Big Question: Which theory of personality best describes who we are?
After you have read the chapters and taken notes, you should be able to do the following:
- Describe Freud’s view of personality structure
- Outline and describe Freud’s psychosexual stages of personality development
- Explain how defense mechanisms operate
- Discuss the major ideas of the neo-Freudians and today’s psychodynamic issues
- Explain how projective tests are used to assess personality and describe research findings regarding their validity and reliability
- Discuss trait theories of personality
- Identify the Big Five personality factors
- Discuss the basic ideas of Maslow and Rogers
- Evaluate the humanistic perspective
- Describe the social-cognitive perspective and define reciprocal determinism
Personality refers to each individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. The Personality chapter examines four perspectives on personality. Psychoanalytic theory emphasizes the unconscious and irrational aspects of personality. The social-cognitive perspective emphasizes the effects of our interactions with the environment. Humanistic theory draws attention to the concept of self and to human potential for healthy growth. Trait theory led to advances in techniques for evaluating and describing personality. The text first describes and then evaluates the contributions and shortcomings of each perspective. In addition, within each section is a brief description of some of the techniques used by the perspective in analyzing personality.