personality

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Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. Its areas of focus include: Constructing a coherent picture of a person and his or her major psychological processes [1] Investigating individual differences, that is, how people can differ from one another. Investigating human nature, that is, how all people's behaviour is similar. Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations.[2] The word "personality" originates from the Latin persona, which means mask. Significantly, in the theatre of the ancient Latin-speaking world, the mask was not used as a plot device to disguise the identity of a character, but rather was a convention employed to represent or typify that character. Personality Theories

Almost everyday we describe and assess the personalities of the people around us. Whether we realize it or not, these daily musings on how and why people behave as they do are similar to what personality psychologists do. Personality psychology looks at the patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior that make a person unique. Some of the best known theories in psychology are devoted to the subject of personality. Defense Mechanisms and Ego Anxiety

You've probably heard people talk about "defense mechanisms," or ways that we protect ourselves from things that we don't want to think about or deal with. The term got its start in psychoanalytic therapy, but it has slowly worked its way into everyday language. Think of the last time you referred to someone as being "in denial" or accused someone of "rationalizing." Both of these examples refer to a type of defense mechanism. In Sigmund Freud's topographical model of personality, the ego is the aspect of personality that deals with reality. While doing this, the ego also has to cope with the conflicting demands of the id and the superego. The id seeks to fulfill all wants, needs, and impulses while the superego tries to get the ego to act in an idealistic and moral manner. What happens when the ego cannot deal with the demands of our desires, the constraints of reality, and our own moral standards? According to Freud, anxiety is an unpleasant inner state that people seek to avoid. Anxiety acts as a signal to the ego that things are not going right. As a result, the ego then employs a defense mechanism to help reduce these feelings of anxiety. Frued identified three types of anxiety:

1. Neurotic anxiety is the unconscious worry that we will lose control of the id's urges, resulting in punishment for inappropriate behavior.

2. Reality anxiety is fear of real-world events. The cause of this anxiety is usually easily identified. For example, a person might fear receiving a dog bite when they are near a menacing dog. The most common way of reducing this anxiety is to avoid the threatening object.

3. Moral anxiety involves a fear of violating our own moral principles. In order to deal with this anxiety, Freud believed that defense mechanisms helped shield the ego from the conflicts created by the id, superego, and reality. Archetypes Jung's Archetypes

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that archetypes are models of people, behaviors or personalities. Jung suggested that the psyche was composed of three components: the ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. According to Jung, the ego represents the conscious mind while the personal unconscious contains memories, including those that have been suppressed. The collective unconscious is a unique component in that Jung believed that this part of the psyche served as a form of psychological inheritance. It contains all of the knowledge and experiences we share as a species. Murray's Theory of Psychogenic Needs

American psychologist Henry Murray (1893-1988) developed a theory of personality that was organized in...
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