Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Chapter 12: Personality What is Personality?...

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Chapter 12: Personality What is Personality? The concept of personality also rests on the observation that people seem to behave somewhat consistently over time and across different situations Even in adulthood, there is capacity for personality change Personality – the distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a person’s responses to life situations One’s personality is seen as components of identity that distinguish that person from other people. The behaviours are viewed as being caused primarily by internal rather than environmental factors. The person’s behaviours seem to fit together in a meaningful fashion, suggesting that inner personality guides/directs behaviour The Psychodynamic Perspective: They look for the causes of behaviour in a dynamic interplay of inner forces that often conflict with one another. They focus of unconscious determinants of behaviour. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud’s experience and observations convinced him that an unconscious part of the mind exerts great influence on behaviour Psychic Energy and Mental Events: Freud considered personality to be an energy system Instinctual drives generate psychic energy , which powers the mind and constantly presses for either direct or indirect release. Ex/ a buildup of energy from sexual drives might be discharged directly in the form of sexual activity Mental events may be conscious, preconscious, or unconscious. The conscious mind consists of mental events that we are presently aware of The preconscious contains memories, thoughts, feelings, and images that we are unaware of at the moment but that can be recalled Psychoanalysts believe that verbal slips are holes in our armor of conscious control and expressions of our true feelings. The Structure of Personality: Freud divided personality into 3 separate but interacting structures: id, ego, and superego. Id – in the unconscious mind. o The innermost core of personality, the only structure present at birth, and the source of all psychic energy. o It has no direct contact with reality and functions in a totally irrational manner. o It operates according to the pleasure principle; it seeks immediate gratification or release, regardless of rational considerations and environmental realities. o It cannot satisfy itself by obtaining what it needs from the environment because it has no contact with the outer world. o A new structure develops out of the id that has contact with reality. Ego – functions primarily at a conscious level, it operates according to the reality principle. o It tests reality to decide when and under what conditions to id can safely discharge its impulses and satisfy its needs.
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2009 for the course MIT 027 taught by Professor Farber during the Spring '08 term at UWO.

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Chapter 12 - Chapter 12: Personality What is Personality?...

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