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Personality

An individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

Free Association

Psychonanalysis; method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind

Psychoanalysis

Freud's theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; seek to expose and interpret unconscious tensions

Unconscious

According to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories; information processing of which we are unaware

Psychosexual Stages

Childhood stages of development during which the id's pleasure seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones; Freud

Identification

Process by which children incorporate their parent's values into their developing superegos; Freud

Fixation

Lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage in which conflicts were unresolved; Freud

Defense Mechanism

Ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality; repression, regression, projection, rationalization, displacement, denial

Reaction Formation

Psychoanalytic defense mechanism where the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses for their opposites

Collective Unconscious

Carl Jung's concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history

Projective Test

Personality test that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one's inner dynamics; Rorschach or TAT

Thematic Apperception Test

TAT; Projective test where people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes

Rorschach Inkblot Test

Most widely used projective test; seeks to identify people's inner feelings by analyzing their blot interpretations

Terror-Management Theory

Theory of death-related anxiety; explores people's emotional and behavioral responses to reminders to their impending death

Self-Actualization

One of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical needs are met an self-esteem is achieved; motivation to fulfill one's potential; Maslow

Unconditional Positive Regard

An attitude of total acceptance toward another person; Rogers

Self-Concept

All our thoughts and feelings about ourselves when answering "Who am I?"

Trait

A characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act as assessed by self-report and peer inventories

Personality Inventory

Questionnaire where people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; assesses selected personality traits

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

MMPI; most widely researched and used personality test; identifies emotional disorders

Empirically Derived Test

Test developed by testing a pool of items and selecting those that discriminate between groups; MMPI

Social-Cognitive Perspective

Views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people's traits and their social context

Reciprocal Determinism

Interacting influences of behavior, internal cognition, and environment

Personal Control

Extent to which people perceive control over their environment rather than feeling helpless

External Locus of Control

Perception that chance or outside forces beyond your personal control determine your fate

Internal Locus of Control

Perception that you control your own fate

Learned Helplessness

Hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events

Positive Psychology

Scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive

Self

Assumed to be the center of personality; organizer of thoughts, feelings, an actions; for contemporary psych

Spotlight Effect

Overestimating others' noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders

Self-Serving Bias

Readiness to perceive oneself favorably

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