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AP Psychology terminology for personality


individual's unique patterns of thought, feelings, and behavior that persist over time; unique, stable, enduring

psychodynamic theories

theories that behavior results from the psychological forces that interact within the individual, often outside conscious awareness; linked by Freud


prominent in Freudian theory; ideas, thoughts, feelings of which we are not aware normally; basis of psychoanalysis


Freud's theory of personality and form of therapy; based on bringing the conscious unconscious; uses techniques such as free association, dream interpretation, and transference


Freudian; unconscious urges and desires; selfish needs; operates on pleasure principle-any means to satisfy need; which fulfillment-mental object/situation to relieve the feeling


Freudian idea that energy is from sexual instinct; Jungian idea that energy is everything


Freudian; partial or complete halt at one of the psychosexual stages of development; when individual fails to complete the psychosexual task successfully; can be expressed as personality traits

oral stage

Freud, psychosexual stage of development; age: 0-18 months; focus: oral cavity; task: transition from bottle/breast to solid food; conflict: id derives pleasure from sucking/excepting into mouth; if child fails to complete tasks, (s)he becomes fixated; fixations-underindulged oral-suspicious, sarcastic, pessimistic, trust issues; overindulged oral-clingy, optimistic, gullible, needy

anal stage

Freud, psychosexual stage of development; age: 18 months-3 years; focus: anus-retention/expulsion of species; task: to successfully learned toilet training; conflict: id derives pleasure from retention/expulsion, whereas ego and superego represents society the practical/societal pressures to control bodily functions; if child fails to complete the task,(s)he becomes fixated; fixations-anal expulsion-messy, disorganized, reckless, careless, defiant; anal-retentive-neat, precise, orderly, stingy, obstinate, meticulous, passive-aggressive

phallic stage

Freud, psychosexual stage of development; age: 3-6 years; focus: genitals; task: Explorer genital region, develop a relationship with parents, especially same gender parent; conflict: Oedipus/Electra complex-child competes with same-sex parents were opposite sex parent's attention; fixations-male-Castration Anxiety-because father possesses mother and therefore has power, dad "castrates" sign (removes power), must prove self, dominant, marries mother figure; female-penis envy-according to Freud penis equals power, submissive, dates older men


Jung; thought forms or collective memories passed down from generation to generation and stored in the collective unconscious; ancient/archaic images derived from the collective unconscious; examples-mother Earth, father Time, hero, wise old man, trickster, the Joker


Jung; our public self; the mask we wear to project that part of our personality outward towards others


Jung; female archetype as expressed in a man; masculine side of a woman; originates in the collective unconscious; comes from women's experiences with men which create the concept of men, appears in dreams, visions, fantasies


Jung; male archetype as expressed in a woman; feminine side of man; originates in the collective unconscious; comes from men's experiences with women which combine into the concept of women; shows as an image of feelings/mood


aspect used in MBTI; Jung; one of two general attitude types; taken at the interest in the world and events around them, turn attention toward external world; energy is gained from outside or external sources; everyone contains both, one is dominant (extro-, introvert)


powerful motivating force; individuals reaction to real/imagine dangers; Freud says anxiety emerges from sexual conflicts; Horney says that comes because children depend on adults for survival, one defenses are threatened anxiety occurs

humanistic personality theory

normally associated with Maslow and Rogers; any personality theory that emphasizes that people are positively motivated and progress towards higher levels of functioning (more to human existence than dealing with hidden conflicts); stresses people to potential for growth and change as people experience life

personality traits

dimensions or characteristics that account for personality differences; examples-dependency, anxiety, sociability; Allport created a list of thousands

factor analysis

Cattell (1965); statistical technique; find that 200 traits tend to cluster in groups (traits are from Allport's/Odbert's lists)

cognitive-social learning theory

behavior is a product of the interaction of cognitive (thinking), learning, and past experiences; unique to each person

16 personality factor questionnaire

Cattell; personality boils down to 16 basic dimensions of personality; questionnaire used in universities and businesses for personnel selection and research

locus of control

Rotter; cognitive strategies; used to evaluate situations, reinforcement comes in two ways: internal-you control your fate, external-chance & fate, behavior of others determine destiny


Bandura; cognitive social learning theory; expectancy that one's efforts will be successful

objective tests

personality test that is administered and scored in a standard way; personality inventory; yes/no are typical answers; most widely used; drawbacks-self-report, familiarity with other tests may affect individuals answers; examples-16 PF, and MBTI, MMPI(2), and NEO-PI-r

neurotic trends

Horney; neuroses = anxiety; 3 strategies for coping with neuroses created by unmet needs: a) moving towards people-submission-given in, having a dominant partner; be) moving against people-aggression-anger, violence, altercation; see) moving away from people-detachment-withdrawal, isolation

pleasure principle

Freud; id process by which the id seeks immediate gratification by any means necessary to receive pleasure and avoid pain; done in two ways-which fulfillment (day dream/dreams), ego processes


Freud; part of the personality that mediates between the selfishness of the id and the conscientiousness of the superego; uses the reality principle to satisfy id without harming superego's ideals; "self"

reality principle

Freud; ego process; means by which the ego satisfies the id without compromising the value/morals are the superego

super ego

Freud; "moral watchdog"; governs behavior by reality and morality, often taught by parents, church and/or community; standards develop through interaction; conscience; ego ideal

ego ideal

Freud; ideal of perfection; part of the superego that consists of the standards of what you would like to be

Oedipus/Electra complex

Freud, conflict of psychosexual stages; phallic stage, ages 3-6; consists of a transition in the phallic stage; child competes the same-sex parent were opposite gender parent's attention; can manifest in later personality-male: castration anxiety, dominant, tries to prove self, marries "mom"; female: penis envy, submissive, dates older men (like dad)

Latency period

Freud, psychosexual stage of development; age: 6-12; sexual drive lies dormant, focuses on social nature and development of friendships, seen as period of repression (as sexual drives), all libido energy is poured into school and sports

genital stage

Freud, psychosexual stage of development; age: 12+; focus: genitals; task: intimate and sexual relationships; conflict: if fixated in previous stages, it may reappear

personal unconscious

Jung; one of two levels; contains individuals repressed thoughts, forgotten experiences, and undeveloped ideas; can be triggered; similar to Freud's unconscious and preconscious

collective unconscious

Jung; memories/behavior patterns inherited from past generations; shared by all humans; deep roots in the ancestral past an entire species; manifest as archetypes, myths, and legends


aspect used in MBTI; Jung; one of two general attitude types; caught up in personal world, unsociable, lack confidence in dealing with people; energy is gained from within self, long exposure to people is draining; one is dominant (extro-, introvert)

rational individuals

Jung; further division of people who regulate actions by thinking and feeling; aspect used in MBTI

irrational individuals

Jung; further division of people who base actions on perceptions, includes senses/sensation or unconscious/intuition; aspect used in MBTI


Adler; a person's effort to overcome imagined or real personal weakness: inferiority complex or superiority complex

inferiority complex

Adler; fixation on feelings of personal inferiority that result in emotional and social paralysis

conditional positive regard

Rogers; experience that love, acceptance, respect, and warmth, with the condition (or price tag); example: mommy doesn't love girls who do..., if you love me then..., that's nice but wouldn't you rather...

big five

type of trait theory; five basic traits: extroversion (where you draw energy from), conscientiousness (dependability), agree ability (how you get along with others), emotional stability (self-explanatory), openness (culture, new experiences)

actualizing tendency

Rogers; drive of individual to reach the biological potential or blueprint; capability of what someone can the calm

self-actualizing tendency

Rogers; drive of an individual to achieve his/her self-concept or self image; living up to the image of yourself that you create


Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (2), revised in 1980s; objective tests; most widely used object of personality test; originally developed as an aid in diagnosing psychiatric disorders; two versions-adult and adolescent


Bandura; personal references; how people write their behavior in a variety of situations to help guide behavior in the future

projective tests

personality tests that consists of a simple ambiguous stimuli to elicit a number of responses; advantages-flexible, can take in a relaxed atmosphere, but this event may not know the purpose of the test (less likely to be of eight); examples-Rorschach, Rotter sentence completion test, TAT

Rorschach test

projective personality test; Hermann Rorschach, Swiss psychiatrist; inkblot test; person specifies what they see in each blot; and MMPI 2 is more valid

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

projective personality test; developed at Harvard by Murray and Associates; 20 cards with figures in ambiguous situations; person is asked to interpret the card (tell what is happening, leading up to and following the image); examined for content, language, consistency, organization, and originality

unconditional positive regard

Rogers; experience of being treated with warmth, respect, acceptance, and mob regardless of their feelings, attitudes and behaviors; example: I may not agree with what you do, but I love you can matter what

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