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44 Cards in this Set

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problematic because it is a holistic concept that is very broad and highly dependent on personal approach/philosophy. Nonetheless, personality is an organization of psychological similarities that reside in and characterize an individual.
Two main approaches: descriptive (tries to identify and measure said psychological qualities) and dynamic (tries to find underlying components of personality and explain behavior).
Descriptive theories
: type and trait. Hippocrates- the 4 body humors. Kritscher- said each body type had an associated abnormal personality. Sheldon’s body types- relationship between somatotypes and temperament types, found that r = .4.
Jung’s type theory: introversion (introspective, primarily interested in ideas, idealistic) vs. extroversion (outward orientation, enjoys social activities, practical), and most people fall somewhere in between. Type theories usually assume that personality is genetically determined. The problem with the type approach is that it ignores situational factors and overgeneralizes.
Trait appraoch
The trait approach asserts that more than the small number of type categories are needed for a complete description of personality. The problem is that this approach is, obviously, much more complicated.
Raymond Cattell examined Allport’s list of 4500 words and reduced it by eliminating redundancies. This still left about 200 words, and he wanted to search for a smaller number of source traits. After collecting more data, he performed a factor analysis and came up with 16 traits (like opponent pairs). Note: personality traits have a reliability of about .4 and a heritability of about .5. Adoption studies show that a child’s personality tends to resemble that of his/her birth mother.
The fundamental Freudian thesis
is that arousals of these basic instincts (drives) are represented by a buildup of libido and that human behavior is motivated by the necessity to reduce the tension associated with undischarged libido.
the storehouse of biologically based motives and instinctual reactions for satisfying them. The id is very powerful, the source of libido (psychic energy), which takes the form of two basic instincts: eros (life instincts, hunger, thirst, SEX) and thanatos (death instincts, aggression, murder). The id operates according to the Pleasure Principle- to seek pleasure by gratifying needs and to avoid pain. It is primitive- unorganized, illogical, no sense of time. Entirely unconscious. Thus, because of its sole goal of discharging libido combined with its primitive properties, it is not effective at accomplishing its goal.
Out of the ineffective id forms the ego, which shares the same goals but is better at dealing with physical reality. It applies the Reality Principal- the prevention of libidinal discharge until an appropriate time. The ego is sophisticated (memory, thought, logical, sense of time, “self”). But, humans must also take social reality into account.
The conflicting influences of id and super-ego can produce anxiety that can lead to mental illness. Iceberg analogy. How is such anxiety dealt with? REPRESSION, moving the anxiety-producing thought/desire/memory from consciousness to unconsciousness. Three levels of consciousness: conscious, pre-conscious (memories that can easily be made conscious), unconscious (memories that are hard to tap). Repression works up to a point, but it requires physic energy (libido), and if too much is used, it detracts from the energy the mind needs to run itself.
defense mechanisms
To improve the efficiency of repression, the ego develops strategies to use in place of raw repression (known as defense mechanisms).
Reaction formation
replacing an anxiety arousing impulse with its opposite (like loving your sister insincerely instead of hating her)
substituting a satisfaction appropriate to an earlier level of development for present desires that are repressed.
substitution of acceptable reasons for conduct motivated by unacceptable desires.
attribution of one’s own unacceptable traits to others.
dealing with anxiety by “converting” it into a real physical disorder.
a re-direction of sexual impulses to socially acceptable activities (like art and music).
Psychosexual development:
Different areas of the body (erogenous zones) provide tension reduction (libidinal discharge) via body pleasure, and these zones are distinct stages that vary with age.
Pregenital period:
Oral, anal, phallic, latency
Oral stage,
first 1.5 years of life, mouth is the pleasure zone and source of conflicts. Too much (optimism, gullibility) or too little (pessimism, envy) breastfeeding causes long-term problems (such as smoking and compulsive eating).
Anal stage
1.5-3, ego emerges, erogenous zone moves from mouth to anus, main challenge is toilet training. Too restrictive/anal retentive (very clean, stingy), too lenient/anal expulsive (dirty, overly generous).
Phallic stage,
3-5 years, phallic area becomes erogenous zone, super-ego emerges and ego develops more, main challenge is Oedipus/Electra complexes. Oedipus: sexual attraction for mother, father is rival, fear of castration causes excess anxiety, and eventual renunciation of desire for mother and identification with father. REPRESSED. Electra- female desires mother because of breastfeeding but then resents her for lack of penis, develops penis envy and love goes to father, eventually resolved with identification with mother. Problems in this stage result in sexual dysfunction, homosexuality, etc.
Latency period
(5 years – adolescence), ego and super-ego expand, defense mechanisms are refined.
Genital period:
Adulthood. Adult sexuality, focus on others, super-ego/ego.
Repressed desires?
Repressed desires are revealed through slip-of-the-tongue, dreams (including latent sex symbols), and free-association. Hysteria- feel like a limb is paralyzed even though there is no biological basis for paralysis.
Abnormal behavior
a departure from normal functioning that results in distress or disability.
(caused by nervous disorder, which is in turn caused by a genetic defect or germ) vs
psychogenic (caused by some kind of failure to learn how to adequately deal with the real world, does not imply a specific brain malfunction).
DSM IV: 1994
The official classification scheme is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM- IV). DSM IV: 1994. An attempt to get away from the classic classification mainly because of theoretical interpretations associated with cause rather than symptoms. New edition has more categories because it is focused on the descriptions of the disorders rather than theories of their origin.
abnormalities in behavior that cause personal discomfort or annoyance to others- but not enough to make to person incapable of functioning. Shows symptoms more severely or consistently than the average person does. Thee neurotic is overly sensitive and inflexible but is not divorced from reality. Include: anxiety reactions (emotional overreaction, irritability, free-floating anxiety), phobias (intense fear of specific objects/situations), obsessive-compulsive reactions (repeated, stereotyped behavior), psychosomatic disorders (like headaches with no cause- Freud called them “conversion”).
disorders characterized by a loss of contact with reality, huge alterations in mood, and severe distractions of thought and perception, frequently characterized by hallucinations or delusions. Strong evidence of biological roots. Two main types: stuperous (emotionally flat) and agitated (intensely emotional). Types include schizophrenia, paranoia, and affective (mood) disorders. Schizophrenia: mood disturbances, withdrawal from environment, an inner fantasy life, delusions and hallucinations, bizarre behavior, a disconnect between thought, emotion, and reality. Paranoia: systematic set of delusions usually of both grandeur and persecution.
Affective disorders: bipolar disorder (surges of mania and depression) and unipolar/major depression (no manic state, more common).
DSM IV has a rating on 5 axes:
I: clinical psychiatric syndrome (the immediate central problem that required help)
II: personality disorder (long term category)
III: physical disorder (are there physical symptoms?)
IV: severity of psychosocial stress (are there immediate causes, such as the death of a family member?)
V: highest level of adaptive functioning in the past year (is the person functioning well?)
Rating from 1 (mild/none) to 7 (extreme).
Freud came to conclude that people with hysteria suffer from sexual trauma, esp. incest, even if it never actually happened (repressed impulses). Theory is that mental illness comes from basic, underlying factors. To cure the patient, one must address the cause, not the symptom. The goal of psychoanalysis is to eliminate the resistance to conscious awareness of the conflicts so that repressed thoughts and memories may return to consciousness. If dream analysis and dream association are successful, transference occurs: the core of psychoanalytic therapy, conflicts are reworked in therapy sessions (insight) with therapist representing the people that caused conflict but does not condemn.
focus is on social relations rather than sexual trauma (super-ego instead of ego).
Behavioral therapies:
based upon principals of classical and operant conditioning. Proposes that pathologies are learned. Treatment is simple: reverse them through learning. Aversion therapy (punishment), operant therapy (rewards), Wolpe’s Desensitization Therapy (based on animal learning experiments with boxes, with imagination and gradual introduction to fear, subject is able to conquer the fear itself).
Humanistic Therapy
Carl Rogers (or Maslow). Based on the belief that an individual has the inner goodness to realize his potential, to become self-actualized. A person can accomplish this if he accepts himself for what he is rather than what others think he should be. Neuroses come from taking other’s opinions too seriously. The therapist shows empathy for his client through universal positive regard. The therapist accepts his client without judgment (except for cases like suicide), tries to be a “mirror.”
Does psychotherapy work?
Most studies show that all forms are equally effective and are more effective than nothing but no much more effective than placebos. 65% get better, 10% worse, 25% stay the same. For phobias (like for stage fright), though, desensitization is very effective.
Physical therapie
assume that abnormal behavior is mostly caused by brain abnormalities (either genetic or environmental
the prefrontal lobotomy is used on schizophrenics, transorbital approach. Disconnects frontal lobe from the rest of the brain. Patient becomes quiet, controlled behavior but mentally dulled.
Electroconvulsive shock:
successful at treating severe depression but is only used as a last resort, short term memory loss.
Pehenothiazines (thorazine, etc.):
for schizophrenia. blocks dopamine transmitter, decreases effectiveness of synapse.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Prozac
for depression, blocks serotonin reuptake to lower serotonin at the synapse.
for depression, increases amount of epinephrine.
Obedience and personality structure; what makes some people commit unspeakable crimes? Adorno thought that there was an authoritative personality: prejudice against minorities, high degree of obedience to authority figures, general belief in dominance (classic trait approach). Also, many had stern fathers.
But, this approach ignores situational factors.
Zimbargo’s Stanford Prison Experiment
group/social norms, rules for acceptable behavior. 12 prisoners, 12 guards. After 6 days the experiment had to be ended; behavior was harsh and terrifying.
Milgram Experiment
He recruited people as “teachers” who would shock people for getting wrong answers (didn’t know that the people weren’t actually being shocked). 65% wound up going all the way! Milgram related these results to the continual stress on obedience to legitimate authority; first with the family, then in school, and still later within the institutional settings of the adult world. This shifts the responsibility to others, i.e., the greater society. He also tried other conditions that explored the situational factors of obedience: surveillance (obedience rate drops when the experimenter is not physically present).