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psychology notes


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the definition of personality
an individual's unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits
definition of personality traits:

why is the concept of personality traits controversial
a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations

it's controversial because you can't really categorize personality traits
the five-factors of the five factor model of personality traits
openness to experience
anxiety, angry hostility, depression, self-consiousness, impulsiveness, vulnerability
excitement seeking
positive emotion
achievement striving
openness to experience
the four major issues for personality theory:
Freedom vs. Determinism

Person=F(heredity) vs. Envir.

Behavior=F(person vs. situation

conciousness vs. unconcious
the five major approaches to personality
social learning

(see handout)
(one of Freuds structures of personality)
primative instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure principle
the decision making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle
the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong
emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meanings
a theoretical orientatin based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior
whatever one is aware of at a particular time
defense mechanism
largely unconcious actions that protect a person from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety or guilt
diverting emotional feelings (usually anger) from their original sourse to a subsititue target
people who tend to be interested inthe external world of people and things
factor analysis
statistic analysis of correlations among many variables to identify closely related clusters of variables
failure to move forward from one psychosexual stage to another as expected
the degree of disparity between one's self-concept and one's actual experience
hindisight bias
the tendance to mold one's interpretation of the past to fit how events actually turned out
theoretical orientation that emaphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth
bolstering self-esteem by forming imaginary or real alliances with some person or group
people who tend to be preoccupied with the internal world and their own thougts, feelings and experiences
a person whose behavior is observed by another
need for self actualization
the need to fulfill ones potential
phenomenological approach
the assumption that one must appreciate individuals personal subjective experiences to truly understand their behavior
oedipal complex
childrens manifestation of erotically tinged desires for their opposite - sex parent, accompanied by feelings of hostility towards their same sex parent
pleasure principle
the principle that the ID operates on (demanding immediate gratification of urges)
the level of awareness that contains material just beneath the surface of conscious awareness that can easily be retrieved
attributing ones own thoughts, feelings or motives to another
projective tests
a test that asks different types of questions that may reveal the subjects needs feelings and personality traits
psychodynamic theories
all the divers theories descend from the words or Freud that focus on unconcious mental forces
psychosexual stages
development periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personalities
creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behavior
reaction formation
behaving in a way that the exact opposite of ones true feelings
reality principle
the principle of which the ego operates which seeks to delay gratification of the id's urges until appropriate outlets and situations can be found
reciprocal determinism
the assumption that internal mental events, external environmental events and overt behavior all influence each other
a reversion to immature patterns of behavior
the degree to which people attend to and control the impressions they make on others and in social interactions
self-actualizing persons
people with exceptionally healthy personalities marked by continued personal growth
a collection of beliefs about ones own nature, unique qualities and typical behavior
one's belief about one's ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes
self-report inventories
personality tests that ask individuals to answer a series of questions about their characteristic behavior
sensation seeking
a generalized preference for high or low levels of sensory stimulation
striving for superiority
the universal drive to adapt, improve oneself, and master life's challenges
thoughts memories and desires that are well below the surface of conciousness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior
adoption studies
research studies that asses hereditary influence by examining the resemblance between adopted children and both their biological and adoptive parents
behavioral genetics
and interdisciplinary field that studies the influence of genetic factors on behavioral traits
operant conditioning
a form of learning in which voluntary responses come to be controlled by their consequences
classic conditioning
a type of learning where a neutral stimulus acquires the ability to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus
culturally constructed distinctions between masculinity and femininity
gender differences
actual disparities between the sexes in typical behavior or average ability
gender roles
expectations about what is appropriate behavior for each sex
gender stereotypes
widely held beliefs about males and females ablilities, personality traits, and behavior
conditioned response
a learned reaction to a conditioned stimuli that occurs because of previous conditioning
synaptic clef
microscopic gap between the terminal button of a neuron and the cell membrane of another neuron
chemicals that transmit information from one to another
postsynaptic potential
a voltage change at the receptor site on a postsynaptic cell membrane
terminal buttons
small knobs at the end of axons that secrete chemicals called neurotransmitters
a process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane
levels of conciousness according to freud...
concious, preconcious and the unconcious
self-efficacy beliefs
one's belief about one's ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes
avoidance personality disorder
excessively sensitive to potential rejection, humiliation, or shame; socially withdrawn in spite of desire for acceptance from others
obsessive compulsive personality disorder
preoccupied with oranization, rules, schedules, lists, trivial details; extremely conventional, serious, and formal; unable to express warm emotions
paranoid personality disorder
showing pervasive and unwarranted suspiciousness and mistrust of people; overly sensitive; prone to jealousy
defective in capacity for forming social relationships; showing absense of warm, tender feelings for others
antisocial personality disorder
chronically violating the rights of others; failing to accept social norms, to form attachments to others, or to sustain consistent work behavior; exploitive and reckless
a fear of going out in public places
axiety disorders
feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety
availability heuristic
basing the estimated probability of an event on the ease with which relevance instances come to mind
bipolar disorder
mood disorder marked by the experience of both depressed and manic periods
catatonic schizophrenia
a type of schizophrenia marked by striking motor disturbances ranging from muscular rigidity to random motor activity
the coexistance of two or more disorders
concordance rate
the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs of relatives that exhibits the same disorder
conjuction fallacy
an error that occurs when people estimate that the odds of two uncertain events happening together are greater than the odds of either event happenings alone
conversion disorder
a somatoform disorder characterized by a significant loss of physical function usually in a single organ system
culture-bound disorders
abnormal syndromes found only in a few cultural groups
cyclothymic disorder
exhibiting chronic but relatively mild symptoms of bipolar disturbances
false beliefs that are maintained even though they are clearly out of touch with reality
distinguishing one illness from another
disorganized schizophrenia
a type of schizophrenia in which particularly severe deterioration of adaptive behavior is seen
dissociative amnesia
a sudden loss of memory for important personal information that is too extensive to be due to normal forgetting
generalized anxiety disorder
a phsycological disorder marked by a chronic high level of anxiety that is not tied to any specific threat
the apparent causation and development history of an illness
dissociative identity disorder
a type of dissociative disorder characterized by the coexistance in one person of two or more largely complete and usually very different personalities (multiple personality disorders)
dysthymic disorder
a chronic depression that is sufficient in severity to merit diagnosis of a major depressive episode
the study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population
a somatoform disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with health concerns and incessant worry about developing physical illness
involuntary commitment
a civil proceeding in which people are hospitalized in psychiatric facilities against their will
major depressive disorder
persistent feelings of sadness and despair and a loss of interest in previous sources of pleasure
medical model
the view that is useful to think of abnormal behavior as a disease
mood disorders
a class of disorders marked by emotional disturbances of varied kinds that may spill over to disrupt physical, perceptual, social, and thought process
negative symtoms
behavior deficits such as flattened emotions, social withdrawal apathy impaired attention and povery of speech
panic disorder
recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that usually occur suddenly and unexpectedly
paranoid schizophrenia
dominated by delusions of persecution along with delusions of grandeur
phobic disorder
marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that presents no realistic danger
positive symptoms
involve behavioral excesses or peculiarities such as hallucinations delusions bizzare behavior and wild flight ideas
percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specified time period
a forecast about the probabale course of an illness
representativeness heuristic
basing the estimated probability of an event on how similiar it is to the tpyical protype of that event
somatization disorders
a type of a somatoform disorder marked by a history of diverse physical complaints that appear to be psychological in origin
somatoform disorders
physical aliments with no authenitic organic basis that are due to psychological factors
undiefferentiated schizophrenia
marked by idiosyncratic mixtures of schizophrenic symptoms

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