Chapter 12 Personality Vocabulary

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1

Personality

an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

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Free Association

in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing

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Unconscious

according to Freud, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial of embarrassing

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Psychoanalysis

Freud’s theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; the techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tension.

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ID

contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strive to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. The ID operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification

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Ego

the largely conscious, “executive” part of personality that , according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the ID, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the ID’s desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain.

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Superego

the part of personality that, according to Freud, represent internalized ideals and provides standards for judgment (the conscience) and for future aspirations

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Identification

Freud believed that children cope with threatening feelings of competition with their same-sex parent by identifying with that person.

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Psychosexual stages

the childhood stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) during which, according to Freud, the ID’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones.

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Oedipus Complex

according to Freud, a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of hatred and jealousy for the rival father

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Fixation

according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which conflicts were unresolved

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Defense Mechanism

in psychoanalytic theory, the ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.

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Regression

in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness

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Collective Unconscious

Carl Jung’s concept of shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species’ history

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Projective Test

a personality test, such as the Rorschach inkblot test, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection on one’s inner dynamics

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Rorschach Inkblot Test

the most widely used projection test, a set of ten inkblots, designed by Herman Rorschach; seeks to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.

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Self-actualization

according to Maslow, one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one’s potential.

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Unconditional Positive Regard

according to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person.

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Self-Concept

all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question, “Who am I?”

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Trait

a characteristic pattern of behavior of disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports.

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Personality Inventory

a questionnaire (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; used to assess selected personality traits.

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Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use), this test is now used for many other screening purposes

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Empirically Derived Test

a test (such as MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups.

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Social Cognitive Perspective

Views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people’s traits (including their thinking) and their social context.

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Reciprocal Determinism

the interacting influences of behavior, internal cognition, and environment.

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Personal Control

the extent to which people perceive control over their environment rather than feeling helpless

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External Locus of Control

the perception that you control your own fate.

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Learned Helplessness

the hopelessness and passive resignation and animal or human learns when unable to avoid aversion events.

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Positive Psychology

the scientific study of optimal human functioning; aim to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities

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Self

in contemporary psychology, assumed to be the center of personality, the organizer of our thoughts, feelings and action.

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Spotlight Effect

overestimating others’ noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders (as if we presume a spotlight shines on them.

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Self-esteem

one’s feelings of high or low self-worth

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Self-Serving Bias

a readiness to perceive oneself favorably