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•Another “Stage” Theory: Freud’s Stages of
Psychosexual Development
• Innate sources of pleasure, comfort or satisfaction
change during development.
• Desire for immediate gratification (id) vs.
developmental pressures to limit or delay (ego and
superego) gratification extend through development
•Oral Stage (birth-2 yrs)
• Sucking, mouthing is a source of pleasure,
soothing, satisfaction
• Conflict: dependence vs independence
• being nursed vs. weaned/able feed self
• needing pacifier vs. being “big” enough not to use one
•Phallic Stage (~3-7)
• Children become more interested in their genitals;
child begins to recognize gender differences
• Conflict: Competing with vs. identifying with same
sex parent/role models; constraining behavior to
social norms
•Anal Stage (~ 2-3)
• Anus as a source of pleasurable sensation or
feelings of satisfaction associated with controlling
your body.
• Conflicts: Gaining control over your behavior &
delaying gratification vs. continuing the disorder &
immediate gratification of infancy
•Oedipus Complex (boys)/Electra Complex
• Competing with your same-sex parent for the love & attention of your
opposite sex parent (who is, in some sense, your first love)
• As part of this unconscious competition Freud proposed boys feel
“castration anxiety” while girls feel “penis envy”
•Latency Stage (~7-11)
• Sexual and aggressive urges generally repressed or channeled into
socially acceptable activities. Spend time with same-sex peers.
• Were natural urges of Id during development either over-restricted or
• If so, the individual’s adult behavior and/or personality may show
signs of being “stuck” or fixated at that stage.
• Enduring pattern of behaviors, thoughts,
motives, and emotions that typifies how one
reacts to people and situations
•Genital Stage
• Move toward mature sexuality and relationships.
• Healthy personality and ability to have successful relationships &
sexual experiences depend on what went on in earlier stages.
•Signs of Fixation (see bottom of 392)
• Oral fixation  oral activities; excessive dependency;
excessive need for approval or nurturance from
• Anal fixation  extremes of
orderliness/disorderliness, punctuality,
compliance/noncompliance; generosity/stinginess
• Phallic fixation  extreme identification with &
display of sex-typical behaviors. Continuation of
competitive phallic stage relationships with parent
•Questions Personality Psychologists Ask
• How do we come to have a particular personality? Is it stable or can
personality change? In what ways are the personalities of individuals
similar to or different from others, and why?
• A psychologist’s view of the nature of personality depends on his/her
theoretical perspective/approach.
•Perspectives on Personality
• Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Theories
• Humanistic Theories
• Trait Theories/Biological Approach
• Behavioral/ Social Cognitive Theories
•Sigmund Freud
• 1st comprehensive personality theory
• Grew out of his training, his Victorian
upbringing, & his medical practice.
• Emphasizes:
• Importance of childhood experiences
• Importance of unconscious & instinctive
• Intrapsychic conflict
Divisions of personality result in
of Personality
almost constant
intrapsychic conflict
Operates on
reality principle
Seeks morality
& perfection
Operates on Pleasure principle
Complete “iceberg” not present at birth
Intrapsychic conflict is
a fact of life:
what you want to do
what you should do
what you actually do
This conflict can lead
to anxiety, guilt, worry.
Defense Mechanisms
(see p 413)
See list on p 437)
• Tools the ego uses as it serves as the mediator between the id and
• Defense mechanisms help protect us from experiencing negative
emotions (like anxiety, guilt) by distorting or denying reality
• Refusing to acknowledge an undesirable experience, memory. or
information that is anxiety arousing and behaving as if it did not exist.
• Letting out unacceptable sexual or aggressive tendencies in a socially
acceptable activity.
EXAMPLE: Despite overwhelming evidence and a death certificate,
Tom's mother refused to believe that her son had been killed in the
EXAMPLE: Tom who has always had pent-up hostile impulses
becomes a famous football player.
Where Might We See Hints of the Unconscious?
•Freudian Techniques to
Explore the Unconscious
• Free association
• Dream interpretation
• Freudian slips
• Today’s psychodynamic
therapists might use
“projective tests”
Fox News Freudian Slip?
•Rorschach Inkblot
Dreaming was a time
when the Id could
indulge in “wishfulfillment”, satisfying
Sexual, aggressive &
pleasure seeking
urges, but in a
disguised form to
protect your psyche.
Manifest content – what dreamer remembers
Latent content – the hidden, symbolic meaning
(the socially unacceptable wish)
•Projective Tests
• Individual responds to ambiguous stimuli.
• Rorschach Inkblot
• Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
• Assumption is that your responses will reflect your
desires, needs, concerns, & conflicts
• BUT: Psychology continues to debate whether these
tests are valid and reliable
• Validity of a test – do we have evidence that the tests
actually measures what it is supposed to measure?
• Reliability of a test – does the test measure
•The T.A.T.
Does the SAT predict college success/retention?
If we had 3 150 lb people
weigh themselves, a
RELIABLE scale should
weigh them all the same.
If a test is measuring a stable
characteristic, it should yield
similar results when you take it a
month later. If your score is
dramatically different the second
time, can we count on either
•Criticisms of Freud’s Approach to Personality
• TOO much emphasis on sexual/aggressive urges, ignores
other types of human motivation
• Ignored social interactions; ignored rest of
• Some aspects of theory cannot be scientifically examined
(but there IS research evidence supporting the unconscious)
• Neo-Freudians’ theories were more moderate
• The majority of today’s clinicians make use of SOME of
Freud’s concepts in their practice.
This is evidence that the SAT is a valid test of
college readiness
•Freud Lives On
• 75% of practicing therapists say they continue to
make use of some Freudian concepts:
• importance of childhood experiences
• the unconscious
• defense mechanisms
• conflicting wants/desires
• Other tools today’s psychodynamic therapists use:
“projective tests”.
Humanistic Approach
• Rejects the biological determinism & unconscious
forces of Freudian theory as well as the behaviorist
idea that we are simply “shaped” like a rat in a
Skinner box
• Focuses on the whole person & an individual’s
unique perception of the world
• Emphasizes man’s basic goodness, freedom to make
choices & inherent potential & tendency towards
personal growth & self-fulfillment
Abraham Maslow
• Humans have many needs (physiological,
psychological & growth needs) - we must satisfy basic
needs before we can work on personal development
& move towards maximizing our potential (“selfactualization”).
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Characteristics of the
Self-Actualizing Person
• Independent, secure in their sense of self
• Focus on accomplishing goals, almost “on a
• Open and spontaneous with others – problemcentered rather than self-centered
• A few strong relationships, rather than lots of
superficial friendships, but also need privacy
• Perceive reality efficiently, accurately
• Intense moments of joy, satisfaction and
absorption in their work
We will be most happy & fulfilled if
we achieve self-actualization.
Carl Rogers - Self Theory
• To Rogers the most important feature of
personality is one’s self-concept
• Self-Concept - how we see ourselves
• Self-concept can be influenced by our need for
positive regard (need for acceptance, approval, love,
positive feedback from others)
• Self-concept influences degree to which we pursue
• Real Self vs Ideal Self - what we think we are vs what
we’d like to be
Is your ideal self very different from
your real self?
Ideal self very different from current self
Low Self-Concept &
Self-Actualization Problems
• Do our “important others” provide “conditional
positive regard”? (must meet the standards of
others to get their positive regard)
• Or do we get “unconditional positive regard” from
friends/family? (Positive regard is not contingent
on living up to another’s expectations) If so, we are
more likely to have a positive self-concept and be
free to make our own choices in life so one can
develop and fulfill one’s unique potential.
Carl Rogers’ View of Positive
Love the
sinner, hate
the sin
I love you
Humanistic Theories of Personality
• Criticism: difficult to investigate scientifically
• Naïve, unrealistic about negative human qualities
• But concepts have been useful in counseling,
clinical psych and personal growth programs.
• Also spurred a new research area: Positive
Psychology – scientific study of human strengths,
virtues, values, and positive aspects of human
Trait Theory
• Traits are relatively stable, consistent and enduring
tendencies to behave in a particular way.
• After sifting through a dictionary, Gordon Allport
identified over 4500 possible traits.
• A statistical technique (factor analysis) which
groups related traits led Raymond Cattell to
whittle it down to 35, and later, 16 basic or
“source” traits.
1990’s - Big Five “Supertraits” Model 5
critical personality dimensions
Openness to Experience
intellect, imagination, curiosity, creativity
order, duty, deliberation, self-discipline
sociability, assertiveness, activity, positive emotions
trust, nurturance, kindness, cooperation
Neuroticism (negative emotionality)
anxiety, depression, moodiness,vulnerability to stress
More examples of the Big 5 Factor dimensions
Biological Roots of Personality: ~50%
genetic – Bouchard’s Twin Research
Identical Twins
• More similar on all the Big 5 traits
• Optimism/pessimism
• Degree of religiosity
• Political orientation
• Even when raised apart!
Objective Personality Inventories
• Single trait tests (e.g.Sensation-seeking test)
• Cattell 16 Personality Factor Test
• Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
• Genetic basis of personality traits probably then results in genetically
based differences in brain anatomy, brain chemistry and brain activity.
• (see Biological Approaches to Personality in our chapter)
Average Scores of Different Professions on Cattell’s Personality Dimensions
MMPI -2 Revised Form
338 true-false items
• Measures personality traits and emotional characteristics – including
many associated with psychological disorders
Where does trait theory run into difficulties?
Instances of Personality Change
• Many traits tend to be enduring but change is
not impossible
• Changes in personality most likely before
• Changes later in life are usually tied to extreme
environmental/situational changes.
• Also Trait theory has difficulty explaining the
inconsistencies in a person’s behavior (e.g. shy
in some settings, outgoing in others)
Strict Behavioral View
(B.F. Skinner/Operant Conditioning)
• Personality = your behavior
• Personality is learned through reinforcement or
punishment of particular responses in different
situations. (can even shape rats to have different
• 2 important offshoots of this view:
Behavioral Approaches
to Personality
Famous John Watson Quote:
• “Give me a dozen healthy infants, wellformed, and my own special world to bring
them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one
at random and train him to become any type
of specialist I might select - doctor, lawyer,
artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggarman-thief, regardless of his talents, penchants,
tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race”
• Behavior can differ with situation
• Personality can change with new learning
What’s Different About Humans?
We have:
• Language/cognition
• Observational learning
• Purposeful behavior – we plan, anticipate, have long range goals way
beyond the immediate reinforcements
• Self-analysis – we monitor what & how we’re doing
Remember Albert Bandura
(and the Bobo doll study)?
• More moderate behaviorist
who believed
• Cognitions can’t be ignored
• Behaviors not only learned thru
direct reinforcement, but also
thru observational or social
• Bandura applied these ideas to
personality in his
“Social Cognitive Theory”
Bandura saw personality as shaped
by the interaction of 3 factors
like Rf/Pun
• Some examples of cognitions that affect or are part of your
Cognitive & Personal Factors
(cognitions like beliefs, expectations, goals, selfperceptions; personal chars like biological traits)
Perceptions of Self-Efficacy
Beliefs About the Amount of Control You
Have in Your Life: Locus of Control
• Personal beliefs about our capabilities in a
particular situations
• Do you believe you exert some control over
situations or rewards? Then you have an
“internal locus of control”.
• Or do you often feel that events outside of you
(like luck, fate) determine what happens to you?
Then you have an “external locus of control”.
• Your belief (a cognition) influences how hard
you try, how you behave.
• You have high self-efficacy in situation where you feel
competent, low-self-efficacy in situations where you
are uncertain about your likelihood to succeed
Be Familiar With The Work or Theory of These
Individuals in Our Development & Personality Lectures
• Harlow
• Freud
• Piaget
• Skinner
• Bandura
• Maslow
• Rogers
• Allport
• Cattell
• Bouchard