pain tolerance Pain tolerance is the degree to which people can tolerate pain, which shows wide differences between persons. Petrie believed that individual differences in pain tolerance originated in the nervous system. She developed a theory that people with low pain tolerance had a nervous system that amplified or augmented th subjective impact sensory input. In contrast, people who could tolerate pain well were thought to have a nervous system that dampened or reduced the effects of sensory stimulation. 399

paranoid personality disorder The paranoid personality is extremely distrustful of others and sees others as a constant threat. Such a person assumes that others are out to exploit and deceive them, even though there is no good evidence to support this assumption. Paranoid personalities feel that they have been injured by other persons and are preoccupied with doubts about the motivations of others. The paranoid personality often misinterprets social events and holds resentments toward others for slights or perceived insults. 646 parsimony The fewer premises and assumptions a theory contains, the greater its parsimony. This does not mean that simple theories are always better than complex ones. Due to the complexity of the human personality, a complex theory, that is, one containing many premises, may ultimately be necessary for adequate personality theories. 21

passive, reactive, and active forms of genotype-environment correlation

Passive genotype-environment correlation occurs when parents provide both genes and environment to children, yet the children do nothing to obtain that environment. Reactive genotype-environment correlation occurs when parents (or others) respond to children differently, depending on their genotype. Active genotype-environment correlation occurs when a person with a particular genotype creates or seeks out a particular environment. 196 penis envy The female counterpart of castration anxiety, which occurs during the phallic stage of psychosexual development for girls around 3 to 5 years of age. 308 people-things dimension Brian Little's people-things dimension of personality refers to the nature of vocational interests. Those at the "things" end of the dimension like vocations that deal with impersonal tasks—machines, tools, or materials. Examples include a carpenter, auto mechanic, building contractor, tool maker, or farmer. Those scoring toward the "people" end of the dimension prefer social occupations that involve thinking about others, caring for others, or directing others. Examples include a high school teacher, social worker, or religious counselor. 535

percentage of variance Percentage of variance refers to the fact that individuals vary or are different from each other, and this variability can be partitioned into percentages that are related to separate causes or separate variables. An example is the percentages of variance in some trait that are related to genetics, the shared environment, and the unshared environment. Another example would be the percentage of variance in happiness scores that are related to various demographic variables, such as income, gender, and age. 177 perception Perception is one of the three levels of cognition that are of interest to personality psychologists. Perception is the process of imposing order on the information our sense organs take in. Even at the level of perception, what we "see" in the world can be quite different from person to person. 393

perceptual sensitivity The ability to detect subtle stimuli from the environment. 529 person-environment interaction A

person's interactions with situations include perceptions, selections, evocations, and manipulations. Perceptions refer to how we "see" or interpret an environment. Selection describes the manner in which we choose situations—such as our friends, our hobbies, our college classes, and our careers. Evocations refer to the reactions we produce in others, often quite unintentionally. Manipulations refer to the ways in which we attempt to influence others 9 person-situation interaction The person-situation interaction trait theory states that one has to take into account both particular situations (e.g., frustration) and personality traits (e.g., hot temper) when understanding a behavior. 101

personal construct A personal construct is a belief or concept that summarizes a set of observations or version of reality, unique to an individual, which that person routinely uses to interpret and predict events. 403

personal project 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 working of personality, because they reflect how people face up to th serious business of navigating through daily life. 411

personal unconscious According to Carl Jung, the personal unconscious developed from a person's own unique experiences. 291

personality The set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that are organized and relatively enduring and that influenc his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the environment (including the intrapsychic, physical, and social environment). 4 personality coherence Personality coherence is defined as changes in th manifestations of personality variables over time, even as the underlying characteristics remain stable. The notion of personality coherence includes both elements of continuity and elements of change: continuity in the underlying trait but change in the outward manifestation of that trait. For example, an emotionally unstable child might frequently cry and throw temper tantrums, whereas as an adult such a person might frequently worry and complain. The manifestation might change, even though the trait stays stable. 139

personality-descriptive nouns As described by Saucier, personality-descriptive nouns differ in their content emphases from personality taxonomies based on adjectives and may be more precise. In Saucier's 2003 work on personality nouns, he discovered eight factors, including "Dumbell," "Babe/Cutie," "Philosopher," "Lawbreaker," "Joker," and "Jock." 90

personality development Personality development is the continuities, consistencies, and stabilities in people over time, and the ways in which people change over time. 138 personality disorder A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of experience and behavior that differs r greatly from the expectations of the individual's culture. The disorder is usually manifest in more than one of the following areas: the way a person thinks, feels, gets along with others, or controls personal behavior. To be classed as a personality disorder, the pattern must NOT result from drug abuse, medication, or a medical condition such as head trauma. 625 personalizing cognition Processing information by relating it to a similar event in your own life. This style of processing information occurs when a person interprets a new event in a personally relevant manner. For example, they might see a car accident and start thinking about the time they were in a car accident. 393 personnel selection Employers sometimes use personality tests to select people especially suitable for a specific job. Alternatively, the employer may want to use personality assessments to de-select, or screen out, people with specific traits. In both case an employer is concerned with selecting the right person for a specifi position from among a pool of applicants. 118

perspective taking A final unfoldin of the self-concept during the teen years involves perspective taking; the ability to take the perspectives of others, or to see oneself as others do, to step outside of one's self and imagine how one appears to other people. This is why many teenagers go through a period of extreme self-consciousness during this time, focusing much of their energy on how they appear to others. 469

pessimistic explanatory style The pessimistic explanatory style puts a person at risk for feelings of helplessness and poor adjustment, and emphasizes internal, stable, and global causes for bad events. It is the opposite of optimistic explanatory style. 410

phallic stage The phallic stage is the third stage in Freud's psychosexual stages of development. It occurs between three and five years of age during which time the child discovers that he has (or she discovers that she does not have) a penis. This stage also includes the awakening of sexual desire directed, according to Freud, toward the parent of the opposite sex. 307

phenotypic variance Phenotypic variance refers to observed individual differences, such as in height, weight, or personality. 178 physiological needs At the base of Maslow's need hierarchy are the physiological needs. These include those needs that are of prime importance to the immediate survival of the individual (the need for food, water, air, sleep) as well as to the long-term survival of the species (the need for sex). 371

physiological systems Physiological systems are organ systems within the body. For example the nervous system (including the brain and nerves), the cardiac system (including the heart, arteries, and veins), and the musculoskeletal system (including the muscles and bones which make all movements and behaviors possible). 208

pleasure principle The pleasure principle is based on the desire for immediate gratification. The id operates according to the pleasure principle; therefore, it does not listen to reason, does not follow logic, has no values or morals (other than immediate gratification), and has very littl patience. 296

positive illusions Some researchers believe that part of being happy is to have positive illusions about the self— an inflated view of one s own characteristics as a good, able, and desirable person—as this characteristic appears to be part of emotional well-being (Taylor, 1989; Taylor et al., 2000). 431

positive reappraisal Positive reappraisal refers to a cognitive process whereby a person focuses on the good in what is happening or has happened to them. Folkman and Moskowitz note that forms of this positive coping strategy include seeing opportunities for personal growth or seeing how one's own efforts can benefit othe people. 602

positive regard According to Rogers, all children are born wanting to be loved and accepted by their parents and others. He called this in-born need the desire for positive regard. 377 positive self-regard According to Rogers, people who have received positive regard from others develop a sense of positive self-regard; they accept themselves, even their own weaknesses and shortcomings. A person with high positive self-regard would trust themselves, follow their own interests, and rely on their feelings to guide themselves to do the right thing. 378

possible selves The notion of possible selves can be viewed in a number of ways, but two are especially important. The first pertains to th desired self—the person we wish to become. The second pertains to our feared self—the sort of person we do not wish to become. 470 post modernism In personality psychology, post modernism is the notion that reality is a construct, that every person and culture has its own unique version of reality, and that no single version of reality is more valid or more privileged than another. 403 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Post-traumatic stress disorder or "PTSD" is a syndrome that occurs in some individuals after experiencing or witnessing life-threatening events, such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults, e.g., rape. Those who suffer from PTSD often relive the trigger experience for years through nightmares or intense flashbacks; hav difficulty sleeping; report physica complaints; have flattened emotions and feel detached or estranged from others. These symptoms can be severe and last long enough to significantly impair the individual s daily life, health, relationships, and career. 599

power stress According to David McClelland, when people do not get their way, or when their power is challenged or blocked, they are likely to show strong stress responses or "power stress." This stress has been linked to diminished immune function and increased illness in longitudinal studies. 367

preconscious Any information that a person is not presently aware of, but that could easily be retrieved and made conscious, is found in the preconscious mind. 290

predictive validity Predictive validity refers to whether a test predicts some criteria external to the test. Scales that successfully predict what they should predict have high predictive validity. 42

predisposition model In health psychology, the predisposition model suggests that associations may exist between personality and illness because a third variable is causing them both. 591

prefrontal cortex The prefrontal cortex of the brain has been found to be highly active in the control of emotions. Many people who have committed violent acts exhibit a neurological deficit in the frontal areas portions of the brain assumed to be responsible for regulating negative emotions. 443

press Murray used the term press to refer to need-relevant aspects of the environment. A person's need for intimacy, for example, won't affect that person's behavior without an appropriate environmental press (such as the presence of friendly people). 356

prevalence Prevalence refers to the total number of cases that are present within a given population during a particular period of time. 653 prevention focus One focus of self-regulation where the person is concerned with protection, safety, and the prevention of negative outcomes and failures. Behaviors with a prevention focus are characterized by vigilance, caution, and attempts to prevent negative outcomes. 414 Price Waterhou.se v. Hopkins A Supreme Court case in which Ann Hopkins sued her employer, Price Waterhouse, claiming that they had discriminated against her on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, on the theory that her promotion denial had been based on sexual stereotyping. The Supreme Court accepted the argument that gender stereotyping does exist and that it can create a bias against women in the workplace that is not permissible under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. By court order Ann Hopkins was made a full partner in her accounting firm 120

primary appraisal According to Lazarus, in order for stress to be evoked for a person, two cognitive events must occur. The first cognitiv event, called the primary appraisal, is for the person to perceive that the event is a threat to their personal goals. See also secondary appraisal. 599 primary process thinking Primary process thinking is thinking without the logical rules of conscious thought or an anchor in reality. Dreams and fantasies are examples of primary process thinking. Although primary process thought does not follow the normal rules of reality (e.g., in dreams people might fly or walk through walls) Freud believed there were principles at work in primary process thought and that these principles could be discovered. 296

priming Priming makes associated material more accessible to conscious awareness than material that is not primed. Research using subliminal primes demonstrates that information can get into the mind, and have some influence on it, without going throug conscious experience. 330 private self-concept The development of an inner, private self-concept is a major but often difficul development in the growth of the self-concept. It may start out with children developing an imaginary friend, someone only they can see or hear. This imaginary friend may actually be children's first attempt to communicat to their parents that they know there is a secret part, an inner part, to their understanding of their self. Later children develop the full realization that only they have access to their own thoughts, feelings, and desires, and that no one else can know this part of themselves unless they choose to tell them. 467

problem-focused coping Problem-focused coping refers to thoughts and behaviors that manage or solve the underlying cause of stress. Folkman and Moskowitz note that focusing on solving problems, even little ones, can give a person a positive sense of control even in the most stressful and uncontrollable circumstances. 602 projection Projection is a defense mechanism based on the notion that sometimes we see in others those traits and desires that we find most upsettin in ourselves. We literally "project" (i.e., attribute) our own unacceptable qualities onto others. 304 projective hypothesis The idea that what a person "sees" in an ambiguous figure, such as an inkblot, reflects his her personality is called the projective hypothesis. People are thought to project their own personalities into what they report seeing in such ambiguous stimulus. 312 projective techniques In projective techniques, a person is presented with an ambiguous stimulus and is then asked to impose some order on the stimulus, such as asking them what they see in an inkblot. What the person sees is interpreted to reveal something about his or her personality. The person presumably "projects" his or her concerns, conflicts, traits, and ways o seeing or dealing with the world onto the ambiguous stimulus. The most famous projective technique for assessing personality is the Rorschach inkblot test. 36

promotion focus One focus of self-regulation where the person is concerned with advancement, growth, and accomplishments. Behaviors with a promotion focus are characterized by eagerness, approach, and "going for the gold." 414

psychic energy According to Sigmund Freud, there is a source of energy, psychic energy, within each person that motivates them to do one thing and not another. In Freud's view, it is this energy that motivates all human activity. 288 psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis is a theory of personality and is also a method of psychotherapy (a technique for helping individuals who are experiencing some mental disorder or even relatively minor problems with living). Psychoanalysis can be thought of as a theory about the major components and mechanisms of personality, as well as a method for deliberately restructuring personality. 309 psychological mechanisms

Psychological mechanisms are like traits, except that mechanisms refer more to the processes of personality. For example, most personality mechanisms involve some information-processing activity. A psychological mechanism may make people more sensitive to certain kinds of information from the environment (input), may make them more likely to think about specific options (decision rules), or ma guide their behavior toward certain categories of action (outputs). 7

r psychological traits Psychological traits are characteristics that describe ways in which people are unique or different from or similar to each other. Psychological traits include all sorts of aspects of persons that are psychologically meaningful and are stable and consistent aspects of personality. 6

psychological types A term growing out of Carl Jung's theory implying that people come in types or distinct categories of personality, such as "extraverted types." This view is not widely endorsed by academic or research-oriented psychologists, since most personality traits are normally distributed in the population and are best conceived as dimensions of difference, not categories. 126 psychopathology Psychopathology is the study of mental disorders that combines statistical, social, and psychological approaches to diagnosing individual abnormality. 625 psychopathy A term often used synonymously with the antisocial personality disorder. It is used to refer to individual differences in antisocial characteristics. 274 psychosexual stage theory

According to Freud's psychosexual stage theory, all persons pass through a set series of stages in personality development. At each of the first thre stages, young children must face and resolve specific conflicts, whi revolve around ways of obtaining a type of sexual gratification. Childre seek sexual gratification at each stag by investing libidinal energy in a specific body part. Each stage in th developmental process is named after the body part in which sexual energy is invested. 306

psychosocial conflict As posited by Erik Erikson, psychosocial conflict occur throughout a person's lifetime and contribute to the ongoing development of personality. He define psychosocial conflicts as the crises o learning to trust our parents, learning to be autonomous from them, and learning from them how to act as an adult. 333

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Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

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