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Personality Theories + Assessment

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Jordan Gorveatte

on 27 February 2015

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Transcript of Personality Theories + Assessment

By: Laurie Walsh, Jordan Gorveatte, Anna Perry, Josephine Krauss, Isaac Brown
Personality Theories + Assessment
Psychoanalytic Approach to Personality
Carl Jung

Alfred Adler

Karen Horney

Neo-Freudian Theories of Personality
The focus of these neo-Freudian psychologists on the importance of childhood and adult relationships is a concept still very prevalent in contemporary psychodynamic theories.
Unconcious levels of awareness

Early childhood experience


Evaluation of Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality
It is easy to dismiss and debunk Freud, however, the world of psychology was very different 100 years ago.

His accomplishments can still be admired in the way that he, based on theory and little research, developed such an influential theory that is still around today.
Trait Theories of Personality and Personality Assessment
The two key concepts in understanding Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory of Personality Development are:
erogenous zone +
Developed by Sigmund Freud
Based his personality development theory on his own childhood memories + those of his patients
Trait Theories of Personality
Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory
Theory was developed by Sigmund

3 Levels of Awareness

This is the tip of the iceberg.
Our short-term memory
What we are currently thinking about
The part of iceberg just below the surface
Information we store up but are not presently aware of.
Long-term memory
Bottom part of the iceberg
What we cannot freely access
Biological drives, actions, feelings, and conflicts from childhood
Freud divided personality into three parts

Id, ego, superego

Interaction between these three structures create our personality

Personality Structures
Subconscious mind, present at birth
Includes biological and instinctive drives
Freud grouped instinctive drives into life instincts and death instincts.
Life & Death Instincts
Life: Survival, pleasure drives, sex, reproduction.
Death: Aggressive and destructive drives that harm the life instincts.
Pleasure seeking principle
The id looks for immediate results to fulfill a need without looking at consequences
Helps find realistic outputs for id needs
Reality Principle: Finding ways to complete the needs of the id within the constraints of reality or social norms.
Because the ego develops from the Id, the ego has connections to the subconscious, the preconscious, and the conscious
Like the ego, it spans all levels of awareness.
Tells you how to act according to moral standards
Defense Mechanisms
The ego gets overwhelmed when the id and superego try to control
Defense Mechanisms distort reality to prevent anxiety
3 mechanisms are:
Creating false excuses for the situation
Resorting back to immature behaviors from earlier development
Unknowing placing a bad memory in the subconscious, repressing the event.
Unhealthy Personality
Comes from relying too much on the defense mechanisms
Or when one of the three personality structures are too strong or weak
An Id that is too strong can result in a self-centered personality
If the superego is too strong it can result in a guilt ridden personality
Erogenous Zone
The area of the body where the id's "pleasure seeking psychic energy" is focused during a particular stage of psychosexual development
Each stage is named after the erogenous zone involved in that stage
Change in zones = changing of stage
Fixation occurs when the portion of the id's pleasure seeking energy remains in a stage because of over or undergratification of our instinctual needs during any stage of development
Oedipus/Electra Conflict during phallic stage
leading to identification
Unconcious Levels of Awareness
He was correct in saying that the unconcious processing in our brains is important but he was incorrect about its nature and the role of its importance
Early Childhood Experiences
There is little evidence that psychsexual stages affect development.
While humans do use certain coping/defense mechanisms, they are not used unconciously
Carl Jung
Collective unconcious/universal storehouse
Introversion and extroversion + four cognitive styles =
eight personality types
Alfred Adler
"Striving for superiority"
Inferiority complex
Karen Horney
Focused on security
Basic anxiety
Three neurotic personality patterns:
moving toward people
moving against people
moving away from people
Humanistic Approach to Personality
Humanistic theories of personality developed during the 1960’s as part of the general humanistic movement in psychology.
The humanistic movement was against or in response to the deterministic psychoanalytic and strict behavioral psychological approaches that dominated psychology and the study of personality at that time
The Humanistic approach emphasizes conscious free will in one’s actions, the uniqueness of the individual person, and personal growth.
Two Major Humanistic Enthusiasts:
Abraham Maslow

Carl Rogers
Abraham Maslow
The father of the humanistic movement
He studied the lives of very healthy and creative people to develop his theory of personality.
Focused on psychological health and reaching one’s full potential
His theory is considered a theory of motivation
It is called the
Hierarchy of Needs

The Hierarchy of Needs is an arrangement of the innate needs that motivate behavior
First four levels of needs are more deficiency based needs, stemming from deprivation, while self-actualization at the top of the hierarchy is a growth-based need.
Self-actualization: is the fullest realization of a person’s potential, becoming all that one can be.
He deemed about 50 people self-actualized…some are Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln
His theory popularized the humanistic movement and led many psychologists to focus on human potential and the positive side of humankind.
Carl Rogers
Client-centered therapy
Dealt with young, bright people with adjustment problems
Believed self-actualization is the fundamental drive for humans
Believed early experience was important but for different reasons than Freud
He believed in what are called "conditions of worth"

Conditions of Worth
The behaviors and attitudes for which they (our parents) will give us positive regard
Infants and children develop self-concept in relation to these conditions of worth in order to be liked and accepted by others and feel a sense of self-worth
Unconditional Positive Regard
Acceptance and approval without conditions (liking us no matter what)
Unconditional acceptance and approval of a person by others

Summarizing Roger's Self-Theory
> Traits are internal, stable, and continuous dimensions that make our personalities.
> Small number of trait theories despite how complex it seems.
> In trait theories all personalities stem from different proportions of the basic traits.
> Example: We can see many different colours, but these colours only come from three (red, green, blue) primary colours.
The number and kind of personality traits.
> Raymond B. Catell said that 16 traits were necessary

> Hand Eysenck (more recently) argued for 3.

>However most researchers settled for 5
Two issues :
> How basic is too basic? Although we can whittle down the 16 of Catell, should we?
> Secondly the data varies from group to group.
Eysenck's three factor theory
3 Dimensions:
> Neuroticism- emotional stability
> Psycohoticism- impulse control
Eysenck argued that these traits were genetic
Eysenck Continued
>According to Eysenck introverts have a higher level (more then normal) of arousal in the brain. More then an extrovert.
> Eysenck's first 2 principles are generally accepted as 2 of the 5, but the third principle (Psychoticism) is more broken up.
> This can be remembered in the acronym PEN (Psychoticism, Extroversion, Neuroticism)
The 5 Factor Model of Personality
>Formulated by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa.
>OCEAN: (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism)
>CANOE: (Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness, Extroversion)
>These factors have been found to be universal across gender, race, language, etc.
>Additional research has found these traits to be 50% heritability
> They also seem consistent from age 30 to late adulthood (indicating they're set in stone, Unless #BornAgain
Personality Assessment
>Tests used to aid in diagnosing people, in counseling, and making personal decisions.
> Table 8.4 (all around personality and thought, which inevitably would lead to tests to see where we fall.
Personality Inventories
> Closer to what we think of as tests, basically a series of questions that measure multiple traits.
>Series of question which that taker indicated if they apply to them or not.
>The main test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
>Now revised to MMPI-2
>It is the most important personality test in the world, translated to over 100 languages
3 option questions (true, false, cannot say)
567 simple questions
It takes about 1 hour - 1 Hour and a half to complete.
The update removed sexist language, questions pertaining to Religion, and sexual practices.
The purpose of the test was to look for abnormalities indicating to things like depression, to schizophrenia
Developed by having a large pool of possible questions then give to small sample groups and chose the questions which had differentiation
The questions are scored by a computer to insure objectivity
Projective Tests
>These are a series of ambiguous stimuli, like inkblots, to which the test taker must respond about their perceptions
>Not objective, the examiner inserts subjectivity by interpreting the results.
Two most common projective test are:
>The Rorschach Inkblots
>Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
The Rorschach is the most popular of the two.
Rorschach Inkblots developed 1921 by Herman Rorschach, yet still not proved to be either reliable or valid. The test involves using inkblots, and explaing what the test taker sees and why they see that.
The other major test is TAT, developed by Henry Murray in the 1930's
Rorschach uses inkblots, TAT uses cards with pictures. Only 10 cards are used in a typical session.
The test taker is asked to make up a story for each card, with a before the picture, during the picture, and after the picture.
The scorer looks for reoccurring themes to get a result, also not proven to valid or reliable.

These tests are used to get a better idea of the takers personality
Social-Cognitive Approach to Personality:
Social-Cognitive theorists agree with behaviorists that learning through environmental conditioning contributes to personality development.
However, they think that social learning (modeling) and cognitive process, such as perception and thinking are also involved, and are more important to the development of our personality
Albert Bandura purposes that the behaviors that define ones personality are a product of a person's self-perception
This self-system is a set of cognitive processes by which a person observes, evaluates, and regulates their behavior
Social learning illustrates how this system works
Children observes various behaviors of the models in their social environment, especially their parents.
Children may choose to copy these behaviors, especially if they're reinforced earlier.
if these behaviors continue to be reinforced, children may incorporate them into their personality.
This means that there is a self-direction (the child consciously chooses what behaviors to copy.
The child's behavior is not automatically elicited by environmental stimuli.
We do not respond mechanically to the environment;
We chose our behaviors based on our expectations of reinforcement and punishment.
Bandura also purposes that people observe their own behavior and judge its effectiveness relative to their own standards.
The self-efficiency is a judgement in ones effectiveness in dealing with particular situations
Success increases our sense of self-efficiency; failure decreases it.
People with generally low self-efficiency tend to be depressed, anxious and helpless
People with generally high self-efficiency are confident, positive in their outlook, and have little self doubt
Parallels to the story The Little Engine That Could. To do something you have to think you can do it.
Another Social-Cognitive theorist, Julian Rotter, purposed a similar concept to that of self-efficiency, known as the locus (meaning "place") of control
Two Types:
Is the perception you control your own fate
Perception that forces beyond your personal control determine your fate
The difference between Self-Efficiency and Locus Control is that people with an internal Locus Control perceived their success as dependent on their own actions, but they may not feel that they have the ability (efficiency) to bring about successful outcomes in various situations
Why is this important?
Research shows people with internal locus of control are better off psychologically
People with an external locus of control may feel helpless, and are easily susceptible to depression
How we perceive our self attribute to our success or failure
What are factors that lead to self-perception?
Self-Serving bias
The tenancy to make attributions to perceive oneself favorably
You do well on a test:
"I am awesome and smart"
You do bad on a test:
"I didn't really try that hard anyway"
This bias helps us keep good self-esteem and protect us from depression and helplessness
These would be the differences between a pessimist and an optimist
Pessimists tend to internalize negative outcomes and externalize positive ones
You do poorly on a test:
"I'm stupid"
Did well on a test:
"I just got lucky"
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