• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

60 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back


Refers to distinctive, enduring characteristics or patterns of behavior. An individual's personality reveals itself through consistent behavior in a variety of situations.

Freud's theory of personality emphasized three main points

Childhood experiences determine adult personality. Unconscious mental processes influence everyday behavior. Conflict influences most human behavior.

According to Freud, each adult personality consists of

The id, ego, and superego.


Develops at birth. Contains the pleasure principle, unconscious instincts, and the libido. Is irrational. Seeks instant gratification. Is unconscious and has no contact with reality. It always seeks pleasure and avoids pain.


Develops around 6 months of age. Contains the reality principle. Mediates between the id and the superego. Is the executive branch. Makes rational decisions. Cannot determine if something is right or wrong.


Develops around 6 years of age. Contains the morality principle and personal ideals. Is the personal conscience. Has the ability to determine if something is right or wrong.

Reality principle

Describes how the ego tries to bring individual id demands within the norms of society.

Iceberg theory

Freud believed that personality is like an iceberg where most of our personality exists below the level of awareness just as most of an iceberg is hidden beneath the surface of the water.


Freud referred to the hidden part of our personality as this.


Freud referred to the part of our personality consists of whatever we are aware of at any particular point in time.


According to Freud, contains material that is just below the surface of awareness but can easily retrieved.

Defense mechanisms

Are unconscious methods used by the ego to distort reality and thereby protect us from anxiety. Anxiety can result from the irrational, pleasure demands of the id or from the superego causing guilty feelings about a real or imagined transgression.

Common defense mechanisms

Rationalization, repression, reaction formation, regression, projection, displacement, sublimation, intellectualization, and denial.


Creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behavior.


Expelling disturbing wishes, thoughts, or experiences from conscious awareness. The feelings may remain conscious, but they are detached from the associated ideas.

Reaction formation

Behaving in exactly the opposite of one's true feelings.


Reversion to immature patterns of behavior.


Attributing one's own thoughts, feelings, motives, shortcomings, etc., to others.


Shifting unacceptable feelings from their original source to a safer, substitute target.


A useful, socially acceptable course of behavior replaces a socially unacceptable or distasteful impulse.


By dealing with a stressful situation in an intellectual and unemotional manner, a person detaches himself from the stress.


An individual does not acknowledge some painful or anxiety-provoking aspect of reality or of the self.

Freud's five stages of psychosexual development that forms our personality.

Each stage represents a different erogenous zone. Oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital.


0-18 months, mouth, stimulation of mouth produces pleasure; enjoys sucking, biting, chewing. Weaning is major task or conflict.


18-36 months, anus, toilet training is major task. Expelling and retaining feces produces pleasure.


3-6 years. genitals, self-stimulation of genitals produces pleasure.

Oedipal and Electra conflicts

Oedipal (boys) and electa (girls). Children have erotic desires for opposite-sex parent as well as feeling fear and hostility for same-sex parents. Successful resolution of this conflict results in identification with same-sex parent.


6-12 years, none, sexual feelings are repressed, social contacts beyond immediate family are expanded.


Puberty onward, genitals, establishing intimate, sexual relations with other is main focus.


Can result when these urges are either frustrated or overindulged in any one erogenous zone. Fixation results in one's personality becoming locked at a particular psychosexual developmental stage.

Possible fixations for first three stages

Oral - Obsessive eating, smoking, drinking, sarcasm, overly demanding, aggressiveness. Anal - Extreme messiness, overly orderly, overly concerned about punctuality, fear of dirt, love of bathroom humor, anxiety about sexual activities, overly giving, rebelliousness. Phallic - Excessive masturbation, flirts frequently, excessive modesty, excessively timid, overly proud, promiscuity.


Are personality theorists who started their careers as followers of Freud but eventually disagreed on some of the basic principles of his theory. Theorists include Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, and Karen Horney.

Behaviorist perspective

Is that personality is a collection of learned behavior patterns. Personality, like any other learned behavior, is acquired through classical and operant conditioning, social learning, discrimination, and generalization.

Skinner's ideas

B. F. Skinner and other traditional behaviorists believed that everything a person does is ultimately based on past and present rewards and punishments and other aspects of operant conditioning.

Social learning theorists

The group of psychologists who emphasized behavior, environment, and cognition as important in determining personality are known as this. AKA cognitive-behavioral or social-cognitive approach. They emphasize that we can regulate and control our own behavior despite changes in our environment. Albert Bandura, Walter Mischel, and Julian Rotter are three.


Expectations of success.

Reciprocal determinism

Influences individual differences in personality.

Both ________ and _________ variables are important in explaining behavior.

person, situation

Situational specificty

That we often behave differently in different situations.

Locus of control

Influences how we behave. Includes internal and external loci of control.

Internal locus of control

Those with this see themselves primarily in control of their behavior and its consequences.

External locus of control

Those with the see their behavior as controlled by fate, chance, or luck and are less likely to change their behavior as a result of reinforcement because they do not understand the relationship between the reinforcement and their behavior.


Meaning they try to explain the complex concept of personality in terms of one or two factors.

Trait approach

Focus on durable tendencies or dispositions to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations. According to trait theories, people can be described in terms of the basic ways that they behave.

Basic assumptions of the trait approach

Each person has stable dispositions to display certain behaviors, attitudes, and emotions. These dispositions or trait are general and appear in diverse situations. Each person has a different set of traits. Trait theorists include Gordon Allport, Hans Eysenck, and Raymond Cattell.

Big Five traits or factors

Three possible names for each Extroversion-introversion/extroversion/extroversion, friendly compliance versus hostile noncompliance/agreeableness/neuroticism, neuroticisim/conscientiousness/agreeableness, will to achieve/emotional stability/openness to experience, intellect/openness to experience/ conscientiousness.

Humanistic approach

An optimistic response to the pessimism of psychodynamic theorists. Humanistic psychologists emphasize immediate subjective experiences that are unique to each of us. This approach stresses each person's capacity for personal growth, positive growth, free will, and freedom to choose one's destiny.

Carl Rogers' person centered approach

Emphasizes that people have different perceived realities, strive toward self-actualization, and should be given unconditional positive regard.

Phenomenal field

Rogers' term to describe each person's total subjective experience of reality.


The core theme of Rogers' theory. Self-concept refers to individuals' overall perceptions of their abilities, behavior, and personality.

Real self

Rogers term for the self we form as a result of our experiences.

Ideal self

Rogers term for the self that we really want to be.

___________ results from a discrepancy between the real self and the ideal self.


Incongruent person

One who has a distorted or inaccurate self-image.

Unconditional positive regard

This is where the another person is accepting, positive, and loving without special conditions or strings attached and regardless of the person's behavior.


Sensitive and understanding


Open with our feelings and dropping our pretenses.

Fully functioning persons

According to Rogers are those who live in harmony with their deepest feelings, impulses, and intuitions.


Rogers term to describe the tendency for humans to fulfill their true potential.

Abraham Maslow

Humanistic psychologist who is best known for his study of self-actualization. He developed a hierarchy of motives/needs in which each lower need must be satisfied before the next level can be addressed. In sequence these needs are: physiological, safety, love and belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization.