Tuesday, August 9, 2011


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PERSINALITY refers to a person’s general style of interacting with the world, especially with other people. A basic assumption of the personality concept is that people do differ from one another in their styles of behavior, in ways they are at least relatively consistent across time and place

TRAITSà is the most central concept in personality psychology. And it is a relatively stable predisposition to behave in a certain manner

¨ Traits are considered to be part of a person not part of the environment.

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¨ Traits are lasting

¨ There trait theories focus on describing individual differences

TRAIT THEORIESà The goal of these trait theories is to specify a manageable set of distinct personality dimensions that can be used to summarize the fundamental psychological difference among humans.


¨ A basic assumption underlying all trait theories are that behavior and traits are linked together I hierarchical fashion.

1. At the bottom of the hierarchy are specific behaviors, which can be observed directly and can be assessed by the researcher from participant’s self-description in the questionnaire.

. Next level up is the surface trait each of which is linked directly to a set of related questions. Three surface traits that are linked by the central trait are argumentativeness, pugnaciousness, and competitiveness

. Highest level has the central trait considered to be the fundamental dimensions of personality. Out of those three surfaces in surface aggressiveness is formed in central trait


RAYMOND CATTELL 150¨ He argued that infinite number of different personalities could be formed from finite number of traits.¨ He described personality in terms of sixteen dimensions HANS EYSENCH 15¨ He suggested that only two traits accounted for much of the consistent variation among individuals.1. Introversion-extroversion is related to person’s tendency to avoid or seek excitement in external environment. Extroverts are sociable and adventures; introverts are unsociable and introspective and prefer quiet activities.. Neuroticism-stability pertains to ones tendency to become emotionally upset.


¨ It has been believed by the researchers today that 16 traits of personality is too much and two traits developed by eysenck is too little so the psychologists have developed another including Eysenck’s two traits

1. Neuroticism- stabilityà(N) worrying-cam, venerable-hardy, self-pittying-self- satisfied, impatient-patient

. Extroversion-introversionà (E) sociable-reserved, fun-loving-sober, talkative-quiet, spontaneous-self-controlled

. Openness to experience-nonopenness--. (O) Imaginative-unimaginative, independent-conforming, curious-incurious, broad interests-narrow interests

4. Agreeableness- antagonismà (A) courteous- rude, selfless-selfish, trusting-suspicious, coorporatie- uncoorporative

5. Conscientiousness- undirectednessà ( C ) careful-careless, reliable-undependable, persevering-lux, ambitious-aimless

¨ Trait theories have been criticized for problems of measurement validity, oversimplification, and an overemphasis on biological determinism.


¨ Freud developed an elaborate model of the mind which was aimed at explaining people’s varying ways of coping with the psychological stress of daily life

¨ The theories that emerged from his theory are commonly classified as psychodynamic, social cognitive, humanistic.

¨ FREUD found psychotherapy

¨ The id, the ego, and the superego

¨ Freudian psychological reality begins with the world, full of objects. Among them is a very special object, the organism. The organism is special in that it acts to survive and reproduce, and it is guided toward those ends by its needs -- hunger, thirst, the avoidance of pain, and sex.

¨ A part -- a very important part -- of the organism is the nervous system, which has as one its characteristics a sensitivity to the organisms needs. At birth, that nervous system is little more than that of any other animal, an it or id. The nervous system, as id, translates the organisms needs into motivational forces called, in German, Triebe, which has been translated as instincts or drives. Freud also called them wishes. This translation from need to wish is called the primary process.

¨ The id works in keeping with the pleasure principle, which can be understood as a demand to take care of needs immediately. Just picture the hungry infant, screaming itself blue. It doesnt know what it wants in any adult sense; it just knows that it wants it and it wants it now. The infant, in the Freudian view, is pure, or nearly pure id. And the id is nothing if not the psychic representative of biology.

¨ Unfortunately, although a wish for food, such as the image of a juicy steak, might be enough to satisfy the id, it isnt enough to satisfy the organism. The need only gets stronger, and the wishes just keep coming. You may have noticed that, when you havent satisfied some need, such as the need for food, it begins to demand more and more of your attention, until there comes a point where you cant think of anything else. This is the wish or drive breaking into consciousness.

¨ Luckily for the organism, there is that small portion of the mind we discussed before, the conscious, that is hooked up to the world through the senses. Around this little bit of consciousness, during the first year of a childs life, some of the it becomes I, some of the id becomes ego. The ego relates the organism to reality by means of its consciousness, and it searches for objects to satisfy the wishes that id creates to represent the organisms needs. This problem-solving activity is called the secondary process.

¨ The ego, unlike the id, functions according to the reality principle, which says take care of a need as soon as an appropriate object is found. It represents reality and, to a considerable extent, reason.

¨ However, as the ego struggles to keep the id (and, ultimately, the organism) happy, it meets with obstacles in the world. It occasionally meets with objects that actually assist it in attaining its goals. And it keeps a record of these obstacles and aides. In particular, it keeps track of the rewards and punishments meted out by two of the most influential objects in the world of the child -- mom and dad. This record of things to avoid and strategies to take becomes the superego. It is not completed until about seven years of age. In some people, it never is completed.

¨ There are two aspects to the superego One is the conscience, which is an internalization of punishments and warnings. The other is called the ego ideal. It derives from rewards and positive models presented to the child. The conscience and ego ideal communicate their requirements to the ego with feelings like pride, shame, and guilt.

¨ It is as if we acquired, in childhood, a new set of needs and accompanying wishes, this time of social rather than biological origins. Unfortunately, these new wishes can easily conflict with the ones from the id. You see, the superego represents society, and society often wants nothing better than to have you never satisfy your needs at all!



¨ Freud more or less founded psychotherapy and from his experience with patients he developed the first extensive theory of personality

¨ Psychoanalysis is an approach to psychotherapy and a theory of personality

¨ Two premises of psychodynamic theory are that àpeople are often unconscious of their motives à process called defense mechanism works in the mind to keep unacceptable or anxiety produced thoughts out of consciousness.


¨ HE BELIEVED THAT MAIN CAUSE OF A PERSONS BEHAVIOR LIES DEEP IN A PERSONS UNCONCIOUS MIND. This part of the mind according to Freud affects individual’s conscious thought and action but is not itself open to conscious inspection

¨ He believed that he could learn about patients unconscious mind even thought patients are unable to talk about it, by observing and analyzing certain aspects of speech and other observable behaviors to draw inferences about their unconscious motives,


¨ Freud considered drives to be analogous to physical forms of energy that built up over time and must somehow be released.

¨ He considered sex drive to be main pleasure-seeking and life-seeking drive and the aggressive drive to be the force that lies behind all sorts of destructive action including actions that harm oneself


¨ Defense mechanism operates to reduce one’s consciousness of wishes, memories, and other thoughts that would threaten ones self-esteem or in other ways provoke a strong sense of insecurity or anxiety

¨ Some examples of defense mechanism are

1. Repressionà Is process by which anxiety producing thoughts are pushed out of and kept out of the conscious mind.

. Displacementà occurs when an unconscious wish that would be unacceptable to conscious mind is redacted toward a more acceptable alternative. EX desire to suck on mothers breast replaced with sucking a lollypop

. Reaction formation --. Turning a frightening wish into a safe opposite.

4. Projectionà occurs when a person suddenly experiences an unconscious drive to do it as though it were someone else’s.

5. Rationalizationà the use of conscious reasoning to explain anxiety.


¨ Social cognitive theories of personality sometimes called social learning or social cognitive learning, draw both clinical psychologist experiences with their clients and from academic psychologist’s research on learning cognition and social influence

¨ LOCUS OF CONTROL In situations where outcome of ones effort is unknown people tend to behave according to a generalized disposition, acquired from past experience, to believe that the rewards either are or are not usually controllable by their own efforts.


¨ HUMANISTIC theories of personality attempt to focus attention on the whole, unique person, especially on the person’s conscious understanding how he or she sees the world and themselves

¨ They are called humanistic because they center on aspect of human nature that seems to distinguish us clearly from other animals

¨ Leader of humanistic psychology is CARL RODGERS 180

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