Personality Rapid Review for AP Psychology (page 2)
More in-depth study guides for these concepts can be found at:
- Personality Theories and Approaches for AP Psychology
- Persoanlity Assessment Techniques for AP Psychology
Personality—a set of unique behaviors, attitudes, and emotions that characterize a particular individual.
Idiographic methods—personality techniques that look at the individual, such as case studies, interviews, and naturalistic observations.
Nomothetic methods—personality techniques such as tests, surveys, and observations that focus on variables at the group level, identifying universal trait dimensions or relationships between different aspects of personality.
Biological approach—examines the extent to which heredity determines our personality.
- Temperament—an infant's natural disposition includes sensitivity, activity levels, prevailing mood, irritability, and adaptability.
- Heritability estimates from twin and adoption studies suggest that both heredity and environment have about equal roles in determining at least some of our personality characteristics.
- Evolutionary psychologist David Buss attributes the universality of basic personality traits to natural selection because traits such as extraversion and agreeableness ensure physical survival and reproduction of the species.
Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic approach—originated with Sigmund Freud, who emphasized unconscious motivations and conflicts, and the importance of early childhood experiences.
Three levels of the mind:
- Conscious—includes everything we are aware of.
- Preconscious—contains information and feelings we can easily recall.
- Unconscious—contains wishes, impulses, memories, and feelings generally inaccessible to conscious.
Three major systems of personality:
- Id (in unconscious)—contains everything psychological that is inherited and psychic energy that powers all three systems. Id is "Give me, I want," irrational, self-centered; guided by the pleasure principle.
- Ego (partly conscious, partly unconscious)—mediates between instinctual needs and conditions of the environment to maintain our life and ensure species lives on; guided by the reality principle.
- Superego (partly conscious, partly unconscious)—is composed of the conscience that punishes us by making us feel guilty, and the ego–ideal that rewards us by making us feel proud of ourselves.
Defense mechanisms—extreme measures protect the ego from threats; operate unconsciously and deny, falsify, or distort reality.
Some defense mechanisms:
- Repression—the most frequently used and powerful defense mechanism; the pushing away of threatening thoughts, feelings, and memories into the unconscious mind; unconscious forgetting.
- Regression—retreat to an earlier level of development characterized by more immature, pleasurable behavior.
- Rationalization—offering socially acceptable reasons for our inappropriate behavior; making unconscious excuses.
- Projection—attributing our own undesirable thoughts, feelings, or actions to others.
- Displacement—shifting unacceptable thoughts, feelings, or actions from a more threatening person or object to another less threatening person or object.
- Reaction formation—acting in a manner exactly opposite to our true feelings.
- Sublimation—the redirection of unacceptable sexual or aggressive impulses into more socially acceptable behaviors.
Freud's Psychosexual Theory of Development—sequential and discontinuous stages with changing erogenous zone and conflict in each stage; if conflict is not successfully resolved, result is fixation.
- Oral stage—pleasure from sucking; conflict is weaning from bottle or breast; oral fixation; oral-dependent personalities are gullible, overeaters, and passive, while oral-aggressive personalities are sarcastic and argumentative.
- Anal stage—pleasure from holding in or letting go of feces; conflict is toilet training; anal fixation; anal-retentive personalities are orderly, obsessively neat, stingy, and stubborn; or anal-expulsive personalities are messy, disorganized, and lose their temper.
- Phallic stage—pleasure from self-stimulation of genitals; conflict is castration anxiety or penis envy. Healthy resolution of Oedipal/Electra complex results in identification with same sex parent; fixation; homosexuality or relationship problems.
- Latency stage—suppressed sexuality; pleasure in accomplishments; if accomplishments fall short of expectations, development of feelings of inferiority.
- Genital stage—adolescent to adulthood; pleasure from intercourse and intimacy with another person.
Carl Jung's analytic theory emphasized the influence of our evolutionary past on our personality with the collective unconscious—the powerful and influential system that contains universal memories and ideas that all people have inherited from ancestors over the course of evolution.
- Archetypes—inherited memories or common themes found in all cultures, religions, and literature, both ancient and modern.
- Individuation—psychological process by which we become an individual; a unified whole, including conscious and unconscious processes.
Alfred Adler's individual or ego theory emphasized social interest as the primary determinant of personality. We strive for superiority and try to compensate for inferiority complexes.
Karen Horney attacked Freud's male bias and suggested the male counterpart for penis envy is womb envy. She thought females were more envious of the male's social status.
Humanistic approach—Humans are born good and strive for positive personal growth.
- Abraham Maslow emphasized the goal of self-actualization—reaching toward the best person we can be.
- Carl Rogers's self-theory or the view that the individual's self-concept is formed by society's conditions of worth and the need for unconditional positive regard—acceptance and love from others independent of how we behave.
Behavioral approach—According to Skinner, our history of reinforcement shapes our behavior, which is our personality.
Cognitive and social cognitive/social-learning approach—Cognitive theories say human nature is basically neutral and we are shaped by our perceptions of the world.
- George Kelly's personal construct theory looks at how we develop bipolar mental constructs to judge and predict others' behavior.
- Social cognitive/social-learning theories stress the interaction of thinking with learning experiences in a social environment.
- Albert Bandura's reciprocal determinism states that three types of factors all affect one another in explaining our behavior: personality characteristics and cognitive processes; the nature, frequency, and intensity of actions; stimuli from the social or physical environment, and reinforcement contingencies.
- Self-efficacy is our belief that we can perform behaviors that are necessary to accomplish tasks and that we are competent.
- Collective efficacy is our perception that with collaborative effort our group will obtain its desired outcome. Research studies indicate high self-efficacy is more beneficial in individualistic societies and high collective efficacy in collectivistic societies for achievement of group goals.
- Julian Rotter's locus of control is the degree to which we expect that a reinforcement or outcome of our behavior is contingent on our own behavior or personal characteristics (internal locus of control), as opposed to the degree to which we expect that a reinforcement or outcome of our behavior is a function of luck or fate, is under the control of others, or is unpredictable (external locus of control).
- Walter Mischel developed a cognitive-affective personality system (CAPS). Interaction among five factors (our encoding strategies, our expectancies and beliefs, our goals and values, our feelings, and our personal competencies and self-regulatory processes) and characteristics of the situation account for our individual differences.
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