyone, neurotic males of females, could experience penis envy. Throughout her career, Horney questioned why male psychoanalysts placed so much emphasis on the males penis. To counter this view, Horney proposed the concept of womb envy. That is, men were envious of a womans ability to give birth and nurture offspring. Horney believed that men compensate for this inadequacy by striving for achievement and success in other domains. In short, Horneys departure from the traditional psychoanalytical view of women likely influenced what theorists term modern feminine psychology. Though a head of her time, Horney helped psychology view gender differences in a new light.

Karen Horney proposed the neurotic personality And engineered the feminine psychology movement.

D. Humanistic perspectives of personality


1. The humanistic perspective: An introduction 2. Rogers person-centered theory 3. Maslows theory of self actualization 4. Evaluating humanistic perspectives

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1. The humanistic perspective: An introduction

We needed an optimistic view of human nature following World War II and the humanists delivered.

A humanistic perspective has been considered thethird force (psychoanalytical and behavioral are the others) in psychology according to Lahey. Humanism emerged after the horrific events of World War II. The world simply needed to feel good again and humanistic perspectives were determined to deliver. As a personality theory, it emphasized the importance of selfdetermination. It is a theoretical orientation that stresses the unique qualities of humans especially their freedom and potential. This is obviously a more optimistic view of human nature than that of Freuds psychodynamic or Skinners behavioral views.

1. The humanistic perspective: An introduction


Unlike Freud, humanists assume that persons can control animalistic or id urges. Humanists viewed human beings as mostly conscious and rational in their approach to life. To humanists, the essence of personality is ones inner-directedness. This is conceptualized as a internal force within all persons that pushes them to grow and improve. Although there have many contributors of the humanistic perspective of personality, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers were considered the major architects. Rogers emphasized the conditions that promote ones inner-directedness. Along these lines, Maslow closely examined the process of inner-directedness. In doing so, he proposed the self-actualized personality.

Abraham Maslow

3. Rogers person-centered theory


Like Freud, Carl Rogers developed a theory of personality from his clinical work. Similar to Horney, he conceptualized the conditions that promote a healthy personality. Most importantly, Rogers emphasized the persons subjective reality (i.e., personcentered). Rogers embraced the idea that people are basically good and have the potential for self-actualization. Rogers viewed the existing social climate as critical in the development of a healthy personality and self-concept. For persons to reach their potential, they required a climate of genuineness, empathy, and acceptance (unconditional positive worth).

Carl Rogers

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2. Rogers person-centered theory


Genuineness was defined as the act of being open toward others and dropping our facades. When others are genuine, one is more open to reveal their shortcomings and strengths. Empathy refers to our ability to walk in the shoes of others or to truly understand their experiences. Lastly, Rogers proposed that an accepting climate depends on the unconditional positive worth one receives from others. Ones willingness to tell parents the truth likely depends on Rogers proposed climate of genuineness, empathy, and unconditional positive worth.

2. Rogers person-centered theory


The cartoon to the right illustrates the notion of unconditional positive worth or the lack of it. Conditional or unconditional positive worth is usually determined by ones parents. Unconditional positive worth refers to an attitude that values us despite one knowing our failings. Regardless of what we have done, our shortcomings, and worst confessions, others accept us. Lets watch a film clip that displays a lack of unconditional positive regard from Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame. New Yorker Magazine cartoon directing humor at the notion of unconditional positive worth

2. Rogers person-centered theory

You are just not evil enough!

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2. Rogers person-centered theory


To Rogers, these climate factors were critical in the development of a healthy self-concept. The self concept is a collection of beliefs about ones own nature, skills, unique personal qualities, and typical behavior. According to Rogers, we become aware of our selfconcepts when we mentally symbolize them. Lahey notes that when one fails to symbolize, inaccurate self-concepts result thus causing anxiety and internal discomforts. In other words, our self concepts are not always consistent with our reality. Rogers called this lack of consistency a state of incongruence. We feel anxiety when there is an inconsistency between our ideal and actual selves.

Carl Rogers

2. Rogers person-centered theory

Lets take a closer look at actual and ideal self concepts. Ones actual self-concept is simply consistent with reality. On the other hand, Rogers defines the ideal self as the person I wish to be or ought to be. Emotional discomfort and feelings of failure result when the ideal self becomes unrealistically perfect or out of reach. Rogers would also say that his view of ideal self is similar to Freuds concept of the ego ideal (a component of the superego).

Is your ideal self realistic?

2. Rogers person-centered theory

Rogers defined incongruence as the degree of disparity between ones ideal self concept and ones actual experience. If a persons ideal self-concept is consistent with ones actual experience, then one experiences a congruent situation. The development of a healthy personality (congruence) depends on ones childhood experiences that are either based on conditional or unconditional love and acceptance. If conditional love characterizes a childs relationship with his/her parent, incongruence and an unhealthy self concept result.

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2. Rogers person-centered theory 2. Rogers person-centered theory

Rogers would suggest that many of the defense mechanisms described by Freud are used to minimize the perceived discrepancy between the actual and ideal self. Freud believes repression is a necessary condition to protect from the discrepancies between ones ego ideal and actual experiences. In contrast, Rogers believes that a lack of awareness (unsymbolized feelings) prevents ones inner-directedness

The slide below shows the effect of incongruence in promoting anxiety and defensive behavior.

3. Maslows theory of self actualization


While Rogers proposed the process of achieving self-actualization within a clinical setting, Maslows research examined the personality of the selfactualized individual. Maslow assumed that people have a need to be all that they can be. To test his theory of the self-actualized personality, Maslow reviewed the lives of exceptional individuals such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, etc These individuals were self actualized because they were willing to act on their convictions. From his research, Maslow compiled a list of characteristics of the self-actualizing personality.

Abraham Maslow

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3. Maslows theory of self actualization

Self actualizing persons are people with exceptionally healthy personalities, marked by continued personal growth. Self- actualization is a lifelong process. Hulda crooks, is shown here at the age of 91 climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan, began mountain climbing in her sixties. Lets take a closer at view at an expanded list of qualities describing the selfactualizing personality

Hulda Crooks at 91 years-old

1. Clear, efficient perception of reality and comfortable relations with it 2. Spontaneous, simple, and natural 3. Problem centered 4. Need for privacy 5. Autonomous; independence of culture, a disinterest in social customs 6. Continued freshness of appreciation 7. Experience more mystical and peak experiences 8. Feelings of kinship and identification with the human race 9. Limited but strong friendships 10. Democratic character structure 11. Ethical discrimination between good and evil 12. Philosophical, not hostile, displays a sense of humor 13. Balance in polarities in personality 14. Displays unorthodox behavior 15. Highly moral 16. Very positive about life 17. Committed to a cause

Characteristics of the Self-Actualizing Personality

3. Maslows theory of self actualization


Of the list of qualities, Maslow believed that we occasionally felt what it was like to be self-actualized when we had peak experiences. As noted by Lahey, these are intensely moving, pleasurable, beautiful experiences when a person is fully absorbed in the experience, forgets his or her selfish interests, and feels a sense of unity with the world. We are so absorbed into the experience that we lose our time and space orientation. We are so in the moment! In our life time, we will have peak experiences (e.g., watching the birth of your first child) but the self-actualizing person simply has them more often!

Is Abraham Maslow contemplating the self-actualized personality or having a peak experience?

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4. Evaluating humanistic perspectives


Even though humanistic psychology has been popular, empirical support has not been impressive. First, critics argue, for example, that Maslows descriptions of the selfactualized personality were simply a reflection of his own values and ideals. Second, Rogers client centered theory has been criticized for being too self-focused and individualistic. Lastly, humanistic perspectives of personality are na ve. The ideas like innate goodness and unconditional positive regard fail to appreciate the reality of our human capacity for evil

Did Maslow anticipate that the self-actualized personality would be subject to criticism?

D. Social Cognitive Perspective


1. Bandura and social cognition 2. Personal control and learned helplessness 3. Personality and situations 4. Assessing personality

1. Bandura and social cognition

Is personality a product of observation?

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1. Bandura and social cognition

The previous film clip reminds us that social learning or social cognition theory is a major perspective in psychology that posits that the most important parts of our personality and behavior are learned. However, unlike strict behaviorists, social cognition perspective proposes that cognitive factors are involved in the learning process. In fact, most learning is achieved through modeling or observational learning and that requires cognitive activity. In terms of personality, the social cognition perspective states that our personalities are the product of reciprocal determinism. That is, our personalities are shaped by the interaction of our personal traits (including thoughts and feelings), our environment, and our behaviors.

Reciprocal Determinism

An important person or cognitive factor affecting personality is locus of control. In the 1960s, Julian Rotter proposed two loci of control. These included an internal and external locus of control. Internal locus of control is the perception that one has control of behavioral outcomes. An external locus of control is the perception that behavioral outcomes are left to chance or outside forces beyond ones control. Studies have indicated that those with an internal locus are generally happier, higher achieving and enjoy better health than externals. Bandura proposes other cognitive factors that affect our personalities. These factors are self-efficacy and self-control. Self-efficacy refers to our belief that we feel capable of executing a course of action. Selfcontrol refers to our ability to control impulses and delay gratification. Control is achieved through self-regulation that consists of our perceived personal standards that in turn control our behavior.

2. Personal control

Bandura

Myers cites the work of Janet Tangney who proposes that are ability to self control is challenged daily. For example, our ability to delay gratification or maintain personal standards is reduced after exertion. As noted by Myers, exercising willpower can deplete our mental energy Studies have been shown that self control is decreased after performing tasks that require considerable energy and willpower. Social cognitive theorists argue that inconsistencies in personality would stem from situations challenging self-control. Situations would vary in terms of their attention and energy demands. However, what would happen to personality if one does not have selfcontrol or an internal locus?

2. Personal control

Does exercise increases self control?

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2. Personal control

Seligman Does Martin Seligman look optimistic? Seligman would say this man (left) has a case of learned helplessness. In the mid 1970s, Seligman found that when dogs received electric shocks without any chance of escape, they developed a sense of helplessness. However, when given an opportunity to escape, the dogs chose to stay and take the pain. In contrast, if given the opportunity to escape the first shocks, the dogs would not take the pain and leap to safety. Seligman concluded that the latter group of dogs had learned a sense of personal control. If given choice (within reason), people are happier and thrive. In other words, is ones personality optimistic? Perceived control affects personality!

Study after study indicates that people in environments where they feel they have control are happier and more productive. Myers cites Ellen Langer who believes that personal control is basic to human functioning. Along these lines, does perceived control as a personality factor help us explain good or bad events around us? That is, do persons have an attributional style in which to explain events around them? Seligman called this learned optimism. People who attribute negative events to variables beyond their control (pessimistic style) are more likely to experience poor health and less success in life. Perceived control affects personality!

2. Personal control

Optimistic or pessimistic attributional style?

However, before we think that learned optimism is the end all, we also need to consider that personalities can also display blind optimism. Myers states that excessive optimism can blind us to real risks (e.g., minimizing the risk of health choices such as smoking, diet, and other life style choices). This positive thinking bias tends to decrease when we encounter the reality of feedback or if we experience a traumatic event. Kruger and Dunning found evidence for the ignorance for ones own incompetence phenomenon. That is, in one study, subjects who actually scored in the lower half on a logic and grammar test thought that they had scored in top half. An incompetent person does not see ones own incompetence. In other words, It takes competence to recognize competence.

2. Personal control

Myers noted that the California earthquake of 1989 forced people to let go of their illusions of invulnerability.

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3. Personality and situations


In short, these cognitive variables influence how our personality presents itself in different situations. So how does the situation determine our behavior? According to Skinner, as long as antecedent stimuli in any given situation are different, one can expect the persons behavior to be different. To Skinner, behavior is dependent on specifics of any situation. On the other hand, Skinner would expect ones behavior to stay consistent as long as the antecedent stimuli remain consistent as well (e.g., do you behave differently around your parents versus your peers?). Skinner argued that our behavior is too inconsistent to be accounted for by personality traits. Of course, trait theorists were shocked at such a proposal. They argued that traits consistently predicted behavior regardless of the situation. Social cognitive theorists preferred a compromise between trait and situation perspectives.

B.F. Skinners view supports a Situationalism perspective of personality.

3. Personality and situations

Research indicates that as we age, our traits become more stable.

Trait inconsistency is construed in two ways. The first way centers on the stability of a trait over time. In terms of Big Five theory, research indicates that traits become more stable with age. Second, trait inconsistency stems from differing situations. Studies have shown that personality traits are poor predictors of behavior. Nevertheless, when we consider samples of a persons behavior throughout a day, traits do become more consistent. For example, Gosling has found trait consistencies as it relates to music preferences, personal spaces (offices), personal web sites, and email. These situations reveal various trait patterns (e.g., those who like classical music tend to be more open to experience while country music lovers are more outgoing and conscientious.

3. Personality and situations


Is it a reasonable conclusion that traits and situations interact? This viewpoint proposes that situation and person variables influence personality. Lets take a closer look. First, it is reasonable to think that our personal characteristics influence us to choose some situations over others. For example, if people are personally shy, then they are less likely to choose social situations. In this case, it suggests that situational factors play a lesser of a role. Second, it is reasonable to think that persons act differently in the same situation. For instance, one person is shy at a fraternity party while the other is outgoing and the life of the party in the same social situation depending on their expressiveness. Lastly, Bem proposes that some people are more influenced by situations than others. In other words, some people are more chameleon-like. They know the parameters or rules of the situation and behave accordingly.

Personality theorist, Darryl Bem, believes that traits and situations interact.

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4. Accessing personality

Social cognitive theorists prefer to assess ones personality in how they behave in situations. Assessment is achieved by observing past behavior because it serves as a strong predictor of future behavior. If past behavior is not available, then observing others in simulation may provide a clue as to how one might behave in real situations. The latter relies on the assessment center strategy. If one wants to know what others personalities are like, they need to be placed in simulated or real-life situations.

Donald Trumps reality television show, the apprentice, is the closest thing to an assessment center.

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