PAS: AP Psych. Ch. 15.: Personality

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Personality

A consistent pattern of thinking, acting, feeling

Unconscious

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

Superego

The part of the personality in Freud's theory that is responsible for making moral choices.

Identification

Thee process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate their parents' values into their developing superegos.

Repression

A defense mechanism in which painful memories are excluded from consciousness.

Projection

A defense mechanism in which one disguises one's won unacceptable impulses by attributing them to others

Projective test

A personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one's inner dynamics.

Collective unconscious

Jung's theory that we all share an inherited memory that contains our culture's most basic elements.

Self-concepts

One's idea and evaluation of oneself; this contributes to one's sense of identity.

Minnesota Mutlitphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

The most widely research and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed to identify emotional disorders

Reciprocal determinism

Bandura's idea that though our environment affects us, we also affect our environment.

Internal locus of control

The perception that you control your own fate.

Spotlight effect

Overestimating others' noticing and evaluation our appearance, performance, and blunders (as if we presume a spot-light shines on us.

Individualism

A culture in which the individual is valued more highly than the group.

Free association

In psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.

Id

In Freud's conception, the repository of the basic urges toward sex and aggression.

Psychosexual stages

The childhood stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) during which, according to Freud, the id's pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones.

Fixation

According to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which conflicts were unresolved.

Rationalization

Defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one's actions.

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

A projective test in which subjects look at and tell a story about ambiguous pictures

Self-actualization

The highest of Maslow's needs; "the full use of talent."

Trait

A genetically determined variant of a characteristic.

Empirically derived test

A test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups.

Personal control

Our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling helpless.

Learned helplessness

The hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events.

Self-esteem

A realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself.

Collectivism

Giving priority to the goals of one's group (often one's extended family or work group) and defining one's identity accordingly.

Psychoanalysis

Freud's theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; the techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions.

Ego

The Latin for "I"; in Freud's theories, the mediator between the demands of the id and the superego

Oedipus complex

According to Freud, a boy's sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father.

Defense mechanisms

In psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.

Reaction formation

Psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites. Thus, people may express feelings that are the opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings.

Displacement

Psychoanalytic 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.

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

Unconditional positive regard

According to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person

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.

Social-cognitive perspective

Views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people's traits (including their thinking) and their social context.

External locus of control

The perception that chance or outside forces beyond one's personal control determine one's fate.

Positive psychology

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

Self-serving bias

A readiness to perceive oneself favorably.

Terror-management theory

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

Regression

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

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