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Freud’s theory of personality and his theraphy for treating psychological disorders; focuses on unconscious processes.
the unconsious system ofthe personality, which contains the life and death instincts and operates onthe pleasure principle; source of libido.
the logical, rational,largely conscious system of personality, which operated according to thereality principle in freud's theory.
the moral system of the personality, which consist of the conscience and the ego ideal
the thoughts feeling, sensations,or memories aware of any given time: EGO
the thoughts, feelings and memories that a person is not consciously aware of at the moment but that maybe easily brought to consciousness: SUPEREGO
for Freud, the primary motivatingforce of human behavior, containing repressed memories as well as insights, wishes,and desires that have never been conscious: I.D.
Ego defenses/Ego defense mechanism
- A means used by the ego to defend against anxiety and to maintain self-esteem.
- Way for the mind to protect us from being consciously aware of thoughts or feelings that are too difficult to tolerate.
- repression, regression, denial (my personal favorite), projection, compensation, sublimation, reaction formation, rationalization, and hallucination
- well-known defense mechanism.
- Repression involves removing painful or threatening memories, thoughts, or perceptions from conciousness and keeping them in the unconcious.
- Repression acts to keep information out of conscious awareness.
- For example, a person who has repressed memories of abuse suffered as a child may later have difficulty forming relationships.
denial (sometimes called
suppression-a more conscious refusal to believe)
- defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects thoughts, feelings, needs, wishes, or external realities that they would not be able to deal with if they got into the conscious mind.
- For example, when people are told that they have a terminal illness and are going to die in a short period of time, the news can be so overwhelming that they enter into a state of denial--they refuse (on every level) to accept that they are going to die soon because it is much too painful to handle.
- a defense mechanism identified by Freud.
- According to Freud when people are not able to deal with the reasons they behave in particular ways, they protect themselves by creating self-justifying explanations for their behaviors.
- For example, if I flunk out of school because I didn't study properly it might be so hard for me to deal with that I rationalize my behaviors by saying that I simply didn't have enough time to study because I have a full-time job, a baby at home, and so many other demands on my time.
- one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud and still acknowledged today.
- According to Freud, projection is when someone is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses so they attribute these impulses to someone else.
- For example, a person in psychoanalysis may insist to the therapist that he knows the therapist wants to rape some women, when in fact the client has these awful feelings to rape the woman.
- According to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, displacement is when a person shifts his/her impulses from an unacceptable target to a more acceptable or less threatening target.
- For example, if you are very angry at your teacher because you did poorly on a test and think the reason for your poor performance is because the teacher asked tricky, unfair questions, you may become angry at your teacher. But, you obviously can't yell at your teacher (really, you can't!), hit your teacher, or express your angry in any other hostile way toward the teacher, so you go home and "displace" your anger by punching your little brother instead.
- one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud.
- According to Freud there are times when people are faced with situations that are so anxiety provoking that they can't deal with it and they protect themselves by retreating to an earlier stage of development.
- For example, my niece was afraid to go to school for the first time (first day of school can be very scary) so she began to exhibit very childish behaviors like throwing a tantrum, crying, not letting go of her mother's leg, and even wetting her pants.
impulses in socially acceptable ways)
- Although many people criticize Freud and discount his ideas, he developed many landmark theories and concepts that persist today (I'm not a Freud groupie, just point this out). One of these concepts is a defense mechanism known as sublimation.
- According to Freud, sublimation is a way in which people can deal with socially unacceptable impulses, feelings, and ideas in social acceptable ways.
- For example, a person may have a longing to be a banker but has not been able to achieve this goal. The frustration with not being able to achieve this goal may be very difficult to deal with and lead to hostility and anger toward bankers, to the point where the person wants to physically hurt all bankers. Of course, hurting all bankers is not socially acceptable, so the person transforms this anger with bankers into building his own venture capital business and becoming incredibly successful.
- is a series ofstages through which the sexual instinct develops; each stage is defined by anerogenous zone around which conflicts arises.
- Freud believed there to be five stages of psychosexual development: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latent and Genital. At each of these stages,pleasure is focused on a particular part of the body. Too much or too littlepleasure in any one of these stages caused a fixation which would lead to personality or psychological disorders.
- For example, too much pleasure in thephallic stage could lead to obsessive masturbation and sexual dysfunction as anadult.
- The first stage
- characterized by a preoccupation with oral pleasures such as nursing and sucking.
- second stage
- where the main focus is on eliminating or retaining feces,
- third stage
- where children derive pleasure from the genitals, and develop a desire for the opposite sex parent.
- fourth stage
- where sexual urges lie dormant until the next stage.
- The last stage
- when sexual desires reawaken and are directed towards peers of the opposite sex.
- arrested development at a psychosexual stage occuring because of excessive gratification or frustration at the stage.
- Fixation has a long history in Freudian and clinical psychology, and refers to when a person is"stuck" in one stage of psychosexual development.
- For example, if a person does not get through the oral stage of development properly, then Freud would say that the person is fixated in the oral stage and will continue to seek oral pleasures, and will not be able to progress to the next stage of development until the oral issues are resolved
- Occuring in the phallic stage, a conflict in which the child is sexually attracted to the opposite-sex parent and feels hostility towards the same sex parent.
- Within psychodynamic theory, the Oedipus Complex occurs during the phallic stage and is a conflict in which the boy wishes to possess his mother sexually and perceives his father to be arival in love.
- According to Freud, the child must give up his sexual attraction for his mother in order to resolve this attraction and move to the next stage of psychosexual development. Failure to do so would lead the child to become fixated in this stage.
- Typically the Oedipus Complex refers to a boy wanting to possess his mother, while the Electra Complex refers to a girl wishing to possess her father. But don't be surprised if some refer to the Oedipus Complexfor both boys and girls.
- psychoanalytical theorists like Adler, Jung, and Horney
- Carl Jung did not consider the sexual instinct to be the main factor in personality, nor did he believe that the personality is almost completely formed in early childhood. Jung conceived of the personality as consisting of three parts: the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. Jung differentiates between the "personal unconscious," which he recognizes as an important part of the normal psyche, and the "collective unconscious", which refers to innate psychological predispositions shared by all human beings throughout history.
- Alfred Adler emphasized the unity of the personality rather than the separate warring components of id, ego, and superego. One of his most important contributions is the concept of the Inferiority Complex. Inferiority complex is a term used to describe people who compensate for feelings of inferiority (feeling like they're less than other people, not as good as others, worthless, etc.) by acting ways that make them appear superior. They do this because controlling others may help them feel less personally inadequate.
- Karen Horney did not accept Freud's division of personality into id, ego, superego, and she flatly rejected Freud's psychosexual stages and the concepts of the Oedipus complex and penis envy. She thought Freud over emphasized the role of the sexual instinct and neglected cultural and environment influenced on personality.Horney also developed a theory of neuroses, which she defined as a counterproductive manner of dealing with relationships. She identified three categories of neurotic needs. The need for compliance refers to a tendency to move towards people, manifested by a need to seek approval from others. The need for aggression refers to a tendency to go against people by being selfish, bossy, or demanding. The need for detachment, or a tendency to move away from people by insisting on one's self-sufficiency and insistence on perfection.
- one of the most influential psychologists of modern times, and is well known for the creation of Client-Centered Therapy, also known as Person-Centered Therapy or Rogerian Psychotherapy. As the name implies, this method of therapy emphasizes the person as the subject, rather than an object. The client-therapist relationship is not one where the therapist's role is to cure or change the person. Rather, the therapist's role is to create a positive relationship that the client may use as a means of personal growth.
- Rogers believed that humans have a "Self-Actualizing" tendency - an innate drive that pushes the person to fulfill his potentials. A "Fully-Functioning Person" is an individual who is continually moving toward self-actualization. This type of person is open to life's experiences, has trust in himself, and is able to express his feelings and act independently.
- known as the Father of Humanistic Psychology, a school of thought that focused on the potential of the individual and his need for growth and self-actualization. It is based on the fundamental belief that people are innately good, and that deviating from this natural tendency results in social and psychological problems.
- Maslow's most well known contribution to Humanistic Psychology is the Hierarchy of Needs.
- According to Maslow, humans have certain needs that must be fulfilled for healthy living. These needs motivate us to act the way we do, and in particular, in ways that satisfy the needs that are not yet fulfilled. In addition, Maslow suggested that these needs are not all equally important, but exist in a hierarchy (shaped like a pyramid), with the most important, basic needs at the bottom. For example, at the very bottom of the pyramid are things necessary for daily survival, like food and water. At the top of the pyramid is self actualization, which is the most wonderful thing a person can achieve, but is not necessary to sustain daily life.
- Maslow's work was a turning point in psychology - before him, psychologists were preoccupied on mental illness and abnormality. In contrast, Maslow focused on mental health. His humanistic psychology gave rise to other types of therapy that were guided by the same belief in man's innate goodness and potential for growth.
- developing to one's fullest potential.
- Maslow believed that there are five types of needs that motivate us in our every day lives. At the top of Maslow's hierarchy are self-actualization needs where people have reached their full potential and have become all that they can be. According to Maslow, few people in history are said to have self-actualized.
Conditions of worth (conditional love)
- conditions on which the positive regard of others rest.
- Conditions of worth forces us to live and act according to someones else's values rather than our own.
- refer to conditions after which affection is given. It is a term used by Carl Rogers to describe social influences on the self-concept; for example, a child might not include anger in her self-concept because her parents' scolding has established acondition of worth such that anger is inappropriate.
- where positive regard, praise and approval, depend upon the child, for example, behaving in ways that the parents think correct. Hence the child is not loved for the person he or she is, but on condition that he or she behaves only in ways approved by the parent(s). At the extreme, a person who constantly seeks approval from other people is likely only to have experienced conditional positive regard as a child.
unconditional positive regard (unconditional love)
- designed to reduce threat, eliminate conditions of worth, and bring the person back in tune with his or her true self. If successful, the theraphy helps the client become what rogers called fully functioning person, one who is functioning at an optimal level and living fully spontaneously according to his or her inner value system.
- unqualified caring and nonjudgmental acceptance of another.
- According to Carl Rogers, Unconditional Positive Regard is when one person is completely accepting toward another person. This is not just a show of acceptance, but is an attitude that is then demonstrated through behavior. Rogers indicated that for humanistic type of therapy to work, the therapist had to have this for the client.
- where parents, significant others (and the humanist therapist) accepts and loves the person for what he or she is. Positive regard is not withdrawn if the person does something wrong or makes a mistake. The consequences of unconditional positive regard are that the person feels free to try things out and make mistakes, even though this may lead to getting it worse at times. People who are able to self-actualize are more likely to have received unconditional positive regard from others, especially their parents in childhood.
- an ability to understand and feel what another person is feeling, not in a physical sense, but in an emotional sense. The expression, "put yourself in someone else's shoes" is actually a description of empathy. Therapists are usually trained to be more empathetic so that they can have more of an appreciation for what their clients are experiencing. This helps them understand their client's situation, perspective, and problems much better.
- being listened to and understood
- in spirituality, mindfulness, and human psychology, usually refers to the experience of a situation without an intention to change that situation. Acceptance does not require that change is possible or even conceivable, nor does it require that the situation be desired or approved by those accepting it.
- Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.
- being seen with unconditional positive regard
- refers to the attempt to live one's life according to the needs of one's inner being, rather than the demands of society or one's early conditioning.
- openness and self-disclosure
an individual who is continually moving toward self-actualization.
- a personal characteristic that is stable across situations and is used to describe or explain personality.
- refer to a person's enduring characteristics or dispositions which give rise to their behaviors or behavior patterns. For example, you may view yourself as a curious type of person. In this case, curiosity is one of your traits - it is enduring (won't disappear over time) and leads you to act in specific ways (like reading a lot to gather new information).
five-factor model (Big Five)
a model that describes personality using five broad dimensions, each of which composed of a constellation of personality traits.
The "big five" traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. easy remembers as O.C.E.A.N. OCEAN.
- Women tend to score higher on conscientiousness, agreeableness and neuroticism.
- Men tend to score higher on openness to experience.
- They are those who are eager to try new things and consider new ideas.
- This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and those high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests.
- They are those who pay more attention to details, often viewed as reliable by others, and they predicts both academic and job performance.
- Common features of this dimension include high levels of thoughtfulness, with good impulse control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high in conscientiousness tend to be organized and mindful of details.
- They are those who prefer being around people. anyone who is known as "the life of the party" is an extravert.
- This trait includes characteristics such as excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and high amounts of emotional expressiveness
- They are those who are easygoing.
- This personality dimension includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and other prosocial behaviors.
- They are those who tend to be pessimistic and always see the negative aspects of situations --The half empty" interpretation of life.
- Individuals high in this trait tend to experience emotional instability, anxiety, moodiness, irritability, and sadness.
The view that personality can be defined as a collection of learned behaviors acquired through social interactions.
- the perception a person has of his or her ability to perform competently whatever is attempted.
- coined by Albert Bandura is a person's belief in his or her ability to complete a future task or solve a future problem. For example, if a person believes he is a brilliant scientist and can complete any scientific experiment, he has a high self-efficacy in science because he believes in his competency to perform a future experiment. Whether it is true that he is brilliant in science or not doesn't really matter. It only matters what he believes.
- influence your goals, actions, and successes (or failures) in life. If your self-efficacy in an area is much lower than your ability, you will never challenge yourself or improve. If your self-efficacy in an area is much higher than your ability, you will set goals that are too high, fail, and possibly quit. The ideal self-efficacy is slightly above a person's ability: high enough to be challenging while still being realistic.
people with high self-efficacy approach new situations confidently, set high goals, and persist in their efforts because they believe success is likely.
people with low self-efficacy, on the other hand, expect failures; consequently, they avoid challenges and typically give up on task they find difficult.
locus of control
Rotter's concepts of a cognitive factor that explains how people account for what happens in their lives.
Internal Locus of Control
- see themselves as primary in control of their behavior and its consequences.
- Who controls your behavior? Are you the master of your own domain? Is your life already predetermined and everything that happens is fated? If you believe that you control your own destiny and that your behaviors are under your control, then you have an internal locus of control. This concept has quite a bit of importance when we try to make attributions for our behaviors. For example, if you did well on a test, how would you explain it? If you said that it was because you got lucky or the teacher made an easy test, then you would be exhibiting and "external" locus of control. However, if you attribute your good performance to your hard work, good study habits, and interest in the topic, you would being exhibiting and internal locus of control.
External Locus of Control
- perceive what happens to them to be in the hand of fate, luck, or chance.
- A person with an external locus of control is more likely to believe that his or her fate is determined by chance or outside forces that are beyond their own personal control. This strategy can be healthy sometimes. Like when dealing with failure or disaster, but can also be harmful in that it can lead to feeling of helplessness and loss of personal control.