The Structure Of Personality: An Introduction To Psychology

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BESC1490 Introduction to Psychology
Week 8 Personality

1. Personality refers to an individual’s distinctive behaviour, patterns of thought, feelings and motivations that are shown in various situations. There are two theories that have been studied for personality, ‘Structure of personality’ and ‘Individual differences.’ The ‘structure of personality’ is the organisation of enduring patterns and personality processes, whereas ‘individual differences’ is the way of people vary in personality traits. The study of twins demonstrates how genetics can be involved in personality and also how personality can be inherited. Different cultures have a distinct way of understanding personality. Freud see’s how culture pattern can be approached as a set
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Freud’s theory of personality refers to fears and intentions that determine behaviour. His first model, topographic model splits the mental processes into conscious, preconscious and unconscious. Conscious mental process are rational while unconscious are irrational. Ambivalence is conflicting of feelings or motives. Freud’s drive model views the sex and aggression as the basic human motives. His developmental model suggests series of psychosexual stages, which include personality and sexuality. The stages are oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. His structural model suggest that the ego tries to balance desire, on the conflict between the ‘id’ and ‘superego.’

3. Cognitive-social theories suggest that learning, beliefs and expectations play an important role in personality. Personal value refers to individual’s life task, goals and potential outcomes. Behaviour is affected by two expectancies. ‘Behaviour-outcome expectancy’ is a certain behaviour that will lead to a desired outcome whereas ‘Self-efficacy expectancies’ are based on an individuals beliefs and their ability to achieve the desired outcome. Competencies are the skills and abilities to achieve an outcome successfully. Self-regulation involves evaluation and adjusting behaviours to achieve
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Humanistic theories focuses on exclusively human features of personality, such as meaning of life, and not shared by others. The ‘Person-centred approach’ suggests that people who are innately free however society and interpersonal experiences causes them to become mean-spirited and selfish. ‘Phenomenal experience’ suggests that people are subjected to truly understand their perception of the world and conceive of reality. ‘Self concept’ is how individuals perceive themselves. If this is greatly diverged from the ‘ideal self,’ the individual will then alter their personality and behaviour to avoid this painful state. ‘Existential approaches’ suggest that individuals can create their own meaning in life by making commitments to avoid ‘existential dread,’ where life has no absolute value or

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