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personality inventory

the technique most widely used by psychologists to collect information about someone's personality structure

Rorschach Inkblot Test

the most widely used projective technique for measuring personality

1. emotional stability vs. instability
2. introverted vs. extroverted

the 2 trait dimensions of Eysenck's theory of personality

1. conscientiousness
2. agreeableness
3. neuroticism
4. openness to experience
5. extraversion

The Big 5

behavioral activation system

"go" anticipates rewards

behavioral inhibition system

"stop" anticipates punishment

dynamic unconsciousness

the level of the mind that most strongly shapes personality

reality principle

the regulating mechanism that enables the individual to delay the gratification of immediate needs and operate effectively in the world


engaging in tasks that exactly match our abilities creates an energized metal state called _______

person-situation controversy

Social cognitive psychologists disagree on the question of whether our behavior is caused more by our personality or by situations we encounter


the tendency to seek evidence to confirm the self-concept


an individual's characteristic style of behaving, thinking, and feeling


a series of answers to a questionnaire that asks people to indicate the extent to which sets of statements or adjectives accurately describe their own behavior or mental state

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

a well-researched, clinical questionnaire used to assess personality and psychological problems

projective techniques

a standard series of ambiguous stimuli designed to elicit unique responses that reveal inner aspects of an individual's personality

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

a projective personality test in which respondents reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they makeup about ambiguous pictures of people


a relatively stable disposition to behave in a particular and consistent way


the tendency toward political conservatism, obedience to authority, and conformity


to attribute human characteristics to nonhuman animals

psychodynamic approach

personality is formed by needs, strivings, and desires largely operating outside of awareness-motives that can produce emotional disorders


the part of the mind containing the drives present at birth, it is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives

pleasure principle

the psychic force that motivates the tendency to seek immediate gratification and any impulse


the component of personality, developed through contact with the external world that enables us to deal with life's practical demands

reality principle

the regulating mechanism that enables the individual to delay gratifying immediate needs and function effectively in the real world


the mental system that reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly learned as parents exercise their authority

defense mechanisms

unconscious coping mechanisms that reduce anxiety generated by threats from unacceptable impulses


a defense mechanism that involves supplying a reasonable sounding explanation for unacceptable feelings and behavior to conceal one's underlying motives or feelings

reaction formation

a defense mechanism that involves unconsciously replacing threatening inner wishes and fantasies with an exaggerated version of their opposite


a defense mechanism that involves attributing one's own threatening feelings, motives, or impulses to another person or group


a defense mechanism which the ego deals with internal conflict and perceived threat by reverting to an immature behavior or earlier stage of development


a defense mechanism that involves shifting unacceptable wishes or drives to a neutral or less threatening alternative


a defense mechanism that helps deal with feelings or threat and anxiety by enabling us unconsciously to take on the characteristics of another person who seems more powerful or better able to cope


a defense mechanism that involves channeling unacceptable sexual or aggressive drives into socially acceptable and culturally enhancing activities


person's pleasure-seeking drives become stuck at that psychosexual stage

oral stage

during which experience centers on the pleasures and frustrations associated with the mouth, sucking, and being fed

anal stage

during which experience is dominated by the pleasures and frustrations associated with the anus, retention, and expulsion of feces and urine, and toilet training

phallic stage

during which experience is dominated by the pleasure, conflict, and frustration associated with the phallic-genital region as well as coping with powerful incestuous feelings of love, hate, jealousy, and conflict

Oedipus conflict

a developmental experience in which a child's conflicting feelings toward the opposite-sex parent is resolved by identifying with the same-sex parent

latency stage

in which the primary focus is on the further development of intellectual, creative, interpersonal, and athletic skills

genital stage

the time for the coming together of the mature adult personality with a capacity to love, work, and relate to others in a mutually satisfying and reciprocal manner

self-actualizing tendency

the human motive toward realizing our inner potential


the need to be good, to be fully alive, and to find meaning in life

unconditional positive regard

an attitude of nonjudgmental acceptance toward another person

existential approach

regards personality as governed by an individual's ongoing choices and decisions in the context of the realities of life and death

social cognitive approach

views personality in terms of how the person thinks about the situations encountered in daily life and behaves in response to them

personal constructs

dimensions people use in making sense of their experiences

outcome expectancies

a person's assumptions about the likely consequences of a future behavior

locus of control

a person's tendency to perceive the control of rewards as internal to the self or external in the environment


a person's explicit knowledge of his or her own behaviors, traits, and other personal characteristics


the extent to which an individual likes, values, and accepts the self

self-serving bias

people tend to take credit for their successes but down-play responsibility for their failures


a grandiose view of the self combined with a tendency to seek admiration from and exploit others

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