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63 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
- is the total pattern of enduring
- characteristic ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that constitutes the individuals distinctive method of relating to their environment
-is influenced by heredity AND environment
Study of Personality
-is concerned with differences in behavior between individuals and with consistencies in behavior between an individual
-personality psychologists study the structure and dynamic of personality
Personality Theories
1. psychodynamic theory (freud)
2. Trait Theory
3. Behavioral Theory
4. Social-Cognitive Theory
5. Humanistic Theory
6. Evolutionary Theory
Psychodynamic theory
-sigmund freud
-people are born with basic needs or instincts
-sexual and agressive drives are major motivators of human behavior
-personality develops out of each person's struggle to meet their needs in a world that often frustrates these efforts
-3 parts of personality = id, ego, superego - they are usually in conflict with eachother
-psychosexual theory of personality development
criticisms of psychodynamic theory
neofreudians - erik erikson (psychosocial theory of personality development)
added new theoretical views.
1. personality continues to develop throughout life
2. too much emphasis on the importance of sexual instincts
3. idea that people pass through stages in childhood that determine their adult personality has little research support
4. Freud's research based on a small sample of upper middle class Austrians
5. Freud's theory is too vague to test, problems with definitions (id, ego, superego)
-represents primitive drives
ex. hunger, sex, agression
(eros - life; thanatos - death instinct)
1. pleasure principle - immediate gratification
2. primary process thinking - illlogical, irrational thinking - involves wish fulfillment & fantasy
1. reality principle - instinctual energy is restrained to maintain individual safety and integration into society - acts as a buffer between the world and the primitive id
2. secondary process thinking - rational, logical, and reasonable part of the personality
3. ego defence mechanisms
-unconscious process (involve self-deception) that help the ego reduce or avoid anxiety
- the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality
-most of the time, these mechanisms function as healthy ways to suppress anxiety
-problematic if they prevent the person from effectively dealing with reality.
ego defence mechanisms
reaction formation
-has 2 parts
1. ego ideal - "shoulds" - represents the "perfect person" we wish we were
2. conscience - "should nots" - evaluates right from wrong and prevents us from behaving in a morally improper way

- develops around age 5 - oedipal conflict (identify w father,internalize his values)
-superego is influenced by parents, teachers, and other significan figures.
Psychosexual theory of personality development
5 psychosexual stages
1. oral (birth to 12-18 months)
2. anal (12-18 months to 3 yrs)
3. phalic (3 to 5-6 years) - oedipal conflict
4. latency (5-6 years to adolescence)
5. genital (adolescence to adulthood)

personality is developed during childhood by age 5

labido (sexual energy) - gets fixated when too much or too little gratification
you develop personality characteristics based on the distribution of the labido energy among the 5 psychosexual stages.
psycho social theory of personality development
-erik erikson

1. at each stage the person is presented with a social crisis or conflict

2. how you resolve the crisis influences how your personality develops.
trait theory
-Gordon Allport
-believed traits led to relatively consistent behavior patterns that the person is likely to show in a wide variety of situations.
-internal trains are consistent across situations and time
-traits are relatively stable, consistent and enduring tendencies that predispose people to behave in a particular way
-traits guide or influence behaviors
-traits are never quite the same (unique) from on individual to the next
-peole vary in the extent to which a trait is characteristic of them
-18,000 traits
Raymond cattell
-part of trait theory
-reduced allport's trait list down to 171 & then finally to 16 personality factors or dimensions
- he used a statistical technique called factor analysis
-big 5 or five factor model - personality is organized around 5 basic factors - these are thought to be the most important components of personality
Criticisms of trait theory
1. traits - label vs explain behavior - traits give a static picture of personality vs. theory of dynamic change
2. situationism - walter mischel - said personality often changes from one situation to another vs. trait theoryist Gordon Allport who said internal traits are consistent across situations and time.
behavioral theory
- based on the idea that the keys to understanding development are observable behavior and outside environmental stimuli. Behaviorists reject the idea that people universally pass through a series of stages.
-they view development as occurring because of continuous explosure to specific factors in the environment
-behavior/personality is learned through reinforcement or punishment of particular response tendencies in different situations.
social cognitive theory
-albert bandura

-Focus on how our thinking affects our behavior as well as how our behavior and its consequences affect our thinking and future actions
- bandura called this interaction "Reciprocal Determinism"
-personality is shaped by an ongoing interaction of 3 factors (reciprical determinism)
1. situation/environment
2. thoughts/feelings
3. behavior
Humanistic theory
-Abraham Maslow & Carl Rogers
-personality is determined by the unique ways in which each individual views the world
- to explain people's action it is important to understand their views of the world rather than their instincts, traits, or learning experiences
evolutionary perspective
-seeks to identify behavior in today's humans that is the result of our genetic inheritance from our ancestors
-grew out of the work of charles darwin who argued in "the origin of the species" that a process of natural selection creates traits in a species that are adaptive to their environemtn
- agrues that our genetic inheritence determines not only such physical traits as skin and eye color, but certain personality traits and social behaviors (such as shyness or jealousy)
personality assessment
1. objective personality tests
2. projective personality tests
3. observation - behavioral assessment
4. interview
objective personality tests
1. ask clear questions about a person's thoughts, feelings, or behavior
2. self-report tests (true/false & multiple choice)
3. group administered
4. machine scored
projective methods
- a test in which a person is shown an ambiguos stimulus and asked to describe it or tell a story about it
- no clear right or wrong answer
-answers thought to be a projection of unconscious needs, fantasies, conflicts
-rorschach test (ink blot)
observation - behavioral assessment
-direct measures of an individual's behavior used to describe characteristics indicative of personality
criticism of evolutionary theory
- Pays too little attention to environment and social factors.
- No way to test the theories.
study of health psych
-study the relationship between psychological behavior and phsycial health and illness

emphasis on:
1. enhancing health
2. prevention of disease

-studies how behavior contributes to recovery from illness

-looks at how psychological factors influence diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness
-likely to occur whenever a person has to make adjustments or adapt their behavior to the environment
-a normal part of every person's life
-absence of stress = death
-stress is not always bad
-any event or situation that requires people to adjust to it in some way

-can be imaginary (student imagines test will be hard)
-fearful anticipation - is usually worse than actual realization
seymour epstein
-the time of greatest stress is not necessarily when danger is at its height

ex. parachutist - greatest stress was when they were anticipating making the jump
types of stress
1. eustress - beneficial (mild forms of stress can be motivating, stimulating, and even desriable)
2. non-beneficial (severe stress can promote physical, emotional, and behaviorable problems)
when/why does stress occur?
-stress occurs in situations in which we feel/perceive our self in conflict or threatened beyond our capacity to adapt, cope, or endure
how do we determine stressfulness of each situation?
ultimately stress depends upon how a situation is perceived
-it is not the events themsevles, but how we appraise/erceive them that influences their stressfulness
-the same situation is not stressful to everyone (ex. work, childbirth, wedding, public speaking, test taking)
- perception is subjective...viewing something as a challenge versus a threat
richard lazarus
-Cognitive-meditational theory - says the way people think about and appraise a stressor is a major factor in how stressful that particular stressor becomes
-there is a 2 step process in assessing the degree of threat or harm of a stressor and how one should react to that stressor
1. primary appraisal - involves estimating the severity of the stressor and classifying it as a threat, a challenge, or a harm or loss that hs already occured
2. secondary appraisal - if threat or harmful effect is perceived, you then must estimate the resources you have available for coping with the stressor - if resources are perceived as adequate or abundant, the degree of stress will be considerably less than if resources are missing or lacking.
stress reactions
-how u know when ur under stress
A. Physical
B. Emotional
C. Behavioral
D. Cognitive
Physical stress reaction
Physical symptoms of stress may include:
stomach or bowel upset
muscle tension
change in eating habits/loss of appetite or overeating
sleep problems
unusual fatigue
frequent colds, chest pains, nausea
emotional stress reactions
emotional symptoms of stress may include:
increased anger
emotional outbursts
excessive fear
increased anxiety
behavioral stress reactions
behavioral symptoms of stress may include:
clumsines, being accident prone
increased illness
more frequent use of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs
withdrawal from usual activites
cognitive stress reactions
cognitive symptoms of stress may include:
decreased ability to concentrate
memory problems/forgetfulness
making more mistakes
problems in decision making
ruminative/obsessive thoughts
loose your sense of humor
effects of stress
-stress take its toll on our bodies (stomachaches, headaches, backaches)
-on our interest in, productivity, and enjoyment of life and work
-and may contribute to more serious conditions such as ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke
social readjustments rating scale
- (SRRS)
- Holmes & Rahe
- stressfullness of the situation depends on the amount of change person undergoes
-Life change units - any disruption of our daily routine causes stress
- good things that happen to us as well as the bad things can cause stress because they carry with them adjustment demands
-studied teh relationship b/w stressfull life event and the development of illness
-high scores are associated w/ increased risk of accident or illness
criticism of srrs
-research suggests the SRRS is only a modest predictor of future health problems
1. events are not equally stressful to all perception of stress is very personal and subjective
2. stress is not the only variable affecting susceptibility to illness
3. holmes & rahe focused mainly on major, fairly dramatic life events not daily hassles
Lazarus and measuring stress
- Lazarus "hassles"
-much stress arises from daily chronic or repeated conditions of living
ex. liek a chinese water torture
-hassles = petty annoyances, irritations, frustrations, minor disagreements

the number and severity of daily hassles were significantly better predictors of headaches than were scores on the life events scale

it was not so much the number of daily hassles that predicted headaches, but rather the perceived severity of the hassles
many little hassles that are triggered by major events which give rise to stress
common sources of stress
1. frustration
2. conflict
3. pressures
4. boredom
5. trauma
6. change

elements of all 6 may be present in nthe same situation
-progress toward the desired goal is blocked or delayed

4 basic sources:
1. delays
2. loss/rejection
3. lack of resources
4. failure

intensity of frustration increases as
1. strength
2. urgency
3. importance
of blocked motive increases

must give up goal or overcome obstacles
-state of tension that occurs when we feel torn between two opposing goals
-cant completely resolve a conflict must giev up one goal, modity one or both goals, or delay your pursuit of one goal

aproach - approach
avoidance - avoidance
approach - avoidance
double approach - avoidance
-situations that require a person to do too much in too short a time

when we feel forced to speed up, intensify, or shift the direction of our behavior, or to meet a higher standard or performance
-understimulation. (routine factory line worker - too much routine and too little variety - putting one small part on the car all day everyda - can experience stress)
the shocking physical or emotional experience such as rape or death of the family emember can be a devastating stressor
positive or negative can be a mjor stressor
severity of stress
determined primarily by 3 factors
1. characteristics of the situation
2. characteristics of the individual
3. external resources and support
characteristics of the situation
-strenght of conflicting forces
- presence of a threat/imminence of an anticipated threat
0unfamiliaryity and suddenness of the problem
-level of challenge or threat to one's capabilities or self concept
-stressors usually have less impact if people can exert some control over them
-it seems that just believing that a stressor can be controlled can reduce the stressor's effect
- faith
-people who have some control over unpleasant events show lower stress levels than those who feel they have no control

-people who do not think they have control over stressors often devlop feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. that promote depression or other mental disorders or vulnerability to physical disease.

langer & rodin - nursin home "control" - meals/tv/plant/visiting area - happier, socialized more, fewer somatic complaints, fewer died
-unpreditable events are more stressful vs. predictable ones
-ex: law enforcement b/c of unpredictable nature of work

-reserach w/ rats indicates that predictability of stressful events (ex warning b4 shocks) leads to fewer stressful reactions
-predictable stressors may have less impact because they give the person time to mobilize resoruces to cope with the stressors
irving janus
stress innoculation
-giving surgical patients information about what will happen during surgical procedures, the pain or disability they can expect after procedures, and ways to reduce pain or overcome disaiblity greatly improves their adjustment surgery
-patients experience less distress b4 and after surgery, able to leave hospital sooner, required less meds, expreinced less pain then patients not given the info
-gives patinets a sense that they can control certain aspect of their experience to reduce their pain - and if not it give them a sense of predictability - less anxious .. more relaxed
ex. lamaze childbirth
characteristic of the individual
A. stress tolerance
B. hardiness - commitment, control, challenge
C. Degree of competence
D. optimism/pessimism - you dont have to feel in control so long as you expect everything will turn out ok
E. stress can be self-imposed - perfectionism/exceptionality/unrealistically high standards
adaptation to stress can be costly
1. lowering of adaptive efficiency
-impaired decision making
-impaired problem solving
-difficulty seeing alternatives

2. lowering of resistence to other stresses

3. cause wear and tear on the person
general adaptation syndrome
hans selye - the body reacts to different types of stressors with a general or nonspecific adaptive response

3 stages:
1. alarm stage - fight or flight - mobilize defenses to prepare for action
2. resistance stage
3. exhaustion
GAS stage one

respiration increases
heart rate increases
blood pressure increases
muscles tense
digestion slowed
adrenaline secreted
GAS stage 2

-not as intense as the Alarm Stage, but bodily levels of hormonal secretion are still above normal
-occurs during the stress response and if stressor is removed helps return the body to normal levels
GAS stage 3

-resistance all but ceased
-bodily systems have been depleted due to prolonged resistance
-can bring baout the threat of onset of "diseases of adaptation"
acute stress disorder
-symptoms being w/in four weeks of event and last for less than one month
post traumatic stress disorder
symptoms can begin at any time following the event but must last for longer than one month
-re-experience original trama in nightmares or vivid memories
-symptoms include recurring bouts of anxiety, irritability, jumpiness, headaches, dizziness, sexual dysfunction
-emotinal numbness/guilt/depression
may develop form acute stress disorder
-a state of physical and emotional exhaustion
includes feelings of :1. hopelessness
2. chronic fatigue
3. low energy

usually occurs because of a gradual accumulation of everday stressors
-common reason for studentes leaving school b4 earning their degrees
coping with stress
emotion-focused coping: characterized by the conscoius regulation of emotion in which ppl seek to change the way they feel or perceive the problem

problem focused coping : attempts to change the stressful problem or source of the stress