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44 Cards in this Set

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List/describe the five goals for evaluating theories.
 Scientific observation
• Study large, diverse groups
• Objectivity
• Use research methods
 Systematic theory
• Must create and connect ideas about personality in a logical way
 Testable theory
• Must create hypothesis that can be tested and falsified
 Comprehensive theory
• Higher goal of this field is to create a theory that addresses all significant aspects of people
• Difficult – affects other goals
 Beneficial Applications
• Use theory to help others
• Multiple theories correspond to counseling strategies
List/describe the five conceptual issues with personality theory.
 Philosophical view of the person
• Personality theories take a view on basic nature of humans
• Theories can be very discrepant
o Humans are naturally sinful vs. naturally good
o Humans are like animals vs. thoughtful and rational
• Historical factors affect these beliefs
 Internal vs. External Determinants of Behavior
• Different theories take very different view on this subject
• Freud vs. Skinner (i.e. psychoanalysis vs. behaviorism)
o Both extremely influential and extreme opposites
• Almost every theory discusses this debate
 Consistency in Behavior
• What does it mean to be consistent?
o Oedipal complex vs. agreeableness
• Why would someone be consistent?
 Concept of the unconscious
• Some theories put more emphasis on the unconscious (i.e. Freud)
 Influence of past, present, & future
• Some believe past experiences have great affects on our personality
• Others put emphasis on current thoughts and thoughts about the future
List/describe the four types of data (LOTS).
 L-data: “life”, info that can be obtained from a person’s life history or life record
 O-data: “observational”, info provided by knowledgeable observers such as parents, friends, or teachers
• Sometimes train people to observe systematically
• Observations can be of very specific behavior or of more general ratings of behavior
 T-data: “test”, info obtained from experimental procedures/standardized tests
 S-data: “self-report”, info provided by the subject himself or herself, typically in the form of responses or questionnaires
• Limitations of self-reports
o People may be unaware of their psychological characteristics
o People may be motivated to present themselves positively
• Advantages of self-reports
o Convenient
o Easy to obtain
What are fixed (nomothetic) measures?
 Exactly the same measures are administered to all the people in a study; scores are computed in exactly the same way
 Most common method
• Objective and simple
• Two potential limitations:
o Some items may be irrelevant to some of the individuals taking the test
o There may be features of your personality that are not on the test
What are flexible (idiographic) measures?
 Unstructured personality tests
 Items allow people to describe themselves in their own words
• E.g. asking people to list words or phrases that describe important aspects of their personality
• E.g. asking people to tell stories that relate their memories of important life experiences they have had (TAT test)
What is reliability?
o Extent observations can be replicated; whether measures are dependable or stable
 Factors affecting it:
• Psychological state of people being observed
• Aspects of the test (instructions, ambiguous items)
• Carelessness in scoring a test
• Ambiguous rules for interpreting scores
 Measurement:
• Internal consistency – do different items on the test correlate with one another?
• Test-retest reliability – if people take the test at two different times, do their scores correlate with one
What is validity?
o Extent to which observations actually reflect phenomena of interest in a given study
 Measuring what you are supposed to measure
 Reliability is necessary for validity
Describe/provide strengths and weaknesses of case studies.
 In-depth analysis of individual cases
• Purpose is to try to develop an understanding of what is most important to that individual’s personality
o Uses idiographic approach
o May be conducted for research or clinical treatment
• Strengths:
o Avoid artificiality of the laboratory
o Can study someone’s full personality (i.e. deeper understanding of one individual
• Limitations:
o Can lead to unsystematic observation
 Use more subjective interpretations
o No causal relationships
Describe/provide strengths and weaknesses of correlational studies.
 Examines relationships among variables within a large population of people
• None of the variables are experimentally manipulated
• Personality tests & questionnaires
o Most common for studying individual differences among people
 Ex. trait anxiety, self-esteem, friendliness
• Needed when:
o Case studies are not possible or desirable
o Laboratory experiments are not possible
• Correlation coefficient (r) – statistic used to gauge the degree to which two variables or measures are linearly related
o Ranges from +1.0 (perfect positive) to -1.0 (perfect negative)
o Positive: varies together
o Negative: varies opposite
o Zero: no relationship
o Larger relationship closer to absolute value of 1
• Strengths:
o Large samples easily obtained
o Allows you to study a wide range of variables
o Measures relationships among many personality questionnaires
• Limitations:
o Cannot establish cause and effect relationship
o Individuals not studied in depth
Describe/provide strengths and weaknesses of experimental studies.
 Participants are randomly assigned to conditions
 One or more variables are manipulated
 Random assignment: allows us to cancel out preexisting differences in groups
• Ex. age, gender, childhood experiences
 Strengths
• Manipulates specific variables
• Records data objectively
• Establishes cause-effect relationships
 Limitations
• Excludes phenomena that cannot be studied in laboratory
• Creates artificial setting that limits generalizability
• Fosters:
o Demand characteristics: cues implicit in the experimental setting that suggest:
 The hypothesis of the experiment
 That the subject should conform to hypothesis
o Participant tries to give meaning and purpose to study
o Experimenter Expectancy Effects: experimenters emit cues to subjects or unintentionally bias the experiment
What are demand characteristics?
o Cues implicit in the experimental setting that suggest:
 The hypothesis of the experiment
 That the subject should conform to hypothesis
o Participant tries to give meaning and purpose to study
What are experimenter expectancy effects?
Experimenters emit cues to subjects or unintentionally bias the experiment
Describe Freud's biography.
o Born in Czech Republic in 1856, enrolled in medical school
o Influenced by intellectual movement known as “mechanism”
 Principles of natural science could explain not only the behavior of physical objects, but human thought and behavior as well
o Plagued by depression and anxiety after father’s death
o Sought relief via self-analysis (led to development of psychoanalysis)
o Developed theory about principles of the human psyche, but views ridiculed
o Published prolifically, became international celebrity
Describe Freud's views of humanity and the mind.
 Previous belief was that people are essentially good, but society corrupts them
 In psychoanalysis, sexual and aggressive drives = inborn part of human nature
• Seek pleasurable gratification of those drives
 Society teaches child that biologically natural drives are socially unacceptable and maintains social norms to restrict drives
 The mind is a system that contains and directs instinctual drives
• Not dormant information – drives have force and energy
 Major scientific problem was to explain how psychic (mental) energy flows, gets sidetracked, gets dammed up
What are Freud's three core ideas of mental energy?
• There is limited amount of energy
• Energy can be blocked but then gets expressed in some other manner
• The mind functions to reduce tension and release energy
Describe Anna O and catharsis.
• “Hysterical” symptoms
• Emotional disorders that manifest as physical symptoms (as somatization disorder)
• Experienced BIZARRE symptoms: blurred vision, persistent cough, difficulty conversing in her native language
• Freud decided she was having a somatization of her emotions
• Freud wanted her to have this sort of CATHARTIC moment where she would release all of her emotions/problems
o Catharsis
 “Catharsis” = a release and freeing of emotions by talking about one’s problems
 Freud felt like Anna’s Case Demonstrated That:
• You can release “energy” to reduce tension or conflict that you have in your life
• The mind has more than one part; there must be this unconscious section that we are unaware of
Freud's three levels of consciousness.
o Conscious
 Includes any thought that we are aware of (i.e. that we could say out loud to anyone else or write down)
o Preconscious
 Contains mental contents of which we could easily become aware of if we attended to them (right below the surface)
o Unconscious
 Mental contents parts of the mind of which we are unaware and cannot become aware of except under special circumstances (most important according to Freud)
Describe perceptual defense.
 Process by which the individual defends against anxiety that accompanies recognition of a threatening stimulus
• Subjects are shown neutral and emotionally-toned words
• Words shown at very fast speeds and then at progressively slower speeds until they can be read consciously
• The point is that you are going to try to not consciously acknowledge the emotionally-toned words (whore/rape/etc.)
• Told to say each word out loud as soon as it is recognized
• Results: Participants took longer to recognize the emotional words and showed signs of psychological response to these words before they were verbally identified (looked anxious/palms sweating - unconscious awareness and couldn’t say words as quickly)
What is subliminal psychodynamic activation?
 Researchers attempt to activate unconscious wishes without making them conscious to the participants
• Present material that either threatens or soothes unconscious wishes and then observe reactions
• LOGIC: Participants should have decreased performance after threat because mental energy is focused on dealing with unconscious issues
• Female undergraduates shown phrases:
o “Loving Daddy is Wrong” – threatening phrase, creating conflict with unconscious issues
o “Loving Daddy is OK”
o Results: Subjects performed more poorly on subsequent memory test if:
 1. They saw the threatening message
 2. If the message was presented subliminally
• This is only true of certain females who had reported mental urges about sexual urges
o With time, Freud realized that his distinctions among conscious, subconscious, and unconscious were inadequate in explaining his theories
List/describe the two kinds of dream content.
o Latent – unconscious ideas, emotions, and wishes that are manifested in the dream’s storyline
o Manifest – the storyline of a dream (wish fulfillment)
Describe the Id.
o Like a small, selfish child - wants what it wants now)
 The source of all psychic (mental) energy
 Completely unconscious
 The basic goal or function of the id is to release tension from frustrations so that we can feel good, however the id does not care how this tensions is released
 Operates according to the “pleasure principle” => pursue pleasure and avoid pain
 There are plenty of things the id does not do:
• Devise plans and strategies
• Wait patiently
• Concern itself with social norms and rules
Describe the Superego.
o Moral/ethical part
 Functions involve the moral aspects of our behavior
 Contains ideals and ethical standards
 Functions to control behavior in accord with these rules
 Offers rewards (pride, self-love) for “good” behavior and punishments (guilt, feelings of inferiority) for “bad” behavior
Describe the Ego.
 Function is to mediate between the id and the superego
 Within the constraints of the real world
 Can block or divert energy from Id
 Uses reality principle: gratification is delayed until reality enables one to obtain maximum pleasure with the least negative consequences
 Unlike the id:
• Can tolerate tension and create compromises through rational thought
• Can change over time and develop more complex functions during childhood
What are our life (libido) instincts?
 Includes drives toward preservation and reproduction
 Includes sexual drives from the Id
What are our death instincts?
 Opposite of the life instinct, highly controversial
 Aim of the organism to die or to return to inorganic state
 Death instinct often turned away from oneself and directed toward others in acts of aggression
Describe anxiety.
o Painful emotional experience representing a threat
 Alerts the ego to danger
 Develops out of conflict between id and superego
 Individuals develop defense mechanisms to avoid it
• Ways to distort reality and exclude feelings from awareness
What is denial?
o Reject the existence of fact in conscious thought
 i.e. traumatic or socially unacceptable external events
 Avoidance may be conscious, but later become automatic
 Current psychologists suggest that positive illusions and self-deceptions can be adaptive
• Depends on the situation:
o Helpful if one cannot control problems
o Harmful if one could control their situation
What is projection?/Describe the experiment related to it.
o People defend against recognition of their own negative qualities by placing them onto others
 Often happens in psychoanalytic therapy
 Social-cognitive analysis of projection
 People tend to dwell in their negative features – these become “chronically accessible”
 Whenever one interprets the actions of other people, use concepts in one’s own mind
• End up “projecting” chronically accessible negative features onto others
 Experiment (1997) – Newman et al (1997)
• Ps exposed to bogus negative feedback on two traits
• Asked to try to suppress thoughts about one of the two
• Later viewed a videotape that depicted a somewhat anxious-looking individual
• Asked to rate this person on a series of traits
• Ps projected suppressed negative trait onto the target
What is isolation?
o Impulse, thought, or act denied normal emotional response
 Is accessible to consciousness
 Result is emphasis on thought over emotion and feeling
 Example: cancer diagnosis
What is rationalization?
o Ego constructs a rational motive to explain an unacceptable action, caused by irrational impulses of the id
 Example: some of the greatest atrocities of humankind have been committed in the name of love, religion, or protection
What is sublimation?
o Instinct is replaced by a ‘higher cultural goal’ that is far removed from a direct expression of the instinct
 Turn instinct into a new and useful channel
 Examples:
• Instinct toward arson… become a firefighter
• Instinct toward aggression… become a boxer
What is repression?
o Thought or idea so traumatic it’s buried in the unconscious
 The major defense mechanism of psychoanalytic theory
• Plays part in all other defense mechanisms
 Freud first recognized in his therapeutic work
• Example: Anna O case study
List/describe the five psychosexual stages of development.
 Oral stage (12-18mo)
• Infants obtain pleasurable gratification by sucking and drinking
• In adult life, this can be seen in chewing gum, eating, smoking, kissing
• In early oral stage, child is passive and receptive
• In late oral stage, with development of teeth, can be a fusion of sexual and aggressive pleasures
 Anal stage (2 – 3 years)
• Anus the focus of pleasurable gratification
• Focuses on toilet training
• Pleasure involves the conflict between wish for pleasure in evacuation and the demands of the external world for delay
• Bowel movements:
o Losing something important—depression
o Giving a prize or gift to others—feelings of power and control
 Phallic stage (4 - 5 years)
• Excitation and tension focused on the genitals
• Males: Oedipus Complex
o Son has sexual desire for mother
o Father becomes rival for the mothers’ affections so…must eliminate father
• Females (different process: Elektra complex)
o Females realize they lack a penis and blame the mother
o Develop penis envy: choose the father as the love object and imagine that penis will be restored by having a child by the father
 Latency stage (6 -12 years)
• Sexual impulses are submerged into the unconscious
o Example: boys have ‘cooties’
• Peaceful interval—lasts for the rest of childhood
• Focus on education, same-sex peer play, social skills
 Genital stage (12 years – adulthood)
• Sexual impulses awaken and begin to mature into romantic attraction toward others
• Genitals again focus of pleasure/conflict
• Lasts the rest of life
What are projective tests?
o Projective Tests
 Psychological assessments should be…
• Valid, quick, and efficient
 Challenges from a psychoanalytic perspective:
• Relevant material is often unconscious
• Mere mention activates defense mechanisms
• Most people do not want to reveal threatening aspects of their personality
 Freud’s tool for assessment: free association technique
• Valid but not efficient
• Freud’s followers sought new assessment methods, inc. projective tests
o Logic of projective tests
 Defining feature: ambiguity
• Individual will “project” aspects of his or her own personality onto the ambiguous item when interpreting it
• Individual’s interpretation will be indicative of how the person typically interprets ambiguous circumstances in his or her daily life
• May reveal underlying, unconscious psychodynamics
What is the Rorschach Inkblot Test?
• Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrist, created assessment
• Showed images to hospitalized patients and identified inkblots that elicited different responses from different psychiatric groups
• Settled on 10 cards (still used today)
• In interpreting responses, interested in:
o How the response is formed
o Reasons for the response
• Perceptions that match the structure of the inkblot suggest a good level of psychological functioning – well-oriented to reality
• Responses that do not fit the structure of the inkblot suggest unrealistic fantasies or bizarre behavior
• Symbolic
o Pig = Gluttony
o Fox = Crafty
o Ostrich = Attempt to hide from problems
What is the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)?
• Consists of cards depicting ambiguous scenes
• Person asked to make up a story based on each
• Individual’s personality may be projected onto the stimuli
o Defenses can be bypassed
List/describe the three personality types.
o Oral type
 Narcissistic
 Others seen only in terms of what they can give
o Anal type (Anal Triad)
 Orderliness and cleanliness
• Defense against disorder
 Stinginess
• Need to hold onto things (i.e. feces)
 Obstinacy
• Struggle over toilet training
o Phallic type
 Success for phallic male = “I am a man.”
• Exhibitionist quality is expressive of castration anxiety
• Must assert masculinity at all times
 Female counterpart = hysterical personality
• Uses seductive behavior to maintain interest of her father but deny sexual intent
• Identify with mother and femininity to defend against Oedipal wishes to marry father
List/describe three types of therapeutic change?
 Fixated – psychoanalysis frees people to resume normal development
 Defensive – psychoanalysis redistributes energy so more is available for mature activities
 Dominated by unconscious and Id – psychoanalysis makes the unconscious known and puts ego in control
What is transference?
when patient’s attitudes toward analyst are based on attitudes toward parental figures
Who is Alfred Alder?
 Follower of Freud – broke from him to put greater emphasis on social urges and conscious thoughts
 Interested in how people compensate for bodily inferiorities
 How a person copes becomes a distinctive aspect of his or her personality; “inferiority complex”
• Classic example – Napoleon: his military success supposedly related to inferiority of his height
Who is Carl Jung?
 Father/son relationship with Freud, called him his ‘crown prince’
 Felt Freud over-emphasized sexuality
• Sexuality is one part of basic life energy (libido)
 Fundamental task: integrate various opposing forces of the psyche (inner and outer self; masculine and feminine self)
 Emphasis on ‘evolutionary’ foundations of mind
• Collective unconscious: holds cumulative experiences of past generations; is universal
o Contains universal images, or archetypes
 Mandalas: circular symbols contain pathways to center
 Jung believed these were archetypes for the ‘self’
Who is Karen Horney?
 Focused on cultural conditions that affect neuroses
 Concluded interpersonal relationships are the core of healthy personality
 Conflict when responding to anxiety (three ways):
• Moving toward – excessive interest in being accepted, needed, and approved of
• Moving against – assumes that everyone is hostile and that life is a struggle against all
• Moving away – shrinks away from others into neurotic detachment
 ‘Penis envy’ is the result of a male bias in psychoanalysis who treat neurotic women in a particular social context
List/describe the three types of conflicts when responding to anxiety.
• Moving toward – excessive interest in being accepted, needed, and approved of
• Moving against – assumes that everyone is hostile and that life is a struggle against all
• Moving away – shrinks away from others into neurotic detachment
What is the Object Relations Theory?
 Interested in how past relationships are remembered and how they affect current relationships
 Relationships during childhood influence one’s experiences in new relationships - “residue of past experiences”