Psychosexual Stages of Personality Development

Freud believed that all persons passed through a set series of stages in personality development. Each of these stages involves a conflict, and how the person resolve this conflict gives rise to various aspects of his or her personalit . So, in psychoanalytic theory, the source of individual differences lies in how the child comes to resolve conflicts in each of the stages of development. The end result, after going through all the stages, is a fully formed personality . Because all of this...

The Biological Domain

The biological domain concerns those factors within the body that influence or ar influenced by personalit . This domain is not any more fundamental than the other domains, nor is knowledge about this domain any closer to the truth about personality than knowledge in other domains. This domain simply represents one perspective on the nature and consequences of personality. There is a long history of speculation and theorizing about the relation between the body and the mind. Some of this...

The Neo Analytic Movement

As proposed by Freud, classical psychoanalysis is a detailed and comprehensive theory, developed in the early 1900s, of the totality of human nature. Many of Freud' s ideas are out of date however , contemporary psychoanalyst Drew Westen (1998) argues that they should be out of date after all, Freud died in 1939 and he has been slow to undertake further revisions (p. 333) of his theory . Westen goes on humorously to note that Freud, like Elvis, has been dead for a number of years but continues...

Genotype Environment Correlation

Perhaps even more interesting than genotype-environment interaction is the concept of genotype-environment correlation, the differential exposure of individuals with different genotypes to different environments. Consider, for example, a child who has a genotype for high verbal ability . Her parents may notice this and provide her with lots of books to read, engage in intellectual discussions with her , and give her word games and crossword puzzles. Parents of children with less verbal skill,...

Research Designs in Personality

Introverts Prefer Read

In this chapter, we have examined the types of personality measur es and the means for evaluating the quality of those measures. The next step in personality research is to use these measures in actual research designs. Although the variations are nearly infinite, there are three basic research designs in the field of personality psycholog experimental, correlational, and case study . Each has strengths and weaknesses. Each provides information that complements the information provided by the...

Six Domains of Knowledge about Human Nature

Mary Cartwright

The various views of researchers in personality stem not from the fact that one perspective is right and the others wrong but, rather , from the fact that they are studying different domains of knowledge. A domain of knowledge is a specialty area of science and scholarship, in which psychologists have focused on learning about some specific and limited aspects of human nature. A domain of knowledge delineates the boundaries of researchers' knowledge, expertise, and interests. To a lar ge...

Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment

Jeffrey Gray has proposed an influential alternative biological theory of personalit (Gray, 1972, 1990), called reinforcement sensitivity theory. Based on brain function research with animals, Gray has constructed a model of human personality based on two hypothesized biological systems in the brain. The first is the behavioral activation system (BAS), which is responsive to incentives, such as cues for reward, and regulates approach behavior . When the BAS recognizes a stimulus as potentially...

Shared versus Nonshared Environmental Influences A Riddle

With all of the findings on the moderate heritability of so many personality charac teristics, it is important not to lose sight of one important fact the same studies that suggest moderate heritability also provide the best evidence for the importance of environmental influences. If many personality characteristics show heritabilities in th range of 30 to 50 percent, this means that the same characteristics show a substantial degree of environmentality as much as 50 to 70 percent. This...

Three Levels of Personality Analysis

Although the definition of personality used in this book is quite broad and encom passing, personality can be analyzed at three levels. These three levels are well summarized by Kluckhohn & Murray , in their 1948 book on culture and personality , in which they state that every human being is, in certain respects, 1. Like all others (the human nature level). 2. Like some others (the level of individual and group dif ferences). 3. Like no others (the individual uniqueness level). Another way...

Techniques for Revealing the Unconscious

The goal of psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious conscious. Mental illness, problems with living, and unexplained physical symptoms can all be viewed as the result of unconscious conflicts. Thoughts, feelings, ur ges, or memories have been forced into the unconscious, because of their disturbing or threatening nature. Due to the dynamic nature of the human mind, these conflicts or restrained u ges may slip out of the unconscious in ways that cause trouble. They often obtain expression as...

Primary and Secondary Appraisal

Not all people respond to stressors in the same way . Two people can experience the same event, yet one is devastated and completely overwhelmed, whereas the other accepts the event as a challenge and is mobilized into positive action. Dif ferences between people in how they respond to the same event are possible because stress is not out there in the environment. Rather, stress is in the subjective reaction of the person to potential stressors (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). This is worth...

What Is a Trait Two Basic Formulations

When you describe someone as impulsive, unreliable, and lazy, what specifically ar you referring to Personality psychologists dif fer in their formulations of what these traits mean. Some personality psychologists view these traits as internal (or hidden) properties of persons that cause their behavior. Other personality psychologists make no assumptions about causality and simply use these trait terms to describe the enduring aspects of a person's behavior. Traits as Internal Causal Properties...

Person Situation Interaction

Personality Sport Persons

We first looked at the topic of person-situation interaction in Chapter 1. In this sec tion, we will examine this topic in a bit more detail, focusing on interactionism as a response to Mischel' s challenge to trait consistency . As Mischel' s debate with trait psychologists made clear , there are two possible explanations for behavior , or why people do what they do in any given situation 1. Behavior is a function of personality traits, B fP). 2. Behavior is a function of situational forces, B...

Contemporary Views on the Unconscious

Unconscious And Personality

The idea of a motivated unconscious is at the core of classical psychoanalytic theory . Most contemporary psychologists also believe in the unconscious, although it is a different version of the unconscious than that found in classical psychoanalytic theory . Consider the views of psychologist John Bar gh, a social psychologist whose research on unconscious processes has had a lar ge impact on psychology People are often unaware of the reasons and causes of their own behavior . In fact, recent...

Taxonomies of Personality

Eysenck Model Personality Structure

Over the past century, dozens of taxonomies of personality traits have been proposed. Many have been merely lists of traits, often based on the intuitions of personality psychologists. As personality psychologist Robert Hogan observed, the history of personality theory consists of people who assert that their private demons are public afflictions Hogan, 1983 . Indeed, two editors of a book on personality traits Londo amp Exner, 1978 expressed despair at the lack of agreement about a taxonomy of...

The Machiavellian Personality

The term Machiavellian originates from an Italian diplomat, Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote a classic treatise, The Prince, in 1513 (Machiavelli,1966 1513). Machiavelli observed, in his diplomatic role, that leaders come and go, rising and falling as they gain and lose power. The Prince is a book of advice on acquiring and maintaining power, which Machiavelli wrote to ingratiate himself with a new ruler after the one that he had served had been overthrown. The advice is based on tactics for...

Sources of Personality Data

Fmri Psychology

Perhaps the most obvious source of information about a person is self-report data (S-data) the information a person reveals. Clearly , individuals may not always provide accurate information about themselves for a variety of reasons, such as the desire to present themselves in a positive light. Nevertheless, the journals that publish the latest research in personality reveal that self-report is the most common method for measuring personality. Self-report data can be obtained through a variety...

Categorical versus Dimensional Approach to Emotion

Pleasant Unpleasant Emotions

Emotion researchers can be divided into two camps based on their answers to the following question What is the best way to think about emotions Some suggest emotions are best thought of as a small number of primary and distinct emotions anger , joy, anxiety, sadness . Others suggest that emotions are best thought of as broad dimensions of experience e.g., a dimension ranging from pleasant to unpleasant . Those who think that primary emotions are the key are said to take the categorical...

Neurotransmitters and Personality

Whereas Zuckerman's theory concerns levels of MAO, which breaks down neuro-transmitters, other researchers hypothesize that levels of neurotransmitters themselves are responsible for specific individual di ferences. Neurotransmitters are receiving a great deal of attention as possible sources of personality dif ferences. One neurotransmitter, dopamine, appears to be associated with pleasure. For example, animals will work to obtain doses of dopamine, much as they would work to obtain food. As...

Closer Look The Six Myths of Self Esteem

Most people naturally try to enhance and protect their self-esteem, believing that it is important to psychological health. In America in the past decade there has been a growing national concern with developing self-esteem, believing it is related to all manner of good things in life. For example, the State of California set up a task force on self-esteem, which ultimately produced a report entitled The Social Importance of Self-Esteem. In it the task force argued that many if not most of the...

Personality and Social Interaction

Psychological Facts About Shy People

Personality Characteristics Desired in a Marriage Partner Assortative Mating for Personality The Search for the Similar Personality and the Selective Breakup of Couples Shyness and the Selection of Risky Situations Other Personality Traits and the Selection of Situations Aggression and the Evocation of Hostility Evocation of Anger and Upset in Partners Evocation through Expectancy Confirmatio Manipulation Social Influence Tactics A Taxonomy of 11 Tactics of Manipulation Sex Differences in...

Closer Look Narcissism and Social Interaction

Narcissism is a personality dimension that involves, at the upper end, high levels of self-absorption and conceited-ness, placing one's own wants and needs above those of others, displaying unusual grandiosity, showing a profound sense of entitlement, and lacking empathy for other people's feelings, needs, and desires (see Chapters 10 and 14 Raskin & Terry, 1988). Those high on narcissism tend to be exhibitionistic (e.g., flaunting money to impress others), grandiose (e.g., talking about how...

The Social and Cultural Domain

In the social and cultural domain of knowledge, there is an emphasis on the public aspects of personality. The assumption here is that personality is not something that is only in the heads of people, or residing only in their nervous systems or carried in their genes. In this domain, the emphasis is on personality as it is af fected by and expressed through social institutions, social roles and expectations, and through relationships with other people in our lives. We saw in Chapter 3 that...

Hostility The Lethal Component of the Type A Behavior Pattern

You will recall that the Type A personality really is a syndrome, a collection of three subtraits, which often, but not always, occur together in the same persons. For example, a person could have time ur gency and high achievement motive, but not have the hostility component. When the interview measures of Type A were developed by physicians, they tended to emphasize the assessment of hostility and aggression. For example, it assessed whether the participants got frustrated when the physicians...

Manipulation Social Influence Tactics

Once social environments are selected, evocation does not exhaust the set of processes that link personality with the social world. Manipulation, or social influence, include all the ways in which people intentionally try to change the behavior of others. No malicious intent need be implied by the term manipulation, although such intent is not excluded either. A parent might influence a child not to cross between parked cars but we would not call this behavior malicious. Indeed, part of social...

Psychic Determinism Nothing Happens by Chance

Freud maintained that nothing happens by chance or by accident. There is a reason behind every act, thought, and feeling. Everything we do, think, say , and feel is an expression of the mind the conscious, preconscious, or unconscious mind. In his book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Freud introduced the idea that the little accidents of daily life are often expressions of the motivated unconscious, such as calling someone by the wrong name, missing an appointment, and breaking something...

Brain Asymmetry and Affective Style

As you are probably aware, the left and right sides of the brain are specialized, with asymmetry in the control of various psychological functions. One type of asymmetry that is receiving research attention is the relative amount of activity in the front part of the left and right brain hemispheres. The brain constantly produces small amounts of electrical activity , which can be measured on the scalp with sensitive electrical recording equipment. A recording of such electrical activity is...

Marital Stability Marital Satisfaction and Divorce

In a longitudinal study of unprecedented length, Kelly and Conley (1987) studied a sample of 300 couples from their engagements in the 1930s all the way through their status later in life in the 1980s. At the final testing, the median age of the subject was 68 years. Within the entire sample of 300 couples, 22 couples broke their engagements and did not get married. Of the 278 couples who did get married, 50 ended up getting divorced sometime between 1935 and 1980. During the first testing...

Personality Revealed through Perception

Abel Feild

Most people assume there is reality out there and that the representation we have of it in our minds is a precise duplicate, a flawless perception of the facts. This is simply not true the perceiver contributes to the mental representations such that, even in perception, there are dif ferences between people in what they see when they look at a scene. In this chapter , we will expand on this notion and cover two topics that explore individual dif ferences in perception. These topics show how...

Management of Emotions

Fmri Scan Examples Psychology

Sometimes we have emotions, and sometimes emotions have us. Emotions, especially negative ones, can be particularly difficult to control. Nevertheless, we can try to inhibi the expression of negative emotions, especially under certain circumstances. Imagine that your school team just lost an important championship, and you are really unhappy , distressed, and in an irritable mood, angry at the referees and disappointed by your team. However, you have an important exam tomorrow , so you must...

The Adjustment Domain

This domain is dif ferent from the others discussed in the book so far. The first fi domains each referred to a collection of specific explanations of personalit . That is, each gave a perspective on, and a collection of knowledge about, the causes of personality and individual dif ferences. In this last domain the Adjustment Domain we examine some of the consequences of personality . We focus on adjustment because, in many ways, personality functions to help us adjust to the challenges and...

Models of the Personality Illness Connection

Researchers have proposed several ways of thinking about how personality can relate to health. These models can take the form of diagrams of key variables, with the causal relations among those variables depicted by arrows. Models are useful to researchers in guiding their thinking about specific variables, and especially in thinking about ho those variables influence one another ( iebe & Smith, 1997). In most of the models we will discuss, one variable stress will be important. Stress is...

Type A Personality and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most frequent causes of death and disability in the United States. Health professionals have been searching for the factors that put people at risk for this disease. Known risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, family history of heart disease, inactive lifestyle, and high cholesterol. In the 1970s, physicians began to consider a new risk factor , a specific personality trait. As mentioned in Chapter...

Personal Projects Analysis

A personal project is a set of relevant actions intended to achieve a goal that a person has selected. Psychologist Brian Little believes that personal projects make natural units for understanding the workings of personality , because they reflect ho people face up to the serious business of navigating through daily life. Most people, if asked, are able to make a list of the important projects that they work on in their daily lives, such goals as to lose weight, to do homework, to make new...