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Chapter 13 - Personality

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Personality
an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting
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
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
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
one of three interacting system of the mind that contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. 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 judgment (the conscience) and for future aspirations
Psychosexual stages
the childhood stages of development 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
Electra complex
the parallel experience to the Oedipus complex for girls
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
the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality
Repression
the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness
Regression
defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated
Reaction formation
defense mechanism by which the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites. Thus, people may express feelings that are opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings
Projection
defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others
Rationalization
defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one's actions
Displacement
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
Denial
defense mechanism by which people refuse to believe or even to perceive painful realities
Collective unconscious
Carl Jung's concept of a shard, 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; seeks 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
Self-transcendence
meaning, purpose, and communion beyond the self
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?"
Traits
a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports
Factor analysis
the statistical procedure used to identify clusters of test items that tap basic components of intelligence
Personality inventory
a questionnaire 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
the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed to identify emotional disorders, 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
Learned helplessness
the hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events
Self
in contemporary psychology, assumed to be the center or personality, the organizer of our thoughts, feelings, and actions
Spotlight effect
overestimating others' noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders
Self-esteem
one's feelings of high or low self-worth
Self-serving bias
a readiness to perceive oneself favorably
Barnum effect
the acceptance of stock, positive descriptions
Psychoanalytic perspective
Freud's perspective about personality that dealt with id, ego, and superego. Focused on the unconscious and the past (especially childhood) rather than present/future and conscious feelings. Believed that there were five psychosexual developmental stages (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) that formed a person's personality in their early years. These psychosexual stages had the id's pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct pleasure-sensitive areas of the body (erogenous zones).
Adler and Horney
agreed with Freud that childhood was important, but that social tensions develop personality, not sexual tensions. Adler believed in the inferiority complex and Horney thought that childhood anxieties triggered our desire for love and security.
Carl Jung
Freud's disciple-turned-dissenter that placed less emphasis on social factors and more on the unconscious. However, he believed that we have the collective unconscious, which is a common reservoir of images derived from our species' universal experiences, explaining why for some people spiritual concerns are deeply rooted, and why certain symbols are shared across cultures
Humanistic perspective
the personality perspective that focused more on the ways people strive for self-determination and self-realization, studying people through self-reported experiences and feelings
Maslow
proposed that we're motivated by a hierarchy of needs, which is completed by self-actualization and self-transcendence
Rogers
proposed that people are basically good and are endowed with self-actualizing tendencies that can grow in an environment that has genuineness, acceptance, and empathy. He believed in unconditional positive regard, an attitude of grace that values us even knowing our failings
Trait perspective
a perspective developed mostly by Allport, who thought that personality emerged from a few underlying traits.
Social-cognitive perspective
Bandura's proposed perspective that emphasizes the interactions of our traits (cognitive) with our environment (social). An aspect of this perspective are reciprocal determinism.
Big Five
conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, extraversion
Defensive self-esteem
fragile and egotistic
Secure self-esteem
less fragile and less dependent on external evaluation