Understanding oneself entails developing an understanding of one’s
Allport- “Personality as the dynamic organization within the
individual of those psychological systems that determine his unique
adjustment to his environment”
Mischel(1976)- “Distinctive patterns of behavior including thoughts &
emotions that characterize each individual’s adaptation to the
situations of his or her life.”
• Behavior patterns across situations
• Psychological characteristics of the person that lead to those
3. Personality theories
Understand the structure of adult personality, its origin & its
Predicting behavior & life events based on what we know
Starting points and sources of data collection.
Varying focus, understanding the structure of personality or how
personality developed and continues to grow.
Different focus on healthy & troubled people.
4. Theories of Personality
Type & Trait approach-focus on characteristics
Dynamic approaches- on motives impulses &
Learning & Behavioral
Humanistic Approaches- Self and the importance of the
individuals subjective view of the world.
5. Type Theories- Hippocrates 400 BC .
4 Temperamental types
Phlegmatic-slow moving, calm
Many other Typologies
A class of individuals said to share a common collection of
characteristics . Non overlapping categories
Introverts-shyness, social withdrawal, tendency to talk
Extraverts-tendency to be outgoing, talkative
6. William Sheldon (1942)
Related physique to temperament
Endomorphic-fat, soft, round- relaxed, sociable,
fond of eating.
Mesomorph- muscular, rectangular, strong- filled
with energy, courage & assertive tendencies.
Ectomorphs- thin, long, fragile- brainy, artistic
Failed to predict behavior.
7. Eysenck’s hierarchical Theory
Personality Type (certain characteristics)
habitual response patterns (applicable to many situations)
specific responses (specific situations)
Focus on good-fits
8. Trait Theories
Descriptive terms like determined, flamboyant, inclined to
make quick decisions are “traits”; make people behave in
distinctive and consistent ways across situations.
Allport’s Theory- Distinctive & personal forms of behaviors
Mostly adjectives that describe how people act, think, perceive &
Three levels of generality
Cardinal Traits- Dominant and all individual action can be traced to
Central Traits- Characterizing an individual’s behavior to some extent
but not in such a complete way as cardinal traits
Secondary traits-influential but only within a narrow range
9. Idiographic Approach- Entails efforts to
understand, explain and predict
individual’s behavior in various situations.
Consistencies across one person
Nomothetic approach- discovery of
principles of personality that apply to
people in general
Consistencies across individuals
10. Issues with Trait and Type Theories
Heritability studies show that almost all personality traits
are influenced by genetics.
Consistency paradox, on looking at traits predicting
Reliability, getting agreement from different
Validity of trait assessment, whether assessments
mean what they actually mean, social desirability
Is it adequate to think of our personalities as a sum of
traits? Do not explain how personality develops or
behavior is generated.
11. Type and Trait theories involve a search for separable
components of personality and ways by which the
components fit together to form a personality structure.
Dynamic approaches involve a search for processes by
which needs, motives and impulses –often hidden from
view –interact to produce the individual’s behavior.
12. Freudian Psychoanalysis
Core of personality are the events that are part
of the person’s mind.
According to Freud all behavior is motivated,
some of these motives we are conscious of and
some motivation operates at an unconscious
No accidental happenings cause behavior.
Through analysis of thought associations,
dreams, errors we can learn about unconscious
13. Each person has inborn instincts or drives that create
tension in the body.
Originally gave two basic drives
Self-preservation (meeting needs of hunger & thirst).
Eros the driving force related to preservation of the
species. Not expressed only in sexual gratification but
in other forms of seeking pleasure and or having
physical contact with others.
Libido is the source of energy of sexual urges.
Eros does not appear suddenly at puberty but
operates from birth.
Later added “Thanatos” or death instinct primitive to
return to inorganic state.
14. Psychoanalytic Theory
1. Structure of the personality comprising of the id, ego,
2. Personality dynamics in which conscious and
unconscious motivation and ego-defense mechanisms
play an important role.
3. Theory of psychosexual development in which different
motives and bodily regions influence the child at
different stages of growth.
15. Personality Structure: Id, Ego & Superego
3 interlocking parts
Id- most primitive, biological based urges
- eat, drink, eliminate & sexual stimulation
- the energy that underlies these urges is libido
- operates on the pleasure principle, satisfaction
immediately as the urges arose
- without regard to rules, realities of life
Ego- The elaborate ways of thinking and behaving
constitutes the “executive-function”
- delays the demands of id channelizing them into
more socially acceptable out lets
- works on the “in the service of reality principle”
16. Superego- conscience-
-mainly prohibitions learnt from parents and other
-superego may condemn as wrong certain things that the
ego may otherwise do to satisfy the id
-It is the seat for all positive values and moral ideals that
are pursued because they are worthy
Lively ongoing interplay between the id, ego and superego.
Id wants to do what to do what feels good and superego
insists on doing the right thing. Ego arbitrates
17. 3 levels of consciousness-
Conscious, preconscious & the unconscious
Conscious level- we are aware
of certain things around us &
certain conscious thoughts.
Preconscious level- Memories
and thoughts that are easily
available with a moments
,thoughts and Motives which
we cannot easily call up.
18. Why do some ideas and feelings become
Repression- We repress or banish from consciousness,
ideas, memories feelings or motives unacceptable,
forbidden and disturbing.
It is unconscious and automatic.
We don’t choose
Whenever the idea or impulse which is painful and anxiety
causing we must escape
This anxiety triggers repression
19. According to Freud the repressed material is not just safely
tucked away. It operates underground, converting
repressed conflicts into neurosis.
Neurotic symptoms often bear a symbolic relationship to
repressed material that is causing them.
-Unconscious process also figured in dreams and
-Dreams are disguised manifestations of ids motives “royal
road to the unconscious”
-Slips of the tongue
20. Defense Mechanism
The demands of id are instinctual & amoral and hence
must be blocked by the ego & superego.
Results in anxiety and guilt from which the ego has to be
Defenses are used- The ego disguises, redirects and
copes with the id’s urges.
Reaction Formation- A motive that would arouse unbearable
anxiety if it recognized hence it is converted into its
Projection and Displacement
21. Psychosexual stages of development
Freud emphasized biological development and sexual
From birth onwards we have innate tendency to seek
pleasure though stimulation of various parts of the body
that are sensitive to touch
The mouth, the anus and the genitals are erogenous
If a child’s need at one psychosexual stage are under
satisfied or over satisfied, then it leads to “fixation”
22. Oral Stage – birth to 1 year
The infant obtains pleasure by sucking and later by biting
Feeding, mouthing new objects, even relief of teething
Mouth is the source of all pleasure in the first year
A baby given too little or too much or made too anxious
about it-oral fixation
Adulthood excessive oral behavior in terms of concrete
forms eg. Smoking, psychological forms such as
dependence or critical biting personality
23. Anal Stage- when child is toilet trained and teach them
Anus becomes highly sensitive to the stimulation of
“holding on” and “letting go”
Toilet training is first contact with authority
Id is brought under control of the ego
Fixation characterized by
Messiness and disorder
Compulsiveness, over conformity
24. Phallic Stage- (3-5 years)
After child has been toilet trained there is increase in
awareness of genitals
It is in this stage that children develop sexual feelings
towards the parent of the opposite sex
Oedipus complex & Electra complex
The child may be fearful of the parent of same sex and
Gradually this anxiety is resolved by identification with
parent. Adopting behavior patterns and ideas.
25. Latency Period- (6 years through puberty)
According to Freud not very important in the
development if personality
The child learns more about the world and the ego
Genital Stage- Adolescences & beyond
Mature sexual interests appear
The focus lies outside the self and family
Responsible enjoyment of adult sexuality which is the
epitome of healthy development
26. Jung’s analytical psychology
Jung parted ways from Freud; differences mainly
due to Jung’s belief that childhood psychosexual
development did not play that important a role
for adult adjustment as suggested by Freud.
Jung gave less emphasis to sexual and
aggressive urges arising out of past conflicts .
More emphasis to people’s future-oriented
Also differed about the nature of the
27. Jung focused on dreams and fantasies. Tried to
understand the content and meanings of dreams and
visions in people’s lives .
Used word association technique. 100 terms presented
and respondent instructed to respond quickly.
Measured how long it took to respond, changes in
patterns of breathing, perspiration.
Stimulus terms that had long delays were part of
complexes- network of ideas bound together by
28. From this arose difference in Jung and Freud’s idea of
Freud’s focus on sexual urges and libido as the basis of
human motivation. Jung provided another driving force
as “only a continuous life urge”, a striving to live and
insure the survival of one’s species & operate as one
Jung also gave other structures of the personality.
Collective unconscious called the archetypes; these
grow out of past experiences of the human race.
Fundamental images, impressions or predispositions
that were common to earlier members of the human
race. Not memories but subjective reactions.
29. Jung also provided each individual with a personal
unconscious; consists of an individual’s experiences that
Psychologically healthy people come in contact with the
unconscious parts of their personalities which they
integrate with their conscious ego.
Each individual had their own unique way of integration;
this process is individuation.
Dynamic theories can not be tested
Cultural environment major influence
Research from studies of disturbed adults
31. Learning and Behavioral Theories
Behaviors that make up our personality are conditioned or learned
Current conditions help maintain this behavior
Main focus is on testing their theories hence focus on observable
Dollard and Miller gave the basic idea that social behavior and
individual behavior can be explained by means of basic learning
Neurosis explained as an outcome of conflict on being attracted and
repelled by a course of action.
32. Skinner’s radical behavioral perspective drew only from instrumental
Reinforcement and punishment influence behavior
Ruled out unobservable like drive, motives and emotions
Personality as a collection of reinforced responses
Bandura and Walters- gave importance to observational learning or
It requires no direct reinforcement to the learner
Imitator observes the model and experiences the model’s behaviors
and its consequences vicariously
Situationalist approach that diminishes ‘person’ in personality
33. Humanistic Theories
Have focused on an entity known as the self
2 distinct meanings
- people’s attitudes about themselves their perceived
traits, abilities, weaknesses
- this is the self-concept/self-Image.
- the executive functions-processes by which an individual
copes, thinks , remembers, perceives and plans
34. Roger’s Self theory -
Individual's subjective frame of reference which is the phenomenal field
, it may or may not correspond with external reality
- The concept of the self develops out of the phenomenal field
- The ideal self- what the person would like to be.
- Trouble occurs when there are mismatches or incongruence
- Results can be very disturbing
- As an individual needs self-esteem we can distort our perceptions of
our experiences in self-serving ways.
35. Personality Development- as a child grows parents and
others react to their behavior, sometimes in a positive
way and sometimes with disapproval
Children learn to regard some actions or thoughts as
unworthy and they often react by distorting or denying
these unworthy aspects of self
Both these lead to maladaptive behaviors.
Importance of unconditional positive regard in raising
Unconditional positive self regard is important in adults.
In mature well adjusted individuals there is congruence and
36. Maslow’s self actualization
Studied models of self actualized people and found that
1. Open to experience
2. In tune with their inner beings
3. Spontaneous, independent fresh in their appreciation of
4. Devote efforts to their goals wanting to be good at it
5. Dedicated fully and creatively to something outside
6. Related to a few specially loved others in a deep emotional
Had peak experiences, moments of true self actualization