personality theory

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  • Created on: 26-12-18 15:08
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  • classics in personality theory
    • introduction to personality
      • what is personality?
        • google definition; combination of characteristics or qualities of a distinctive character
        • lecture definition; dynamic organisation, inside the person, of psychophysical systems that create the persons characteristic patterns of behaviour, thoughts and feelings
      • ways to think about personality
        • nomothetic approach- like some other people
        • idiographic approach- like no other people
        • like all other people
        • Kluckhohn & Murray (1953)
      • aspects of personality
        • person is a collection of traits, skills, and dispositions
        • person is a unique individual with unique characteristics
        • individuals are affected by unconscious forces
        • individuals are affected by ego forces (sense of self)
        • person is a biological being
        • people actively think about and interpret the world around them
      • why personality psychology is important
        • uses scientific enquiry to:
          • describe patterns of behaviour
          • explain/understand behaviour
          • predict behaviour
          • influence behaviour
        • important because:
          • essential for describing, explaining, predicting and influencing peoples behaviour
          • core to psychological knowledge and science
          • used in applied practice
          • relevant to everyday life
      • personality theories
        • relevant importance of past, present and future?
        • importance of unconscious mechanisms?
        • behaviour chosen or determined?
        • consistence of human behaviour?
        • what motivates human behaviour?
        • nature of human behaviour?
      • heritability
        • degree of genetic heritability
          • 0% adoptive siblings or parent and child
          • 50% dizygotic twin s, sibling, parent and child
          • 100% monozygotic twins
        • family studies, adoption studies, twin studies
        • genes important?
          • yes
            • identical twins raised apart = non identical twins raised together
            • adoptive child + biological parent more similar than adoptive child + adoptive parent
          • no - family environment important
            • biological siblings raised together = more similar than biological siblings raised apart
      • nature
        • behavioural genetics; study of how genes contribute to behaviour
        • heritability estimate; estimate of the average proportion of variance (in a personality trait the can be attributed to genetic influence in the population studied)
        • Riemann, Angeleinter and Strelau (1997) twin study
          • MZ twins more likely similar in personality traits than DZ twins e.g. extraversion h2= (.56-.28) X 2 = .5 and just over half the variance in extraversion is genetic
        • critical of evidence
          • problems with adoption studies
            • adoptive families are screened and selected carefully- more homogenous than general population
            • problem with twin studies
              • studies use volunteers therefore biased
              • Mz twins share more environment than Dz twins (closer, treated similarly, share friends)
              • twins reared apart are very rare, not always separated at birth and have some contact
          • genetic influences may be overestimated
          • what about prenatal development?
            • dichorionic vs monochorionic
      • Nurture
        • shared environment
          • shared by siblings in a family situation = socioeconomic status, parental style, home diet/routine
        • non shared environment
          • unique to each sibling = prenatal complications, birth order, gender specific treatment, different peer groups
        • critical of nurture
          • assimilation effects= "do I worry about them dressing the same? no. they're identical twins, and I think its an important part of who they are"
          • contrast effect= "well, you know, I want them to have their own identities. they are different people, and I think its important that they carve their own identity"
      • nature + nurture
        • evidence
          • Dunn & Plomin (1990)
            • unique environments are more important for most personality development than a shared environment
          • Jang et al (1996)
          • Riemann et al (1997)
      • gene X environment interactions
        • Scarr & McCartney (1983)- genes may influence the environment
          • passive - parents personality trait means genes for trait and provide environment which encourages that trait
          • executive - genes for trait, behaviour affects child, child evokes reaction in parent
          • active - parents personality trait means genes for trait and so seeks environment which suits (thus encouraging that trait)
    • psychodynamic approaches
      • key influences on Freud's ideas
        • motivation to make his mark (persecuted minority, eldest son)
        • medical training and practice (neurologist)
        • observed 'talking therapy' used with patient Anna O (traced causes back to forgotten/repressed trauma)
        • observed that hypnosis 'cured' hysteria (no physical cause)
        • free association could achieve the same result
        • analysed own anxiety, dreams and free association
        • unconscious mind
        • internal (intra-psychic) conflict
      • structure of the mind
        • topographic model
          • human experience takes place on 3 levels of consciousness
          • many motives and drives that affect behaviour are not consciously accessible
          • understand someones personality we must tap into their unconscious
        • structural model
          • personality influenced by conflict between 3 structures of the mind, constantly pushing and pulling in different directions
          • super ego; conscious, morals, ideals, guilt, others' standards (3-5 years)
          • ego; the self, reality principle, negotiates balance (1 year old)
          • id; immediate gratification, pleasure principle, unconscious (present at birth)
        • intrapsychic conflict; I should but I don't
      • defence mechanisms
        • used by ego to avoid anxiety and maintain self esteem
        • unwanted impulse, thought feeling or event
        • repression; suppress/push outside of awareness
        • denial; pretend/act as if its not true
        • rationalisation; give justification/explanation
        • projection; project impulse onto someone else
        • sublimation; channel into acceptable behaviour
        • reaction formation; exaggerate opposite behaviour
      • development of individual differences (stages of development in early childhood shape personality)
        • oral stage
          • less than 1 years old
          • instant gratification (driven by id) and pleasure through feeding and weaning
          • oral receptive (gullible) and oral aggressive (spiteful)
        • anal
          • 1-3 years old
          • toilet training (ego control develops)
          • anal expulsive (messy) and anal retentive (orderly)
        • phallic
          • 3-5 years old
          • genitals and sex roles (superego develops), boys = castration anxiety, Oedipus complex and girls = penis envy, Electra complex
          • promiscuity  and homosexuality
        • latency
          • 5-12 years old
          • socialisation with peers (defence mechanisms involved)
        • genital
          • 12+
          • puberty, sexual attachment to opposite sex
      • evaluation of freud
        • supported evidence
          • unconscious motives/perceptions affect behaviour (e.g. Patton, 1992) but not always caused by urges
          • ego strength/self control (Baumeister et al., 2007; Block, 1993)
          • defence mechanisms (e.g. repressive coping, ,yers, 2000; self esteem protection, happen et al., 2010)
          • dreams can reflect goals and emotional mechanisms (solos, 2000)
        • unsupported
          • fixation and its effect on personality (fisher & Greenberg, 1996)
          • oedipus/ Electra complex
          • Friedan psychoanalysis (no better than others; Fonagy et al., 1999)
          • many ideas not tested/not testable (pseudoscience)
      • beyond freud -psychodynamic developments
        • Anna Frued (1895- 1982)
          • sigmunds eldest daughter
          • child psychoanalysis; studied 'normal' and deprived young children
          • ego and defence mechanisms
        • Alfred Adler (1870-1937)
          • initially followed freud, but disagreed with his negative/ conflict based view of humanity
          • importance of social world in personality development- motivated by social relationships
          • emphasised equality of gender/parental control
          • birth order and inferiority complexes
        • Karen Horney (1885-1952)
          • rejected frauds sexual theory and male focus
          • emphasised social/cultural influences on personality
          • women envy mens social power not penis
      • Carl Jung (1875-1961)
        • worked with freud but disagreed with psychosexualaspects of his theory
        • personality continues to develop throughout life and is influenced by future goals to achieve potential
        • personal and collective unconscious; personality types based on ways of seeing and responding to the world
        • 3 parts of personality; persona, shadow, opposites within personality
        • believed personality is the process of becoming whole-becoming 'self'
        • personality continues throughout whole life
        • proposed 4 opposites (see notes)
  • problem with twin studies
    • studies use volunteers therefore biased
    • Mz twins share more environment than Dz twins (closer, treated similarly, share friends)
    • twins reared apart are very rare, not always separated at birth and have some contact

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