1. According to Allport, the personality traits that affect every aspect of a person's life but are very rare (for example, altruism being a personality trait of Mother Theresa) are called:
Correct Answer = cardinal traits
Explanation = typically, behavior is influenced more by environment than by personality traits. However, for those who have cardinal traits, behavior is influenced much more by these personality traits than by the environment. For example, Mother Theresa lived altruism - she was altruistic so often and for such an extended period of time, that her life was all about being altruistic, regardless of how difficult the environment. As you can imagine, people with cardinal traits are few and far between.
2. According to psychoanalytic theory, the Id is the innate primitive component of personality which contains all of our instincts, is completely on the unconscious level, and operates according to the:
Correct Answer = pleasure principle
Explanation = the pleasure principle is the part of personality that seeks pleasure all the time, has no concept of or regard for social values or rules, and guides the id. For example, when you see a sexually attractive person walking down the street, the pleasure principle wants that person; it wants you to have sex with that person regardless of what the other person wants, where you are at the time, who else is around, or anything else. I guess it's a good thing we have some ability to control the id!
3. The behavioral theory of personality that is based on seeking out and processing information about the environment, and then using imitation, in order to maximize favorable outcomes is the:
Correct Answer = social-learning theory
Explanation = Bobby watches Peter take a cookie from the cookie jar after their mother told him not to. Their mother walked in while Peter was taking the cookie. Seeing Peter take the cookie and disobeying her orders made her so mad, that she grabbed Peter and physically beat him. Bobby, seeing all of this grew up as a very honest (although terrified of cookies) person. According to the social learning theory, Bobby observed Peter engage in a certain behavior and then get punished for that behavior. As a result, Bobby learned not to imitate that behavior. If Peter was rewarded for the behavior (or just able to eat the cookie without being punished) Bobby may have imitated the behavior.
4. During the _____ stage of psychosexual development the sexual energy (libido) is focused in the penis and the vagina, and the individual is directed toward engaging in intercourse.
Correct Answer = genital
Explanation = according to Freud, each stage of development involves sexual energy that is focused toward a particular body area. For example, in the early part of life infants have sexual energy focused in the mouth which compels them to put objects, their hands, finger, everything, into their mouths. As children become adolescents, the sexual energy moves to the genital areas (in the genital stage) and compels people to seek physical contact and pleasure in the genital area. Notice that the sexual energy is called "libido" although most people only associate libido with the sex drive of adults.
5. Freud used the analogy of a horse and rider (the horse is more powerful, but the rider must attempt to steer or guide the horse in a direction that it will find satisfying, but still maintain safety) to describe the relationship between:
id and superego
id and reality
ego and superego
id and ego
Correct Answer = id and ego
Explanation = the id, guided by the pleasure principle, is extremely powerful. We have all felt the drive to seek pleasure, whether it be sexual pleasure, physical pleasure, pleasure from food, etc. As explained in the earlier question about the pleasure principle, if the id had complete control of our behavior, we would be engaging in all sorts of acts that, while they would provide immediate gratification, would often be socially and morally unacceptable. Therefore, the powerful id is kept in control (at least somewhat) by the ego (the rider in Freud's analogy). The ego prevents us from doing things that are against society's rules, values, etc., but also allows us to fulfill desires when appropriate.
6. Which of the following is NOT one of the goals of personality theory?
describe abnormal behavior
organize personality characteristics
explain variability in personalities
identify and describe healthy personalities
Correct Answer = describe abnormal behavior
Explanation = personality theories help us understand normal behavior, the differences between personality variables and people, and organize and identify all the components of personality. However, it is not meant to identify abnormal behavior or for diagnosis of personality disorders. By identifying all the elements of "normal" personalities, professionals can take the next steps to outline and identify the elements of abnormal behavior, but that is something different than establishing personality theories; it is necessary to take the next steps to describe abnormal behavior, but it is not the tool used to describe it.
7. Although he was at one point Freud's favorite student, Carl Jung eventually broke away from Freud because of Freud's conviction that the _____ urge or drive was the most influential in the development of personality.
life sustaining (Eros)
Correct Answer = sex
Explanation = there were other aspects of Freud's theories that Jung did not agree with, but the main issue was Freud's belief that the sex drive was THE most influential force in personality development. Jung believed that the sex drive (or libido) did impact development, but that there were other, more important factors. For example, Jung believed that the collective unconscious influenced the development of human personality greatly.
8. According to Albert Bandura, an individual's sense of self-worth and success in adjusting to the world is called:
unconditional positive self regard
Correct Answer = self efficacy
Explanation = Bandura's social learning theory takes a social-cognitive approach to understanding personality. This theory stresses the importance of reinforcements and punishments on personality development. In addition, Bandura suggested that humans are not mindless robots, but beings with minds that are vital to understanding behavior. One of the most important cognitive factors is self-efficacy, which states that the way a person views themselves and their abilities will influence greatly their ability to perform those behaviors and even the choice to engage in certain behaviors. For example, a person who is depressed is likely to have low self-efficacy and, as a result, may not set high goals because they do not believe they can achieve much.
9. According to Freud, people use _____ (such as projection or displacement) in order to protect themselves from becoming overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and developing some type of personality disorder.
Correct Answer = defense mechanisms
Explanation = Freud believed that many human problems are the result of stress or anxiety, and the inability to deal properly with the anxiety. As anxiety increases, humans must find a way to deal with it or it will cause psychological problems. Thus, we have developed strategies for dealing with anxiety which, while not always correct, protect us from becoming psychologically troubled. These methods are known as defense mechanisms and include strategies such as projection, reaction formation, and denial (my favorite).
10. According to the psychoanalytic perspective, all of the components of personality lack a sense morality except the:
Correct Answer = superego
Explanation = we have already addressed the other aspects of personality and the influence of each on humans. The superego is the one personality component that is on the other end of the spectrum from the id. While the id steers us toward pleasure without regard for consequences, the superego attempts to guide us toward the moral end. However, like the id, the superego is quite extreme, which is why we have the ego to balance us out and incorporate things such as social values and rules. The id is the devil sitting on your shoulder, the superego is the angel, and the ego must mediate between the two.