PSYC2301 University of Texas Personality and Social Psychology Paper Instructions for Personality Paper
1. Watch the Crash Course Videos and Read the 4 Articles (see below).
2. Complete the Locus of Control Assessment, Trait Personality Assessment and OCEAN assessment. Each of the links for these assessments can be found in Reading #4 – Learning Approaches (below).
3. Answer each of the three questions below in a paper, using a minimum of 500 words and maximum of 800 words.
Questions to answer in your paper:
1. Summarize your results of each of the three assessments. What were your highest and lowest scores? Did you agree or disagree with them? Why? Give me an example for each one.(20 points for each assessment summary for a total of 60 points). This should be written using a paragraph for each assessment summary, so the answers to this question will show up in three paragraphs (Locus of Control paragraph, Trait paragraph, OCEAN paragraph).
2. Ask someone close to you what they think of each of your assessment results. Identify the person in your paper. Did they agree with each of the results or not? Why or why not? Give me an example of how they explained it to you. (10 points). This should be written in one paragraph.
3. What is self-efficacy, locus of control and self-regulation, and what do they have to do with personality? Be sure to let me know you understand each of these concepts. Then, provide me examples of how you are working on each of these areas in your own life.(20 points). This response could be written in one long paragraph by describing each term in your own words and then providing examples of how you are working on these areas in your own life.
Grammar/spelling, content length are counted (10 points). If you need help with grammar, know there are tutors in the Academic Skill Center at each campus who can review your paper in person or online, or consider using www.grammarly.com as a resource.
Video links: –
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUELAiHbCxc&feature=youtu.be (Rorschach and Freudians: Crash Course Psychology #21)
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUrV6oZ3zsk&feature=youtu.be (Measuring Personality: Crash Course Psychology #22) Personality
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impatient, shy, fearful, curious, helpful. What characteristics describe your personality?
The concept of personality has been studied for at least 2,000 years, beginning with
Hippocrates in 370 BCE (Fazeli, 2012). Hippocrates theorized that personality traits and
human behaviors are based on four separate temperaments associated with four fluids
(“humors”) of the body: choleric temperament (yellow bile from the liver), melancho lic
temperament (black bile from the kidneys), sanguine temperament (red blood from the
heart), and phlegmatic temperament (white phlegm from the lungs) (Clark & Watson, 2008;
Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985; Lecci & Magnavita, 2013; Noga, 2007). Centuries later, the
influential Greek physician and philosopher Galen built on Hippocrates’s theory,
suggesting that both diseases and personality differences could be explained by
imbalances in the humors and that each person exhibits one of the four temperaments.
For example, the choleric person is ambitious, the melancholic person is reserved, the
sanguine person is joyful, and the phlegmatic person is calm (Clark & Watson, 2008;
Stelmack & Stalikas, 1991).
In 1780, Franz Gall, a German physician, proposed that the distances between bumps on
the skull reveal a person’s personality traits, character, and mental abilities. According to
Gall, measuring these distances revealed the sizes of the brain areas underneath,
providing information that could be used to determine whether a person was friendly,
prideful, murderous, kind, good with languages, and so on. Initially, phrenology was very
popular; however, it was soon discredited for lack of empirical support and has long been
relegated to the status of pseudoscience (Fancher, 1979).
The pseudoscience of measuring the areas of a person’s skull is known as phrenology. (a) Gall developed a chart that depicted
which areas of the skull corresponded to particular personality traits or characteristics (Hothersall, 1995). (b) An 1825 lithograph
depicts Gall examining the skull of a young woman. (credit b: modification of work by Wellcome Library, London)
In the centuries after Galen, other researchers contributed to the development of his four
primary temperament types, most prominently Immanuel Kant (in the 18th century) and
psychologist Wilhelm Wundt (in the 19th century) (Eysenck, 2009; Stelmack & Stalikas,
1991; Wundt, 1874/1886). Kant developed a list of traits that could be used to describe the
personality of a person from each of the four temperaments. However, Wundt suggested
that a better description of personality could be achieved using two major axes:
emotional/nonemotional and changeable/unchangeable.
Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic perspective of personality was the fi rst comprehensive
theory of personality, explaining a wide variety of both normal and abnormal behaviors.
According to Freud, unconscious drives influenced by sex and aggression, along with
childhood sexuality, are the forces that influence our personality . Freud attracted many
followers who modified his ideas to create new theories about personality. The perspective
of personality proposed by Freud and his followers was the dominant theory of personality
for the first half of the 20th century.
Link to Learning
View this video for a brief overview (http://openstaxcollege.org/l/mandela) of some of the psy
Freud and the Psychodynamic Perspective
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) is probably the most controversial and misunderstood
psychological theorist but it is important to remember that he was a medical doctor, not a
psychologist. Freud was the first to systematically study and theorize the workings o f the
unconscious mind in the manner that we associate with modern psychology.
In the early years of his career, Freud worked with Josef Breuer, a Viennese physician. During
this time, Freud became intrigued by the story of one of Breuer’s patients, Bertha
Pappenheim, who was referred to by the pseudonym Anna O. (Launer, 2005). Anna O. had
been caring for her dying father when she began to experience symptoms such as partial
paralysis, headaches, blurred vision, amnesia, and hallucinations (Launer, 2005). In Freud’s
day, these symptoms were commonly referred to as hysteria. Anna O. turned to Breuer for
help. He spent 2 years (1880–1882) treating Anna O. and discovered that allowing her to
talk about her experiences seemed to bring some relief of her symptoms . Anna O. called his
treatment the “talking cure” (Launer, 2005). Despite the fact the Freud never met Anna O.,
her story served as the basis for the 1895 book, Studies on Hysteria, which he co-authored
with Breuer. Based on Breuer’s description of Anna O.’s treatment, Freud concluded that
hysteria was the result of sexual abuse in childhood and that these traumatic experiences
had been hidden from consciousness. Breuer disagreed with Freud, which soon ended their
work together. However, Freud continued to work to refine talk therapy and build his theory
Freud believed that we are only aware of a small amount of our mind’s activities and that
most of it remains hidden from us in our unconscious.
Levels of Consciousness
Freud compared the mind to an iceberg. He said that only about one-tenth of our mind
is conscious, and the rest of our mind is unconscious. Our unconscious refers to that mental
activity of which we are unaware and are unable to access (Freud, 1923). According to Freud,
unacceptable urges and desires are kept in our unconscious through a process called
repression. For example, we sometimes say things that we don’t intend to say by
unintentionally substituting another word for the one we meant. You’ve probably heard of a
Freudian slip, the term used to describe this. Freud suggested that slips of the tongue are
actually sexual or aggressive urges, accidentally slipping out of our unconscious. Speech
errors such as this are quite common. Seeing them as a reflection of unconscio us desires,
linguists today have found that slips of the tongue tend to occur when we are tired, nervous,
or not at our optimal level of cognitive functioning (Motley, 2002).
According to Freud, our personality develops from a conflict between two forces: our
biological aggressive and pleasure-seeking drives versus our internal (socialized) control
over these drives. Our personality is the result of our efforts to balance these two competing
forces. Freud suggested that we can understand this by imagining three interacting systems
within our minds. He called them the id, ego, and superego.
The job of the ego, or self, is to balance the aggressive/pleasure-seeking drives of the id with the moral control of the superego
The unconscious id contains our most primitive drives or urges, and is present from birth. It
directs impulses for hunger, thirst, and sex. Freud believed that the id operates on what he
called the “pleasure principle,” in which the id seeks immediate gratification. Through social
interactions with parents and others in a child’s environment, the ego and superego develop
to help control the id. The superego develops as a child interacts with others, learning the
social rules for right and wrong. The superego acts as our conscience; it is our moral
compass that tells us how we should behave. It strives for perfection and judges our
behavior, leading to feelings of pride or—when we fall short of the ideal—feelings of guilt. In
contrast to the instinctual id and the rule-based superego, the ego is the rational part of our
personality. Its job is to balance the demands of the id and superego in the context of reality;
thus, it operates on what Freud called the “reality principle.” The ego helps the id satisfy its
desires in a realistic way.
The id and superego are in constant conflict, because the id wants instant gratification
regardless of the consequences, but the superego tells us that we must behave in socially
acceptable ways. Thus, the ego’s job is to find the middle ground. It helps satisfy th e id’s
desires in a rational way that will not lead us to feelings of guilt. According to Freud, a person
who has a strong ego, which can balance the demands of the id and the superego, has a
healthy personality. Freud maintained that imbalances in the system can lead to neurosis (a
tendency to experience negative emotions), anxiety disorders, or unhealthy behaviors. For
example, a person who is dominated by their id might be narcissistic and impulsive. A
person with a dominant superego might be controlled by feelings of guilt and deny
themselves even socially acceptable pleasures; conversely, if the superego is weak or
absent, a person might become a psychopath. An overly dominant superego might be seen
in an over-controlled individual whose rational grasp on reality is so strong that they are
unaware of their emotional needs, or, in a neurotic who is overly defensive (overusing ego
Freud believed that feelings of anxiety result from the ego’s inability to mediate the c onflict
between the id and superego. When this happens, Freud believed that the ego seeks to
restore balance through various protective measures known as defense mechanisms. When
certain events, feelings, or yearnings cause an individual anxiety, the indiv idual wishes to
reduce that anxiety. To do that, the individual’s unconscious mind uses ego defense
mechanisms, unconscious protective behaviors that aim to reduce anxiety and protect the
ego from being overwhelmed by anxiety. When we use defense mechanism s, we are
unaware that we are using them. According to Freud, we all use ego defense mechanisms.
Refusing to accept real events because they are unpleasant
Kaila refuses to admit she has an alcohol pro
unable to go a single day without drinking exc
During lunch at a restaurant, Mark is angry at
Transferring inappropriate urges or behaviors onto a more acceptable
does not express it and instead is verbally ab
or less threatening target
Attributing unacceptable desires to others
Chris often cheats on her boyfriend because
already cheating on her.
Justifying behaviors by substituting acceptable reasons for lessacceptable real reasons
Kim failed his history course because he did
but he told his roommates that he failed beca
Reducing anxiety by adopting beliefs contrary to your own beliefs
Nadia is angry with her coworker Beth for alw
after a night of partying, but she is nice and a
affirms the partying as “cool.”
After failing to pass his doctoral examinations
Returning to coping strategies for less mature stages of development bed cuddling his favorite childhood toy.
Suppressing painful memories and thoughts
LaShea cannot remember her grandfather’s f
although she was present.
Redirecting unacceptable desires through socially acceptable
Jerome’s desire for revenge on the drunk driv
channeled into a community support group fo
loved ones to drunk driving.
Defense mechanisms are unconscious protective behaviors that work to reduce anxiety.
There are several different types of defense mechanisms. For instance, in repression,
anxiety-causing memories from consciousness are blocked. As an analogy, let’s say your
car is making a strange noise, but because you do not have the money to get it fixed, you
just turn up the radio so that you no longer hear the strange noise. Eventually you forget
about it. Similarly, in the human psyche, if a memory is too overwhelming to deal with, it
might be repressed and thus removed from conscious awareness (Freud, 1920). This
repressed memory might cause symptoms in other areas.
Another defense mechanism is reaction formation, in which someone expresses feelings,
thoughts, and behaviors opposite to their inclinations. In the above example, Joe made fun
of a homosexual peer while himself being attracted to males. In regression, an individual
acts much younger than their age. For example, a four-year-old child who resents the
arrival of a newborn sibling may act like a baby and revert to drinking out of a bottle.
In projection, a person refuses to acknowledge her own unconscious feelings and instead
sees those feelings in someone else. Other defense mechanisms
include rationalization, displacement, and sublimation.
Stages of Psychosexual Development
Freud believed that personality develops during early childhood: Childhood experiences
shape our personalities as well as our behavior as adults. Each of us must pass through a
series of childhood stages, and if we do not have the proper nurturing and parenting during
a stage, we will be stuck, or fixated, in that stage, even as adults.
In each psychosexual stage of development, the child’s pleasure-seeking urges, coming
from the id, are focused on a different area of the body, called an erogenous zone. The
stages are oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital.
Freud’s psychosexual development theory is quite controversial. To understand the origins
of the theory, it is helpful to be familiar with the political, social, and cultural influences of
Freud’s day in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. During this era, a climate of sexual
repression, combined with limited understanding and education surrounding human
sexuality, heavily influenced Freud’s perspective. Given that sex was a taboo topic, Freud
assumed that negative emotional states (neuroses) stemmed from suppression of
unconscious sexual and aggressive urges. For Freud, his own recollections and
interpretations of patients’ experiences and dreams were sufficient proof that
psychosexual stages were universal events in early childhood.
Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development
Weaning off breast or bottle
In the oral stage (birth to 1 year), pleasure is focused on the mouth. Eating and the
pleasure derived from sucking (nipples, pacifiers, and thumbs) play a large part in a baby’s
first year of life. At around 1 year of age, babies are weaned from the bottle or breast, and
this process can create conflict if not handled properly by caregivers. According to Freud,
an adult who smokes, drinks, overeats, or bites her nails is fixated in the oral stage of her
psychosexual development; she may have been weaned too early or too late, resulting in
these fixation tendencies, all of which seek to ease anxiety.
After passing through the oral stage, children enter what Freud termed the anal stage (1–3
years). In this stage, children experience pleasure in their bowel and blad der movements,
so it makes sense that the conflict in this stage is over toilet training. Freud suggested that
success at the anal stage depended on how parents handled toilet training. Parents who
offer praise and rewards encourage positive results and can help children feel competent.
Parents who are harsh in toilet training can cause a child to become fixated at the anal
stage, leading to the development of an anal-retentive personality. The anal-retentive
personality is stingy and stubborn, has a compulsive need for order and neatness, and
might be considered a perfectionist. If parents are too lenient in toilet training, the child
might also become fixated and display an anal-expulsive personality. The anal-expulsive
personality is messy, careless, disorganized, and prone to emotional outbursts.
Freud’s third stage of psychosexual development is the phallic stage (3–6 years),
corresponding to the age when children become aware of their bodies and recognize the
differences between boys and girls. The erogenous zone in this stage is the genitals.
Conflict arises when the child feels a desire for the opposite-sex parent, and jealousy and
hatred toward the same-sex parent. For boys, this is called the Oedipus complex, involving
a boy’s desire for his mother and his urge to replace his father who is seen as a rival for
the mother’s attention. At the same time, the boy is afraid his father will punish him for his
feelings, so he experiences castration anxiety. The Oedipus complex is successfully
resolved when the boy begins to identify with his father as an indirect way to have the
mother. Failure to resolve the Oedipus complex may result in fixation and development of a
personality that might be described as vain and overly ambitious. Girls experie nce a
comparable conflict in the phallic stage—the Electra complex. The Electra complex, while
often attributed to Freud, was actually proposed by Freud’s protégé, Carl Jung (Jung &
Kerenyi, 1963). A girl desires the attention of her father and wishes to take her mother’s
place. Jung also said that girls are angry with the mother for not providing them with a
penis—hence the term penis envy. While Freud initially embraced the Electra complex as a
parallel to the Oedipus complex, he later rejected it, yet it remains as a cornerstone of
Freudian theory, thanks in part to academics in the field (Freud, 1931/1968; Scott, 2005).
Following the phallic stage of psychosexual development is a period known as the latency
period (6 years to puberty). This period is not considered a stage, because sexual feelings
are dormant as children focus on other pursuits, such as school, friendships, hobbies, and
sports. Children generally engage in activities with peers of the same sex, which serves to
consolidate a child’s gender-role identity.
The final stage is the genital stage (from puberty on). In this stage, there is a sexual
reawakening as the incestuous urges resurface. The young person redirects these urges to
other, more socially acceptable partners (who often resemble the other-sex parent).
People in this stage have mature sexual interests, which for Freud meant a strong desire
for the opposite sex. Individuals who successfully completed the previous stages, reaching
the genital stage with no fixations, are said to be well-balanced, healthy adults. While most
of Freud’s ideas have not found support in modern research, we cannot discount the
contributions that Freud has made to the field of psychology. It was Freud who pointed out
that a large part of our mental life is influenced by the experiences of early childhood and
takes place outside of our conscious awareness; his theories paved the way for others.
Neo-Freudians: Adler, Erikson, Jung, and Horney
Freud attracted many followers who modified his ideas to create new theories about
personality. These theorists, referred to as neo-Freudians, generally agreed with Freud that
childhood experiences matter, but deemphasized sex, focusing more on the social
environment and effects of culture on personality. Four notable neo -Freudians include
Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, Carl Jung (pronounced “Yoong”), and Karen Horney (pronounced
Alfred Adler proposed the concept of the inferiority complex.
Alfred Adler, a colleague of Freud’s and the first president of the Vienna Psychoanalytical
Society (Freud’s inner circle of colleagues), was the first major theorist to break away from
Freud. He subsequently founded a school of psychology called individual psychology,
which focuses on our drive to compensate for feelings of inferiority. Adler’s (1937, 1956)
concept of the inferiority complex refers to a person’s feelings that they lack worth and
don’t measure up to the standards of others or of society. Adler (1930, 1961) believed that
feelings of inferiority in childhood are what drive people to attempt to gain superiority …
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