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Chapter 14: Theories of Personality

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Chapter 14: Theories of Personality Personality defined The consistent, enduring, and unique characteristics of a person. Purposes of Personality Theories To organize ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 14: Theories of Personality


1
Chapter 14 Theories of Personality
2
Personality defined
  • The consistent, enduring, and unique
    characteristics of a person.

3
Purposes of Personality Theories
  • To organize the many characteristics you know
    about yourself
  • To explain differences among individuals.
  • To explore how people conduct their lives.
  • To determine how life can be improved.
  • Theories of personality are used to guide
    research.

4
Sigmund Freuds Theory of Personality
  • Freud developed the first theory of personality
    called the psychodynamic theory of personality.
  • He believed that personality is shaped by
    underlying conflicts between opposing forces
    within the mind.

5
  • Freuds beliefs were controversial in his own
    time and remain so today.

6
Freud believed the mind consists of 3 levels of
consciousness
  • (1) The conscious Present awareness what we are
    thinking or feeling at any given moment.
  • (2) The preconscious Holds information from past
    experience or learning. This info can be
    retrieved from memory and brought into awareness
    at any time.
  • (3) The unconscious Contains primitive sexual
    and aggressive impulses, wishes and ideas
    memories of troubling emotional experiences

7
Unconscious mind continued
  • The contents of the unconscious cannot be brought
    directly into consciousness simply by focusing on
    them.
  • They may never come to the surface and so we
    remain unaware of our deepest wishes, ideas, and
    urges.

8
How does one tap into the unconscious mind?
  • Projective personality test Unstructured test in
    which a person is asked to respond freely, giving
    his or her own interpretation of various
    ambiguous stimuli.
  • Rorschach Inkblot Test
  • TAT Test

9
Freud believed that personality consists of 3
mental entities
  • (1) The id (literally it) operates only in the
    unconscious
  • Contains our animal drives including sex and
    aggression
  • Its the only psychological structure we have at
    birth
  • Follows the pleasure principle it wants what
    it wants when it wants it.

10
  • (2) The ego The second part of the mind which
    forms during the first year of life.
  • Responsible for organizing ways to handle delays
    of gratification
  • Represents reason and good sense
  • Operates according to the reality principle
    taking into account what is practical and
    acceptable.

11
  • (3)The superego Is our internal moral guardian
    or conscience.
  • By age 3-5 it splits off from the ego
  • Forms through internalizing moral teachings of
    parents our other significant people.
  • Part of the superego may be available to
    consciousness, the part that corresponds to our
    moral convictions.
  • Much of it is unconscious- creating guilt or shame

12
  • The ego is the great compromiser standing between
    the id and superego.

13
Freuds was the first psychodynamic theory of
personality
  • It was based on the belief that our behavior is
    influenced by the on-going dynamic conflicts
    within the mind.
  • Conflicts between the id, ego and superego take
    place in the unconscious mind.

14
The ego uses defense mechanisms
  • These are used to prevent anxiety that would
    result if troubling desires and memories residing
    in the unconscious were fully realized in
    conscious awareness.
  • In other words, Freud believed we cant handle
    our unconscious thoughts and feelings so we
    avoid them.

15
How do we avoid dealing with whatever is in our
unconscious?
  • (1) Repression Is a defense mechanism involving
    motivated forgetting of anxiety causing
    material.
  • You push memories down into the unconscious.
  • This is a controversial belief today, in modern
    psychology.

16
  • A Freudian Slip or Slip of the Tongue
  • May reveal (according to Freud) underlying
    motives or feelings kept hidden by repression.

17
Other Defense Mechanisms
  • (2) Denial Failure to recognize a threatening
    impulse or urge.
  • Rather than just pushing the urge down into the
    unconscious, with denial you dont even
    acknowledge the urge.

18
  • (3) Rationalization The use of self-
    justification to explain away unacceptable
    behavior, impulses, or ideas.
  • Its taking something that you may in reality
    find unacceptable, and making it acceptable.

19
  • (4) Projection The putting of ones own
    unacceptable impulses, wishes, or urges on other
    people.
  • When you find someones personality difficult to
    deal with, it may be your own negative
    personality characteristics that you are
    projecting onto them.

20
  • (5) Sublimation Channeling unacceptable
    impulses into socially sanctioned behaviors or
    interests.
  • Becoming a boxer, punching people with gloves on
    in a ring can be a socially acceptable way to
    express hostility and anger.

21
  • (6) Displacement An unacceptable urge or
    aggressive impulse is transferred to an object or
    person that is safer or less threatening that the
    original object or impulse.
  • Your parent makes you angry but its safer to
    take out your anger and frustration on your
    younger sibling instead of your parent.

22
  • (7) Reaction formation Behavior that stands in
    opposition to ones true motives and desires so
    as to prevent conscious awareness of them.
  • This is acting the opposite to how you really
    feel, like being overly nice to someone you dont
    like or acting aloof and distant towards someone
    you really do like.

23
  • (8) Regression Going back to an earlier and less
    mature pattern of behavior.
  • Throwing a temper tantrum, crying loudly, or
    making faces would be expected from a young
    child, but not a teenager.
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