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Flashcards in Personality Deck (106)

William Sheldon's three personality types

  1. endomorphy
  2. ectomorphy
  3. mesomorphy

These definitions of personality were based on body type. 



In Sheldon's personality system, ectomorphs are people with lanky-thin body-types. These people tend to be reserved, introverted, private, and thoughtful. 


An endomorph usually has a stout, round, often fatty, body type. These people tend to have what sorts of personality traits?

  • a fun-loving nature
  • general good humor
  • affectionate
  • tolerance
  • relaxed


Jeff is a man with large forearms and is generally fairly muscular. He is competitive, adventurous, courageous, and often takes risks; which of Sheldon's personality types does he fit? 




Humanism is a theory of personality psychology that emphasizes humans' free will and focuses on therapy that is client-centered.


psychodynamic theory

This theory was created by Sigmund Freud. It hypothesized that forces in the unconscious mind define one's personality and control behaviors and emotions.


Name three components in Freud's structural psychoanalytic theory of personality.

  1. id
  2. ego
  3. superego



What are the four broad theories of personality?


  1. psychoanalytic
  2. humanistic
  3. social-cognitive
  4. trait theories 


What are the defining characteristics of stage theories?

Stage theories believe people develop in stages, or steps, in the same order, without skipping a step, and one stage can be distinguished from all other stages.


What are the stages of Freud's psychosexual stage theory?

  1. oral stage (birth to one year)
  2. anal stage (one to three years)
  3. phallic stage (three to five years)
  4. latency stage (six years to puberty)
  5. genital stage (puberty onward)


Freud referred to life energy as __________.





Although Freud contended that the subconscious plays a major role in behavior, its contents are not accessible. They become accessible through __________ , _______, or  revealing the __________ of dreams. 


psychoanalysis; freudian slips; latent content



This level, just below the level of conscious awareness, contains thoughts, memories, feelings, and images that are easily recalled.






Freud believed in dream analysis; he composed a list of __________, items or events that appeared in dreams but in reality represent other items or events in the subconscious. 


Freudian symbols 



On which principle does the id operate? 


the pleasure principle

The id seeks to maximize pleasure while minimizing pain.



The superego, the acknowledged opposite of the __________, is an internal representation of society's rules, morals, and obligations.





The_________ and the _______ are two subsystems of the superego.

conscience; ego-ideal 


Name two things that the ego allows us to accomplish in everyday life? 


  1. functioning in the environment
  2. acting logically


On which principle does the ego operate?


the reality principle



What is the reality principle?


the set of desires that can be satisfied only if the means to satisfy them exists and is available



What kind of thought is the ego most involved in?


conscious thought



What is the purpose of defense mechanisms? 


 The purpose of defense mechanisms is to manage anxiety produced by the id-superego conflict.




When I say, "Maggie is afraid of spiders" when, in reality, I am afraid of spiders, I am employing which defense mechanism?



Repression, a type of defense mechanism, describes the process by which anxiety-provoking memories or desires are moved to the __________.





If, after an argument, a child shows anger not towards his friend, with whom he is angry, but to a stuffed animal, what defense mechanism is he exhibiting?






Suppression is the Freudian defense mechanism that involves deliberate forgetting of anxiety-provoking material. 


In __________, the ego completely reverses a desire to make itself safer or more socially acceptable. 


reaction formation



What defense mechanism uses logic to excuse emotional or irrational behavior? 





Regression involves reverting to what kind of behaviors? 


childish behaviors



Which defense mechanism involves the channeling or redirecting of sexual or aggressive feelings into a more socially acceptable outlet?





What describes man's inherent envy towards woman's ability to nurture and sustain life? 


womb envy



_______, a system initially outlined by Sigmund Freud, is a kind of long-term psychotherapy that involves unconvering unconscious/repressed conflicts that arose in psychosexual development



Typically, what does psychoanalytic assessment involve? 


a one-on-one therapist and patient relationship in which the therapist uses techniques (such as free association and dream recall) to gain access to the unconscious



If I say "knife" and encourage my patient to say any words s/he may associate with that word, no matter how unrelated they may seem, I am trying to use what psychoanalytic technique? 

free association


Freud developed a system of dream interpretation based on what premise?

The dreaming mind is more relaxed, so that the unconscious desires and repressions can be revealed through dream analysis.


What are some indications that a patient is exhibiting resistance to psychoanalysis?

  • missing sessions
  • unwillingness to free associate 
  • withholding dream information
  • refusal to participate in therapeutic activities
  • changing topics



The feelings and behaviors that the patient develops for the therapist that are reflections of past and current relationships.


The emotions that the therapist develops toward a patient are called ________.



In Karen Horney's theory of personality, what is important in forming the basis of the adult personality? 


interactions between the child and the parent as the child deals with basic anxiety



What characterizes basic anxiety, a main tenet in Karen Horney's theory of personality? 


the feeling of being alone in an unfamiliar or hostile world



How does one overcome basic anxiety in Karen Horney's psychological system? 

  1. withdrawal from people who provoke basic anxiety
  2. deliberate movement towards people who remove basic anxiety
  3. conflict with people who can be overcome


Carl Jung's theory of personality is based on the idea that the mind comprises pairs of __________.


opposing forces 



What, according to Carl Jung's theory, is the persona?


the mask that each person presents to the outside world



Carl Jung would describe the dark, passionate, more primordial parts of someone as that person's __________. 





According to Jung, each person contains a female and a male side to our personality, or an __________ and __________.


anima; animus



According to Jung's theory, what is the purpose of the self? 


to balance the opposing forces and the desires of the mind



What are the two divisions of unconsciousness in Jung's theory? 


  1. personal unconsciousness
  2. collective unconscious


What comprises the personal unconsciousness?


repressed memories and clusters of thought



What can be found in the collective unconscious? 


behavior and memory common to all humans and passed down from our ancient and common ancestors, archetypes



Archetypes, found in the collective unconscious, are characterized as what? 


the behaviors and memories in the collective unconscious

These are usually emotionally-laden thoughts or images. 



Which personality psychologist's system of extroversion and introversion inspired the Myers-Briggs personality test?

Carl Jung

This system also included: thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting. 


Alfred Adler's theory of personality speculated that children develop feelings of __________ due to their size and level of competence, and they spend the rest of their lives trying to overcome it.





According to Adler, the best way to overcome inferiority is through development of __________; failure to do so could result in the development of a(n) __________. 


social interest; inferiority complex



fictional finalism

According to Alfred Adler, people are more motivated by their fictional expectations for the future than they are by past experiences. 


creative self

the unique qualities within someone that help them  express a personality in a singular way


Alfred Adler described a system called _______ in which someone's unique way of achieving superiority was reflected in the personal choices s/he made.

style of life


___________ personality treatments are based on present life situations and interpersonal relationships.



Ego psychology is:

a form of psychoanalytic theory in which the most important element was the ego as it related to the conscious world.


Who identified the defense mechanisms?

Anna Freud


What is object-relations theory?

a psychodynamic system in which children create and develop internalized symbols or objects which are significant representations of their personalities


Name 4 object-relations psychologists

  1. Otto Kernberg
  2. Margaret Mahler
  3. Melanie Klein
  4. D.W. Winnicott


What do the humanistic theories of personality emphasize? 


the uniqueness and richness of being human



What two aspects do the humanistic theories focus on? 


  1. subjective reality 
  2. subjective mental events


According to Abraham Maslow's humanist perspective, what is the ultimate purpose for existence? 





What characterizes self-actualization? 


creatively becoming the person you are capable of being to your highest potential
Very few people reach this level in Maslow's system. 


Name two humanistic theorists.


  1. Abraham Maslow 
  2. Carl Rogers 


Maslow's hierarchy of needs

  1. physiological
  2. safety
  3. love/belonging
  4. esteem
  5. self-actualization


What is the self-concept? 


the mental representation of who we feel we truly are



According to Rogers, __________ distort our self-concept


conditions of worth 



In Rogerian theory, __________ is a trait of the therapist that creates a system in which the client feels safe and can speak freely.


unconditional positive regard 



What is client-centered therapy?

It is a therapeutic technique developed by Carl Rogers that emphasized the importance of the client directing the therapy, as the most important part of this system is being able to learn to make positive behavioral choices.


If I encourage my patient to look for life's meanings through making personal choices, I am using what kind of therapy?

humanist-existential therapy


What is Viktor Frankl's primary contribution to psychology?

Frankl created logotherapy (a form of existential therapy that is influential to humanist, psychoanalytic, and other schools of thought).

Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, wrote Man's Search for Meaning, in which he explained his therapeutic approach and described his struggle for survical as a prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp. Frankl reflected on the importance of learning to find meaning in life, even when conditions were brutal. Man's Search for Meaning was a bestseller, and remains a powerful and important text.

Here is an excerpt from one of Frankl's addresses:


What do social-cognitive theories assume about personality? 


that cognitive constructs are the basis of the personality



In social-cognitive theory, how are constructs developed and modified? 


through learning in social environments



Albert Bandura focused on the idea of __________ as central to personality. 





What does self-efficacy encompass? 


one's beliefs about his/her own abilities in a given situation



Which social-cognitive theory of personality, proposed by Julian Rotter, believes that effort has a major role in personality?


locus of control theory 



What is the difference between people who have an internal locus of control and those who have an external locus of control?


Those with an internal locus of control believe that successes or failures are a direct result of their efforts; those with an external locus of control are more likely to attribute successes or failures to luck or chance. 



According to trait theorists, traits are largely __________ rather than acquired through experience. 





What are the big five personality traits? 


  1. openness/non-openness 
  2. conscientiousness/undirectedness
  3. extroversion/introversion
  4. agreeableness/antagonism
  5. neuroticism/stability

(Use the acronym OCEAN to remember the big five!)



What are two methods of trait research analysis? 


  1. nomothetic analysis
  2. idiographic analysis 


What is the main difference between nomothetic and idiographic traits? 


Nomothetic traits are thought to be universal (i.e. the big five), while idiographic traits are unique to the individual.



According to Gordon Allport, what are the three types of traits?


  1. cardinal 
  2. central 
  3. secondary


According to Allport, a trait that overrides one's whole being is a __________, while __________ are the person's primary characteristics, and traits that constitute interests are __________. 


cardinal trait; central traits; secondary 



If I used to shop because I needed clothes and now I shop because I simply enjoy shopping, this activity is said to have attained________.

functional autonomy


The theory that we try to make sense of the world by generating, testing, and revising hypotheses about our social reality, was developed by George Kelly. It is known as what?


personal construct theory



Which theorist is known for recognizing that traits often vary depending on circumstances? 


Walter Mischel 



Hans Eysenck used factor analysis to identify common behavioral traits along three dimensions. What are they?


  1. extroversion-introversion
  2. neuroticism-stability
  3. psychoticism


___________ was a personality psychologist who used factor analysis to determine 16 basic traits that make the building blocks of personality. 

Raymond Cattell


Raymond Cattel believed that __________, the person's underlying characteristics, were the basis of personality and gave rise to __________. 


source traits; surface traits 



Used primarily by psychoanalysts, __________ present ambiguous stimuli (i.e. inkblots) with the assumption that test takers will project their unconscious thoughts onto the stimuli.


projective personality tests



Andrew is a straight-A student who needs to be in charge of all his group projects and gets angry at his group members when they aren't chipping in. Ike is more go-with-the-flow and isn't easily angered. Which has the type A personality and which has the type B personality?

Andrew has the type A personality

Ike has the type B personality


What research effect observes that individuals will claim general descriptions of their personality (that can apply to a wide range of people) are highly accurate?


Barnum effect 

(The effect is named after P.T. Barnum)



behaviorist theory of personality

This theory places an emphasis on behavior as the source of personality: people develop based on their interactions with their environments.


_______ and _______ were behaviorist psychologists who examined stimulus-responses and conflicting motivations as the basis for personality development.

John Dollard; Neal Miller


Albert Bandura's system used what theory of personality development?

social learning theory

This theory states that people's personalities develop as a reflection of the behavioral models they encounter during their lives.


Kurt Lewin's field theory of personality psychology emphasized_________

a personality that was dynamic and in flux; he did not believe in static traits. 


the need for achievement

This is a personality trait developed by David McClelland in which people who are high in this trait take extreme pride in personal achievement, so they tend to minimize risk and emphasize realistic goals. 


Herman Witkin tied _____ to personality by differentiating between people who make specified responses based on stimuli and those who have difficulty differentiating answers based on specific stimuli.



People who are high in the personality trait "Machiavellianism" tend to:

be excellent manipulators and tend to believe they know what's best for others


Sandra Bem's theory is based on a personality test in which _______ and ________ are measured and assessed. 

masculinity; femininity



 Within Sandra Bem's system, it is the characteristic of having a personality that is both feminine and masculine.


rational-emotive theory

This is a combination of emotion, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of psychology that operates from the belief that thoughts, together with feelings, create behaviors.


“The same heat that melts the butter hardens the egg.” 


“Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to the environments”



Gordon Allport

Personality: A Psychological Interpretation (1937)

The same experience (or challenge) that impacts one individual negatively may build strength in another (and vice versa), and a substantial part of what determines how one reacts is one's personality.


William James, author of the classic text Principles of Psychology (1890) is considered to be the father of modern psychology.

James' work continues to be well-respected.  How does James describe personality?

According to James, personality is an interplay of instincts, habits, and personal choices