Chapter 13 - Personality Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 13 - Personality Deck (187):

Where do our personalities come from?

A combination of our genes and experiences.



The characteristic thoughts, emotional responses, and behaviors that are relatively stable in an individual over time and across circumstances


Personality is a combination of..

How we are born, which forces are in our environments, and what we decide to be


One challenge of figuring out people is that they act differently in different situations



Ppl constantly try to figure out other people



What do personality psychologists study?

They explore the influence of culture, learning, biology, and cognition
- some personality psychologists are most interested in understanding the whole person
- some study how individual characteristics like shyness of esteem influence behavior


Personality trait

A characteristic; a dispositional tendency to act in a certain way over time and across circumstances


Personality is not just a list of traits though



Personality is considered

A dynamic organization within an individual that determine their behaviors and thoughts


The notion of organization related to personality?

Indicates that personality is a coherent whole


Why is personality considered dynamic?

It is goal seeking, sensitive to particular contexts, and adaptive to the person's environment


Psychophysical systems

Highlighting the psychological nature of personality and recognizing that personality arises from basic biological processes


Personality causes people to have characteristic behaviors and thoughts and feelings. In other words, people do and think and feel things relatively consistently over time



Explain Gordon Allport's model of personality?

Personality is an organized whole and is dynamic. Personality arises from basic biological processes and causes people to have characteristic, or consistent behaviors and thoughts over time


What do psychodynamic theorists believe about personality?

They believe unconscious forces determine personality


Humanists emphasize what about personality?

Personal growth and self-understanding


Behaviorists believe what about personality?

It resulted from histories of reinforcement


Cognitively oriented psychologists focus on what about personality?

Focus on how thought processes affect personality


What are contemporary psychologists most interested in when it comes to personality??

Trait approaches and the biological basis of personality traits.


Main idea: lots of different views when it comes to personality!



Some of Freud's patients suffered from paralysis for no apparent physical cause!




When people's physical problems are the result of psychological rather than physical factors


Psychodynamic theory

Created by Freud. The premise is that unconscious forces (like wishes, desires, and hidden memories) determine behavior. Many of Freud's ideas are controversial and are not well supported by scientific research.


Freud believed

The powerful forces that drive behavior are often in conflict


What is Freud's levels of consciousness idea?

The first level = conscious level. Consists of all the thoughts we are aware of
The second level = preconscious level. Consists of content that is not currently in awareness but could be brought to awareness
The third level = unconscious level. Contains material that the mind cannot easily retrieve, such as hidden memories, wishes, desires, and motives that are often in conflict.

FREUD BELIEVED THAT UNCONSCIOUS FORCES DETERMINE MOST OF OUR BEHAVIOR!!! So think of these levels as a triangle like on page 570


Explain Freudian slip

When someone says like "I don't think we've been properly seduced" instead of "I don't think we've been properly introduced" -- shows the unconscious coming through


What are the 3 forces that Freud believed made up personality?

The id
The superego
The ego


The id

In psychodynamic theory, the component of personality that is completely submerged in the unconscious and operates according to the pleasure principle. The id is completely submerged in the unconscious. It directs us to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The force that drives the pleasure principle is the libido



It drives the id. The libido seeks pleasure. It acts on impulses and desires the libido is like an infant, crying to be fed when hungry, held when anxious



In psychodynamic theory, the internalization of societal and parental standards of conduct. It acts like a break on the id. The superego is a rigid structure of morality and conscience.



Mediates between the id and the superego. The ego tries to satisfy the wishes of the id while being responsive to the dictates of the superego. The ego operates according to the reality principle, which involves rational thought and problem solving.


Reality principle

The ego operates according to the reality principle which involves rational thought and problem solving


Some aspects of the ego's operations are open to conscious awareness. For ex., the ego allows us to delay gratification so that the wishes of the id can be realized while accommodating the rules of the superego



Unique interactions of the is, superego, and ego produce individual differences in personality



Conflicts between what lead to anxiety?

The id and the superego


Defense mechanisms

Unconscious mental strategies that the mind uses to protect itself from distress


What are some common defense mechanisms?

Denial - refusing to acknowledge source of anxiety
Repression- excluding source of anxiety from awareness
Projection - attributing unacceptable qualities of the self to someone else
Reaction formation - warding off an uncomfortable thought by overemphasizing its opposite
Rationalization - concocting a seemingly logical reason or excuse for behavior that might otherwise by shameful
Displacement - shifting the attention of emotion from one object to another
Sublimation - channeling socially unacceptable impulses into constructive, even admirable, behavior


How do people rationalize their behavior?

They rationalize their behavior by blaming situational factors over which they have little control


Ex of rationalization

You can't call your mom (who you're angry at) because you're studying for an exam


Who came up with and studied these defense mechanisms?

Anna Freud, Freud's daughter


What do defense mechanisms do for us?

They do not relieve unconscious conflict over libidinal desires. Instead, defense mechanisms protect our self esteem


Freud said that early childhood experiences have a major impact on the....

Development of personality


Freud believed that children unconsciously aim to satisfy libidinal urges to experience pleasure



Psychosexual stages

According to Freud, developmental stages that correspond to distinct libidinal urges; progression through these stages profoundly affects personality.


What are the psychosexual stages?

The libido is focused on one of the erogenous zones (mouth, anus, or genitals) in each of the stages
1. Oral stage - seeking pleasure through the mouth
2. Anal stage - toilet training = focus on anus
3. Phallic stage - directing libidinal energies toward the genitals (rubbing them)
4. Latency stage - children suppress libidinal urges or channel them into doing schoolwork or building friendships
5. Genital stage - adolescents and adults attain mature attitudes about sexuality and adulthood. They center their libidinal urges on the capacities to reproduce and contribute to society.


According to Freud, children desire an exclusive relationship with the opposite sex parent and see the same sex parent as a rival and develop hostility toward the same sex parent. What is this called in boys?

The Oedipus complex - he kills his dad mad marries his mom


According to Freud, progression through these psychosexual stages affects...



Freud believe some people get fixated on a psychosexual stage. Example?

Oral personalities - seek pleasure through the mouth, like smoking. They are very needy

Anal retentive personalities - stubborn and highly regulating (the result of excessive toilet training or excessive rules)


Neo Freudians

They reject aspects of Freudian thinking, but embrace the notion of unconscious conflict. Many neo Freudians rejected Freud's emphasis on sexual forces


What do contemporary neo Freudians focus on?

They focus on social interactions, especially children's emotional attachments to their parents or primary caregivers. This focus is embedded in the object relations theory.


Object relations theory

A person's mind and sense of self develop in relation to others in the particular environment. "Objects" are real others in the world and how a person related to them shapes their personality


Humanistic approaches (to personality)

Approaches to studying personality that emphasize how people seek to fulfill their potential through greater self understanding. Focus on personal growth, the inherent goodness of each person, personal experience, belief system. They are all about self actialization


Who was the most prominent humanistic psychologist?

Carl Rogers


Person-centered approach

Carl Rogers introduced a person-centered approach to understanding personality and human relationships. He emphasized people's subjective understandings of their lives. In a therapeutic technique, the therapist would create a supportive and accepting environment. The therapist and client would deal with the client's problems and concerns as the client understood them.


What does Carl Rogers theory demonstrate?

The importance of how parents show affection for their children and how parental treatment affects personality development


What did Carl Rogers believe about parental treatment of children?

Most parents provide love and support that is conditional: the parents love their children as long as the children do what the parents want them to do. Parents who disapprove of their children's behavior may withhold their love and their children quickly abandon their true feelings, dreams and desires. The children only accept parts of themselves that their parents like and they lose touch with their true selves in pursuit of positive regard from others


Unconditional positive regard

Carl Rogers said that parents should have unconditional positive regard for their kids and accept and prize their children no matter how they behave.


Fully functioning person

Carl Rogers said that a child raised with unconditional positive regard would develop a healthy sense of self esteem and would become a fully functioning person


George Kelly?

He emphasized how we view and understand our circumstances. He referred to such views and understandings as personal constructs.


Personal constructs

Personal theories of how the world works. We are scientists: constantly testing our theories by observing ongoing events and revising those theories based on what we observe. Personal constructs develop through our experiences and represent our interpretations and explanations for events in our social worlds


Julian Rotter believed what?

Behavior is a function of two things. 1. Our expectancies for reinforcement 2. The values we ascribe to particular reinforcers. For ex you don't know whether to study or party. You weigh the value of each reinforcer.


What did Julian Rotter believe about efforts and outcomes?

He believed people with an internal locus of control believe they bring about their own rewards. He believed people with an external locus of control believe rewards result from forces beyond their control.


Cognitive-social theories of personality

These theories emphasize how personal beliefs, expectancies, and interpretations of social situations shape our behavior and personality. Albert Bandura is a cognitive-social psychologist.


What are some of Albert Bandura's beliefs?

Albert Bandura believes that the most important determinant of behavior is self-efficacy. This term refers to how much we believe we can achieve specific outcomes.... This is the result of observational learning - seeing people rewarded in certain ways and punished in other ways


Cognitive-affective personality system (CAPS)

Walter Mischel created this. He's a controversial psychologist. This system is that our personalities often fail to predict our behavior across different circumstances. Instead, our responses are influenced by how we perceive a given situation, our affective (emotional) responses to the situation, our skills in dealing with challenges, and our anticipation of the outcomes of our behavior


Defensive pessimism

Defensive pessimists expect to fail and enter test situations with dread. Whereas optimists enter test situations with high expectations. Pessimists and optimists tend to perform similarly on exams


Pessimists expect the worst so they can be relieved when they succeed. Optimists focus on positive outcomes



Self-regulatory capacities

Our relative ability to set personal goals, evaluate our progress, and adjust our behavior accordingly.


Personality represents behavior that emerges from 3 factors. What are they?

1. Our interpretations of our social worlds
2. Our beliefs about how we will affect our social situations
3. Our beliefs about how we will be affected BY our social situations.


Personality types

Different categories of people based on personality characteristics. We fill in the gaps in our knowledge about individuals with our beliefs about the behaviors and dispositions associated with these types


Implicit personality theory

The study of two tendencies related to personality types. We tend to assume certain personality characteristics go together. Because of that assumption, we tend to make predictions about people based on minimal evidence. For ex, we think introverts dislike parties, like reading, and are sensitive. Etc.


How do traits exist?

Traits exist on a continuum. Very few people are really an extreme introvert or extrovert, but somewhere in between


Trait approach

Focuses on how individuals differ in personality dispositions such as sociability, cheerfulness, and aggressiveness.


There are 18,000 dictionary personality traits



Raymond Cattell did what with all of the 18,000 personality traits?

Factor analysis - which is grouping items according to their similarities.. He grouped terms like nice and pleasant into one category


Through factor analysis, Cattell identified how many basic dimensions of personalityV



Since Internet dating that surfaced in the 1990s... What happened?

More and more ppl have been searching online for romantic partners


Hans Eysenck's Habitual response level

Specific responses are observed behaviors. If someone buys an item if it's on sale continually, the buying of sale items exists as a habitual response level


If a person behaves in the same way on many occasions, the person is characterized as

Possessing a trait


Hans Eysenck's Superordinate traits

There are 3 superordinate traits; introversion/extroversion, emotional stability, and psychoticism


Extroversion/introversion are terms coined by

Carl Jung



A person low in emotional stability is considered neurotic



A mix of aggression, impulse control, and empathy. A person high in psychoticism is aggressive, impulsive, and self centered


Five factor theory

The idea that personality can be described using five factors: openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extroversion, neuroticism. OCEAN


Big five is accurate



People match up

Albert Bandura = cognitive-social theory... Our mental capacities interact with our environments to influence behavior
Julian Rotter = behavior is a result of our expectancies for reinforcement and the values we ascribe to particular reinforcers
George Kelly = we all have personal constructs: personal theories of how the world works
Walter Mischel = CAPS (cognitive affective personality system) our responses and behavior are influenced by how we perceive the situation and emotional state
Raymond Cattell =found 16 different personality traits
Karen Horney = neo Fredian. She focused on the fear of abandonment and said Freud's ideas were sexist


Personality researchers don't agree on the best method for assessing personality, but feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are important for deciphering it



Idiographic approaches to study psychology

Person-centered approaches to studying psychology; they focus on individual lives and how various characteristics are integrated into unique persons


Nomothetic approaches to studying personality

Approaches to studying personality that focus on how common characteristics vary from person to person.


In other words, idiographic approaches use a different metric for each person and nomothetic approaches use the same metric to compare all people.



Idiographic approaches assume what?

All individuals are unique.


Central traits vs secondary traits

Central traits are important for how people define themselves. People consider secondary traits less personally descriptive or not applicable.


Which are more predictive of behavior: central traits or secondary traits?

Central traits


Idiographic approaches to studying personality psychology?

1. Considering human life as a narrative and studying personality by paying attention to stories people tell, and their life story. And their personal myths that bind together past events and future possibilities into one life story

2. Examining case studies of individuals through interviews or biographical information


Nomothetic approaches to studying psychology?

Focus on common traits rather than individual traits. The big five is a nomothetic personality assessment!!


Assessment procedures for personality are in two different groups. What are they?

1. Projective measures
2. Objective measures


Projective measures

Personality test that examine unconscious processes by having people interpret ambiguous stimuli. For example, the Rorschach inkblot test where ppl look at a meaningless inkblot and report on what they see and whatever they see is supposed to reveal unconscious conflicts and other problems


Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

This is a projective measure of personality. You're shown a picture and told to tell a story about it. Shows unconscious thoughts.


What does the TAT help predict?

How likely ppl are to seek approval and support from others. And ppl's motivational traits


Objective measures

Relatively direct assessments of personality, usually based on information gathered through self-report questionnaires or observer ratings.


What do objective measures measure?

They measure what people believe and observe and they make no pretense of uncovering hidden conflicts or secret information


Example of an objective measure?

Big five test


California Q Sort

A person is given app cards which have statements and the person sorts them into 9 piles based on how accurate they describe them. The piles range from very descriptive to not at all descriptive. You can only sort a small amount of cards on the extreme ends... It helps people realize which traits they view as central to them



you wear it and it records your day to day social interaction. It proved big five traits predict real world behavior


A person's close friends may predict their behavior better than they can



People have blind spots about aspects of their personality because they want to feel good about themselves



Simine Vazire believes that a trait easy to observe but also highly meaningful to people like creativity is more likely to be judged accurately by friends than by the person with the trait




The theory that behavior is determined more by situations than by personality traits. This was developed by Walter Mischel


If Walter Mischel was correct and Situationism was correct then...

The whole concept of personality which is about characteristics being stable across situations and circumstances


A lot of argument came up from the idea of Situationism. What did personality psychologists argue?

- how much a trait predicts behavior depends on the centrality of the trait, the aggregation of behaviors over time, and the type of trait being evaluated.
- if behaviors are averaged across situations, personality traits are more predictive of behavior.
- some traits are more consistent than others (like shyness is not consistent)
- some people have the trait of self-monitoring (which involves altering your behavior to match situation... This trait involves being sensitive to social appropriateness)


Situations differ in how much they constrain the expression of personality.. Example?

At a funeral, an extroverted person would not be their jolly talkative self


Strong situations vs weak situations

Strong situations = (religious services, job interviews, elevators) mask differences in personality because of the power of the social environment

Weak situations = allow differences in personality (at a friend's house, parks, bars, etc.)



Most trait theorists are Interactionists. They are theorists who believe that behavior is determined jointly by situations and underlying dispositions


Big five is universal in all cultures



Research found that results of big five do not match cultural stereotypes of different cultures



Sex differences in personality are consistent with common sex stereotypes.



Sex differences are greater in more egalitarian and developed societies, reflecting the greater tendency among individuals to compare themselves to others



Gene expression underlies all psychological activity



Genetic makeup may predispose certain traits or characteristics, but whether these genes are expressed depends on...

The unique circumstances each child faces during development


What works together to form personality?

Nature and nurture!


Do animals have personalities? Explain hyena study

A guy used factor analysis and saw that hyenas display agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness to experience similar to how humans do


What did the hyenas NOT show?



Do any animals display conscientiousness?

Yes! Chimpanzees


Animals kind of show extroversion in terms of like, assertiveness



Animals can be assessed in what 4 personality traits?

Extroversion, agreeableness, openness to experience, and neuroticism


In a study of personalities of twins, identical twins had similar personalities



Adoption studies show there is a biological component of personality because... 2 children who are not related put in a household together are not very alike in personality ---> points to genetics



Parent and adopted kid personalities are....

Different from each other, unrelated. Parenting style has little to do with personality


Genes predispose is to have certain personality traits



There is growing evidence that genes can be linked with some specificity to personality traits



Each person's personality reflects the genetic hand dealt jointly by both of that person's parents - it can be good or difficult genes




Biologically based tendencies to feel or act in certain ways. Temperaments represent the innate biological structures of personality.


3 personality characteristics can be considered temperaments

1. Activity level - the overall amount of energy and of behavior a person exhibits
2. Emotionality - the intensity of emotional reactions
3. Sociability - the general tendency to affiliate with others
These are the main 3 personality factors influenced by genes


Temperament-wise, in girls they have stronger abilities to control their attention and resist their impulses. Boys are more physically active and experience more high-intensity pleasure



Early childhood temperaments significantly influence behavior and personality structure throughout a person's development




When, as children you react to new situations by becoming startled or distressed, crying, and vigorously moving your arms and legs.... This trait called inhibited makes you likely to be shy later in life


Ascending reticular activating system (ARAS)

Cortical arousal or alertness is regulated by this system


Hans Eysenck believed that differences in cortical arousal produce the behavioral differences between extroverts and introverts.



Extroverts tend to seek arousal and introverts tend to ___ arousal



Each person operates best at an optimal level of arousal. What is the optimal level of arousal for introverts and extroverts?

Optimal level of arousal for introverts = they are always aroused highly so they need to be in a peaceful environment to be less aroused

Optimal level of arousal for extroverts = they are under aroused so they need to be in an exciting environment to be more aroused


Extroverts perform better in what kind of settings?



Jeffrey Gray said that personality is rooted in two motivational functions. What are they?

The behavioral approach system and the behavioral inhibition system


Behavioral approach system

The brain system involved in the pursuit of incentives or rewards


Behavioral inhibition system

The brain system that is sensitive to punishment and therefore inhibits behavior that might lead to danger or pain


What system do extroverts have stronger?

A stronger behavioral approach system (involved in the pursuit of incentives and rewards)


Which system is more active in introverts?

The behavioral inhibition system. (Inhibits behavior that might lead to danger or pain)


Child temperaments may predict behavioral outcomes in early adulthood



Traits are pretty consistent throughout the life span... So is change possible??



Personality becomes set at what age?

A little later than 30 years old


In general, people become less neurotic, less extraverted, and less open to new experiences as they age. They also tend to be more agreeable and conscientious.



Basic tendencies

Dispositional traits determined largely by biological processes


Characteristic adaptations

Adjustments to situational demands


A gene associated with dopamine produces novelty.



A gene associated with serotonin is neuroticism and agreeableness



What are the 3 temperaments evident in early childhood and have long-term implications for adult behavior?

Activity level, emotionality, sociability


Individual differences within a group may be advantageous to the group's survival




Everything you know about yourself... Many psychologists view the self-concept as a cognitive knowledge structure. This structure guides your attention to information relevant to you and helps you adjust to your environment


"I" vs "me"

"I" is the knower
"Me" is the self as the object that is known


Objectified self

The self that is known.. The objectified self is the knowledge the subject holds about itself, such as its best and worst qualities.


Self awareness

The sense of self as the object of attention is known as "self awareness." Through self-awareness, the "I" thinks about the "me."


What does self awareness cause?

Self-awareness leads people to act in accordance of the values and beliefs they hold


Self discrepancy awareness

An individual's awareness of differences between personal standards and goals leads to strong emotions --- if your personal standard is to work hard, and your goal is to do well in school.


Self awareness is highly dependent on what?

Normal development of the frontal lobes


People with damage to their front lobes tend to be minimally self-reflective



Self schema

The cognitive aspect of the self concept. The self schema consists of an integrated set of memories, beliefs, and generalizations about the self.


What does the self schema help us do?

It helps us perceive, organize, interpret, and use information about the self - it helps us notice things that are self-relevant, like hearing our name


Your self schema summarizes relevant past information



Your self schema may lead you to have advanced memory for information you process in relevance to yourself



When people answer information about themselves, where is it processed?

The middle of the frontal lobes


Working self-concept

The immediate experience of the self. At a party, you think of yourself as fun. At work, you think of yourself as intelligent


When ppl consider their personalities, they think of traits that make them distinct from other people. Example?

Like you say you're black if your work has all white people besides you


Self esteem

The evaluative aspect of the self concept. Self esteem refers to a person's emotional response to contemplating personal characteristics: like "am I worthy or unworthy?"


Reflected appraisal

People's self esteem is based on how others percieve them.


Terror management theory

If you remind people of their mortality, that leads them to act in ways to enhance their self esteem



An internal monitor of social acceptance or rejection

When probability of rejection is low, you have high self esteem

When probability of rejection is high, you have low self esteem


People with high self esteem are not necessarily more successful




Self-centered people that view themselves in grandiose terms, feel entitled to special treatment, and are manipulative


People show favoritism to anything associated with themselves (their initials)



Better-than-average effect

People tend to describe themselves (in nearly every way) as above average


Conscious strategies that help people maintain a positive sense of self?

1. Self-evaluative maintenance
2. Social comparisons
3. Self-serving bias


Self-evaluative maintenance

People can feel threatened when someone close to them outperforms them on a task that is personally relevant but feel happy when someone close to them does well on a task that is not personally relevant..


People feel good when comparing themselves to a superstar in their field that they do not know, but threatened when someone they know outperforms them



Social comparison

When people evaluate their own actions, abilities, and beliefs by contrasting them with other people's. People with high self esteem make downward comparisons. People with low self esteem make upward comparisons


Self-serving bias

People with high self esteem take credit for success but blame failure on outside factors


Interdependent self-construal

These people's self concepts are determined by their social roles and personal relationships. They see themselves as part of a collective, they are obedient to authority. Their sense of self is being part of a collective of people (Eastern countries)


Independent self construal

Western countries - be independent, self reliant, and pursue personal success. Be unique


In Asian cultures, self criticism is more the social norm than self promotion is! Westerners have it opposite