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

free association

in psychoanalysis, a method of looking at the unconscious where a person relaxes and speaks their mind, no matter how embarrassing


Freud's theory of personality, attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts. (Basic idea is that what we think and how we act is based on our unconscious mind and our childhood experiences)


part of mind unaware of, made up of unacceptable thoughts, feelings, wishes, and memories.


right below the conscious, there isn't complete control but still accessible. outside awareness


unconscious psychic energy. strives to satisfy basic drives to survive, reproduce, and aggress. operates on pleasure principle which demands immediate gratification. not much control over this.


operates on reality principle, seeks to gratify id's impulses in realistic ways. mostly conscious awareness and judgement and memory


begins around age 4 or 5, voice of conscious that forces ego to consider not only the real but ideal viewpoints


process in which children incorporate their parents values to create their superego

erogenous zones

pleasure sensitive areas of the body

defense mechanisms

in psychoanalytic theory, a way the ego protects itself against anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality


defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts that are thought to be unacceptable in society. (unconscious forgetting) ex. forgetting about a test even if you have known about it for months


defense mechanism that allows us to retreat to an earlier more infintile stage of development, first day of school kids will start sucking their thumbs again even if they havent done that in years

reaction formation

defense mechanism where the ego unconsciously makes unacceptable impulses seem like their opposites. a boy will react to their strong sexual attraction to women by becoming a woman hater.


defense mechanism where impulses are disguised by putting the thought onto another thought. someone who critizes people for gossiping is actually a huge gossip themself


defense mechanism where we unconsciously give a self-justifying explanation for actions to hide the real reason. so tell yourself there is a more acceptable reason for something so you don't realize how bad the thought is. a parent who sees there child stab animals will tell themself the kid is going to be a doctor so it is ok they are stabbing animals


defense mechanism that puts a sexual or aggressive impulse onto another object or person. example would be slamming the door when mad at your mom, kicking your dog when your friend and you got into a fight


defense mechanism where you channel your aggressive feelings onto a different activity. example someone who fights in school will excel at soccer in high school

collective unconscious

theory developed by Carl Jung, idea that people from the same culture or group will have the same unconscious thoughts, and these thoughts and values can be passed down.

projective tests

a personality test, example inkblot test or TAT, gives stimuli that gets a person to give feelings from their unconscious

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

A projective test where a person is shown a picture then tells a story about the picture, the things they say in the picture give insight on what they feel in their unconscious.

Rorschach Test

most used projective test, where a person is shown a set of 10 inkblots, identifys peoples inner feelings by analyzing what they say about the inkblots.

terror-management theory

faith in one's worldview and the pursuit of self esteem provides protection against deeply rooted fear of death. terror resulting from our awareness of vulnerability and death and how we deal with it


we have our set schemas and ideas for what a man, woman, etc. are so its a way to individuate from our norms and normal schema


characteristics of behavior, a way we feel and act, assessed by self report inventories and peer reports

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

a test that asks about a persons values, then gives strength so everyone gets flattered,

factor analysis

procedure that identifies groups of related items on a test

the "Big Five" factors

CANOE, (conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, extraversion)

personality inventories

long questionare where people respond to items that ask about a wide range of feelings and behaviors, designed to assess several traits at once

MMPI (minnesota multiphasic personality inventory )

most widely researched and clinically used personality test. originally developed to identify emotional disorders, assess abnormal personality tendencies, rather than normal traits

empirically derived

a test developed by testing a large pool of items then selecting the ones that discriminate between groups

person-situation controversy

look for genuine personality traits that occur over time and across different scenarios.

self actualization

on maslows hierarchy of needs, it is the top that a person tries to reach throughout their life, when every one of your physical and physiological needs are met, complete fulfillment of ones potential

peak experiences

in the moment feels life fulfilling, example graduating, or bat mitzvah, or winning a game. not real self actualization just temporarily fulfilling

unconditional positive regard

idea created by Carl Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person. seeing the good in everyone, if you do bad on a test, its still very good that you put forth effort. very humanistic

self concept

our thoughts and feelings about ourself, answers "who am i"

self esteem

ones feelings of high or low self worth

self-serving bias

our readiness to perceive ourself favorably, so be able to tell ourself we are good

spotlight effect

overestimating others' noticing and evaluating our appearance. when we feel the attention is always on us and everyone is judging


give priority to one's own goals over others


giving priority to goals of the group over goals of self

reciprocal determinism

the effect environment has on behavior and cognition(thoughts) created by Bandura

personal control

our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling helpless

external locus of control

believe outside has control "the man"

internal locus of control

believe you have control over what you do

learned helplessness

the hopelessness someone learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events. example dog with electric shock floor, one without the button gives up and thinks cant jump over...or word scramble give up when first 2 dont make sense

positive psychology

type of psych that helps people see the optomistic good side to things. humanistic, similar to unconditional positive regard

Alfred Adler

Psychologist who agreed with Freud that childhood experiences were important in shaping personality, but focused on the social factor not sex.

Karen Horney

Psychologist who agreed with Alfred Adler, also countered the bias of masculine views to psychology

Carl Jung

Psychologist that was the student of Freud, placed much more emphasis on social factor, believed in the collective unconscious

Abraham Maslow

Psychologist who developed hierarchy of needs, used to show personality because personality develops as a person moves through the pyramid

Carl Rogers

Psychologist who believed in humanistic views, developed theory of unconditional positive regard


making up for failures in one area by success in others

basic anxiety

feeling of being alone in an unfamiliar or hostile world


make person presents to the outside world


deep, passionate, inner person (including the dark side)

anima and animus

female and male side to our personality

personal unconsciousness

comprised of memories and clusters of thought

collective unconscious

behavior and memory common to all humans and passed down from our ancient and common ancestors


behaviors and memories in the collective unconscious

inferiority complex

failure to contribute to society may result to this complex

conditions of worth

other people's evaluations of our worth that distort our self-concept


discrepancies between our self-concept and our actual thoughts and behavior, as well as feedback

explanatory styles

ways in which people explain themselves or react in different situations, can be positive or negative

Julian Rotter

proposed extent to which people take responsibility of their successes or failures plays a major role in personality (locus of control theory)

Big Five personality traits

introversion-extroversion, neuroticism-stability, agreeableness-antagonism, conscientiousness-indirectedness, and openness-nonopenness

2 ways of researching traits

nomothetic (Big 5 traits are universal)
Idiographic (traits unique to individual)

Gordon Allport

found 3 types of traits
cardinal (traits override person's hole being)
central (primary characteristics)
secondary (traits that constitute interests)

Raymond Cattel

said there were 16 source traits (underlying characteristics) which were under surface traits (those seen by everyone)

Walter Mischel

traits are not necessarily consistent across various situations

Eysenck Personality Inventory

questionnaire designed to examine personalities based on people's traits

16 Personality Factor Quiz

made by Raymond Cattel which uses his 16 traits as measures


(Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, 2nd ed) measures everything from traits to mental disorders

ME is comprised of

-physical self: body, name
-active self: our behavior
-social self: how we interact with others
psychological self: our feelings and personalities

I is responsible for

our self-perception, free will, and reflection

halo effect

error by which we generalize a high self-evaluation from one domain to another

11 domains of competency

seen in adulthood:
morality, sociability, intimacy, athleticism, intelligence, humor, nurturance, job competence, ability to provide, appearance, managing your house

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