Ψ How do people tend to think, feel, & behave--and what causes these tendencies? These are the questions addressed by personality theory & research.
Ψ Personality is the complex of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental--that characterize a unique individual.
Ψ Freud's Psychodynamic Theory encompasses:
• Conscious versus unconscious forces
• Conscious thoughts
• Unconscious forces
• Unconscious motivation
Ψ Techniques to discover the unconscious:
Ψ Divisions of the Mind
Id: pleasure seeker, operates on the Pleasure principle - Contains two biological drives: Sex & Aggression!
Ego: negotiator between id and superego, operates on the Reality principle
Superego: regulator / conscience, operates on Guilt feelings
Freudian Defense mechanisms:
Rationalization: supplying a logical or rational reason as opposed to the real reason
Denial: arguing against an anxiety provoking stimuli by stating it doesn't exist
Repression: pulling into the unconscious (forgetting)
Projection: placing unacceptable impulses in yourself onto someone else
Reaction formation: taking the opposite belief because the true belief causes anxiety
Displacement: taking out impulses on a less threatening target
Sublimation: acting out unacceptable impulses in a socially acceptable way
Freud - Five Stages of Development
1. Oral - Focus is on the mouth, teeth, & gums.
3. Phallic - Oedipus complex
4. Latency - Really not a stage but an interlude.
Age: birth - 1.5 year
Age: 1.5 to 3 years
Age: 3 to 6 years
Age: 7- 11 years
Age: from 12 on
Ψ Fixation: According to Freud strong conflicts can fixate people at an early developmental stage.
Ψ Oral fixation has two possible outcomes.
• The Oral receptive personality is preoccupied with eating/drinking and reduces tension through oral activity such as eating, drinking, smoking, biting nails. They are generally passive, needy &sensitive to rejection. They will easily 'swallow' other people's ideas.
• The Oral aggressive personality is hostile &verbally abusive to others, using mouth-based aggression.
Ψ Anal fixation, which may be caused by too much punishment during toilet training, has two possible outcomes.
• The Anal retentive personality is stingy, with a compulsive seeking of order and tidiness. The person is generally stubborn and perfectionist.
• The Anal expulsive personality is an opposite of the Anal retentive personality, & as a lack of self control, being generally messy and careless.
Ψ Phallic fixation
• At the age of 5 or 6, near the end of the phallic stage, boys experience the Oedipus Complex while girls experience the Electra conflict, which is a process through which they learn to identify with the same gender parent by acting as much like that parent as possible.
• Boys may experience castration anxiety.
• Girls may display penis-envy.
• Fixated males: Anxiety & guilty feelings about sex, fear of castration, & narcissistic personality.
Ψ Freud's Followers & Critics
• Carl Jung - the collective unconscious
• Alfred Adler - social urges, individual psychology
• Karen Horney - social interactions
• Neo-Freudians - Erik Erikson
Three characteristics of humanistic theories:
Phenomenological perspective - perception (even if inaccurate) is reality!
Self-actualization - need to be all you can be!
Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs:
Major areas: Deficiency needs (levels 1,2,3,4) - Growth needs (level 5)
The Hierarchy (top down):
• Love & belonging
Carl Rogers: Self theory (self-actualization theory)
• Link to more information on Carl Rogers
Rogers sees people as basically good or healthy -- or at very least, not bad or ill. In other words, he sees mental health as the normal progression of life, and he sees mental illness, criminality, and other human problems, as distortions of that natural tendency. Roger's self-actualizing tendency can be defined as the built-in motivation present in every life-form to develop its potentials to the fullest extent possible.
Note: Projective tests such as the Rorschach inkblot test & the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) tend to have relativity low reliability & validity, however combined with other assessment techniques they can be helpful.
Robert C. Gates