the psychological qualities of an individual that influence a variety of characteristic behavior patterns across different situations and over time. There are two basic concepts: uniqueness and characteristic patterns of behavior.
distinct pattern of personality characteristics used to assign people to categories; qualitative differences rather than differences in degree, used to discriminate among people. These are all-or-none phenomena, not matters of degree: if a person is assigned to one type, he or she could not belong to any other type within that system.
Hippocrates and Galen
in the 5th century BC, this Greek physician theorized that the body contained four basic fluids, or 'humors', each associated with a particular temperament, a patter of emotions and behaviors. Then in the 2nd century AD, this later Greek physician suggested that an individual's personality depended on which humor was predominant in his or her body, four schemes: Blood, Phlegm, Black bile, and Yellow Bile.
modern type theorist who associated physique with temperament; he assigned people to three categories based on their body builds - 'endomorphic' (fat, soft, round), 'mesomorphic' (muscular, strong, round), or 'ectomorphic' (thin, long, fragile). He believed that endomorphs are relaxed, fond of eating, and sociable. Mesomorphs are physical people, filled with energy, courage, and assertive tendencies. Ectomorphs are brainy, artistic, and introverted; they would think about life, rather than consuming or acting upon it.
birth order type theory
proposed by Frank Sulloway; he makes birth-order predictions based on Darwin's idea that organisms diversify to find niches in which they will survive. First-borns have a ready-made niche: they immediately command their parents' love and attachment by identifying and complying with their parents. By contrast, laterborn children need to find a different niche - one in which they don't so clearly follow their parents' example. As a consequence, Sulloway characterizes laterborns as "born to rebel"; they seek to excel in those domains where older siblings have not already established superiority. Laterborns typically cultivate openness to experience - a useful strategy for anyone who wishes to find a novel and successful niche in life.
enduring personal quality or attribute that influences behavior across situations. These theories propose continuous dimensions, such as intelligence or friendliness. Some theorists think of them as 'predispositions' that cause behavior, but more conservative theorists use them only as descriptive dimensions that simply summarize patterns of observed behavior.
intervening variables trait theory
proposed by Gordon Allport; views traits as the building blocks of personality and the source of individuality. According to Allport, traits produce coherence in behavior because they connect and unify a person's reactions to a variety of stimuli. He identified three kinds of traits: 'Cardinal traits' - traits around which a person organizes his or her life. 'Central traits' - traits that represent major characteristics of a person, such as honesty or optimism. 'Secondary traits' - specific personal features that help predict an individual's personality, food or dress preferences are examples.
source trait theory
proposed by Raymond Cattell; these provide the underlying source for the surface behaviors we think of personality. These 16 factors include important behavioral oppositions such as reserved vs. outgoing, trusting vs. suspicious, and relaxed vs. tense.
man who derived just three broad dimensions from personality test data: 'extraversion' (internally versus externally oriented), 'neuroticism' (emotionally stable versus emotionally unstable), and psychoticism (kind and considerate versus aggressive and antisocial). This theory allows for individual variation within these categories. Individuals can fall anywhere around the circle, ranging from very introverted to very extraverted and from very unstable (neurotic) to very stable.
a comprehensive descriptive personality system that maps out the relationships among common traits, theoretical concepts, and personality scales; informally called the Big Five: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to experience.
extraversion and brain activity
participants in an experiment viewed fearful, happy, and neutral faces while they underwent fMRI scans. Extraversion was not correlated with the brains' responses to fearful faces. By contrast, for happy faces the highly extraverted individuals showed abundant activity in their left amygdala. Researchers have characterized emotions as either approach-related or withdrawal-related. This study suggests that people who are most content to approach other people - what makes them extraverted - have more activation in brain regions that support approach-related emotions.
personality and genetics
heritability studies show that almost all personality traits are influenced by genetic factors. The findings are the same with many different measurement techniques, whether they measure broad traits, such as extraversion and neuroticism, or specific traits, such as self-control or sociability. In one study, the researchers' analyses showed a strong genetic impact for 21 out of the 24 traits between twins. For example, the trait of bravery, MZ twins yielded a 0.50 correlation between their responses whereas DZ twins yielded a 0.19 correlation.
stabililizing influence of traits on behavior over time and place; findings show that there is little evidence that behavior is consistent across different situations.
the observation that personality ratings across time and among different observers are consistent while behavior ratings across situations are not consistent. Research reveals that we find consistency in the way that the specific features of a situation elicit people's distinctive responses. Researchers have described the knowledge people have of relationships between dispositions and situations as 'if...then...personality signatures': if an individual brings a particular disposition to a specific situation then he or she will behave in a particular way.
psychodynamic personality theories
theory of personality that shares the assumption that personality is shaped by and behavior is motivated by inner forces. Freud's theory of personality boldly attempts to explain the origins and course of personality development, the nature of mind, aspects of abnormal personality, and the way personality can be changed by therapy. The psychodynamic nature of this approach comes from its emphasis on these inner wellsprings of behavior, as well as the clashes among these internal forces. For Freud, all behavior was motivated in some way. Every human action has a cause and a purpose that can be discovered through analysis of thought associations, dreams, errors, and other behavioral clues to inner passions.
Freud postulated two different motivational forces, these energy sources, when activated, could be expressed in many different ways. Self-preservation meets such needs as hunger and thirst. The other he called 'Eros', the driving force related to sexual urges and preservation of the species.
term used to identify the source of energy for sexual urges - a psychic energy that drives us toward sensual pleasures of all types. Freud greatly expanded the notion of human sexual desires to include not only the urge for sexual union but all other attempts to seek pleasure or to make physical contact with others. Sexual urges demand immediate satisfaction, whether through direct actions or through indirect means such as fantasies and dreams.
Freud named this complex after the mythical figure Oedipus, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. Freud believed that every young boy has an innate impulse to view his father as a sexual rival for his mother's attentions. Because the young boy cannot displace his father, this complex is generally resolved when the boy comes to identify with his father's power.
stages of psychosexual development
The sequence of five developmental stages from infancy through the attainment of adult sexuality that is considered universal in psychoanalytic theory: the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage, and the genital stage.
a state in which a person remains attached to objects or activities more appropriate for an earlier stage of psychosexual development. This concept explains why Freud put so much emphasis on early experiences in the continuity of personality. He believed that experiences in the early stages of psychosexual development had a profound impact on personality formation and adult behavior patterns.
the assumption that all mental and behavioral reactions (symptoms) are determined by previous experiences. Freud believed that symptoms were not arbitrary, rather, symptoms were related in a meaningful way to significant life events.
the domain of the psyche that stores regressed urges and primitive impulses, a repository of information that is unavailable to conscious awareness. According to Freud, behavior can be motivated by drives of which a person is not aware. You may act without knowing why or without direct access to the true cause of your actions. There is a manifest content to your behavior - what you say, do, and perceive - of which you are fully aware, but there is also a concealed, latent content. The meaning of neurotic (anxiety-based) symptoms, dreams, and slips of the pen and tongue is found at the unconscious level of thinking and information processing.
the storehouse of the fundamental drives; the primitive, unconscious part of the personality that represents the internalization of society's values, standards, and morals. Governed by the pleasure principle, the unregulated search for gratification - especially sexual, physical, and emotional pleasures - to be experienced here and now without concern for consequences.
the storehouse of an individual's values, including moral attitudes learned from society; Roughly corresponds to the common notion of conscience, it develops as a child comes to accept as his or her own values the prohibitions of parents and other adults against socially undesirable actions; it is the inner voice of oughts and should nots. Includes the 'ego ideal', an individual's view of the kind of person he or she should strive to become, thus this aspect is often in conflict with the id - the id wants to to what feels good, whereas this insists on doing what is right.
the reality-based aspect of the self that arbitrates the conflict between id impulses and superego demands. Represents an individual's personal view of physical and social reality - his or her conscious beliefs about the causes and consequences of behavior. This aspect is governed by the reality principle, which puts reasonable choices before pleasurable demands. When the id and the superego are in conflict, this aspect arranges a compromise that at least partially satisfies both.
the basic defense mechanism by which painful or guilt-producing thoughts, feelings, or memories are excluded from conscious awareness. The ego remains unaware of both the mental content that is censored and the process by which ____ keeps information out of consciousness. Is considered to be the most basic of the various ways in which the ego defends against being overwhelmed by threatening impulses and ideas.
ego defense mechanisms
mental strategy (conscious or unconscious) used by the ego to defend itself against conflicts experienced in the normal course of life. By using them, a person is able to maintain a favorable self-image and to sustain an acceptable social image. Useful as they are, they are ultimately self-deceptive, when overused they create more problems than they solve. It is psychologically unhealthy to spend a great deal of time and psychic energy deflecting, disguising, and rechanneling unacceptable urges in order to reduce anxiety. Doing so leaves little energy for productive living or satisfying human relationships.
an intense emotional response caused by the preconscious recognition that a repressed conflict is about to emerge into consciousness. This represents a signal that repression is not working, this is the time for second line of defense, one or more additional ego defense mechanisms that will relieve the anxiety and send the distressing impulses back down into the unconscious.
Alfred Adler argued that all lives are dominated by the search for ways to overcome this feeling. People compensate to achieve feelings of adequacy or, more often, overcompensate in an attempt to become superior. Personality is structured around this underlying striving; people develop lifestyles based on particular ways of overcoming their basic, pervasive feelings of ____. Personality conflicts arise from incompatibility between external environmental pressures and internal strivings for adequacy, rather than from competing urges within the person.
the part of an individual's unconscious that is inherited, evolutionarily developed, and common to all members of the species. This explains your intuitive understanding of primitive myths, arts forms, and symbols, which are the universal archetypes of existence.
a universal, inherited, primitive, and symbolic representation of a particular experience or object. Each one is associated with an instinctive tendency to feel and think about it or experience it in a special way. Carl Jung postulated many archetypes that give rise to myths and symbols: the sun god, the hero, the earth mother.
a branch of psychology; Carl Jung saw the healthy, integrated personality as balancing opposing forces, such as manipulating aggressiveness and feminine sensitivity. This view of personality as a constellation of compensating internal forces in dynamic balance was called ____ ____. In addition, Jung rejected the primary importance of libido, so central to Freud's own theory. He added two equally powerful unconscious instincts: the need to create and the need to become a coherent, whole individual - self-actualization.
a concept in personality psychology referring to a person's constant striving to realize his or her potential and to develop inherent talents and capabilities. The key in the humanistic approach to personality, characterized by a concern for the integrity of an individual's personal and conscious experience and personal growth. The striving for self-fulfillment is a constructive, guiding force that moves each person toward generally positive behaviors and enhancement of the self.
unconditional positive regard
Carl Rogers stressed the importance of this; complete love and acceptance of an individual by another person, such as a parent for a child, with no conditions attached. By this, he meant that children should feel they will always be loved and approved of, in spite of their mistakes and misbehavior - that they do not have to earn their parents' love.
Karen Horney theorized that people have a "___ ___" that requires favorable environmental circumstances to be actualized, such as an atmosphere of warmth, the goodwill of others, and parental love of the child as a "particular individual". To cope with their basic anxiety, individuals resort to interpersonal or intrapsychic defenses; these defenses can produce excessive compliance/self-effacing actions, aggressive, arrogant, narcissistic solutions, or detachment. Intrapsychic defenses operate to develop for some people an unrealistic idealized self-image that generates a "search for glory" to justify it and a pride system that operates on rigid rules of conduct to live up to a grandiose self-concept.
aspect of humanistic personality theory; explains why people's separate acts in terms of their entire personalities; people are not seen as the sum of discrete traits that each influence behavior in different ways. Maslow believed that people are intrinsically motivated toward upper levels of the hierarchy of needs, unless deficiencies at the lower levels weigh them down.
aspect of humanistic personality theory; focus on the innate qualities within a person that exert a major influence over the direction behavior will take. Situational factors are seen as constraints and barriers, once freed from negative situational conditions, the actualizing tendency should actively guide people to choose life-enhancing situations. Unlike in the psychodynamic view, these are oriented specifically toward creativity and growth. Each time a humanistic disposition is excercised, the person changes a little, so that the disposition is never expressed in the same way twice.
aspect of humanistic personality theory; emphasize an individual's frame of reference and subjective view of reality - not the objective perspective of an observer or of a therapist. This view is a unique, present-oriented view; past influences are important only to the extent that they have brought the person to the present situation, and the future represents goals to achieve. Thus, unlike psychodynamic theories, humanistic theories do not see people's present behaviors as unconsciously guided by past experiences.
the use of psychological (especially personality) theory to describe and explain an individual's course through life. People construct their identities by weaving life stories out of the strands of narrative. Personal accounts provide a window on people's views of themselves and interpersonal relationships.
formulated by Julian Rotter; the extent to which people believe that their behaviors in particular situations will bring about rewards. These arise because of your own history of reinforcement. Rotter also emphasized 'reward value' - the value an individual assigns to a particular reward. On Rotter's view, you can only begin to predict people's behavior if you can assess both their expectancy with respect to a reward and the extent to which they value a reward.
locus of control
people's general expectancy about the extent to which the rewards they obtain are contingent on their own actions or on environmental factors. Two types of people on Rotter's Internal-External scale - "internals" believe more strongly that the outcomes of their actions are contingent on what they do; "externals" believe that the outcomes of their actions are contingent on environmental factors. For example, researchers suggested that people with external orientations might be in poorer shape because they believe that their health is outside their control - and therefore they take few actions to better their health.
Mischel's Cognitive-Affective Personality Theory
formulated by Walter Mischel; emphasizes that people actively participate in the cognitive organization of their interactions with the environment. Encodings - way you categorize information about yourself, other people, events, and situations. Expectancies and beliefs - your beliefs about the social world and likely outcomes for given actions in particular situations, about your ability to bring outcomes about. Affects - your feelings and emotions, including physiological responses. Goals and values - the outcomes and affective states you do and do not value; your goals and life projects. Competencies and self-regulatory plans - the behaviors you can accomplish and plans for generating cognitive and behavioral outcomes.
a concept of Albert Bandura's social-learning theory that refers to the notion that a complex reciprocal interaction exists among the individual, his or her behavior, and environmental stimuli and that each of these components affects the others. Through observational learning, people acquire an enormous range of information about their social environment, through observation you learn what is appropriate and gets rewarded and what gets punished or ignored. Because you can use memory and think about external events, you can foresee the possible consequences of your actions without having to actually experience them.
the set of beliefs that one can perform adequately in a particular situation. This sense influences your perceptions, motivation, and performance in many ways, you don't even try to do things or take chances when you expect to be ineffectual and you avoid situations when you don't feel adequate. Even when you do, in fact, have the ability - and the desire - you may not take the required action or persist to complete the task successfully, if you think you lack what it takes.
beyond actual accomplishments, there are three other sources of information: Vicarious Experience - your observations of the performance of others. Persuasion - others may convince you that you can do something, or you may convince yourself. Monitoring of your emotional arousal as you think about or approach a task - for example, anxiety suggests low expectations of efficacy; excitement suggests expectations of success. These judgments influence how much effort you expend and how long you persist when faced with difficulty in a wide range of life situations.
Bandura's theory of self-efficacy also acknowledges the importance of the environment. Expectations of failure or success - and corresponding decisions to stop trying or to persevere - may be based on perceptions of the supportiveness or unsupportiveness of the environment, in addition to perceptions of one's own adequacy or inadequacy. Behavioral outcomes depend both on people's perceptions of their own abilities and their perceptions of the environment.
a theory of personality that refers to the expertise people bring to their experience to life tasks. The theory defines three types of individual differences: choice of life goals - people differ as to which life goals or life tasks are most important to them. People's goals may also change over time. Knowledge relevant to social interactions - people differ with respect to the expertise they bring to tasks of social and personal problem solving. Strategies for implementing goals - people have different characteristic problem-solving strategies.
criticism of Freudian (psychodynamic) personality theory
criticisms: psychoanalytic concepts are vague and not operationally defined; thus much of the theory is difficult to evaluate scientifically. Also, it does not reliably predict what will occur; it is applied retrospectively - after the events have occurred. By overemphasizing historical origins of current behavior, the theory directs attention away from the current stimuli that may be inducing and maintaining behavior. It's a developmental theory, it minimizes traumatic experiences by reinterpreting memories of them as fantasies, and it has an androcentric bias (male model as the norm).
criticisms of humanistic personality theory
criticisms: critics have complained that the concepts are fuzzy and difficult to explore in research: "What exactly is self-actualization? Is it an inborn tendency, or is it created by the cultural context?" These theories also do not traditionally focus on the particular characteristics of individuals, by emphasizing the role of the self as a source of experience and action, psychologists neglect the important environmental variables that also influence behavior.
criticisms of social-learning and cognitive personality theory
criticisms: they often overlook emotion as an important component of personality. In these theories, emotions are perceived merely as by-products of thoughts and behavior or are just included with other types of thoughts rather than being assigned independent importance. Also, they are attacked for not fully recognizing the impact of unconscious motivation on behavior and affect. Their focus on the individual's perception of the current behavior setting obscures the individual's history.
William James identified three components of self-experience: the 'material me' (the bodily self, along with surrounding physical objects), the 'social me' (your awareness of how others view you), and the 'spiritual me' (the self that monitors private thoughts and feelings). James believed that everything you associate with your identity becomes, in some sense, a part of the ___.
a persons' mental model of his or her abilities and attributes; a dynamic mental structure that motivates, interprets, organizes, mediates, and regulates intrapersonal and interpersonal behaviors and processes. Includes many components: memories, beliefs about your traits, motives, values, and abilities; the ideal self that you would most like to become; the possible selves you contemplate enacting; evaluations of self and beliefs about what others think of you.
complex generalizations that allow you to organize information about yourself, just as other schemas allow you to manage other aspects of your experience. You frequently use these to interpret your own behavior, they also influence the way you process information about other people as well. Thus you interpret other people's actions in terms of what you know and believe about yourself.
defined by Hazel Markus; one of the ideal selves that a person would like to become, the selves a person could become, and the selves a person is afraid of becoming; components of the cognitive sense of self. These play a role in motivating behavior - they spur action by allowing you to consider what directions your "self" could take, for better or for worse.
a generalized evaluative attitude toward the self that influences both moods and behaviors and that exerts a powerful effect on a range of personal and social behaviors. People inherit a tendency toward a higher or lower. It strongly influences people's thoughts, moods, and behavior.
some people clearly experience low self-esteem, however, evidence suggests that most people go out of their way to maintain self-esteem and to sustain the integrity of their self-concept. To preserve their self-image, people engage in a variety of forms of this: people take steps to view their own actions and behaviors as consistently positive.
the process of developing, in anticipation of failure, behavioral reactions and explanations that minimize ability deficits as possible attributions for the failure. The purpose of this strategy is to have a ready-made excuse for failure that does not imply lack of ability. Much more prevalent in men than women.
independent construals of self
conceptualization of the self as an individual whose behavior is organized primarily by reference to one's own thoughts, feelings, and actions, rather than by reference to the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others.
interdependent construals of self
conceptualization of the self as part of an encompassing social relationship; recognizing that one's behavior is determined, contingent on, and to a large extent organized by what the actor perceived to be the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others.
heredity vs. environment
comparing personality theories; what is more important to personality development: genetic and biological factors or environmental influences. Freudian theory depends heavily on heredity; humanistic, social-learning, cognitive, and self theories all emphasize either environment as a determinant of behavior or interaction with the environment as a source of personality development and differences.
learning processes vs. innate laws of behavior
comparing personality theories; should emphasis be placed on the view that personalities are modified through learning or on the view that personality development follows an internal timetable? Freudian theory has favored the inner determinant view, whereas humanists postulate an optimistic view that experience changes people. Social-learning, cognitive, and self theories clearly support the idea that behavior and personality change as a result of learned experiences.
emphasis on past, present, or future
comparing personality theories; trait theories emphasize past causes, whether innate or learned; Freudian theory stresses past events in early childhood; social-learning theories focus on past reinforcements and present contingencies; humanistic theories emphasize present reality or future goals; and cognitive and self theories emphasize past and present.
consciousness vs. unconsciousness
comparing personality theories; Freudian theory emphasizes unconscious processes; humanistic, social-learning, and cognitive theories emphasize conscious processes. Trait theories pay little attention to this distinction; self theories are unclear on this score.
inner disposition vs. outer situation
comparing personality theories; social-learning theories emphasize situational factors; traits play up dispositional factors; and the others allow for an interaction between person-based and situation-based variables.
a self-report questionnaire used for personality assessment that includes a series of items about personal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The most frequently used version is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI. It is used in many clinical settings to aid in the diagnosis of patients and to guide their treatment.
a self-report personality inventory consisting of 550 items that describe feelings or actions which the person is asked to agree with or disagree with. Utilizes an empirical strategy as opposed to an intuitive, theoretical approach. Thus items were not selected on a theoretical basis (what the content seemed to mean to the experts) but on an empirical basis (did they distinguish between the two groups?).
A personality test that measures the Big Five personality traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Much research has demonstrated that these dimensions are homogenous, highly reliable, and show good criterion and construct validity.
a method of personality assessment in which an individual is presented with a standardized set of ambiguous, abstract stimuli and asked to interpret their meanings; the individual's responses are assumed to reveal inner feelings, motives, and conflicts. The person may be asked to describe patterns, finish pictures, or tell stories about drawings. Personal, idiosyncratic aspects, are projected onto the ambiguous stimuli, and permit the personality assessor to make various interpretations.
a projective tests using bilaterally symmetrical inkblots. The responses are scored on three major features: (1) the location, or part of the card mentioned in the response - whether the respondent refers to the whole stimulus or to part of it and the size of the details mentioned; (2) the content of the response - the nature of the objects and activities see; and (3) the determinants - which aspects of the card prompted the response.
Thematic Apperception Test
a projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes. The person administering this test evaluates the structure and content of the stories as well as the behavior of the individual telling them, in an attempt to discover some of the respondent's major concerns, motivations, and personality characteristics.
disruptions in emotional, behavioral, or thought processes that lead to personal distress or block one's ability to achieve goals.
the area of psychological investigation concerned with understanding the nature of individual pathologies of mind, mood, and behavior.
aspects of abnormality
behavior includes: (1) distress/disability; (2) maladaptiveness; (3) irrationality; (4) unpredictability; (5) unconventionality/statistical rarity; (6) observer discomfort; (7) violation of moral/ideal standards.
the label given to psychological abnormality by classifying and categorizing the observed behavior pattern into an approved diagnostic system. Should provide the following three benefits: (1) common shorthand language, (2) understanding of causality, and a (3) treatment plan.
the current diagnostic and statistical manual of the American Psychological Association that classifies, defines, and describes over 200 mental disorders.
Axis I - Clinical disorders
axis of the DSM-IV-TR; these mental disorders present symptoms or patterns of behavioral or psychological problems that typically are painful or impair an area of functioning. Included are disorders that emerge in infancy, childhood, or adolescence.
Axis II - Personality disorders and Mental retardation
axis of the DSM-IV-TR; these are dysfunctional patterns of perceiving and responding to the world.
Axis III - General medical conditions
axis of the DSM-IV-TR; this axis codes physical problems relevant to understanding or treating an individual's psychological disorders on Axes I and II.
Axis IV - Psychosocial and environmental problems
axis of the DSM-IV-TR; this axis codes psychosocial and environmental stressors that may affect the diagnosis and treatment of an individual's disorder and the likelihood of recovery.
Axis V - Global assessment of functioning
axis of the DSM-IV-TR; this axis codes the individual's overall level of current functioning in the psychological, social, and occupational domains.
the experience of more than one disorder at the same time. The NCS found that 45% of the people who had experienced one disorder in a 12-month period had actually experienced two or more.
mental disorder in which a person does not have signs of brain abnormalities and does not display grossly irrational thinking or violate basic norms but does experience subjective distress or a pattern of self-defeating or inadequate coping strategies; a category dropped from DSM-III.
severe mental disorder in which a person experiences impairments in reality testing manifested through thought, emotional, or perceptual difficulties; no longer used as diagnostic category after DSM-III.
the legal (not clinical) designation for the state of an individual judged to be legally irresponsible or incompetent.
the causes of, or factor related to, development of a mental disorder. Knowing why the disorder occurs, what its origins are, and how it affects thought and emotional and behavioral processes may lead to new ways of treating and, ideally, preventing it.
approach to disorders; biological researchers and clinicians most often investigate structural abnormalities in the brain, biochemical processes, and genetic influences. Subtle alterations in the brain's chemical messengers - the neurotransmitters - or in its tissue can have significant effects. Genetic factors, brain injury, and infection are a few of the causes of these alterations. Modern brain-imaging techniques allow for professionals to view the structure of the brain and specific biochemical processes in living individuals without surgeryt.
approach to disorders; Freud believed that many psychological disorders were simply an extension of "normal" processes of psychic conflict and ego defense that all people experience; early childhood experiences shape both normal and abnormal behavior. Symptoms of psychopathology have their roots in unconscious conflict and thoughts. If the unconscious is conflicted and tension filled, a person will be plagued by anxiety and other disorders.
approach to disorders; these theorists argue that abnormal behaviors are acquired in the same fashion as healthy behaviors - through learning and reinforcement. Focus on current behavior and the current conditions or reinforcements that sustain the behavior, disorders arise because because an individual has learned self-defeating behaviors or ineffective ways of behaving. By discovering the environmental contingencies that maintain any undesirable, abnormal behavior, an investigator or clinician can then recommend treatment to change those contingencies and extinguish the unwanted behavior.
approach to disorders; suggests that the origins of psychological disorders cannot always be found in the objective reality of stimulus environments, reinforcers, and overt responses. What matters as well is the way people perceive or think about themselves and about their relations with other people and the environment. Among the cognitive variables that can guide - or misguide - over important reinforcers, a person's beliefs in his or her abilities to cope with threatening events, and interpretations of events in terms of situational or personal factors.
approach to disorders; emphasize the role culture plays in both the diagnosis and etiology of abnormal behavior. With respect to etiology, particular cultural circumstances in which people live may define an environment that helps bring about distinctive types or subtypes of psychopathology.
mental disorder marked by psychological arousal, feeling of tension, and intense apprehension without apparent reason.
generalized anxiety disorder
an anxiety disorder in which an individual feels anxious and worried most of the time for at least six months when not threatened by any specific danger or object. The anxiety is often focused on specific life circumstances, such as unrealistic concerns about finances or the well being of a loved one. The patient must suffer from at least three symptoms: such as muscle tension, fatigue, restlessness, poor concentration, irritability, or sleep difficulties. Among US citizens, 5.7% have experienced this disorder.
an anxiety disorder in which sufferers experience unexpected, severe panic attack that begin with a feeling of intense apprehension, fear, or terror. Accompanying these feelings are physical symptoms of anxiety, including autonomic hyperactivity (such as rapid heart rate), dizziness, faintness, or sensations of choking or smothering. About 4.7% of US adults have experienced this disorder.
an extreme fear of being in public places or open spaces from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing. Individuals with this usually fear such places as crowded rooms, malls, and buses.
a rational reaction to an objectively identified external danger that may induce a person to flee or attack in self-defense.
a persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that is excessive and unreasonable, given the reality of the threat. These can interfere with judgment, cause significant distress, and inhibit necessary action toward goals.
a persistent, irrational fear that arises in anticipation of a public situation in which an individual can be observed by others. These people fear that they will act in ways that could be embarrassing. A person may be so fearful of the scrutiny and rejection of others that enough anxiety is created to actually impair performance.
phobia that occurs in response to a specific type of object or situation. There are animal types, natural environment types, blood-injection-injury types, and situational types. About 12.5% of adults in the US have experienced this type of phobia.
a mental disorder characterized by obsessions - recurrent thoughts, images, or impulses that recur or persist despite efforts to suppress them - and compulsions - repetitive, purposeful acts performed according to certain rules or in ritualized manner. 'Obsessions' are experienced as unwanted invasions of consciousness, they seem to be senseless or repugnant, and they are unacceptable to the person experiencing them. 'Compulsions' are repetitive, purposeful acts performed according to certain rules or in a ritualized manner in response to an obsession. It's performed to reduce or prevent the discomfort associated with some dreaded situation, but it is either unreasonable or clearly excessive.
part of the biological approach to explain the causes of anxiety disorders. The notion that we have an innate tendency, acquired through natural selection, to respond quickly and automatically to stimuli that posed a survival threat to our ancestors.
a mood disturbance such as severe depression or depression alternating with mania. Research estimates that 20.8% of adults have suffered from mood disorders.
major depressive disorder
a mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of depression over an extended time, without the manic high phase of bipolar depression. Takes an enormous toll on those afflicted, on their families, and on society. Characteristics of the disorder: dysphoric (dejected) mood, appetite (extreme gain or loss), sleep (insomnia or hypersomnia), slowed motor activity, extreme guilt, loss of concentration, suicide.
a mood disorder characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania. A person experiencing a 'manic episode' generally acts and feels unsually elated and expansive, during this a person often experiences an inflated sense of self-esteem or an unrealistic belief that he or she possesses special abilities or powers. When the mania begins to diminish, people are left trying to deal with the damage and predicaments they created in their frenzy, manic episodes almost always give way to periods of severe depression.
a general pattern of nonresponding in the presence of noxious stimuli that often follows after an organism has previously experienced noncontingent, inescapable aversive stimuli.
a chronic, inflexible, maladaptive pattern of perceiving, thinking, and behaving that seriously impairs an individual's ability to function in social or other settings. They are usually recognizable by the time a person reaches adolescence or early adulthood.
borderline personality disorder
a disorder defined by instability and intensity in personal relationships as well as turbulent emotions and impulsive behaviors.
antisocial personality disorder
a disorder characterized by stable patterns of irresponsible or unlawful behavior that violates social norms; lying, stealing, and fighting are common behaviors. People with antisocial personality disorder often do not experience shame or remorse for their hurtful actions.
a disorder in which people have physical illnesses or complaints that cannot be fully explained by actual medical conditions.
a disorder in which individuals are preoccupied with having or getting physical ailments despite reassurances that they are healthy.
a disorder characterized by unexplained physical complaints in several categories over many years. Individuals must have experienced four pain symptoms, two gastrointestinal symptoms, one sexual symptom, and one neurological symptom.
a disorder in which psychological conflict or stress brings about loss of motor or sensory function. For example, individuals may experience paralysis or blindness without a medical cause.
a personality disorder marked by a disturbance in the integration of identity, memory, or consciousness. Psychologists believe that, in dissociated states, individuals escape from their conflicts by giving up this precious consistency and continuity of self - in a sense, disowning part of themselves.
the inability to remember important personal experiences, caused by psychological factors in the absence of any organic dysfunction.
dissociative identity disorder (DID)
a dissociative mental disorder which two or more distinct personalities exist within the same individual; formerly known as multiple personality disorder. At any particular time, one of these personalities is dominant in directing the individual's behavior.
severe form of psychopathology characterized by the breakdown of integrated personality functioning, withdrawal from reality, emotional distortions, and disturbed thought processes. In the world of this disorder, thinking becomes illogical; associations among ideas are remote or without apparent pattern, hallucinations often occur, a person may hear a voice that provides a running commentary on his or her behavior.
false or irrational belief maintained despite clear evidence to the contrary. Common among schizophrenics; language can become incoherent, emotions may be flat or inappropriate, psychomotor behavior may be disorganized.
major type of schizophrenia; a person displays incoherent patterns of thinking and grossly bizarre and disorganized behavior. Emotions are flattened or inappropriate to the situation. Silly behavior, language full of unusual words and incomplete thoughts, delusions and hallucinations can occur.
major type of schizophrenia; disruption in motor activity, some of these people seem frozen in a stupor. Show either little to no reaction to the environment or at other times, these patients show excessive motor activity, without purpose and not influenced by external stimuli. Also characterized by negativism, an apparently unmotivated resistance to all instructions.
major type of schizophrenia; experience complex and systematized delusions focused around specific themes: delusions of persecution, delusions of grandeur, delusional jealousy.
major type of schizophrenia; described a person who exhibits prominent delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech, or grossly disorganized behavior. Grab-bag of symptoms.
major type of schizophrenia; individuals who have suffered from a major past episode of schizophrenia but are currently free of major positive symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. The ongoing presence of the disorder is signaled by minor symptoms such as flat emotion.
a hypothesis about the cause of certain disorders, such as schizophrenia, that suggests that genetic factors predispose an individual to a certain disorder but that environmental stress factors must impinge in order for the potential risk to manifest itself.
ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder)
a disorder of childhood characterized by inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.
a developmental disorder characterized by severe disruption of children's ability to form social bonds and use language.
the branch of psychology that studies the effect of social variables on individual behavior, attitudes, perceptions, and motives; also studies group and intergroup phenomena. Defined broadly, the social context includes the real, imagined, or symbolic presence of other people; the features of the settings in which behavior occurs; and the expectations and norms that govern behavior in a given setting.
the process by which people select, interpret, and remember social information.
the process by which a person comes to know or perceive the personal attributes and categorize the behavior of others.
a social-cognitive approach to describing the ways the social perceiver uses information to generate causal explanations. Frizt Heider believed that the questions that dominate most attributional analyses are whether the cause of a behavior is found in the person (internal or dispositional causality) or the situation (external or situational causality) and who is responsible for the outcomes.
a theory that suggests that people attribute a behavior to a causal factor if that factor was present whenever the behavior occurred but was absent whenever it didn't occur. Harold Kelley suggested that people make this judgment based on three dimensions: distinctiveness, consistency, and consensus.
fundamental attributional error
the dual tendency of observers to underestimate the impact of situational factors and to overestimate the influence of dispositional factors on a person's behavior.
an attributional bias in which people tend to take credit for their successes and deny responsibility for their failures. In many situations, people tend to make dispositional attributions for success and situational attributions for failure.
a prediction made about some future behavior or event that modifies interactions so as to produce what is expected.
a socially defined pattern of behavior that is expected of a person who is functioning in a given setting or group. The Stanford Prison Experiment created a new "social reality" in which norms of good behavior were overwhelmed by the dynamics of the situation.
behavioral guideline for acting in a certain way in a certain situation. Some are explicitly stated - stated in signs or explicitly taught to children. And others are implicit - they are learned through transactions with others in particular settings.
the expectation a group has for its member regarding acceptable and appropriate attitudes and behaviors. These regulate desired behavior in the group setting. This adjustment occurs in two ways: you notice the uniformities in certain behaviors of all or most members, and you observe the negative consequences when someone violates a social norm.
the tendency for people to adopt the behaviors, attitudes, and values of other members of a reference group. There are two types of forces that may lead to conformity: normative influence - group affects that arise from individuals' desire to be liked, accepted, and approved of by others. And informational influence - group affects that arise from individuals' desire to be correct and right and to understand how best to act in a given situation.
the convergence of the expectations of a group of individuals into a common perspective as they talk and carry out activities together; once norms are established in a group, they tend to perpetuate themselves.
the tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the decisions that would be made by the other members acting alone. Two types of processes underlie this: the information-influence model and the social comparison model.
the tendency of a decision-making group to filter out undesirable input so that a consensus may be reached, especially if it is in line with the leader's viewpoint.
the learned, relatively stable tendency to respond to people, concepts, and events in an evaluative way. Important because they influence your behavior and how you construct social reality. Three types of information give rise to these: cognitive, affective, and behavioral.
deliberate efforts to change attitudes.
elaboration likelihood model
a theory of persuasion that defines how likely it is that people will focus their cognitive processes to elaborate upon a message and therefore follow the central and peripheral routes to persuasion. The central route represents circumstances in which people think carefully about a persuasive communication so that attitude change depends on the strength of the arguments. The peripheral route represents circumstances in which people do not focus critically on the message but respond to superficial cues in the situation.
the theory that the tension-producing effects of incongruous cognitions motivate individuals to reduce such tension.
the idea that people observe themselves to figure out the reasons they act as they do; people infer what their internal states are by perceiving how they are acting in a given situation. You answer a question concerning your personal preferences by a behavioral description of relevant actions and situational factors.
a change in behavior consistent with a communication source's direct requests. Most often what people want you to do is change your behavior, not just your outlook or perception.
expectation that favors will be returned - if someone does something for another person, that person should do something in return.
a learned attitude toward a target object, involving negative affect (dislike or fear), negative beliefs (stereotypes) that justify the attitude, and a behavioral intention to avoid, control, dominate, or eliminate the target object.
the process by which people organize the social environment by categorizing themselves and others into groups. People divide the world into 'in-groups' - the groups with which people identify as members, and 'out-groups' - the groups with which people do not identify.
people's tendency to favor members of their own group over members of other groups.
generalization about a group of people in which the same characteristics are assigned to all members of a group.
the prediction that contact between groups will reduce prejudice only if the contact includes features such as cooperation toward shared goals.
people's conceptualizations of this cluster into three dimensions: passion, intimacy, and commitment.
behaviors that cause psychological or physical harm to another individual.
behavior that is carried out with the goal of helping other people.
prosocial behaviors a person carries out without considering his or her own safety or interests.
aggression produced in reaction to situations and is emotion driven: people respond with aggressive acts in the heat of the moment.
cognition-based and goal-directed aggression carried out with premeditated thought, to achieve specific aims.
according to this hypothesis, frustration occurs in situations in which people are prevented or blocked from attaining their goals; a rise in frustration then leads to a greater probability of aggression.
the idea that people perform altruistic behaviors because they expect that others will perform altruistic behaviors for them in turn.
willingness to assist a person in need of help.
diffusion of responsibility
in emergency situations, the larger the number of bystanders, the less responsibility any one of the bystanders feels to help.