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44 terms

Personality Unit 10

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personality
an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting
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
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
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
id
a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. The id operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification.
ego
the largely conscious, "executive" part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id's desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain
superego
the part of personality that, according to Freud, represents internalized ideals and provides standards for judgement (the conscience) and for future aspirations
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
Oedipus complex
according to Freud, a boy's sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father
identification
the process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate their parents' values into their developing superegos
fixation
according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which conflicts were unresolved
defense mechanisms
in psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality
repression
in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness
regression
psychoanalytic defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated
reaction formation
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which the ego consciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites, Thus, people may express feelings that are the opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings
projection
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others
rationalization
psychoanalytic defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one's actions
displacement
psychoanalytic defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses towards a more acceptable or less threatening object or person, as when redirecting anger towards a safer outlet
sublimation
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people re-channel their unacceptable impulses into socially approved activities
denial
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people refuse to believe or even to perceive painful realities
collective unconscious
Carl Jung's concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history
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
Rorschach inkblot test
the most widely used projective test, a set of 10 inkblots, designed by Hermann Rorschach; seeking to identify people's inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots
terror-management theory
a theory of death-related anxiety; explores people's emotional and behavioral responses to reminders of their impending death
self-actualization
according to Maslow, one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one's potential
unconditional positive regard
according to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person
self-concept
all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question "Who am I?"
trait
a characteristic pattern of behavior or 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
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), this test is now used for many other screening purposes
empirically derived test
a test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups
social-cognitive perspective
views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people's traits (including their thinking) and their social context
reciprocal determinism
the interacting influences of behavior, internal cognition, and environment
personal control
the extent to which people perceive control over their environment rather than feeling helpless
external locus of control
the perception that chance or outside forces beyond your personal control determine your fate
internal locus of control
the perception that you control your own 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
in contemporary psychology, assumed to be the center of personality, the organizer of our thoughts, feelings, and actions
spotlight effect
overestimating others' noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders (as if we presume a spotlight shines on us
self-esteem
one's feelings of high or low self-worth
self-serving bias
a readiness to perceive oneself favorably
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