Theories of Personalities

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  1. Personality
    Individual differences in how one thinks, behaves and feels
  2. Character
    Personality in the context of how healthy, moral or adaptive it is
  3. Temperment
    Genetic component of personality
  4. Traits
    Distinct components of personality (i.e., building blocks)
  5. Importance of personality
    • * Some view it as the bedrock of humanity -- the wellspring of human activities
    • * Highly linked to mental and physical health and well being
    • * Highly linked to satisfaction and quality of life
    • * Associated with occupational and social success
  6. Personality: psychoanalytic & psychodynamic theory
    • · Id -- unconscious, animalistic primitive part of the mind
    • · Ego -- the rational, logical and cunning part of the mind
    • · Superego-- moral part of the mind

    • · Oral -- feeding independence is established
    • · Anal -- physical control is established (i.e. toilet training)
    • · Phallic -- frustration tolerance (drive regulation) is established
  7. Psychoanalytic
    · Personality is driven by activity between mental processes -- designed to satisfy basic drives in society

         **Id, ego, superego generally aren't considered meaningful constructs. More meaningful to use more precise, neurobiological terms (e.g., executive functions)

    · Personality is molded by early childhood experiences, which are characterized by universal developmental milestones

         **Early life is important, but there are no known universal developmental milestones and personality continues to develop well into late adulthood

    · Personality is largely unconscious

         **Not particularly useful because it is difficult to test
  8. Behavioral & cognitive theory:

    Ivan Pavlov, John B Watson, B. F. Skinner
    Personality is largely a myth. Individuals are, for the most part, a blank slate when born that are molded by the environment
  9. Behavioral & cognitive theory:

    Albert Bandura, Julian Rotter, Aaron Beck
    Personality is formed by social learning, by having others model behavior. In this way, people develop
  10. Behavioral & cognitive theory:

    • Radical behaviorism -- people are, in large part, blank slates. Personality reflects environmental influences and learning
    • Personality is only as consistent as its environmental contingencies
    • Cognitive behaviorists -- expectancies help form the basis of our personality
  11. Conversion therapy
    Turning gay straight
  12. Humanistic theory
    • · People have a universal drive towards self-actualization despite their environment. Environmental influences and learning.
    • · Society imposes unrealistic goals on people, and a self-concept is developed. The self-concept is personality.
  13. Problems with theories
    * Good after the fact but not predicting future

    * Predictive validity-- to what degree are these various personality theories are of value in predicting future events.
  14. Personality: trait theorists
    An alternate approach to understanding personality using a "descriptive approach". Rather than using theory to define how personality forms, simply focus on personality itself
  15. The 5 factor model:

    Enduring tendency to experience negative emotions
  16. The 5 factor model:

    Enduring tendency to experience positive emotions, particularly in social relations
  17. The 5 factor model:

    Openness to experience
    Enduring tendency to show creativity and ingenuity, vs. those that are down to earth/conventional
  18. The 5 factor model:

    Enduring tendency to be pleasant and accommodating in social situations
  19. The 5 factor model:

    Enduring tendency to act with one's conscience
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Theories of Personalities
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