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Please be aware that this is a student-generated wiki designed for review for my students' AP exams. Come in, look around, and enjoy yourself...just be aware of the nature of this wiki. Even though most everything is correct, I advise caution before citing this as an authoritative source.

Personality


What is Personality?
  • Personality - an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
  • If your behavior pattern is strikingly distinctive and consistent, like always being outgoing at parties or at school, you probably have a "strong" personality (Myers).
  • 2 Historically Significant Perspectives:
    • Freud's psychoanalytic theory proposed that childhood sexuality and unconscious motivations influence personality (Myers 575).
    • The humanistic approach focused on our inner capacities for growth and self-fulfillment (Myers 575)
    • Trait- search for identifiable patterns of behavior or conscious motives that describe basic dimensions of personality (Myers).
    • social cognitive- integrates principles of learning, cognition, and social influence (Myers)
  • There are 5 "big" personality factors. These traits are influenced by genetic predispositions and other biological factors; they offer a reasonably comprehensive picture of personality (Myers)
    • Emotional Stability
      • calm or anxious
      • secure or insecure
    • Extroversion
      • sociable
      • affectionate
      • Likes to draw attention to oneself in groups
      • outgoing
      • Talkative
      • lower level of natural arousal
    • Introversion
      • tend to be less sociable and reserved
      • will have a small group of close/long-lasting friends.
      • would prefer to blend into the group rather than stand out as an individual
      • shy
    • Openness
      • imaginative or practical
      • independent or conforming
    • Agreeableness
      • trusting or suspicious
      • helpful or uncooperative
    • Conscientiousness
      • organized or disorganized
      • disciplined or impulsive
      • reacting or thought
    • The big five are stable in adulthood, while some are waning( emotional instability, extraversion, and openess), others rise( agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
    • The big five model underestimates the chances of behavior changing from situation to situation; For example; a person might be external image arrow-10x10.png extroverted in a setting where they are more comfortable while in a more unfamiliar setting they might be introverted. (Krieger)
    • heritability of individual differences varies with the diversity of people studied but it generally runs 50 percent or a tad more for each dimension (Loehlin & others, 1998)
    • the big five dimensions describe personality in various cultures reasonably well (McCrae, 2001; Paunonen & others, 2000)
    • it is also common for people to have both introvertic and extrovertic traits but one is normally more dominant

The Psychoanalytic Perspective
  • Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory proposed that childhood sexuality and unconscious motivations influence personality.
  • The humanistic approach focused on our inner capacities for growth and self fulfillment(575).
  • Technique of treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions (Myers).
  • Freud believed that hypnosis might unlock the door to the unconscious but patients displayed an uneven capacity for it so he turned to Free Association
  • Freud viewed dreams as windows into the unconscious mind. Created a list of symbols that represented hidden meanings in our dreams
    • In the iceberg the consciousness is the visible tip; the id is completely submerged, hence it is totally unconscious. Ego and Superego operate both consciously and unconsciously. (Myers 578
    • Free Association-a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing. (Myers)
    • Freud assumed that a line of mental dominoes has fallen from his patients' distant past to their troubled presents. (Myers)
    • He believed that free association allowed him to trace that line back, producing a chain of thought leading into the patient's unconscious, thereby retrieving and releasing painful unconscious memories, often from childhood. (Meyers 576)
  • Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality sought to explain what he observed during psychoanalysis (Myers).
    • Psychoanalysis- Freud's theory of personality that attributes our thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; the techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions (Myers 576).
    • Unconscious- the region containing thoughts, wishes, feeling, and memories of which we are unaware. (Myers)
    • Free association- saying whatever comes to mind to explore the unconsciousness
Some of these thoughts we store temporarily in a preconscious area, from which we can retrieve them into our conscious awareness. (Myers).
Personality Structure: In Freud's view, human personality-including its emotions and strivings- arise from conflicts between our aggressive pleasure seeking biological impulses and the internalized social restraints against them.(Myers)
  • Freud believed that our personality is the result of our efforts to resolve these basic conflicts
    • He searched for people's inner conflicts in their dreams (manifest content:story line / latent content: meaningful or symbolic content)
  • Id- contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. (Myers) The Id operates on the pleasure principle (sexual/aggressive drives), demanding immediate gratification.(Myers)
-The id operates on the pleasure principle: If not constrained by reality, it seeks immediate gratification. (Meyers 577)
-for example, a newborn, governed by the id,they cry out for satisfaction the moment they feel the need, not caring about the outside worlds demands or conditions (Myers)
-ex : rooting reflex, when a newborn is touched on the check she automatically looks for a nipple to feed
  • Ego- the largely conscious, "executive" part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego satisfies the id's desires in ways that realistically bring pleasure rather than pain. Similar to the pleasure principle, the ego strictly follows the reality principle. The ego is is partly in the conscious mind and partly in the unconscious mind. (Myers). Example: if you find someone sexually attractive but you don't want to come on too strong, you might join the same volunteer organization as the person to whom you are attracted to spend more time with them in a safe atmosphere (Myers).
-Freud theorized that around the ages of 4 and 5, the child's ego begins to recognize the demands of the newly emerged superego. (Meyers 578)
  • Superego- the part of personality that, according to Freud, is,"the voice of conscience that forces the ego to consider not only the real but the ideal, and that focuses solely on how one ought to behave" (Myers 578). Strives for perfection, judging actions and producing positive feelings of pride or negative feelings of guilt. The superego did not completely exist in the unconscious, but it also exists in the conscious according to Freud. (Myers)
    • ex) The superego is your behavior and how we view how we should act
  • example: If you are invited to a party, but have an exam the next day, your superego would tell you that you need to stay home and study instead of partying.
  • example: If you don't want to go to school, your superego would say that you should to not fall behind in classes
  • For instance, when a child does not follow his parent advice and screams, we would say that the child have a weak ego because they lack the ability to self-control and mediate his id.
  • Since the superego's demands often oppose the id's, the ego struggles to reconcile the two. It is the personality "executive," mediating the impulsive demands of the id, the restraining demands of the superego, and the real life demands of the external world. The chaste student who is sexually attracted to someone may satisfy both Id and superego by joining a volunteer organization to which the desired person belongs (Myers 578).
  • Psycho-sexual Stages- The childhood stages of development during which, according to Freud, the id's pleasure seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones. (Myers)
  • There are five five stages to the Freud Pyschosexual stage. The Oral stage which happens between 0-18 months focuses on pleasure center on the mouth like sucking,bring or chewing. Anal come next from about 18-36 months focusing on bowel and bladder elimination;coping with demands for control. The third stage is phallic stage which occurs from 3-6 year olds focusing in the genital areas;coping with incestuous sexual feelings. Next comes Latency ages 6 to puberty focusing on dormant sexual feelings. The last stage is genital from puberty till death which focuses on maturation of sexual interests. (578)
  • concluded that children pass through a series of stages because time and time again his patients' symptoms seemed rooted in unresolved conflicts from early childhood. (Myers)
  • Freud believed that two typed of instincts exist: Eros (the life instincts) and Thanatos (the death instincts). Libido is the energy that directs life instincts (Barrons)
  • Oedipus complex- according to Freud, a boy's sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father.(Myers) After the Greek legend of Oedipus, who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. (Myers)
    • According to Freud, this complex results in the son becoming very similar to the father and that is what explains the similarities between father & son.
    • This may also cause for jealousy to be present between the father and son. They will compete for the affection of the mother.
  • Electra Complex- this is very similar to the Oedipus complex and has been proposed by other psychologists that believe daughters have a similar relationship with their mothers that the Oedipus Complex suggests between a son and father.
  • identification- the process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate their parents' values into their developing superegos. Freud believed that identification with the same sex parent provides what is known as our gender identity- our sense of being male or female. (myers)
    • Orally fixated adults, he thought, could exhibit either passive dependence-perhaps by acting tough and uttering biting sarcasm. (Myers)
    • These tactics reduce or redirect anxiety in various ways, but always by distorting reality. (Myers)
    • "Freud believed that children cope with threatening feelings of competition with their same sex parent by identifying with that parent" (Myers 579).
    • Freud believed that children cope with threatening feelings of competition with their same sex parent by identifying with that parent. (Myers)
  • Fixation- according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an immature psychosexual stage, where conflicts were unresolved. It occurs when development becomes arrested. (Myers)
  • For example, Freud believed that people who were either orally overindulged or deprived might fixate at the oral stage (Myers 579)
  • Defense mechanisms- in psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality. (Myers)
  • "As members of social groups, we must control our sexual and aggressive impulses, not act them out... ego protects itself with defense mechanisms" (Myers 580).
    • repression- in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes-anxiety arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness. Repression is an example of motivated forgetting. (Myers)
    • According to Freud, repression underlies al the other defense mechanisms, each of which disguises threatening impulses and keeps them from reaching consciousness (Myers).
    • Freud believed that repression explains why we do not remember our childhood lust for our parent of the other sex (Myers 580).
      • For example, an individual who was abused as a child and has no recollection of this yet has trouble forming relationships.
    • Many researchers today believe that repression rarely, if not never, occurs (Myers 586).
    • regression- defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated.(Myers)
      • example: a young girl returns to oral stage of development by sucking her thumb as a way to reduce anxiety.
      • example: a girl who is stressed out about something regresses to the oral stage and begins biting her nails
      • Another example is juvenile monkeys, when anxious, retreat to infantile clinging to their mothers or to one another (Myers 580)
    • Reaction Formation- timidity becomes daring. Feelings of inadequacy become bravado.
      • the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites (Myers)
      • People may express feelings that are opposite of their anxiety arousing unconscious feelings. (Meyers)
      • For example, when you're around someone you greatly dislike yet being overly-friendly to them to hide your true emotions.
      • En route to consciousness, the unacceptable proposition "I hate him" becomes "I love him". (Myers 580)
    • Rationalization- occurs when we unconsciously generate self-justifying explanations to hide from ourselves the real reasons for our actions. (Myers) Ex. habitual drinkers may say they drink with their friends "just to be sociable." (Myers).
    • Example: Students who fail to study rationalize, "All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull person." (Myers).
    • When we do things that we know are not necessarily right, we will try to find ways of justifying our actions instead of admitting the real reason behind what we do. Oftentimes we are unaware that we are trying to justify our actions and continue to do so regardless of what others may say.
    • Projection-according to Freud, disguises threatening impulses by attributing them to others unconsciously.
      • example: "he doesn't trust me" actually may mean "I don't trust him"
      • An El Salvadoran saying captures the idea: "The thief thinks everyone is a thief." (Myers 580)
    • Displacement-according to Freud, diverts one's sexual or aggressive impulses toward an object or person that is psychologically more acceptable than the one that aroused the feelings
    • For example, students who get upset over a test might snap at another classmate. (Myers).
    • Another example, would be a child getting anger at the parents for not letting him/her eat ice cream, so he/she displaces it by kicking the family pet (Myers).
    • Compensation- making up for failures in one area by success (Talamo)
      • ex) Dan gets in a huge argument with his boss, but he cannot lash out at him, for there is a high chance that he will lose his job. When he gets home, he instead yells at his wife for no reason and takes out his anger on her.
    • Denial- the refusal to accept unwanted beliefs (Talamo) Ex: A person who is clearly an alcoholic that believes otherwise.
    • Example: A girl who recently got dumped from her boyfriend of 5 years, and tells her friends that she never loved him anyway.
    • Sublimation- the channeling or redirecting of sexual or aggressive feelings into a more socially acceptable outlet. (Talamo) Ex: Someone who is really upset about a situation might take part in kickboxing to let out their aggression as a healthy outlet.
    • Intellectualization- undertaking an academic, unemotional study of a topic (Barrons)
    • Projective Tests -aim to provide such a view by presenting an ambiguous stimulus and then asking test-takers to describe it or tell a story about it.
    • Freuds theories have since been widely discredited and critics are very harsh in their judgments of them, "Psychoanalytical theory is on precisely the same scientific plane as the Loch Ness moster"-E. Fuller Torrey, Freudian Fraud (Myers 585).
    • Stimulus has no inherent significance, so any meaning people read into it presumably is a projection of their interests and conflicts (Myers 581).
Assessing the Unconscious
  • the processing of the memory, perception without being aware of it
  • debated if the unconscious mind takes a role on cognitive activity
  • Projective Tests - a type of tests designed to "trigger [the] projection of one's inner dynamics (Myers)
  • Collective Unconscious- Carl Jung's concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history (Myers)
    • Carl Jung believed that the collective unconscious explains why for people spiritual concerns are deeply rooted and why people in various cultures share certain myths and images (Myers).


    • These tests attempt to assess personality by presenting ambiguous stimuli that are designed to reveal the unconscious (Myers)
    • A form of personality test
    • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)- Murray introduced this projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through stories they make up about the ambiguous scenes (Myers)
    • Other projective tests ask test-takers to draw a person, to complete a sentence, or to provide the first word that comes to mind after the examiner says a test word
    • Rorschach inkblot test- the most widely used projective test, and seeks to identify the test-taker's inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the 10 inkblots. The Rorschach has questionable reliability/validity, but some clinicians continue to use them (Myers)
    • When shown an inkblot, many people may interpret the same picture differently, thus revealing unconscious aspects of the test-taker's personality. One plate may be interpreted as a butterfly, moth, two dogs, a mask, etc, revealing that everyone tends to look at one picture with very different perspectives.
    • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)- the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Developed to detect psychiatric problems.
      • Personality inventories are longer questionnaires on which people respond to items covering a wide range of feelings and behaviors. (Myers)
    • Empirically Derived Test- developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups. (Myers)
  • The nearly unanimous consensus of the scientific community is that the Rorschach Inkblot Test is not very good (Sechrest & others, 1998)
  • There exists no universally accepted system for scoring and interpreting the test
  • In spite of its criticism, the Rorschach remains "simultaneously, the most cherished and the most reviled of all psychological assessment tools" (Hunsley & Bailey, 1999)
  • It is likely that Freud himself would have disapproved of the test and preferred to instead examine the therapist-patient interactions that take place during the test

Personality Development: Freud believed that personality develops in the first few years. He believed that it passed through psychosexual stages (the childhood stages of development during which, according to Freud, the id's pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones):

  • Oral (0-18 months)- Pleasure centers on the mouth; sucking, biting, chewing.
    • Freud stated that oral stimulation during this time could lead to oral fixation and habits later in life such as nail-biting, smoking, and thumb-sucking. these usually occur when under stress.
  • Anal (18-36 months)- Pleasure centers on bowel and bladder elimination; coping with demands for control.
    • This can become a fixation in one's adult life, when an overly controlling person may be called "anal retentive", referring back to this childhood stage (Myers).
    • Freud believed that those who who never quite resolve the anal conflict between the desire to eliminate at will and the demands of toilet training may be messy and disorganized (anal expulsive) or highly controlled and compulsive neat (anal retentive). (Myers)
    • the nature of the way one is potty trained can lead to the way they handle authority in the future.
  • Phallic (3-6 years)- Pleasure zone is genitals; coping with incestuous sexual feelings.
    • Freud believed that during this stage boys seek sexual desires for their mothers and hatred for their fathers. (Oedipus Complex)
    • Also, identification occurs during this stage, allowing young boys and girls to imitate the behavior of either their mother or father to take on that gender role.
  • Latency (6-puberty)- Dormant sexual feelings
    • Usually kids around this stage tend to associate and play with others of the same gender to hide these feelings.
  • Genital (puberty- onward)- Maturation of sexual interest.
    • This is the normal stage for an adult to be in.
    • Fixation from a previous stage can alter the way one feels sexual pleasure in this stage. (Such as being fixated by the oral stage)
  • Oedipus Complex- A child's unconscious sexual desires for their mothers or fathers.
    • Originated from the Greek legend of Oedipus (Myers).
      • Oedipus is the name of the main character in a Sophocles play who killed his father and married his mother (accidentally), This is where Freud got the name.
  • During the first 3 stages, Freud believed that there was a strong conflict that can lock, or fixate, the persons pleasure seeking energies. (Myers) If a person becomes stuck in one stage, they are said to have a fixation on one stage.
The Humanistic Perspective
-Humanistic psychologists have sought to turn psychology's attention from baser motives and environmental conditioning to the growth potential of healthy people, as seen through the individual's own experiences. (Myers)
- Humanistic psychologist assessed personality through questionnaires on which people report their self-concept and in therapy by seeking to understand others' subjective personal experiences (Myers)
  • Abraham Maslow believed that if basic human needs are fulfilled, people will strive to actualize theri highest potential (Myers).
  • Maslow(1970) developed most of his ideas by studying healthy, creative people rather than troubled clinical cases.(Myers)
  • Carl Rogers' Person Centered Perspective: To nurture growth in others, Carl Rogers advised being genuine, accepting, and empathetic. This way people can develop a deeper self-awareness and a more realistic and positive self-concept. Rogers labeled this acceptance and attitude of grace as unconditional positive regard (Myers).
  • Rogers agreed with most of Maslow's ideas, but he believed that people were basically good and were endowed with self actualizing tendencies. (Myers)
  • Assessing the self: values individualist and self-centered, and its assumptions naively optimistic.
  • Self-concept: all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question, "Who am I?"
  • Self Actualization is the process of fulfilling our true potential.
    • According to Maslow, psychological needs have to be met before you reach self actualization.
  • Ex. A person who has reached self actualization is secure and has a strong sense of who he or she is, their interests are problem centered, and they focus on one task as their life mission. Abraham Lincoln would fall into this category because of his dedication to ending slavery in the U.S. and reunifying the nation (Myers).
    • Internal conflicts arise when we experience incongruence, discrepancies between our self concept and our actual thoughts and behaviors, and also the feedback from our surroundings. (Talamo)
  • Rogers also believed that other people's evaluation of worth distort our self concept (Talamo)
  • One questionnaire, inspired by Carl Jung, test self-concept by asking people to describer their ideal selves - and the closer their ideal selves matched to their actual selves, the more positive their self-concept is.
    • Carl Jung had an idea about the mind comprising of opposite forces, the persona, the "mask" a person wears, and a shadow, the inner person, a "dark side" (Talamo 157).
    • he also proposed we have a male and female side to us, an animus and anima respectively (Talamo 158)
  • Some humanistic psychologists prefer interviews and intimate conversations to standardized personality assessments because they believe the assessments are depersonalizing (Myers).
  • Self-actualization is a concept of of the humanistic perspective (Myers).
    It is defined as the ultimate psychological need that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved. It is the motivation to fulfill one's potential (Myers).
  • Individualism - defining one's identity according to personal characteristics, rather than what the group says, and prioritizing one's own goals before the groups
  • For an individual their self concept is independent because they identify with their individual traits and their perceived life task is to discover and express their own uniqueness.
  • Collectivism - prioritizing the groups goals before your own, and defining one's identity according to what the group says
  • Humanistic psychologists have encountered that a secure, nondefensive self acceptance is actually the first step first step toward loving others. (Myers 589)
  • Humanistic Psychology helped renew psychology's interest in the self. Nevertheless, humanistic psychology's critics complain that its concepts are vague and subjective, its values individualist and self-centered, and its assumptions naively optimistic (Myers).
The Trait Perspective
  • According to Meyers, traits are people's characteristic behaviors and conscious motives.
  • Trait - a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports (Myers)
    • Ex: A trait such as extraversion can be used to describe the behaviors and temperaments of an outgoing comedian such as Whoopi Goldberg (Myers)
    • Ex: Psychologist William Sheldon (1954) classified people by body type. Santa Claus typifies the plump endomorph: relaxed and jolly. Superman typifies the muscular mesomorph: bold and physically active. Sherlock Holmes typifies the thin ectomorph: high strung and solitary. When researchers assess people's body types and personalities separately, there is a linkage, but it is modest (Tucker , 1983).
  • Exploring Traits
A person's personality cannot be summed up into one personality type so researchers came up with a new technique known as Factor Analysis.
Factory Analysis is an extensive test given to people to tap basic components of their intelligence (Myers)
    • There is growing evidence that our biology influences personality factors (Myers).
      • Ex: Extraverts seek stimulation because their normal brain arousal is relatively low. PET scans show that a frontal lobe area involved in behavior inhibition is less active in extraverts than in introverts (Johnson & Others, 1999).
    • Our genes seem to have more of an impact on the temperament and behavioral style that help define personality than the way parents handle us (even though parents also have an influence and are very important for other internal realities such as beliefs and values) (Myers).
    • There are growing evidence that our biology influences personality factors (Myers)
  • Assessing Traits
    • Personality Inventories - questionnaires on which people respond to items covering a wide range of feelings and behaviors. it is used to assess selected personality traits. (Myers)
    • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) - The most extensively and widely used personality inventory. It assesses "abnormal" personality tendencies rather than normal personality traits.it was originally developed to identify emotional disorders(Myers)
    • Empirically Derived Test - A test (such ass the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups
  • The "Big Five" Personality Factors
    • Emotional stability - calm -- anxious, secure -- insecure, self-satisfied -- self-pitying
    • Extraversion - sociable -- retiring, fun-loving -- sober, affectionate -- reserved
    • Openness - imaginative -- practical, independent -- conforming
    • Agreeableness - soft-hearted -- ruthless, trusting -- suspicious, helpful -- uncooperative
    • Conscientiousness - organized -- disorganized, careful -- careless, disciplined -- impulsive
  • The Eysenk Personality Questionnaire- has been given to people in 35 countries... when peoples answers are analyzed, the extroversion and emotional factors inevitably emerge as basic personality dimensions (Myers) the results appear in a map like scale with 4 traits unstable, extroverted, stable, and introverted the personality test tells the individual where they are at according to the various degrees of personality characteristics associated with these four elements


The Social-Cognitive Perspective
Views behavior as influenced by the interaction between persons (and their thinking) and their social context. (Myers)
Today, social-cognitive theory is the predominant physiological approach in explaining human behavior.
Critics say that the social-cognitive perspective focuses so much on the situation that it fails to appreciate the person's inner traits. (Myers)
  • Spotlight effect - overestimating others noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders (as if we presume a spotlight shines on us). (Myers)
    • For example, an individual believing that everyone in class has noticed that individual's bizarre hairstyle when only a few noticed
    • Individuals and environments interact by:
    1. Different people choose different environments (Myers)
    2. Our personalities shape how we interpret and react to event(Myers)
  • Example: Everyday Candy wakes up hours early to get ready for school, one day wakes up late and forgets to do her hair
  • thinking she looks like a horrible mess she believes everyone stares at her, when in reality no one noticed.
  • reciprocal determinism: interacting influences between personality and environmental factors. social-cognitive perspective proposes that our personalities are shaped with our environment, behaviors, feelings and thoughts. (Myers)


  • personal control: our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling helpless. (Myers)
    • Ex: Animals able to escape shocks in the first situation learned personal control and easily escaped the shocks in the new situation. (Myers).
    • External locus of control: the perception that chance or outside forces beyond one's personal control determine one's fate (Myers).
    • Learned Helplessness- The idea that people believe they are unable to control any aspect of their life that they give into "passive resignation" (Meyer). This explains why abused spouses or other family members do not report their negative environment.
      • Ex: Researcher, Martin Seligman found that dogs given a shock to their collar without being able to control or stop the shocks were later placed in a situation where they could escape but still cowered and accepted the their fate. (Myers, 602)
    • Internal locus of control: the perception that one control's one's own fate (Myers).
    • Self-control (when one has an internal locus of control)--the ability to control impulses and delay gratification--predicts good adjustment, better grades, and social success (Myers)
  • Optimism
    • A measure of how helpless or effective one feels is based on whether they are pessimistic or optimistic. (Myers,603)
    • Students who blame their poor performance on them not being able to or thinking there is nothing they can do about it tend to have lower grades. (Myers, 603)
    • Basic optimism is good for your health. (Myers, 604)
The humanistic approach
  • Led by Maslow and Rogers,this approach emphasizes the growth potential of healthy people. This studies personalities in hopes of personal growth and self-understanding. (Myers)
  • It emphasized that positive self-concept is the key to happiness and success, that acceptance and empathy help nurture positive feelings about oneself, and that people are basically good and capable of self-improvement.
  • Self Actualization- According to Maslow, the ultimate psychological need that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self- esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one's potential. (Myers)
The Modern Unconscious Mind
  • Lewicki discovered that people's nonconscious learning can anticipate patterns
  • Anothony Greenwald argues that its time to abandon Freud's views on the conscious due to information that proves the conscious is not as seething passions and repressive censoring but a cooler information processor the works without our awareness
  • Tom Pyszcynski (1997) argues that anxiety is "terror resulting to our vulnerability of death" (Myers)
  • Terror-Management Theory - Faith in one’s worldview and the pursuit of self-esteem provide protection against a deeply rooted fear of death (Myers)
    • when people are forced to face a threatening world, people tend to stick to worldwide views that help in understanding life's meaning (Myers 615)
  • In a study about this people watched a tape of a six jumping between quadrants and those that had watched the video and unconsciously perceived the pattern better predicted where the six would go next.

Exploring the Self
  • Positive thinking can have benefits and negative affects. It helps us stay confident, fending off depression and hopelessness, but overconfidence causes us to avoid precautions to maintain health and success.
  • There exists sort of narrow boundary on how to operate steer between pessimism and optimism in certain cases.
    • For example, Edward Chang claims that Asian-American students perform better in school in respect to their Europen-American counterparts, because the Asian Americans, in general, have more pessimism than these other students. This pessimism may generate the idea that they (the Asian-American students) will under-perform on a test, such that they study and prepare more thoroughly for the next exam.
    • It should be noted that a completely pessimistic attitude, however, is not beneficial, because it may destroy any desire to work hard in order to attain success. Therefore, a realistic worry in regards to future performance on a test is what is best desired.
    • Other studies done regarding students, show that those who do not believe in their skills and ability to perform well, are more likely to get lower grades in general.
    • Additionally, the idea of an internal and external locus of control can be applied here. For example, if you receive a bad grade on a test and conceive that it was your fault, since you did not study, you probably align with the internal locus of control concept. Therefore, in the future you will study for the test, because you believe you can get a better grade if you try. However, if you had believed int e idea of an external locus of control, you may think that the school is too hard, and that you are not intelligent enough to get good grades. You in this case believe that you can not do anything to change your situation, even though in reality you have the ability to do so.[1]
  • Optimism is perceived as beneficial, because of the implications on health. Pessimism may induce depression, which can inhibit proper functioning of the immune system. [2]
    • An overabundance of optimism should be cautioned against. Being overly optimistic, we may be more prone to unnecessary dangers.
      • In general, many college students consider themselves less prone to potential dangers as compared to other college students. Many believe that they are less prone to receiving bad grades and leaving college and having addiction troubles with alcohol.
      • Additionally, teenagers consider they are significantly less likely a risk for contracting HIV and developing AIDS as compared to the average teenager.[3]
    • Those that have less knowledge in general in a particular field are also more likely to be complacent. Justin Kruger and David Drunning discovered that the students whose scores lied at the bottom of the score distributions, were more likely to believe their scores were above at least the 50th percentile. [4]
  • Pessimism has two sides as well. Too much of it causes depression and a hopelessness for the future. Yet, just enough of it helps us stay anxious and drive us into action.
  • Individualism - giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications (Myers)
  • Collectivism - giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly
  • Freud believed that dreams such slips of the lounge reveal unconscious conflicts.(Myers)
  • Self-serving Bias - when people tend to see themselves and act more favorably towards themselves than for others (Meyer).
    • People accpet more responsibilities for good deeds thta for bad, and for successes than for failures. (myers)
    • We overestimate how desirably we would act in situations where most people behave less than admirably (Myers).
    • We exhibit group pride-a tendency to see our group (school, country, race) as superior (Myers).
    • We are quicker to accept flattering descriptions of ourselves, than we are unflattering ones (Myers).
  • Self Esteem- how well someone feels about themselves and their worth (Meyer).
    • Maslow believed that self esteem was very important to self actualization
    • Most people see themselves as better than average. (Myers)
    • Black people tend to have higher self esteem scores than white people. (Meyers)
  • We are able to remember things better if we encode them in terms of ourselves know as self-focus. (Myers)
  • Westerners are primarily individualists, while Asians are primarily collectivists. (Myers)
  • People in individualistic cultures have more personal freedom, take more pride in personal achievements, are less geographically bound to their families, and enjoy more privacy. (Myers)
  • Research finds, that people in individualistic cultures report experiencing greater happiness than do those in collectivist culture (Myers 613).
  • Personality inventory- a questionnaire on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; used to assess selected personality traits. (Myers)
  • Empirically derived test- a test developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups. (Myers)

Psychoanalytic Perspective
  • Neo-Freudians accepted Freud's basic ideas, but veer off two different ways: placing more emphasis on the role of the conscious mind and doubt sex and aggression were all-consuming motivations
    • Freud'f office contained a his famous couch that was piled high with pillows; the reason being it placed his patients in a comortable reclining position fcing away from him to help them focus inward. (Myers 577)
  • according the the Neo-Freudians Freud put to much emphasis on the unconscious mind. (Myers)
  • Alfred Adler and Karen Horney agreed with Freud that childhood is important. But they believed that childhood social, not sexual, tensions are crucial fro personality formation. (Myers )
  • Adler believed that much of our behavior is driven by efforts to conquer childhood feelings of inferiority, feelings that trigger our striving for superiority and power.
  • Displacement- Psychoanalytic defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one's actions. (Myers)
    • Karen Horney also believed that Freud's work had a male bias and she focused instead on the need for security as a basic need (Talamo 157)
    • Horney hypothesized that basic anxiety, which is feeling of loneliness in an unfamiliar or hostile world, is a central theme in childhood (Talamo 157)
    • According to Jung, this is the reason why there are commomn myths, and beliefs in people with in the same culture.
    • Today, however, psychologists discount the idea of inherited experiences (Myers)
  • Karen Horney believed that the parent and child relationship was the most important thing there was. She believed that those children that found security in their relationship with their parents grew up to have better social relationships. Whereas those children who lacked security in their relationships with their parents grow up insecure and distrusting
  • Recent Research has also provided some support for Freud's idea of defense mechanisms (even if they don't work exactly as Freud supposed). For example, Roy Baumeister and his colleagues (1998) found that people tend to see their foibles and attitudes in others, a phenomenon that Freud called projection and today's researchers call the false-consensus effect, the tendency to overestimate the effect to which others share our beliefs and behaviors (Chapter 1). (Myers 616)
Abraham Maslow's Self-Actualizing Person
  • Maslow proposed that we are motivated by a hierarchy of needs (Myers 587)
  • In order from most important needs to least important: Physiological > Safety > Love (relationships) > Self-esteem > Self-actualization
  • Self-actualization is the process of fulfilling our potential
  • Maslow developed his ideas by studying healthy, innovative individuals rather than troubled clinical cases
  • Maslow stated that the qualities of being self-aware, self-accepting, open, spontaneous, loving, caring, and headstrong are mature adult qualities
CARL ROGERS' Person-Centered Perspective
-Rogers believed people are basically good and are ensowed with self actualizing tendenices.
-Unconditional positive Regard is when people nurture growth by being accepted. its an attitude of grace . Humans hope to enjoy this gratifying experience and feel the need to no longer explain themselves.
-Self-Concept is all thoughts and feelInge we have in response to who we are. Our self concept is a postive one then we feel good about ourselves but if our self concept falls negativily we feel unhappy and dissatisfied.
  1. ^ Myers, David G. Myers' Psychology for AP. Seventh ed. New York, NY: Worth, 2004. Print.
  2. ^ Myers, David G. Myers' Psychology for AP. Seventh ed. New York, NY: Worth, 2004. Print.
  3. ^ Myers, David G. Myers' Psychology for AP. Seventh ed. New York, NY: Worth, 2004. Print.
  4. ^ Myers, David G. Myers' Psychology for AP. Seventh ed. New York, NY: Worth, 2004. Print.