Theories of personality exam # 2

Terms in this set (94)

- Develop through a predetermined unfolding of our personalities in 8 stages
- Progress is in part determined by our success, or lack of success, in all the previous stages
- each stage provides the opportunity for the personality to develop well
• Each stage is cumulative: positive effects of stages carries over into next stage
o same goes for negative effects
- Each stage has an optimal time period to complete goals/tasks
Maladjustment is worse than Maladaptive b/c it has too little of pos and too much neg

Erikson's stages were epigenetic , progressing in a cumulative fashion. One stage develops on top of another in a sequential and hierarchical pattern. At each successive level the human personality becomes more complex. Erikson stressed the prospective features of the life cycle, and the amended the logic of psychoanalysis so that early events are seen in terms of their contributions to later development but also as themselves directed by potentials that do not flow until later. Erikson's psychosocial stages do not occur within a strict chronological framework. Each aspect of psychosocial development has a critical period of readiness during which if it does not flourish, it is likely to flounder. The stages progress in a cumulative rather than a linear fashion. The behavior of one stage do not disappear with the successive stage.

--Each of the 8 stages entails its own life crisis: a crucial period in which the individual cannot avoid a decisive turn one way or the other.
Each stage also provided new opportunities for a basic ego strength, or virtue, to grow. These psychosical gains result from the ego's successful adaptation to its environment and must be nurtured and reaffirmed continuously
=latency period
Industry vs Inferiority
• Industry: being busy with something .. learning to make something and make it well.
• There are higher expectations for the child and for developing mastery of certain tasks
o 6-11
Virtue confidence/competence

o Maladaptation: too much industry: narrow virtuosity
Kids without a childhood
An empty life

o Maladjustment: too little industry:
Inertia
Those who suffer from "inferiority complexes"
Motto: If at first you don't success don't ever try again

During latency certain passionate and imaginative qualities of earlier years calm down so that the child is free to concentrate on learning. Learning involves more than just a basic form of striving that takes place throughout the life cycle and undergoes a special crisis during the school years. The focus moves from the id to the ego as the child applies to specific and approved goals through interaction with cultural institutions. At this time., society intervenes in a more formal manner to develop the child's capacities and potentials.

Children in all cultures are thought skills that will be needed in their society and attain sense of mastery. Children are expected to learn something from their culture in order earn the respect of their teachers and peers. Their ability to conform and master the tasks of this level dependens in large on measure on how successful they have travelled the preceding stages. If children emerge from the preceding stages with a basic sense of trust, autonomy, and intiative, they are ready for industrious labor that school presupposes. The child who has not resolved his or her oedipal complex may not be ready to fulfill the other demands of his or society.
Object relation theorist

• Proposed that drives are psychological forces that seek people as their objects
• Described the process of splitting objects and feelings into good and bad aspects

Splitting objects:
children construct their own imental representations of other people and project them onto real people (externals). They use experience with those people to confirm or disconfirm their mental representations and to interpret their relationships with them.

They do this by splitting objects and feelings into good and bad categories in an effort to retain good ones as part of the self while getting rid of bad ones by projecting them onto others.

-This splitting of objects permits children to treat the in internalized object as good or bad trusting and loving the actual external person who is an combination of both.

EX: feeling of "good me" occur when the child is accepted by the mom and the feeling of "bad me" occur when the child is not accepted by the mom -mom is frustrated and the child feels rejected.

Frustration promotes the infant's separation and leads to individuation. Based on object relations theory, personality is shaped by relationships with significant others. We begin life with genetic predisposition but with no sense of self-identity. Through interactions with significant others we take the self part of others and build self-structure.


Problem with object relations:

o We cannot think of the world as all good or all bad
• Problematic object relations can extend to food and alcohol
o b/c one thinks that food and alcohol are good all the time


• apply well to understand psychopathology and narcissistic personality,
borderline disorders
occur when an individual fails to develop an independent sense of self. Is characterized by an exaggerated sense of self importance and self-involvement behaviors that hide a fragile sense of self-wroth. Occur failure in parental empathy and mirroring, recurrent self-absorption, low-self-esteem, and chronic sense of emptiness. The child never feels like they are being acknowledged or seen in a positive light by their parents
o May seem confident but are very insecure and have low self-esteem
o Tend to depend on others for praise and acknowledgment
o Comes from failure in parental empathy and mirroring
o Lack confidence from previous relationships
So look externally for self confidence and praise
• Children tend to see their parent's through



Treatment: Therapists can imagine themselves into the patient's skin by cultivating feelings of being understood and appreciated in the patient so that the arrested growth of the patient's self can begin again. Narcissistic Patient reflect idealation that reflect their early parent-child relationship struggle. Therapy permits them to rework these relationships through to a better resolution. At the end of therapy the patient acquired oedipal constellation.
---Oedipal constellation the patient find the self that they never had, which was associated with positive emotions. This made him believe that when children develop normally, the Oedipus complex may be a joyful experience.

Authoritative= less likely to cause narcissistic
Authoritarian = more likely to cause narcissistic maladjustment.

Many people who have narcissistic disorders have parents who were indifferent, cold, and hostile toward them. Narcissistic people cannot trust or depend on other people.




rose colored glasses (black and white thinking)
---Nancy Chodorow believes that mothering by women reproduces cyclically, producing daughters with the desire and capacity to mother but sons whose nurturing abilities are limited and repressed

• The reproduction of mothering
o The relationship b/w the mother and daughter ends up perpetuating gender roles
o Cyclical process by which mother-daughter relationship instills the daughter a desire to take the role of mother

• Figure 7.1 Reproduction of Mothering
o Parenting done by mother
o Start to generate gender identity
Mother starts to relate to daughter and son differently
Sees daughter as similar and projects her motherliness on the daughter more
Relational activities emphasized
Need for reciprocal intimacy
Entrance into domestic sphere

With son:
Starts to see her as different from him
Mother is emphasizing activities that don't teach caretaking skills
Even if son has needs to have relational intimacy, it is repressed
Develops lack of desire to parent
Entrance into public sphere

- Facilitated by Stone Center for Developmental Services a


A process by which the mother-daughter relationships instills in the daughter maternal capacities and a desire to take on the role of mother in future relationships. The capacity to mother does not come about as a result of a pregnant woman's physical or instinctual makeup or through deliberate role training. The early relationship between mothers and infants establishes a basis for parenting in children of both sexes and expectations that women will mother. Mothering meets a woman's psychological need to also mother.


Mothers see sons as dissimilar and do not experience the same feelings of oneness they have with their daughters. Boys' nurturing repressed as they are prepared to work outside of family ( Public sphere).
- Can provide path to increased authentic connections
- Goal of therapy is to help patients make mutual empathetic connections
- Therapists remain open to their own experiences and permit themselves to be moved by their patient's feelings

• downside: the boundaries between patient and therapists blur

Other Applications
• RCT reconceives many traditional concepts such as anger, dependence, courage, shame, and power

o We need anger to know that something is wrong and something needs to change

o Dependence: allowing other people to help us cope until we are able to do it yourself
o Shame: yearning for connection. You feeling yourself as unworthy but just want to be connected with somebody else
o Power: instead of being able to control or manipulate it is seen as the capacity to produce change
Courage: is a contextual relational manner so that it no longer refers to a solitary accomplishment but an action taken in spite of fear and supported by the encouragement of others

Self-esteem emerged from relational confidence rather than mastery or self-efficacy
Shame is a deep yearning for connection while perceiving oneself as unworthy of it.

Sexual desire: can be seen in a framework of empathic communication rather than one of achievement and performance
Fusion: intimacy



• Explore parenting-in-connection:
o Parents way to showing children how to model connection and how to repair disconnect
• Study of the workplace and large organizations

Figure 7.2 Disappearing Act
• Women struggled in trying to emphasize relations in the work place

-The major source of psychological problems is disconnections: Which prevent people from engaging in mutually empathic relationships
Research in neurobiology confirms theoretical work of RCT
• mirror neurons and empathy
o active in motor cortex
o when we mimic others or other mimic us, it creates a strong sense of connection
o autistic people have a dysfunctional mirror neuron system:
why it is difficult for them to empathize and understand others emotions
• Brain chemistry affected by interaction
o Positive interactions vs negative interactions
Positive interaction: brain releases chemicals related to pleasure
Negative interaction: brain releases chemicals related to decreasing pleasure
• Neuroplasticity and reworking destructive neural patterns
• Social pain and physical pain in the anterior cingulate
o Mind and body experience both types of pain in similar ways

Psychotherapy can change and overcome the negative effects of disconnection by establishing new relationships that empower individuals. The emphasis is on creating a new rational experience that fosters healing

-Most psychological problems are a result of the basic relational paradox: They are consequences of the effort to avoid engaging in relationships. The Stone Center group try to identifying the origins of disconnection . the goal of the therapy is to help the patient make mutual empathetic connections by using relational-cultural therapy, which creates a new relationship between therapist and patient that is crucial for the process of healing. The therapists are open to their own experiences and permit themselves to be moved by their patients' feelings. The therapists and patients are moving toward mutual empathy. The therapists' responsibility is to facilite the process of moving in relationship by letting the patient know when and how the patient is affecting her. This helps people believe that they can experience and sort out feelings with another person. The therapist maintains an attitude of neutrality and objectivity to facilitate the patient's process of projecting feelings toward people in his or her past onto the therapists.

- Neutrality can hinder the process of therapy because it prevents the patients from seeing the difference between the current relationships and past ones. Therapist and patient need to be among colleagues and peers with whom they can share their experiences.
See page 175
-Dollard and Miller describe the structure of personality in terms of habits that may be learned and unlearned.

Habits: refers to some kind of learned associations between a stimulus and a response that makes them occur together frequently. They are temporary structures because they can appear and disappear, they can be learned and unlearned.
EX: hunger

The primary dynamic underlying personality development and the acquisition of habits is drive reduction: Drive: Is a strong stimulation that produces discomfort, such as hunger.

Learning occurs only if a response of an organism is followed by the reduction of some need or drive.
EX: The infant learns to suck the breast or a bottle of milk in order to relieve hunger. If sucking the breast or a bottle of milk did not result in some drive or need reduction, the infant would not continue to perform that activity.

They distinguish between
1. primary drive,
2. secondary drives and reinforces as the primary motivating forces of personality.

1. Primary drives are those associated with physiological processes that are necessary for an organism's survival, such as the drives of hunger, thirst, and the need for sleep.


Secondary drives: are learned on the basis of primary ones. They are elaborations of the primary drives. EX: Being motivated to eat at one's usual dinner hour or wanting to earn money in order to buy food

Reinforce: is any event that increases the likelihood of a particular response

1. Primary reinforcers are those that reduce primary drives such as food, water, or need for sleep.
2. Secondary reinforcers are originally neutral, but they acquire reward value when they are associated with primary reinforces.

EX: Bell is the secondary reinforce and food is the primary reinforce.

EX: Money because you can use it to buy food. A mother's smile or word of praise because are associated with a state of physical well-being.

We acquire habits and develop specific behavioral responses through the process of learning.

reflex: responses and innate hierarchy of response.
reflex responses are automatic responses to specific stimuli. All of us blink automatically to avoid an irritant to the eye or sneeze to eliminate an irritant to the nose. Such reflexes are important for our survival.

Hierarchy of response: Refers to a tendency for certain responses to occur before others.

EX: an animal runs to avoid a shock rather than cringe and bear it in pain. If a response is unsuccessful, however, an organism will try the next response in the hierarchy. Learning involves reinforcing and/ or rearrange the response hierarchy
Operant conditioning: involves reinforcing and shaping spontaneous responses.

Two types of behaviors are:
1. Respondent and operant
Respondent behavior: refers to reflexes or automatic responses that are elicited by stimuli. EX: tapping the knee on the right spot makes the leg jerk forward. When we touch something hot, we pull our hands away. Respondent behaviors can be conditioned or changed through learning

EX: Dog learns to salivate in the presence of a bell

Operant behaviors: are responses emitted without a stimulus necessarily being present. They occur spontaneously. Not all of the newborn movements are flex responses. Some of term are operant behaviors in which the infant acts on the environment.


Operant conditioning differs from classical conditioning 1. 1. The nature of the behavior is naturally made and is followed by a reinforcer.
2. Classical conditioning, the nature of the behavior is elicited and is preceded by a reinforcer.

4. The process of operant conditioning is better than classical conditioning because behaviors that cannot be accounted with classical conditioning can be with operant conditioning.

4. respondent behavior id elicited by a stimulus.
Operant behavior is emitted or freely made by the organism.

5. In classical conditioning, the stimulus is the reinforcement, and it precedes the behavior.
In operant conditioning, the effect of the behavior is reinforcement. Thus in operant conditioning the reinforcement follow the behavior

Operant conditioning are done in the Skinner box ( see page 199)

Shaping: the deliberately shaped or molded the organism's behavior in order to achieve the desired behavior so that a researcher does not have to wait for a long time for the organism to learn the behavior. ( Is done through reinforcement). See page 200

Shaping facilitates
1. discrimination: the ability to tell the difference between stimuli that are not reinforced
2. generalization: The application of a response learned In one situation to a different but similar situation
Through shaping Skinner was able to induce animals to perform
Learning through observation:
o Behavior learned through observation either intentionally or accidentally
o Observational learning; learning through process of following a model
o Imitation: mimicking the model ( EX: the child do exactly what the instructor is doing, but as soon as a bike is changed or the instructor is no longer there the child will not know what to do. The child will not know how to generalize what he or she learned and apply it to similar situations.

o Modeling: matching the structure or style of behavior. Through modeling, the child knows how to ride any time of bike and generalize what they have learned
EX; Study: bandura used a doll. He had two groups of kid. One in experimental and one in control group.
The experimental group saw modeling from adult and control group did not. The kid in the experimental group learned how to play with the doll but those in the control group did not know how to play with the doll. Modeling in general is a good way for kid who cannot talk to learn. It is easier for them to watch something and follow along.

Three factors that influence modeling are:
1. Characteristics of model: EX: We are more likely to learn from someone who is similar to us and from simple behaviors such as washing the hair and aggression.

2. Attributes of the observer: the person watching the model. If the person has lower self-esteem, they are more influenced through observational learning. Also people who are dependent tend to be more easily influenced. The motivation of the observer.

3. Reward consequences associated with a behavior: The children are more likely to emulate a behavior if they believe they will be rewarded for doing the behavior


Process of observational learning:
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