Chapter Outline

  1. The nature of personality
    1. What is personality?
      1. Consistency of behavior across situations lies at the core of the concept of personality
      2. Distinctiveness of behavior is also central to the concept of personality
      3. Personality refers to an individual's unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits
    2. What are personality traits?
      1. A personality trait is a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations (e.g., honest, dependable, moody)
      2. Most trait theories assume that some traits are more basic than others
      3. The "Big Five" personality traits
        1. Developed from work by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa
        2. They suggest that vast majority of personality traits derive from five critical traits
          1. Extraversion
          2. Neuroticism
          3. Openness to experience
          4. Agreeableness
          5. Conscientiousness
        3. The dominant model of personality structure in contemporary psychology
  2. Psychodynamic perspectives
    1. Psychodynamic theories include all the diverse theories descended from the work of Sigmund Freud, which focus on unconscious mental forces
    2. Freud's psychoanalytic theory
      1. Freud's background
        1. Born in 1856; grew up in middle-class Jewish home in Vienna, Austria
        2. Was trained as a physician specializing in neurology
        3. Eventually devoted himself to treatment of mental disorders using psychoanalysis, which he developed
      2. Structure of personality
        1. Id: the primitive, instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure principle
          1. Id houses the biological urges that energize our behavior
          2. Operates according to the pleasure principle, which demands immediate gratification of its urges
        2. Ego: the decision-making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle
          1. Mediates between the id and the norms of the external social world
          2. Operates according to the reality principle, which seeks to delay gratification of the id's urges until appropriate outlets and situations can be found
          3. Engages in secondary process thinking, which is relatively rational and oriented toward problem solving
        3. Superego: the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong
      3. Three components distributed across three levels of awareness
        1. Conscious consists of whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time
        2. Preconscious contains material just beneath the surface of awareness that can be easily retrieved
        3. Unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior
      4. Conflict and defense mechanisms
        1. Behavior is outcome of internal conflicts between id, ego, and superego
        2. Conflicts centering on sexual and aggressive urges are particularly influential
          1. Much confusion results from these drives
          2. Sexual and aggressive drives are thwarted more regularly than other biological urges
        3. Conflicts can produce anxiety that surfaces in conscious awareness
        4. Efforts to alleviate anxiety involve use of defense mechanisms, which are largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from painful emotions such as anxiety and guilt
          1. Rationalization involves creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behavior
          2. Repression involves keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious
            1. The most basic and widely used defense mechanism
            2. A form of "motivated forgetting"
          3. Projection involves attributing one's own thoughts, feelings, or motives to another
          4. Displacement involves diverting emotional feelings (usually anger) from their original source to a substitute target
          5. Reaction formation involves behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of one's true feelings
          6. Regression involves a reversion to immature patterns of behavior
          7. Identification involves bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person or group
      5. Development: psychosexual stages
        1. Freud suggested that the foundation of one's personality is established by the age of five
        2. Psychosexual stages: developmental periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personality
        3. Fixation: a failure to move forward from one stage to another as expected
          1. Caused by excessive gratification or excessive frustration of needs at a particular stage
          2. Generally leads to an overemphasis on the psychosexual needs that were prominent during the fixated stage
        4. Five psychosexual stages
          1. Oral stage
            1. Usually encompasses first year of life
            2. Source of erotic stimulation is mouth
            3. Crucial event involves weaning
            4. Fixation could form basis for obsessive eating, smoking later in life
          2. Anal stage
            1. Begins in second year
            2. Erotic pleasure focuses on bowel movements
            3. Crucial event involves toilet training
          3. Phallic stage
            1. Begins around age four
            2. Genitals become focus of child's erotic energy
            3. Marked by occurrence of Oedipal complex, in which children manifest erotically tinged desires for their opposite-sex parent, accompanied by feelings of hostility toward their same-sex parent
          4. Latency stage
            1. Occurs from about age six through puberty
            2. Child's sexuality is suppressed, becomes "latent"
          5. Genital stage
            1. Begins with advent of puberty
            2. Sexual urges reappear and focus on genitals
            3. Sexual energy is normally channeled toward peers of other sex
    3. Carl Jung's analytical psychology
      1. Like Freud, Jung emphasized unconscious determinants of personality
      2. Unlike Freud, suggested that the unconscious consists of two layers
        1. Personal unconscious
          1. Essentially the same as Freud's version of the unconscious
          2. Contains material not within one's conscious awareness
        2. Collective unconscious: a storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from people's ancestral past that is shared with the entire human race
          1. Jung called these memories archetypes, which are emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meaning
          2. Jung's ideas about collective unconscious had little impact on mainstream psychology
      3. Jung was first to describe introverts and extraverts
        1. Introverts tend to be preoccupied with the internal world of their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences
        2. Extraverts tend to be interested in the external world of people and things
    4. Alfred Adler's individual psychology
      1. Stressed the social context of personality development
        1. Focused attention on possible importance of birth order as factor shaping personality
        2. A more optimistic view of human nature than Freud's
      2. Suggested that foremost human drive is not sexuality, but a striving for superiority
      3. Suggested that everyone has to work to overcome some feelings of inferiority
        1. Compensation involves efforts to overcome imagined or real inferiorities by developing one's abilities
        2. Inferiority feeling can become excessive, resulting in an inferiority complex - exaggerated feelings of weakness and inadequacy
          1. Can distort the normal process of striving for superiority
          2. Some people engage in overcompensation in order to conceal, even from themselves, their feelings of inferiority
          3. Adler introduced the idea that birth order might influence personality, but extensive research has failed to support this idea consistently as of yet
    5. Evaluating psychodynamic perspectives
      1. Yielded some new insights
        1. Unconscious forces can influence behavior
        2. Internal conflict often plays a key role in generating psychological distress
        3. Early childhood experiences can exert considerable influence over adult personality
      2. Have been criticized on several grounds
          Poor testability
        1. Inadequate evidence
        2. Sexism
  3. Behavioral perspectives
    1. Behaviorism: a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study observable behavior
      1. John B. Watson was major force in development of behaviorism
      2. Behaviorism focuses on response tendencies rather than internal personality structures
      3. Behaviorist have focused extensively on personality development
    2. Ivan Pavlov's classical conditioning
      1. Classical conditioning: a type of learning in which a neutral stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus
        1. Also called respondent conditioning
        2. First described by Pavlov in 1903
      2. The conditioned reflex
        1. Unconditioned bonds
          1. Unconditioned stimulus (UCS): a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response without previous conditioning
          2. Unconditioned response (UCR): an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning
      3. Conditioned bonds
        1. Conditioned stimulus (CS): a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response through conditioning
        2. Conditioned response (CR): a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning
        3. Classical conditioning in everyday life
          1. Contributes to the acquisition of emotional responses, such as anxieties, fears, and phobias
          2. Also appears to account for more realistic and moderate anxiety
          3. Stimulus-response bond does not necessarily last indefinitely
            1. Extinction: the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency
            2. Time it takes to extinguish a conditioned response depends on variety of factors (e.g., strength of conditioned bond when extinction begins)
    3. B. F. Skinner's operant conditioning
      1. Operant conditioning: a form of learning in which voluntary responses come to be controlled by their consequences
      2. The power of reinforcement
        1. Positive reinforcement occurs when a response is strengthened (increases in frequency) because it is followed by the arrival of a (presumably) pleasant stimulus
          1. Roughly synonymous with concept of reward
          2. Motivates much of our everyday behavior
          3. Behaviors that are reinforced regularly will tend to become an integral element of one's personality
        2. Negative reinforcement occurs when a response is strengthened (increased in frequency) because it is followed by the removal of a (presumably) unpleasant stimulus
          1. Negative reinforcement is reinforcement (i.e., it strengthens a response)
          2. Plays major role in the development of avoidance tendencies
      3. Extinction and punishment
        1. Extinction occurs when a previously reinforced response stops producing positive consequences
        2. Punishment occurs when a response is weakened (decreases in frequency) because it is followed by the arrival of a (presumably) unpleasant stimulus
          1. Concept is often confusing to students
            1. Mixed up with negative reinforcement
            2. May be viewed as only a disciplinary procedure
          2. Patterns of behavior that lead to punishment tend to be weakened
          3. According to Skinner, conditioning is a "mechanical" process that occurs without conscious participation
          4. Other theorists suggest different models in which behavior is influenced by cognition (the thought processes involved in acquiring knowledge)
    4. Albert Bandura and social learning theory
      1. Emphasizes the role of cognition in learned behaviors
        1. A less "mechanical" model of human behavior
        2. Maintains that people actively seek out and process information about their environment
      2. Observational learning
        1. Observational learning occurs when an organism's responding is influenced by the observation of others, who are called models
        2. Some models are more influential than others
          1. We tend to imitate people we like or respect
          2. We tend to imitate people we consider attractive or powerful
          3. We tend to imitate people who are similar to ourselves
        3. Models influence personality development through children's observational learning
      3. Self-efficacy
        1. Self-efficacy: one's belief about one's ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes
        2. Perceptions of self-efficacy can influence which challenges one tackles and how well one performs
    5. Evaluating behavioral perspectives
      1. Positive aspects
        1. Rooted in empirical research rather than clinical intuition
        2. Provided account of why people are only moderately consistent in their behavior
      2. Criticisms
        1. Dilution of the behavioral approach
        2. Over-dependence on animal research
  4. Humanistic perspectives
    1. Humanism: a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their free will and their potential for personal growth
      1. Emerged in 1950s as a backlash against behavioral and psychodynamic theories
      2. Takes a relatively optimistic view of human nature
        1. Human nature includes an innate drive toward personal growth
        2. Individuals have free will; they are not pawns of their environment
        3. People are conscious and rational beings that are not dominated by unconscious, irrational needs, and conflicts
    2. Carl Rogers's person-centered theory
      1. The self and its development
        1. Self-concept: a collection of beliefs about one's own nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior
          1. A mental picture of yourself
          2. Rogers stressed the subjective nature of self-concept
        2. Incongruence: the disparity between one's self-concept and one's actual experience
          1. Childhood experiences may promote congruence or incongruence
          2. Unconditional love from parents fosters congruence and conditional love fosters incongruence
      2. Anxiety and defense
        1. Experiences that threaten one's self-concept are the principal cause of anxiety
        2. People behave defensively to ward off this anxiety and protect their self-concept
    3. Abraham Maslow's theory of self-actualization
      1. Hierarchy of needs: a systematic arrangement of needs, according to priority, in which basic needs must be met before less basic needs are aroused
        1. Usually portrayed as a pyramid
        2. Satisfaction of one level of needs activates needs at the next level
        3. Main "growth need" is self-actualization: the need to fulfill one's potential; it is the highest need in Maslow's motivational hierarchy
      2. The healthy personality
        1. Called people with exceptionally healthy personalities self-actualizing persons
        2. Self-actualizers are accurately tuned in to reality and are at peace with themselves
        3. Not dependent on other for approval
        4. Enjoy "peak experiences" (profound emotional highs) more often than others
    4. Evaluating humanistic perspectives
      1. Positive aspects
        1. Emphasis on subjective personal factors (e.g., beliefs, expectations) in personality
        2. Made self-concept an important construct in psychology
      2. Criticisms
        1. Poor testability
        2. Unrealistically optimistic view of human nature
        3. Inadequate empirical evidence
  5. Biological perspectives
    1. Han Eysenck's theory
      1. Suggests that personality is a function of genetic differences in "conditionability"
      2. Views personality structure as hierarchy of traits
      3. Has shown special interest in explaining variations in extraversion-introversion
        1. Proposed that introverts tend to have higher levels of physiological arousal than extraverts
        2. Higher arousal motivates introverts to avoid social situations
      4. Research evidence on Eysenck's theory is mixed
    2. Recent evidence in behavioral genetics
      1. Support for genetic influence on personality provided by twin studies, in which researchers assess hereditary influence by comparing the resemblance of identical twins and fraternal twins on a trait. Hereditability ratios are used to estimate the proportion of trait variability in a population that is determined by variations in genetic inheritance
        1. Accumulating evidence suggests that heredity is a key factor shaping personality
        2. Skeptics suggest that identical twins tend to be raised more similarly than fraternal twins
      2. Results of the Minnesota study indicate that genetic inheritance accounts for at least 50% of the variation among people in personality
      3. Recent studies have found that shared family environment has little impact on personality
    3. The evolutionary approach to personality
      1. Suggests that natural selection has favored certain traits over the course of human history
      2. David Buss argues that Big Five personality traits are fundamental dimensions of personality because they have had significant adaptive implications
    4. Evaluating biological perspectives
      1. Recent studies have provided convincing evidence that biological factors help shape personality
      2. Criticisms
        1. Problems with estimates of hereditary influence
        2. Lack of comprehensive theory
  6. An epilogue on theoretical diversity
    1. Review of perspectives on personality illustrates the theoretical diversity in psychology
      1. No single theory can adequately explain personality
      2. Different theories focus on different aspects of behavior
      3. Frequently more than one way of looking at behavior
    2. Each theory has its own advantages and limitations
  7. Application: Assessing your personality
    1. Key concepts in psychological testing
      1. Psychological test: a standardized measure of a sample of a person's behavior
        1. Scores from psychological tests should always be interpreted cautiously
        2. Two broad categories of psychological tests
          1. Mental ability tests (e.g., intelligence tests, aptitude tests)
          2. Personality tests measure various aspects of personality (e.g., motives, interests, and values)
      2. Standardization and norms
        1. Standardization: the uniform procedures used to administer and score a test
        2. Test norms provide information about where a score on a psychological test ranks in relation to other scores on that test
      3. Reliability and validity
        1. Reliability refers to the measurement consistency of a test
        2. Validity refers to the ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure
    2. Self-report inventories
      1. Self-report inventories are personality scales that ask individuals to answer a series of questions about their characteristic behavior
      2. Generally consist of statements to which you respond by indicating whether or not they apply to you
      3. Deliberate deception can be a problem with these tests
    3. Projective tests
      1. Projective tests ask people to respond to vague, ambiguous stimuli in ways that may reveal the respondents' needs, feelings, and personality traits
      2. Proponents suggest that tests have two main strengths
        1. Nature of tests makes it difficult for subjects to engage in intentional deception
        2. Indirect approach may make them sensitive to unconscious features of personality
      3. Critics maintain that there is inadequate evidence on validity of these tests