Personality: Understanding the Psychoanalytic Perspective

Personality: Understanding the Psychoanalytic Perspective

This chapter from Myers' "Psychology" 7th edition explores the concept of personality, including its basic perspectives like the psychoanalytic perspective based on Freud's theory that unconscious motivations and childhood sexuality shape individual behavior.

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1. Myers’ PSYCHOLOGY (7th Ed) Chapter 15 Personality James A. McCubbin, PhD Clemson University Worth Publishers

2. What is Personality?  Personality  an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting  basic perspectives  Psychoanalytic  Humanistic

3. The Psychoanalytic Perspective  From Freud’s theory which proposes that childhood sexuality and unconscious motivations influence personality

4. The Psychoanalytic Perspective  Psychoanalysis  Freud’s theory of personality that attributes our thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts  techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions

5. The Psychoanalytic Perspective  Free Association  in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious  person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing

6. The Psychoanalytic Perspective  Unconscious  according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings and memories  contemporary viewpoint- information processing of which we are unaware

7. Personality Structure  Id  contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy  strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives  operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification

8. Personality Structure  Superego  the part of personality that presents internalized ideals  provides standards for judgement (the conscience) and for future aspirations

9. Personality Structure  Ego  the largely conscious, “executive” part of personality  mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality  operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain

10. Personality Structure  Freud’s idea of the mind’s structure Id Superego Ego Conscious mind Unconscious mind

11. Personality Development  Psychosexual Stages  the childhood stages of development during which the id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones  Oedipus Complex  a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father

12. Personality Development Freud’s Psychosexual Stages Stage Focus Oral Pleasure centers on the mouth-- (0-18 months) sucking, biting, chewing Anal Pleasure focuses on bowel and bladder (18-36 months) elimination; coping with demands for control Phallic Pleasure zone is the genitals; coping with (3-6 years) incestuous sexual feelings Latency Dormant sexual feelings (6 to puberty) Genital Maturation of sexual interests (puberty on)

13. Personality Development  Identification  the process by which children incorporate their parents’ values into their developing superegos  Fixation  a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, where conflicts were unresolved

14. Defense Mechanisms  Defense Mechanisms  the ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality  Repression  the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness

15. Defense Mechanisms  Regression  defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated

16. Defense Mechanisms  Reaction Formation  defense mechanism by which the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites  people may express feelings that are the opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings

17. Defense Mechanisms  Projection  defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others  Rationalization  defense mechanism that offers self- justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one’s actions

18. Defense Mechanisms  Displacement  defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person  as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet

19. Assessing the Unconscious  Projective Test  a personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics  Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)  a projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes

20. Assessing the Unconscious--TAT

21. Assessing the Unconscious  Rorschach Inkblot Test  the most widely used projective test  a set of 10 inkblots designed by Hermann Rorschach  seeks to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots

22. Assessing the Unconscious--Rorschach

23. Neo-Freudians  Alfred Adler  importance of childhood social tension  Karen Horney  sought to balance Freud’s masculine biases  Carl Jung  emphasized the collective unconscious  concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species’ history

24. Humanistic Perspective  Abraham Maslow (1908- 1970)  studied self- actualization processes of productive and healthy people (e.g., Lincoln)

25. Humanistic Perspective  Self-Actualization  the ultimate psychological need that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self- esteem is achieved  the motivation to fulfill one’s potential

26. Humanistic Perspective  Carl Rogers (1902-1987)  focused on growth and fulfillment of individuals  genuineness  acceptance  empathy

27. Humanistic Perspective  Unconditional Positive Regard  an attitude of total acceptance toward another person  Self-Concept  all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in an answer to the question, “Who am I?”

28. Contemporary Research-- The Trait Perspective  Trait  a characteristic pattern of behavior  a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports  Personality Inventory  a questionnaire (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors  used to assess selected personality traits

29. The Trait Perspective  Hans and Sybil Eysenck use two primary personality factors as axes for describing personality variation UNSTABLE STABLE choleric melancholic phlegmatic sanguine INTROVERTED EXTRAVERTED Moody Anxious Rigid Sober Pessimistic Reserved Unsociable Quiet Sociable Outgoing Talkative Responsive Easygoing Lively Carefree Leadership Passive Careful Thoughtful Peaceful Controlled Reliable Even-tempered Calm Touchy Restless Aggressive Excitable Changeable Impulsive Optimistic Active

30. The Trait Perspective  Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)  the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests  originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use)  now used for many other screening purposes

31. The Trait Perspective  Empirically Derived Test  a test developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups  such as the MMPI

32. The Trait Perspective  Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test profile Hysteria (uses symptoms to solve problems) Masculinity/femininity (interests like those of other sex) T-score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 30 40 50 60 70 80 Hypochondriasis (concern with body symptoms) Depression (pessimism, hopelessness) Psychopathic deviancy (disregard for social standards) Paranoia (delusions, suspiciousness) Psychasthenia (anxious, guilt feelings) Schizophrenia (withdrawn, bizarre thoughts) Hypomania (overactive, excited, impulsive) Social introversion (shy, inhibited) Clinically significant range After treatment (no scores in the clinically significant range) Before treatment (anxious, depressed, and displaying deviant behaviors)

33. The Trait Perspective The “Big Five” Personality Factors Trait Dimension Description Emotional Stability Calm versus anxious Secure versus insecure Self-satisfied versus self-pitying Extraversion Sociable versus retiring Fun-loving versus sober Affectionate versus reserved Openness Imaginative versus practical Preference for variety versus preference for routine Independent versus conforming Extraversion Soft-hearted versus ruthless Trusting versus suspicious Helpful versus uncooperative Conscientiousness Organized versus disorganized Careful versus careless Disciplined versus impulsive

34. Social-Cognitive Perspective  Social-Cognitive Perspective  views behavior as influenced by the interaction between persons and their social context  Reciprocal Determinism  the interacting influences between personality and environmental factors

35. Social-Cognitive Perspective

36. Social-Cognitive Perspective  Personal Control  our sense of controlling our environments rather than feeling helpless  External Locus of Control  the perception that chance or outside forces beyond one’s personal control determine one’s fate

37. Social-Cognitive Perspective  Internal Locus of Control  the perception that one controls one’s own fate  Learned Helplessness  the hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events

38. Social-Cognitive Perspective  Learned Helplessness Uncontrollable bad events Perceived lack of control Generalized helpless behavior

39. Social-Cognitive Perspective  Positive Psychology  the scientific study of optimal human functioning  aims to discover and promote conditions that enable individuals and communities to thrive

40. Exploring the Self  Spotlight Effect  overestimating others noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders  Self Esteem  one’s feelings of high or low self-worth  Self-Serving Bias  readiness to perceive oneself favorably

41. Exploring the Self  Individualism  giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications  Collectivism  giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly

42. Exploring the Self Morality Defined by individuals Defined by social networks (self-based) (duty-based) Attributing Behavior reflects one’s personality Behavior reflects social behaviors and attitudes and roles Value Contrasts Between Individualism and Collectivism Concept Individualism Collectivism Self Independent Interdependent (identity from individual traits) identity from belonging) Life task Discover and express one’s Maintain connections, fit in uniqueness What matters Me--personal achievement and We-group goals and solidarity; fullfillment; rights and liberties social responsibilities and relationships Coping method Change reality Accommodate to reality Relationships Many, often temporary or casual; Few, close and enduring; confrontation acceptable harmony valued

43. The Modern Unconscious Mind  Terror-Management Theory  Faith in one’s worldview and the pursuit of self-esteem provide protection against a deeply rooted fear of death