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108 terms

Personality Theories

4 functions of Personality Theories
To provide a way of organizing what we know about ourselves and others; To explain differences between individuals, To explore how people conduct their lives; To determine ways to help improve lives.
Personality Traits
General ways of behaving that characterize an individual.
Personality Psychologists
Try to develop systematic theories about human behavior and to test their theories in a scientific way.
The Four Major Schools of Personality Theory
Psychoanalytic, Behaviorists, Humanistic, Trait
The Personality Theory that emphasizes the importance of motive hidden deep in the unconsciousness.
Founder of the Psychoanalytic School
Sigmund Freud
Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Erik Erikson
Study the way rewards and punishments shape our actions.
Founders of Behaviorism
John Watson, B.F. Skinner
Emphasizes human potential for growth, creativity, and spontaneity.
Abrahan Maslow, Carl Rogers
Trait Theory
Stresses the importance of understanding basic personality characteristics.
Trait Theorists
Gordon Allport, Raymond Cattell, Hans Eysenck
He concluded that some of the most powerful influences of human personality were things we are not conscious of
Sigmund Freud
Believed that unconscious feeling and experiences of childhood impact adult personality and behavior
Three parts of Freud's Structual Model
Id, Ego, Superego
Freud's Death Drive
The desire for the final end shows up in human personality as destructiveness and aggression
Freud's Life Instinct
Primarily erotic and pleasure seeking
Reservoir of instinctual urges
Lustful or drive-ridden part of the unconscious
Seeks immediate gratification of desires regardless of consequences
Rational, thoughtful, realistic personality process
moral part of personality
the source of conscience and high ideals
source of guilt feelings
What a person wants to do
What a person can do
What a person should do
Id and Superego
frequently come into conflict
must resolve the conflict between the Id and Superego without offending either
Defense Mechanisms
protect the ego from experiencing anxiety about failing in its tasks
Defense Mechanisms
are necessary to psychological well-being
Defense Mechanisms
relieve intolerable confusion
5 main defense mechanisms
displacement, repression, reaction formation, projection, regression
shifting an unconscious wish that causes anxiety to another object or person
pushing anxious thought or urge out of consciousness into the unconsciousness
Reaction Formation
replace unacceptable feeling or urge with its opposite
Believing that impulses coming from within are coming from other people
going back to an earlier and less mature pattern
Carl Jung
distinguished between personal and collective unconscious
Collective Unconscious
the storehouse of instincts, urges, and memories of the entire human species through history
inherited universal ideas that reflect the common experiences of humanity and which are in every person
Carl Jung
identified archetypes by studying dreams, visions, paintings, poetry, folk stories, myths, religions
Alfred Adler
believed that the driving force in people's lives is a desire to overcome their feelings of inferiority
Alfred Adler
believed that everyone struggles with inferiority
Inferiority Complex
developed by people who continually try to cover up and avoid feeling of inadequacy
Life Styles
Adler's patterns of overcoming inadequacies
Alfred Adler
believed that the way parents treat their children has a great influence on the styles of life they choose.
Erich Fromm
centerd his theory around the need to belong and the loneliness freedom brings
Erich Fromm
believed personality is to a considerable extent a reflection of factors such as social class, minority status, education, vocation, religious and philosophical background.
Karen Horney
stressed the importance of the basic anxiety and resentment felt by children
believe that the only proper subject of matter of psychology is objectively observable behavior
more concerned with controlling than understanding behavior
Contingencies of Reinforcement
the conditions that maintain behavior
Albert Bandura
believed that personlaity is not just acquired through direct reinforcement but also is a result of observational learning
Observational Learning
Learning a new behavior by watching another person and the consequences of their behavior
Albert Bandura
believed we can direct our own behavior by the type of models we choose
Humanistic Psychology
rebelled against the pessimistic view of human nature proposed by Freudians and the mechanistic views of the Behaviorists
Humanistic Psychology
stresses our relative freedom from instinctual pressures and our ability to create and live by personal standards
Humanistic Psychology
founded on the belief that all human's strive for self-actualization
the relization of our potentialities as unique human beings
Needed for self-actualization
openess to a wide range of experiences; an awareness of and respect for personal unquenesses
involves accepting the responsibilities of freedom and commitment and a desire to become more and more authentic
Authentic Persons
are true to themselves and have an ability to grow
Abraham Maslow
tried to base his studies on healthy instead of disturbed individuals
Self-actualized people
adjust to their problems in ways that allow them to become highly productive
Self-actualized people
perceive reality accurately, accept themselves, others, and their environment readily
Self-actualized people
accept themselves as they are instead of denying shortcoming or trying to rationalize or change things about themselves that they don't like
Self-actualized people
are more problem-centered than self-centered; are more likely to make decisions based on ethical principles than on calculations or personal costs/benefits
self-actualizing people
identify with others; have a strong sense of humor; are spontaneous; are autonomous; value privacy; seek solitude; focus on living relationships few a few close people; appreciate simple things
self-actualizing people
approach life with a sense of discovery that makes each day new
Abraham Maslow
believed that self-actualizing people must satisfy basic needs for food, shelter, safety, love, belonging, self-esteem
Carl Rogers
was primarily concerned with the roadblocks and detours on the path to self-actualization
Carl Rogers
believed that many personal conflicts arise because what we value in ourselves conflicts with what we learn from others
Carl Rogers
believed there are two sides to every person: the organism and the self
The Organism
is the whole person including the body
The organism
is constantly struggling to become more and more complete
The self
is essentially your image of who you are and what you value
The self
is acquired gradually ove the years by observing how other people react to you
positive regard
approval from significant others
conditions of worth
lead us to see ourselves as good or bad and come from the mixed messages of others
Ways of coping with condtions of worth
rejecting or denying parts of the organism that do not fit in the self-concept
Unconditional Positive Regard
when other convey they feeling that they value you for what you are, in your entirety
Fully Functioning Person
A person in which the organism and the self are one; is free to develop all of his potentialities
trait theorists
argue that the best way to understand human behavior is to study personality traits
a predisposition to respond in a certain way in many different kinds of situations
two basic assuptions of trait theory
1. every trait applies to all people; 2. the descriptions of the traits can be quantified and studied.
first and foremost question for trait theorists
"What behaviors go together?"
Statistical Analysis
used by trait theorists to determine what behaviors go together
Gordon Allport
Trait theorist that emphasized the positive, rational, and conscious reasons why we act
Gordon Allport
believed that traits make a wide variety of situations "functionally equivalent."
Gordon Allport
held that traits are responsible for the relative consistency of every individual's behavior
the study of large groups to identify general laws of personality
studying individual people in detail
Raymond Cattell
identified two types of traits: source and surface traits
surface traits
clusters of behavior that tend to go together
source traits
the underlying roots or causes of the behavioral clusters
Hans Eysenck
identified two basic dimension of personality: 1. the degree to which people have control over their feelings; 2. extrovert vs. introvert
Emotionally Stable
easy-going; relaxed; well-adjusted; even-tempered person
moody, anxious, restless person
sociable, outgoing, active, lively person
more thoughtful, reserved, passive, unsociable, quiet person
the degree to which people can or cannot deal with real life situations
The Big Five
traits that appear repeatedly in different research studies
The Big Five
neuroticism; extroversion; openness; agreeableness; conscientiousness
Interpersonality Theories of Personality
see personality as a function of a person's social environment
Harry Stack Sullivan
Interpersonal theorists that proposed a two-dimensional model of personality
Power and Friendliness
the two dimensions of Harry Stack Sullivan's model of personality