Theories of personality Tuesday, April 08, 2014 905 AM Personality Individual differences in how one thinks, behaves and feels Every adult personality is a combination of temperaments, personal history of family, culture, and the time during which they grew up. Hippocrates believed the personality dealt with the four physical humors of the body blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. Character Value judgments of a persons moral and ethical behavior Personality in the context of how healthy, moral or adaptive it is Temperament Genetic component of personality Traits Distinct components of personality (i.e., building blocks) Importance of personality Some view it as the bedrock of humanity -- the wellspring of human activities Highly linked to mental and physical health and well being Highly linked to satisfaction and quality of life Associated with occupational and social success Freuds contemporaries focused more on relationships with early caregivers and on defense mechanisms people use to exist in the world Psychodynamic Perspective Personality is driven by activity between mental processes -- designed to satisfy basic drives in society Focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in the development of personality. Heavily focused on biological causes of personality differences.
Id, ego, superego generally arent considered meaningful constructs. More meaningful to use more precise, neurobiological terms (e.g., executive functions) Personality is molded by early childhood experiences, which are characterized by universal developmental milestones Early life is important, but there are no known universal developmental milestones and personality continues to develop well into late adulthood Personality is largely unconscious Not particularly useful because it is difficult to test Sigmund Freud (1856--1939) Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis. Born in the Victorian Age, where sex was looked down upon for satisfaction, he escaped the Nazis and moved to England. Freud published the Psychology of Everyday Life (1901), which shocked the Victorian World. Unconscious Mind-level of the mind in which thoughts, feelings, memories, and other information are kept that is not easily or voluntarily brought into consciousness. Most important determining factor in personality, hardest part for people of his era to understand. Id -- unconscious, animalistic primitive part of the mind. Latin meaning, it. Does not mean ID exists, but goes off of pleasure principle. Pleasure Principle- principle by which the id functions immediate satisfaction of needs without regard for the consequences. If it feels good, do it. Ego -- the rational, logical and cunning part of the mind, that develops out of a need to deal with reality. Latin for I. If it feels good, do it, but only if you can get away with it. Reality Principle-principle by which the ego functions the satisfaction of the demands of the id only when negative consequences will not result. Superego -- moral part of the mind, contains the conscience, Conscience- part of the superego that produces guilt, depending on how acceptable behavior is. ID is usually seen as a little devil, Superego is seen as the Angel, and the Ego is seen as the person in-between, who must balance out both conflicting ideas. Psychological Defense Mechanisms- unconscious distortions of a persons perception of reality that reduce stress and anxiety. Psychosexual stages- five stages of personality development proposed by Freud and tied to sexual development of a child. Denial- refusal to recognize or acknowledge a threatening situation. Ben is an alcoholic who denies being an alcoholic. Repression- pushing threatening or conflicting events or situations out of conscious memory. Elise, who was sexually abused as a child, cannot remember the abuse at all. Rationalization- making up acceptable excuses for unacceptable behavior. If I dont have breakfast, I can have that piece of cake later...
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