Who are you?

What makes “you”?

Your behavior is common to other but it is also distinctive

Personality: Distinctive and relatively enduring ways to thinking, feeling, acting

That characterizes a person’s response to situations

Freud’s Bio

  • Born in 1856
  • Lived most of his life in Vienna
  • Medical school, neurology, received a grant to study psychiatry
  • Set up practice in neuropsy
  • Psychnoanalysis
  • Id, Ego ,Superego
  • Freudian slip
  • Psychosexual stages of Development
  • Oedipal Complex
  • Defence Mechanisms
  • Interpretation of Dreams
  • Penis Envy
  • Influence on laer psychologists
  • Cocaine

Psychic Energy: generated by instinctual drives

Mental Events: Conscious, Preconscious, Unconscious


  • Hysterical women in Vienne
  • The “talking cure”
  • Anna O: the beginning of psychoanalysis
  • Catharsis= explosive release of pent up emotions
  • Hypnosis and free association


  • Unconscious
  • No direct contact with reality
  • Only structure present at birth
  • Operates according to pleasure principle


  • Conscious level (primarily)
  • Operates according to ‘reality principle’ (meet id’s needs in realistic way)


  • Morality aspects of personality  (right or wrong)

Defence Mechanisms

  • Repression: placing uncomfortable thoughts & wishes in the unconscious mind
  • Revealed in slips of the tongue, dreams (e.g childbirth pain, childhood abuses)
  • Sublimation: unacceptable impulses are presented as socially desirable behavior (mask true feelings, wishes)
  • Denial: Refusal to acknowledge situation; blocking external events from awareness (death, alcoholism, pregnancy during affairs)
  • Displacement: Finding a ‘safe target’
  • Projection: An unacceptable impulse is repressed and then projected onto another person
  • Rationalization” You construct a false, but reasonable, explanation for an event that already occurred

Freund: Psychoseuxal Development

Series of stages

  • Focuses on specific pleasure-sensitive areas of body
  • Adult personality is a function of progressing through these stages


  • Arrested development where instincts focused on particular area
  • Long term effects on our character

Oral Stage

  • 0-2 years
  • Focus of pleasure on the mouth
  • Fixation= self-indulgence; dependency

Anal Stage

  • 2-3 stages
  • Fixation= compulsive, cleanliness, rigid rules


  • 4-6 years
  • Focus of pleasure on genitalia
  • Conflicts may result in homosexuality, authority problems
  • Oedipal crisis for boy
  • Penis Envy for women


  • 7- puberty
  • Period of dormant sexuality


  • Puberty +
  • Formation of social & sexual relationships

Praise for Freud

  • most influential psychologist ever
  • psychoanalysis has been very popular
  • huge impact on pop culture recognized importance of
  • unconscious influences on behaviour
  • recognized importance of early development on adult behaviour


  • Psychoanalysts who disagreed with Freud
  • Felt Freud failed to recognize social & cultural factors
  • Overemphasized infantile sexuality
  • Personality develops throughout life span
  • Childhood experiences were important but not sole determinants

Neoanalytic Approaches

Alfred Adler

  • Humans are motivated by social interest
  • Place social welfare above personal interests
  • Striving for superiority compensate for real or imagined defects
  • (inferiority complex) become more competent

Neoanalytic Approaches

Carl Jung

  • Analytic psychology
  • Personal unconscious (your life)
  • + Collective unconscious (human race)


  • reflect collective unconscious
  • Numerous cultures
  • Common: symbols, good, evil, gero
  • Superiority complex
  • Social Interest

Humanistic Approach

Reaction to Freud

  • Positive view that emphasizes goodness of humankind
  • Emphasis on role of (conscious/ self-actualization)
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs
  • Become self-actualized when he gives back all the decoration and presents

Carl Rogers Self Theory

Self-concept: central concept

Organized, consistent set of perception & beliefs about oneself

Once established- tendency to maintain it

Congruence: consistency between self-perceptions & experiences

What happens when your experience does not “match” your self-concept?


  • Arises when experience is inconsistent with selfconcept
  • “Why is he making that face? I’m a good cook.”

Healthy Adjustment

  • Individuals modify self-concept
  • “Not all people find me a good cook.”


  • Individuals distort reality
  • “They are just not clever enough to see that I am a good cook.”
  • Can lead to ‘problems in living’/ Not flexible in their perception of themselves

Need for Positive Regard

  • Innate need for acceptance, sympathy, love, essential for healthy development

Unconditional Positive Regard

  • Independent of behaviour

Conditional Positive Regard

  • Dependent upon behaviour
  • Creates ‘conditions of worth’


How positively or negatively we feel about ourselves

High self-esteem

  • Less susceptible to social pressure
  • Fewer interpersonal problems
  • Achieve at higher level

Poor self-esteem

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Poor social relationships
  • Underachievement


  • Motivated to confirm self-concept
  • Seek out self confirming relationships
  • Want people to see you like how you see yourself”

Roger’s Self Theory

  • He experienced Unconditional Positive Regard when the “whos” accepted him even though he had tried to take away Christmas

Social Cognitive Theories: Rotter

  • Locus of Control: How much control do you have in your life?

Internal (move successful in life)

  • Events under personal control
  • Sense of personal effectiveness


  • Luck, chance, powerful others
  • Give into ‘powerful’ others

Self-Efficacy (Bandura)

  • Beliefs about your ability to perform a task
  • High efficacy will do better, persist longer, seek out feedback

What influences self-efficacy?

Performance attainments

  • Previous successes or failures

Observational learning

  • Observing others

Verbal persuasion

  • Positive or negative messages from others

Emotional arousal

  • Arousal that can inhibit or enhance performance

Barnum Effect

  • Simple Horoscope:
  • Barum effect: statement taken from a newsstand astrology book
  • On a scale of 0 (poor) to 5 (perfect) students rated a 4.5
  • People accept very general or vague characterization of themselves and take them as accurate

Cattell’s trait Theory

  • How can we decide what fundamental traits are?
  • Dictionary identifies 18,000 personality descriptors
  • Cattell narrowed this down to 170 descriptors
  • Had subject rate themselves on each one and used factor analysis to group them
  • Cattell derived 16 source traits

Traits approach

  • Reflect a basic dimension or traits
  • Each dimension reflect a “continuum’ of behavior (extrovert à introvert)
  • Each of us can be placed at some point on the continuum

Extraversion- stability Model

  • Both traits are present in every person, in different degrees

Extroverted- Introverted

  • Eq. sociable, take risks, inhibited, cautious

Stable- Unstable

  • Eg. Emotionally stable, poised excessive worry, moodiness

Ability to “ignore things” that extroverts are distracted by or reactive to is a strong characteristic for success in introversion

Eysenck’s Two Factors

Extroversion (+) vs. Introversion

  • Do you like mixing with people? (+)
  • Do you like plenty of bustle and excitement around you? (+)
  • Are you rather lively? (+)

Stable vs. Unstable (+) (= Neuroticism)

  • Do you often feel lonely? (+)
  • Does your mood often go up and down? (+)

Extraversion- Stability Model

  • Knowing how Extraverted a person is tells us nothing about his level of emotional stability
  • 2 “super traits” combine to form more specific traits

5 Factor Model

Variation on these 5 factors create enormous diversity in personalities…adequate to describe important features of personality

Openness (O)

  • Tolerance for new ideas and new ways of doing things

Conscientiousness (C)

  • Degree of organization, preference for goaloriented activity

Extraversion (E)

  • Preference for social interaction, activity for activity’s sake

Agreeableness (A)

  • Orientation toward compassion and caring about others

Neuroticism (N)

  • Tendency toward negative emotionality, instability, inability to cope

Effects of Age

  • Less open to experience
  • More conscientious
  • Less extroverted
  • More agreeable
  • Less neurotic

Consistency Paradox

Walter Mischel

  • Little consistency in traits such as honesty
  • Little consistency across situations

How can this be?

  • We behave differently in different situations
  • Trait descriptions overemphasize consistency
  • Our intuition expects to see consistency; empirical evidence does not support this

Stability of Personality Traits

Can you predict behaviour from personality traits?

Difficult because:

  • Traits interact with other traits
  • Importance’ of trait influences consistency
  • Variation in ‘self-monitoring’


  • High = attentive to situational cues
  • Low = attentive to internal beliefs

Are you a high self-monitor?

High Self-monitors

  • People who modify their behavior based on the situation

Low Self-monitors

  • People who behave in a consistent manner regardless of the situation

Four Temperaments

  • Sanguine– Blood (cheerful, even tempered)
  • Choleric– Yellow Bile (Quick tempered, easily initiated)
  • Melancholic– Black Bile (sad, Resigned)
  • Phlegmatic– Phlegm (Dull, indifferent)

Biological Perspective

Extraversion – Introversion

  • Brains of extreme extroverts = under-aroused
  • Seek to maximize stimulation
  • Brains of extreme introverts = over-aroused (try to minimize stimulation)

Introverts (vs. Extroverts)

  • Respond more strongly to stimuli
  • More sensitive to pain of electric shocks
  • Salivate more when tasting lemon juice
  • Show more arousal to a sudden noise
  • Perform worse in noisy settings are impaired by caffeine ( vs. extroverts who are enhanced)
  • Have more activation in frontal lobes

Personality Assessment


  • Structured set of standardized questions
  • note other behaviours – appearance,  speech patterns,  facial expressions etc.

Behavioural Assessment

  • Need explicit coding system
  • specific behavior, frequency, under what conditions
  • Interjudge reliability

Personality Scales

Objective measures: use standard questions & agreed upon scoring key

2 Types


  • Based on theoretical conception of trait
  • Item seems ‘relevant’ to the trait
  • Big 5 personality traits


  • Items were answered differently by differing groups

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

  • Based on responses by ‘normals’ and psychiatric patients
  • M: 1,138 F: 1,462
  • Ages 18-80
  • Vulnerable to faking


  • 10 clinical scales
  • 3 validity scales
  • (L) lie
  • (F) frequency (exaggerates complaints)
  • (K) correction (denies problems)
  • Configuration pattern of scales
  • Measures severe personality deviations
  • Screening device in industrial, military
  • Settings

New occupation-specific mean profiles present targeted information to help provide strong support for hiring decisions.

Projective tests

  • Presented with ambiguous stimulus
  • Interpretation = projection of inner needs, feelings, ways of viewing the world

2 main tests

  • Rorshach Inkblots
  • Thematic Apperception Test

Rorschach Inkblots

  • 10 inkblots
  • Categorized according to ‘types’ of objects seen
  • Different examiners – different interpretations?
  • Test is always used in conjunction with other tests

Thematic Apperception Test

  • Ambiguous illustrations/ photos

Who uses what tools?

  • Psychodynamic = projective techniques
  • Humanistic = self-report measures
  • Social-cognitive = behavioural assessments
  • Biological = physiological measurements
  • Trait theorists = inventories (MMPI, NEO-PI)
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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