...a person's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and acting.

Key People

-Sigmund Freud. The father of the Psychoanalytic technique. Best known personality in Psychology. Maintained the doctrine that most of peoples' thoughts and actions were the result of unconscious forces and past traumas.

-Abraham Maslow. Creator of the Humanistic perspective. Believed in the innate goodness of man and the potential each person had for growth and healthy development. Created the famous Hierarchy of Needs.

-Assorted Neofreudians (Psychodynamic Psychycologists): Alfred Adler, who preferred to think in terms of childhood social conflict as opposed to sexual conflict. Karen Horney (HORN-eye) brought a more feminist perspective to existing Psychodynamic thought. Carl Jung (YUNG, for your convenience) believed in the collective unconscious, which is the shared evolutionary and inherited reservoir of human experience.

Key Terms

-Nature versus Nurture conflict: Whether personality is the result of genes or of upbringing.

-Defense mechanics: The subconscious techniques used to stave off anxiety, at the cost of distorting one's perception of reality.

-Oedipus Complex: More Freud stuff. Purported desire of male children to kill and replace their father, taking his place in family dynamics. Mirrored in females by the Electra Complex, which when explained, is actually quite Electra Simple.

-Self (This one's important): Assumed to be the center of personality and the organizer of thoughts, feelings, and actions.

-Personality Inventories: Such as the Myers-Briggs, MMPI, and the Big Five model. Used to quantify personality traits, and in turn predict future behavior.

-Hierarchy of Needs: A model by which simpler needs are shown to be satisfied before more complex, abstract ones.

Key Research

Albert Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment- Albert Bandura showed children adult models of aggression. In the video clip the models attacked the Bobo Dolls in a number of specific ways, such as with a hammer, punching, and kicking. The children were then given the chance to interact with the dolls in an environment similar to that in the video. The children imitated the behavior they had seen, modeled by the adults.

This pattern of inheritance is not only limited to behaviors, but extends to information and thoughts. This sort of inheritance is known as memetics, and shows how parts of personality can be inherited apart from genetic instruction from one's parents, as from the culture of one's society.

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