Sigmund Freud: studied the nervous system

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Defined: the consistent and distinctive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that an

individual engages in

Cultural beliefs can actually shape personality development

Sigmund Freud:

-studied the nervous system

-symptoms seemed to originate from emotional trauma

-sought advice from neurologist Jean Charcot, & advice from psychiatrist Joseph Breuer (talking cure)

-Freud encouraged his patients to talk about their symptoms

-Freud’s model of the mind—iceberg

-Freud proposed that personality has three structures and each structure has different operating principles and different goals that often conflict with the others’ goals




erogenous zone: each psychosexual stage is characterized by a part of the body


oral-first year of life

anal-ages 2-3

phallic-ages 4-5

latency-ages 6-11

genital-puberty +
the ego uses these defense mechanisms:

Rationalization: people offer logical self-justifying explanations

Reaction formation: people express unacceptable feelings or ideas by consciously expressing their exact opposite

Displacement: people divert their sexual or aggressive

Projection: people perceive their own aggressive or sexual urges not in themselves, but in others

Regression: people faced with intense anxiety psychologically retreat to a more infantile developmental stage where some psychic energy remains fixated
-has limitations, but unconscious processes DO shape human behavior, childhood experiences DO shape adult personality, and learning to regulate impulses IS critical for healthy development

Alfred Adler:

-Austrian psychologist

-founder of the school of individual (undivided) psychology (see people as whole not parts)

-rejected the Freudian emphasis upon sex as the root of neurosis

-maintained that feelings of helplessness during childhood can lead to an inferiority complex

-Adler's theory: social forces, and his therapy, while still concerned with the analysis of early childhood, is also interested in overcoming the inferiority complex through positive social interaction

Inferiority: attention becomes focused on self because life is dealing a tough hand

Compensation: making up for deficiencies

Striving for perfection: desire to fulfill our potentials, closer to ideal us
Striving for Superiority vs. Inferiority Complex

Covering up inferiority by pretending to be superior (bullies)

Being overwhelmed by feelings of inferiority-neurosis
Psychological Types: (heuristics NOT absolutes)

Ruling type-aggressive and dominating, will push over anything/body to get what they want. Bipolar………….bullies/sadists alcoholics/drug addicts
Leaning type-sensitive w/ shell of protection and dependent. When overwhelmed develop neurotic symptoms (i.e., phobias, OC, anxiety, etc.).
Avoiding type-avoid life (other people), when overwhelmed become psychotic and internal
Socially useful type-healthy, social interest and energy

-Fixed by age 5

-New experiences do not change the prototype, instead, are force fit into it

Karen Horney

-stressed environment and culture

-countered Freud’s idea that women have weak super egos causing “penis envy”

-childhood anxiety causes a sense of helplessness, which triggers the need for love and security

-anxiety is created by anything that decreases one’s security

-best theory for neurosis, continuous with normal life (control/coping)

-10 patterns of neurotic needs, basic needs distorted by a person’s difficult life (anxiety)

3 Coping Strategies:

Compliance-moving-forward strategy and the effacing solution

Aggression-moving-against and the expansive solution

Withdrawal-moving-away-from and the resigning solution
-healthy people have an accurate concept, self-realization

-neurotic people have a bipolar view of the self

despised self……………..ideal self

“striving for glory”

Carl Rogers

-we are born with the need for positive regard, acceptance sympathy love

-unconditional positive regard: inherent worthiness of love no matter what

-positive self-regard: feel good about ourself

-conditions of worth: circumstances which we approve and disapprove of ourself

-phenomenology: emphasis of conscious experience, creative potential, inborn motivtivation for self-actualization (total realization of one’s potential)

-behavior is an immediate reaxn to self-environment interplay

-self: organized consistent set of perceptions and beliefs about oneself

-self-concept, early life, established we maintain through self-consistency and self-congruence (perceptions & experience)

-anxiety occurs when things go against our self-concept

-healthy people can adapt by bending the rules of the concept

Trait Theorists

-A trait is a relatively stable tendency to behave in a particular way, small building blocks

of personality

-Trait perspective is more concerned with describing how people differ from one another

than in explaining why they differ

Eysenck’s Extraversion-Stability Model (1916-97)


-Normal personality in 2 dimensions “supertraits”

-1967, suggested biological basis: intro-extro, stab-unstab differences in arousal patterns w/in the brain

-(1990) Preferred level where extreme extro chronically underaroused therefore need frequent stimulation, extreme intro overaroused therefore need to minimize/reduce arousal

-Stability represents suddenness of shifts in arousal

--Unstable show large sudden shifts

--Stable show smaller gradual shifts

-Neuroticism: extremely unstable likely to experience emotional problems requiring clinical attention

-Genetic bases comes from twin studies (monozygotic)

Raised together, identical twins have more similar traits than do fraternal twins, indicating a moderate genetic influence.

The trait correlations for identical twins reared apart are considerably lower than for those reared together, suggesting that environment also influences trait development.

Social Cognitive Perspective

-reciprocal determinism, which is the belief that personality emerges from an ongoing mutual interaction among people's cognitions, their actions, and their environment.

Most important cognitive factor in reciprocal determinism is self-efficacy

Julian Rotter-Locus of Control

-degree to which we expect that outcomes in our lives depend on our own actions and personal characteristics versus the actions of uncontrollable environmental forces

-People who believe that outcomes occur because of their own efforts are identified as having an internal locus of control.

-People who believe that outcomes are outside their own control are identified as having an external locus of control

Projective Tests Are Designed to Reveal Inner Feeling, Motives, and Conflicts

-psychological tests that ask people to respond to ambiguous stimuli or situations in ways that will reveal their unconscious motives and desires

Rorschach Inkblot Test

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
Objective Tests Ask Direct Questions about a Person’s Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior

-personality tests that ask direct, unambiguous questions about a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

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