Personality Test Study Guide

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A person’s pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

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  • Present at birth

  • Consists of urges, instincts, desires

  • Demanding, insistent, impatient, selfish

  • Requires immediate gratification

  • Operates according to the “Pleasure Principle”

  • Focus = what you WANT

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  • Controls all thinking & reasoning

  • Serves as a mediator or referee between id demands & superego morals

  • Takes into account what is practical & possible

  • Operates according to the “Reality Principle”

  • Focus = what you CAN do

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  • The last to develop

  • Represents internalized rules of parents & society

  • Operates according to the “Morality Principle”

  • Conscience

  • Sits in judgement of your behavior

  • Focus = SHOULD

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  • Involves excluding threatening or painful thoughts, feelings, memories from our awareness.

  • Involuntary removal of something from consciousness.

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  • A return to behavior, thoughts, feelings that you exhibited as a child

  • Revert back to behaviors you have outgrown

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  • We attribute our own unacceptable, inappropriate feelings & impulses onto other people

  • Motives & feelings that you are unwilling to recognize in yourself are “projected” into someone else.

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  • The transfer of unacceptable feelings from their appropriate target to an undeserving, safer one

  • We use displacement when we perceive the real target as too threatening or unavailable

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  • Redirecting id urges & impulses to forms of activity that are socially acceptable & appropriate

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Reaction Formation

  • Replacement of anxiety-producing feelings with their opposite

  • Act the opposite of how you really feel

  • Excessive, you protest too much

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  • Refusing to admit that something unpleasant is happening or that you are experiencing an inappropriate emotion

  • Refuse to acknowledge reality

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  • Undertaking an academic, unemotional study of a topic

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  • Explaining away failures & losses

  • Offers self-adjusting explanations in place of real, more threatening reasons for your actions.

  • Manufacture excuses for behavior

  • Excuses to justify behavior

  • Trying to convince YOURSELF that it’s ok

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Analytical Psychology

Two Levels of the Unconscious:

  1. Personal Unconscious - contains our own repressed thoughts, experiences, etc. (similar to Freud)

  2. Collective Unconscious - contains universal images, ideas, & symbols Inherited & common to all human beings

    1. Archetypes:

      1. Stored in the collective unconscious

      2. Symbolic characterizations that represent the different aspects of human nature.

      3. Common to all people

      4. Reflections of the history of our species

Persona: The social mask one wears in public

4 basic ways of thinking:

  1. Rational thinking

  2. Feeling

  3. Sensing

  4. Intuiting

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  • Disagreed with Freud’s portrayal of women as obsessed by “penis envy” and the desire to be male.

  • If there is envy of men it is due to the structure of society--not body structure

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Individual Psychology

  • Rejected Freud’s ideas about sexual drives being the root of behavior

  • He believed that people, instead, have a “drive for superiority”:

    • NOT a desire to dominate others

    • A desire for self-improvement

    • This stems from natural feelings of inferiority

  • He believed that the personality develops through an individual’s attempts to overcome limitations

  • He agreed with Freud regarding the impact of childhood

  • He focused on the effects of “Birth Order”,:

    • A child’s position in the family can have an impact on a child’s experience, development & personality

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Big Five Personality Traits

  • Emotional Stability/neuroticism

    • (calm/anxious, secure/insecure, self-satisfied/self-pitying)

  • Extroversion

    • (sociable/retiring, fun-loving/sober, affectionate/reserved)

  • Agreeableness

    • (soft-hearted/ruthless, trusting/suspicious, helpful/uncooperative)

  • Openness

    • (imaginative/practical, variety/routine, independent, conforming)

  • Conscientiousness

    • (organized/disorganized, careful/careless, disciplined/impulsive)

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Cardinal Traits

  • One trait that dominates everything you do (rare)

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Central Traits

  • These are the basic building blocks that shape most of our behavior although they are not as overwhelming as cardinal traits

  • Usually number from 5 to 10 in any one person

  • An example of central traits: honest, outgoing, moody, passive…

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Secondary Traits

  • Attitudes or preferences and often appear only in certain situations or under specific circumstances

  • These are characteristics that affect behavior in fewer situations & are less influential

  • A preference for ice cream or dislike of modern art would be considered a secondary trait

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Humanistic perspective

  • Do not believe in Determinism (your actions are dictated by your past).

  • They believe that humans have free will (our ability to choose your own destiny).

  • We are innately good and as long as our self-esteem and self-concept are positive we will be happy.

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General theory of personality

Behaviorist Theory of Personality:

  • The way most people think of personality is meaningless

  • Personality changes according to the environment (reinforcers and punishments)

  • If you change environment then you change the personality

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