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Key Ideas
Knowledge and understanding should be relevant to the following key ideas:

Although every individual is distinctive, we perceive some people to be more alike than others in the ways
in which they engage with their social and physical worlds. These patterns of similarities and differences
are the province of personality. Personality refers to the complex network of emotions, cognitive
processes, and behaviours that provide coherence and direction to a person’s life. Our personality affects
our goals, how we feel, how we act, and how we see ourselves and other people.

Personality is a socially and culturally constructed concept.

o Personality tests in the past may have contained culture bias, also contain, gender bias, class bias, racial bias
o Research has been done to identify links between culture and personality – do people from different cultures
have different personality traits
Recent research to suggest that American and Asian conception of the self is different
 Americans brought up to be independent, and define themselves in terms of their personal attributes, abilities,
accomplishments, possessions
 Asians brought up interdependent, don’t stand out from the crowd, define themselves in terms of groups they belong to,
be modest about achievements, don’t put others down

Many different descriptions of the structure of personality have been proposed.

Freud proposed a Psychodynamic theory of personality
Maslow proposed a Humanistic theory of personality
Eysenck proposed a Trait theory of personality
Psychodynamic Trait Humanistic
Theorist Freud Eysenck Maslow or Rogers
Basic Unconscious influences our Genetic component that A good environment is needed to
philosophy personality. (refer to Iceberg influences personality nurture a person’s inner potential.
theory to explain unconscious) Based on the hierarchy of needs. Need
to achieve the lower levels before the
next level can be satisfied
Theory of Id, Ego and Superego. Id operates Personality traits are enduring Personality is influenced by the unique
personality according to the pleasure principle, psychological characteristics that potential within each of us.
ego is the decision making influence behaviour
component, superego is the moral Consistency of traits through time Each person is striving to achieve their
component and in different situations full potential (self actualisation)
What makes A person who has successfully A healthy personality is one that A healthy personality exists in a fully
a healthy developed through the is balanced in the traits of functioning person and someone who is
personality? psychosexual stages and not extraversion, stability and self-actualised – good self esteem and
repressed undesirable memories in impulse control. striving to reach their potential
the unconscious.
Criticisms of Unscientific as it is impossible to This theory does not explain why Difficult to scientifically test – personal
conception scientifically test the concepts of a person’s behaviours can differ growth and self-actualisation are
the unconscious mind, and id, ego in different situations (at home v difficult to measure
etc. at school) Trait’s theoretically Such an optimistic theory is an
should be consistent. unrealistic view of human nature. This
Research relies on patients clinical Also assumes that traits are theory fails to explain why some people
evidence, not scientifically consistent through time, so does have good lives, yet turn “bad”.
provable. not explain how personality can Unrealistic view of human nature,
change or develop with age. Maslow found self-actualising people
Freud suggests that personality Does not address development of hard to find.
development finishes after personality throughout the Insufficient evidence – not enough
puberty. It does not explain how lifespan empirical evidence found
personality develops during No means of changing personality
Strengths of Freud was one of the first theorists Testable theory – can generate Idea of self-concept has been adopted
conception to explain personality – well personality tests to measure by other theorists
respected in his time specific traits Positive approach to personality – sees
Freud attempted to explain how Can identify traits and target the good in all people
personality developed through them for career guidance Led to the emergence of positive
childhood and why personalities Useful to understand behaviour psychology
are different and predict future behaviour Believes in Free Will – the ability to
Other researchers agree that make free choices, how they choose to
personality is influenced by find meaning determines personality
experiences early in life
Comparisons Pessimistic view of human nature. Doesn’t try and explain human Optimistic view of human nature,
Presumes that we are driven by the nature simply describe it presumes we are all born good with a
evil “id”. Sees that conflict and potential for self actualisation
repression are inevitable
Believes experiences in childhood Believes traits are present in Believes experiences in childhood and
influence our personality childhood and consistent throughout life influence our personality
throughout life
Believes we are influenced in our Believes we are influenced by Believes we have free will
choices by our unconscious genetics and temperament.
Extraversion is a associated with
low levels of arousal in the brain,
therefore they seek excitement
and stimulation.
Treatment Psychodynamic therapy EPQ Personality Questionnaire Client-centred therapy
Aimed at looking at a person’s past not really a therapy , but a Aimed at the present teaching the
and resolving conflicts method for explaining people’s person to know themselves well enough
traits to understand their problems
Based on empathy
 Conscious – thoughts we are aware of
Preconscious - not conscious, but can be made conscious through a cue
Unconscious – inaccessible to our consciousness, cannot become aware of
these thoughts, feelings

Id – unconscious instincts – born with our id, gets basic needs met
Ego – deals with the demands of reality and uses reasoning to make decisions,
takes reality into consideration
Superego – the moral branch, develops by the age of 5 “conscience”
o In a healthy person the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the
needs of the id, not upset the superego and still take into
consideration the reality of the situation

 Used to resolve the conflict between the id, ego and superego

 Psycho-sexual stages
 Psychodynamic, humanistic, and trait conceptions of
Psychodynamic perspective (Freud)
o Theory of structure of the mind: (pg 114-115)
 Conscious – thoughts we are aware of
 Preconscious - not conscious, but can be made conscious through a cue
 Unconscious – inaccessible to our consciousness, cannot become aware of these thoughts, feelings

o Theory of personality:
 Id – unconscious instincts – born with our id, gets basic needs met
 Ego – deals with the demands of reality and uses reasoning to make decisions, takes reality into
 Superego – the moral branch, develops by the age of 5 “conscience”
 In a healthy person the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the
superego and still take into consideration the reality of the situation

o Defence mechanisms
 the ego resolves the conflict among id, ego and superego through defence mechanisms
 Repression – scary thoughts are kept from awareness
 Denial – refusal to acknowledge reality
 Intellectualisation – not focusing on personal aspects of a problem, (eg organising funeral
arrangements, no emotion)
 Projection – unacknowledged feelings are attributed to others
 Reaction formation – turn unacceptable feelings into their opposite
 Sublimation – unacceptable feelings are turned into socially acceptable actions
 Rationalisation – actions or feelings are explained away
 Displacement – unacceptable feelings are directed towards another target
 Passive aggression – socially unacceptable angers expressed via a lack of cooperation

o Theory of personality development (Psychosexual development)

 Oral stage – birth – 18 months child is fixed on oral pleasures
 too much or too little can results in oral fixation
 Anal stage – 18 months – 3 years the child is fixed on bowel movements
 Anal fixation can result in obsession with cleanliness and control
 Phallic stage – 3-6 child is fixed on the genitals
 Latency stage – 6-puberty – sexual urges remain repressed, interact with same sex peers
 Genital phase – begins at puberty – resurgence of sex drive in adolescence

– Freudian theories have little relevance in clinical psychology since his death.


Freud proposed that the development of an individual’s personality is derived from the dynamics of the unconscious mind
where one’s past experiences is the major determinants of future behaviour. He saw people’s personality as based on desire
[id] rather than on reason [ego & supereo] stemming from his theory of the Pyschosexual Stages of Behaviour, developed in

Freud proprosed the theory of Psychosexual Stages of Personality Development. These five stages [oral, anal, phallic, latency
and genital] must be developed. Interruption, or incompletion of each of these stages during childhood would result in ‘fixation’
[that is a preoccupation with a particular stage throughout life] or ‘neurosis’ resulting from repression. These repressions result
in defence mechanisms, such as regression, sublimation, displacement, projection, etc. Coping or defence mechanisms begin to
develop as children attempt to avoid failure or rejection in the face of life’s growing expectations and demands.

The Id, operates mainly, during the first 3 Psychosexual stages. These instincts, or irrational needs, require immediate
gratification. Development, therefore, is partially dependent on the transformation of the so-called animal desires into socially
acceptable rational behaviour and this is achieved through the maturity of the ego and superego. It contains the basic
motivation derives for our physiological needs such as food , water, sex and warmth. All emotions are housed in the Id as well
as all unconscious forces. The Id also operates on the pleasure principal. This drives the person toward instant gratification and
is seen in infants who have not yet developed their ego and superego. It operates on the ‘gimme, gimme’ level, wanting
everything immediately. Freud believed that sex and aggression are the two most predominant instinctive drives of the id.
The ego is the servant of the id. The ego’s purpose is to satisfy the desires or demands of the id but restrains the id’s demands
until they can be met according to the norms of society. The ego is equivalent to the self - the ‘you’ within you.

The superego appears when the child is approximately 5 years old. It operates on the perfection principle. The superego
consists of the morals taught by society. It exercises control over the ego and id’s urges. It makes the individual feel good for
having behaved according to societies morals.

Behaviour, according to Freud, then, can be defined as the result of the interaction of these three personality components. For
example, when the Id signals the ego that the body is in need of fluids, the ego, evaluating reality, attempts to choose an
appropriate form of behaviour to satisfy the id. This would be accomplished by conforming to acceptable social behaviours.
[such as not drinking from a puddle or stealing soda] meeting the standards of the superego.

If there is struggle between the id, ego and superego Freud proposes that the ego tries to resolve this conflict. Often it resolves
the conflict via defence mechanisms, which are repressions that prevent disturbing anxiety provoking thoughts to come into the
conscious whilst the conflict occurs. Although repressed they are usually channelled into our behaviours which we cannot see
[they are unconscious]. If the Id, ego and superego are out of balance neurosis may result.
Believed in:
 The ability to reach ones full potential
 confident, accepting of oneself, independent, spontaneous, reality centred

Conception is optimistic and based on the notion that all people are born with the
potential to be good.

We need to be given the right sort of environment to achieve self actualisation.

Maslow focussed on fulfilling one’s basic needs and psychological needs to reach self
actualisation. He believed were arranged in a hierarchy. People must satisfy their basic
needs before they can satisfy the higher order needs.



o He also described peak experiences where we feel at one with the universe –
go beyond the limitations of ourselves
He believed in:
They both believed that humans have an innate drive towards personal growth.

He believed in:
They both believed that an individual needs the right sort of environment in order to
achieve self-actualisation.
Growth and behaviour are motivated by a number of needs.

Humanistic conceptions of personality

The focus is on the healthy personality rather than abnormalities.

 Abraham Maslow believed:

o We should aim for peak experiences where we feel at one with the universe – go beyond the limitations of
o Hierarchy of human needs based on two areas
 Deficiency needs and growth needs
 Needs at the bottom of the hierarchy must be met before higher needs can be fulfilled
1. physiological needs – hunger, thirst, comfort, health
2. safety and security – shelter, no fear, protection
3. belonging and love – affiliating with others, family friends
4. esteem needs – achieving, being competent, gaining approval
5. self actualisation – personal fulfilment and growth
a. need to know and understand
b. need for aesthetic beauty
c. realising own potential and
d. transcendence – helping others reach their potential (these later levels were added after the original

Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. Beyond these needs, higher levels of needs exist. These include
needs for understanding, aesthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does
not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and
so on. Maslow's basic needs are as follows:

Physiological Needs
These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature.
They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in
the person's search for satisfaction.
Safety Needs
When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security
can become active. Adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of
disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting). Children often display the signs of insecurity and the
need to be safe.
Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness
When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and
belongingness can emerge. Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This
involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging.
Needs for Esteem
When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for
both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Humans have a need for a stable, firmly based, high
level of self-respect, and respect from others. When these needs are satisfied, the person feels self-confident and
valuable as a person in the world. When these needs are frustrated, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and
Needs for Self-Actualization
When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow
describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do." "A musician must
make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write." These needs make themselves felt in signs of restlessness.
The person feels on edge, tense, lacking something, in short, restless. If a person is hungry, unsafe, not loved or
accepted, or lacking self-esteem, it is very easy to know what the person is restless about. It is not always clear what a
person wants when there is a need for self-actualization.
A personality trait is an enduring (lasting) psychological characteristic of a
person that influences their behaviour.


This method of analysing personality Eysenck named Factor analysis –
analysing a number of factors or dimensions of personality. People’s
personalities fitted on a sliding scale somewhere between each of these

Psychotic - Impulse control

Troublesome Conventional
Hostile Altruistic
Uncooperative Socialised
Withdrawn Empathic

Extraversion – Introversion
Friendly Quiet
Outgoing Reserved
Optimistic Shy

Neurotic- Stable
Worried Calm
Anxious Even tempered
Unstable Carefree
Moody Emotionally Stable

Eysenck believed that these were genetically based – ie traits are

characteristics we are born with and are consistent throughout our life time
and consistent in different situations.

Eysenck’s EPQ (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire) is still used today.

Trait conceptions of personality
A trait is an enduring psychological characteristic of a person that influences their behaviour.
Trait theories are the most influential approach to describing types of personalities
Identifying traits has two functions
1. to describe a persons behaviour
2. to be able to predict future behaviour
 Claimed there were 3 major personality dimensions
1. Extraversion – Introversion
 Sociability, liveliness, activity, assertiveness, dominance
2. Neuroticism – Stability
 Anxiety prone, depression prone, guilt, low self esteem
3. Psychoticism – Impulse Control
 Aggressiveness, coldness, lack of empathy, unconventional thinking

Eysenck attempted to find a link between brain function and traits – eg suggesting that extraverts have under-aroused brains
therefore sought out activities which would enhance arousal.
Neuroticism - Stability
Neuroticism is the name Eysenck gave to a dimension that ranges from normal, fairly calm and collected people to one’s that
tend to be quite “nervous.”  His research showed that these nervous people tended to suffer more frequently from a variety of
“nervous disorders” we call neuroses, hence the name of the dimension. But understand that he was not saying that people who
score high on the neuroticism scale are necessarily neurotics -- only that they are more susceptible to neurotic problems.
Eysenck was convinced that, since everyone in his data-pool fit somewhere on this dimension of normality-to-neuroticism, this
was a true temperament, i.e. that this was a genetically-based, physiologically-supported dimension of personality. He therefore
went to the physiological research to find possible explanations.

His second dimension is extraversion-introversion. By this he means something very similar to what Jung meant by the same
terms, and something very similar to our common-sense understanding of them: Shy, quiet people “versus” out-going, even
loud people. This dimension, too, is found in everyone, but the physiological explanation is a bit more complex.
Eysenck hypothesized that extraversion-introversion is a matter of the balance of “inhibition” and “excitation” in the brain
itself.  These are ideas that Pavlov came up with to explain some of the differences he found in the reactions of his various dogs
to stress.  Excitation is the brain waking itself up, getting into an alert, learning state. Inhibition is the brain calming itself down,
either in the usual sense of relaxing and going to sleep, or in the sense of protecting itself in the case of overwhelming

Psychoticism – Impulse Control

Eysenck came to recognize that, although he was using large populations for his research, there were some populations he was
not tapping. He began to take his studies into the mental institutions of England. When these masses of data were factor
analyzed, a third significant factor began to emerge, which he labeled psychoticism.
Like neuroticism, high psychoticism does not mean you are psychotic or doomed to become so -- only that you exhibit some
qualities commonly found among psychotics, and that you may be more susceptible, given certain environments, to becoming
As you might imagine, the kinds of qualities found in high psychoticistic people include a certain recklessness, a disregard for
common sense or conventions, and a degree of inappropriate emotional expression. It is the dimension that separates those
people who end up institutions from the rest of humanity!
The Big FIve Model (Five factor model) is the most modern trait theory. It combined previous research
findings and found that of all the traits, five recurred over and over. These five dimensions of personality are often called “The
Big Five”

 Openness
 Conscientiousness
 Extraversion
 Agreeableness
 Neuroticism (emotional stability)
Each factor is made up of lower order factors


Openness Original, imaginative, curious, artistic, Conventional, down to earth, not
open to new ideas artistic
Conscientiousness Responsible, organised, self-disciplined, Lazy, impulsive, irresponsible, careless,
achieving undependable
Extraversion Outgoing, sociable, talkative, fun loving, Quiet, passive, reserved, withdrawn
Agreeableness Warm, gentle, good natured, trusting, Argumentative, ruthless,
helpful uncooperative, suspicious, vindictive
Neuroticism Insecure, anxious, guilt ridden, Stable, easy going, relaxed, calm, even-
worriers, moody tempered

Psychodynamic Humanistic Trait

Criticisms of: Small sample size Small sample size Too fixed
Out dated Too positive, doesn’t Doesn’t explain why
Age stages too take into personalities change
restrictive consideration bad Suggests personality
behaviour set a birth
Doesn’t explain why 3 dimensions is too
some who are limiting
missing lower levels
achieve excellence
 The main forms of personality assessment used today,
including standardised self-report inventories, clinical interviews and
behavioural observations

Standardised Self Reports (Subjective Quantitative Assessment)

Presented in the form of a series of up to 200 questions
These are self report paper and pencil tests (or computer) questions with responses on a rating scale that
seek to measure a broad range of variables. Usually they are carefully constructed and standardised and
are used to measure both mental disorder and normal personality. The subject undergoing a personality
assessment provides a self assessment.

1. Myers-Briggs Type Inventory

 Makes judgements about roles and work environments
o Extroversion – introversion
o Sensing – intuition
o Thinking – feeling
o Judging – perception

2. 16PF designed by Cattell

 Factor analysis method – used for personnel selection
 Divided into 5 areas – self control, anxiety, extroversion, independence, tough mindedness

3. MMPI-2
 Used in clinical psychology (psychopathology)
 Used to diagnose mental health disorders and decide on treatment methods
 Scales include depression, hysteria, paranoia, schizophrenia

4. Big Five – NEO PI R

 Best current model for identifying personality traits
 Extroversion – introversion
 Neuroticism – emotional stability
 Agreeableness
 Conscientiousness
 Intellect – openness (to new experiences)

Advantages of Disadvantages of
Standardised Self Report Inventories Standardised Self Report Inventories
Researcher bias is reduced as the subject provides Only suggests potential strengths and weaknesses
the information themselves – shouldn’t be used to make decisions about hiring
or promoting people based solely on the results of
a personality test
Able to be used for job matching / personnel Validity and Reliability are not particularly high as
selection and assisting people to work more people may answer with socially desirable
effectively together questions in order to impress a supervisor
Helps people identify their own strengths and Predictive / external validity – their behaviour in
weaknesses and provide areas for development in real life may not match the behaviours they
their work role. indicate about themselves on a standardised test.
Projective Tests (Qualitative Assessment)
 Rorschach inkblot tests
 TAT (Thematic Apperception Test)
Clients talk about something that comes spontaneously from the self without conscious awareness of
Many see projective tests as a means to get information that may not be at the surface level or to prompt
an individual to think about something they may have forgotten or supressed.
Therapists use these tests to learn qualitative information about a client.
Advantages of Disadvantages of
Projective Tests Projective Tests
Inability to give socially desirable answers because Current method of scoring the Rorschach is based
the stimuli – the inkblots or TAT pictures are on analysing and making judgements about so
ambiguous and have no right or wrong answers. many different variables (such as content, theme,
They are difficult to fake. colour, and detail of the cards) that disagreements
often arise over interpretation and classification
Some clinicians believe that they do successfully Low validity and reliability due to researcher bias –
assess a client’s hidden and unconscious thoughts each researcher bringing their own preconceived
and desires of which he or she is normally ideas about what the client is saying.

Clinical Interviews (Qualitative Assessment)

In the form of a one:one interview with a client and a psychologist
 Person asked to give a history of their problems over the course of their lives
 Patterns or themes would assist the psychologist to make a diagnosis
 Use of open ended questions to encourage people to talk about themselves
Advantages of Disadvantages of
Clinical Interviews Clinical Interviews
Information about person’s thoughts, feelings as Interviewer characteristics may affect how the
well as current and past relationships, experiences individual responds (need a relationship to start
and behaviour can be discussed with to feel comfortable to disclose personal
information) this may decrease the validity of the
information gained during the interview
Additional information can be observed by the Subjective data – given by the client – is
psychologist from non-verbal behaviours during unverifiable
the interview. Client honest and willingness to respond may
reduce the validity of the data.

Behavioural Observations (Objective Quantitative Assessment)

Conducted in a real life situation, at home, work, school or socially (may be conducted by video
 Use of behavioural checklists – observing how many times particular behaviours are exhibited
(eg aggression)
 Measuring the frequency of behaviours to determine whether they are in excess or not
occurring often enough
Advantages of Disadvantages of
Behaviour observations Behaviour observations
Use of behavioural checklists result in objective Training of observers is required to that they
reliability if several observers are able to see the follow a proper coding system when behaviour is
same behaviours observed.
Quantitative data is obtained, which is more
precise, verifiable and objective
Able to measure the frequency of a behaviour to
determine whether they are in excess or not
occurring often enough
Ethical Issues

Ethical issues in the area of personality are generally involved in personality

 Wellbeing – people may end up with unwanted self knowledge about
themselves (responsibility of the Psychologist to full debrief the person
when the results are provided)
 Tests must be conducted by professional psychologist and not released to
the general public (they lose validity)
 Results must be disclosed to the subject, and not used for further research
without the persons permission (Informed Consent and Confidentiality)
 If results are to be disclosed to others (judge, employer) then the person
must know this at the start (informed consent)
 Tests should be undertaken voluntarily (unless ordered by court order –
ethical concern if an employer requires it to be done – breaches voluntary
 Tests are generally self report therefore lead to social desirability (lack
validity therefore not ethical to base decisions on test results)
 Validity and Reliability of tests is questionable, therefore decisions made
on the basis of a personality test may not be ethical (eg getting a job or
not, goes to prison, or receives treatment - misdiagnosis)

 Face Validity – the extent to which a test appears to
measure what it claims to measure
 Internal Validity – undesirable variables are eliminated – test
conditions are valid
 External Validity – to what extent can the test be generalised
outside the test situation
 Predictive Validity – the extent to which test scores can
predict future performance

 Scoring consistently each time you take the test
 Ways to ensure reliability
 Test – retest
 Alternate form test
Psychological principles concerning personality in everyday experiences and
events (eg character depictions in the popular media) and in psychological
interventions, including assertiveness training
Psychological Interventions
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
 Combination of cognitive therapy
o which is aimed at reducing negative, harmful thoughts through journals,
breathing exercises, becoming aware of thoughts
 Behaviour therapy
o Aimed at changing behaviour in small steps, analysing behaviours, creating a
plan to overcome the inappropriate behaviours
 Used for treating Anger management issues
o Very effective in teaching people to recognise when they are angry, or getting
aggressive and providing alternative paths of action
Assertiveness Training
 ROR = rehearse, overlearn, repeat
 Be aware of techniques others use to avoid your requests
 Don’t back down
 Defusing – lets take a minute to think about this
 Practice non-verbal assertiveness – eye contact, relaxed and open body posture
 Use I statements

I – Statements

When you ……………………………..(non-blame description of other person’s behaviour)

I feel………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Because …………………………………….(real effects of the other person’s behaviour to me, e.g. cost me time, money, causes

I would like …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


When you leave my tools out after you have used them I feel annoyed because I have to find and organise them before I can start
work. I’d prefer you to put them in their places when you have finished using them.

When you look away while I’m talking, I imagine you are not interested in what I am saying and I feel hurt.
I’d like to talk about this.
 Application of these psychological principles to social
issues , (eg personality disorders, the relationship between culture and
Personality Disorders
 DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychological Association)
identifies 10 personality disorders
1. Paranoid personality disorder – distrust of others
2. Schizoid personality disorder – detachment from relationships
3. Schizotypal personality disorder – odd beliefs, social deficiencies
4. Antisocial personality disorder – fails to conform, aggressive, deceitful
5. Borderline personality disorder – instability of relationships, self image, suicidal
6. Histrionic personality disorder – excessively emotional, attention seeking, inappropriate sexually
7. Narcissistic personality disorder – need for admiration, self important
8. Avoidant personality disorder – feelings of inadequacy, avoids social situations
9. Dependent personality disorder – need to be taken care of, clinging, fear of separation, need
others to take responsibility
10. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder – preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism,
need for control

Most of us are classified as ‘normal’, meaning that we have a range of feelings thoughts and behaviours that fluctuate from day
to day or moment to moment. We have moods. Sometimes we are ecstatically happy and at other times, angry, jealous,
resentful or sad. We feel good about ourselves and then feel we’re not good enough at other times. We go through periods of
sadness after a broken relationship where someone has rejected us and we can feel energised when we feel we can attain a
dream. We adjust to life’s difficulties and grow and mature adapting new perceptions and behaviours along the way.

The individual with a Personality Disorder can not adapt smoothly to the normal give-and- take of everyday life. They are
INFLEXIBLE and fixed in their behaviours. They expect the world and people to change for them rather than being able to adjust
to changing environments. They don’t mature or grow within themselves. They have social and relationship problems as a
consequence displaying the same rigid behaviours over and over again, never understanding why people are always in the

People with Personality Disorders can only see their point of view, their reality and are usually self-serving. They are self-

The core of the problem is that they usually have never developed a sense of ‘real self’; that is they have an impaired sense of
normal personality development.

 Little evidence to suggest that all criminals have similar personality types
 Eysenck identified that criminals tended to score highly on extraversion, neuroticism and psychotocism, extensive
research has failed to support this idea
 10-15% of criminals have personality disorders, tend to be antisocial, borderline and histrionic

Anger and Aggression

 An individual may have higher or lower trait anger, more likely to get annoyed, physically tensed up, impulse to
retaliate than others
 Relationship between high levels of anger and disease – high blood pressure, heart attacks
 Some genetic connection in temperament may be partly the cause and childhood experiences are also likely to
contribute to anger
 Cognitive causes – the way people think about the world contribute also to aggression
 Anger management can be effectively treated through CBT.
 Investigation designs and methods of assessing
psychological responses used to study social personality including validity
and reliability.

Experimental Quantitative Observational Qualitative

Numerical data gathered Numerical data gathered -
Objective Quantitative
from an experiment from behavioural
-eg showing graphic film observations – counting
and measuring responses number of people with
to emotions traits
Self report inventories Self Report Inventories -
Subjective Quantitative
measuring effect of one Myers Briggs
variable on the measure 16PF
(eg fear) NEO PI R
- - Delphi Technique or Data
Collection from focus group
Clinical Interview with a
Projective Tests –
Rorschach and TAT