Personality is a pattern of enduring, distinctive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that characterize the way an individual adapts to the world.

Psychodynamic perspectives emphasize that personality is primarily unconscious. From this perspective, aspects of our personality are unconscious because they must be; this lack of awareness is motivated. Psychodynamic theorists believe that behavior is only a surface characteristic and that to truly understand someone’s personality; we have to explore the symbolic meanings of that behavior and the deep inner workings of the mind.

Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

He is one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, who born in Freiberg, Moravia.




For Freud, the sexual drive was the most important motivator of all human activity. Freud thought that the human sex drive was the main determinate of personality development, and he felt that psychological disorders, dreams, and all human behavior represent the conflict between this unconscious sexual drive and the demands of civilized human society. Freud developed psychoanalysis through his work with patients suffering from hysteria. Hysteria refers to physical symptoms that have no physical causes. Freud believed that hysterical symptoms were overdetermined – they had many causes in the unconscious. Drawing from his work in analyzing patients, Freud developed his model of the human personality. He described personality as like an iceberg, existing mostly below the level of awareness.

Structure of personality
Id: The part of the person that Freud called the “it”, consisting of unconscious drives; the individual’s reservoir of sexual energy.
Ego: The Freudian structure of personality that deals with the demands of reality. It acts as a mediator between the conflicting demands of the id and the superego as well as the real world.
Superego: The Freudian structure of personality that serves as the harsh internal judge of our behavior; what we often call conscience.

Defense Mechanisms
Defense Mechanisms are tactics the ego uses to reduce anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
Repression: the master defense mechanism; the ego pushes unacceptable impulses out of awareness, back into the unconscious mind
Rationalization: The ego replaces a less acceptable motive with a more acceptable one.
Displacement: The ego shifts feelings toward an unacceptable object to anther, more acceptable object.
Sublimation: The ego replaces an unacceptable impulse with a socially acceptable one.
Projection: The ego attributes personal shortcomings, problems, and faults to others.
Reaction Formation: The ego transforms an unacceptable motive into its opposite.
Denial: The ego refuses to acknowledge anxiety-producing realities.
Regression: The ego seeks the security of an earlier developmental period in the face of stress.

Psychosexual stages of personality development
Freud believed that human beings go through universal stages of personality development and that at each developmental stage we experience sexual pleasure in one part of the body more than in others. Erogenous zones are parts of the body that have especially strong pleasure-giving qualities at particular stages of development.
Oral stage (first 18 months): The infant’s pleasure centers on the mouth. Chewing, sucking, and biting are the chief sources of pleasure that reduce tension in the infant.
Anal stag (18-36months): During a time when most children are experiencing toilet training, the child’s greatest pleasure involves the anus and urethra and their functions.
Phallic stage (3-6years): The name of Freud’s third stage comes from the Latin word phallus, which means “penis”. Pleasure focuses on the genitals as the child discovers that self-stimulation is enjoyable.
Latency period (6years to puberty): This phrase is not a developmental stage but rather a kind of psychic time-out. After the drama of the phallic stage, the child sets aside all interest in sexuality.
Genital stage (adolescence and adulthood): The genital stage is the time of sexual reawakening, a point when the source of sexual pleasure shifts to someone outside the family.

Psychodynamic Critics and Revisionists
Because Freud was among the first theorists to explore personality, some of his ideas have needed updating have revision over time, while others have been tossed out although.
  • Sexuality is not the pervasive force behind personality that Freud believed it to be. Freud’s concepts were heavily influenced by the setting in which he lived and worked.
  • The first 5 years of life are not as powerful in shaping adult personality as Freud thought.
  • The ego and conscious though processes play a more dominant role in our personality than Freud believed
  • Sociocultural factors are much more important than Freud believed.

Horney’s sociocultural approach
Karen Horney (1885-1952) rejected the classical psychoanalytic concept that anatomy is destiny and cautioned that some of Freud’s most popular ideas were only hypotheses. She also argued that sociocultural influences on personality development should be considered. Hornet believed that the need for security, not for sex, is the prime motive in human existence. She reasoned that an individual whose needs for security are met should be able to develop his or her capacities to the fullest extent.


Jung’s Analytical Theory

Jung believed that the roots of personality go back to the dawn of humanity. The collective unconscious is the impersonal, deepest layer of the unconscious mind. It contains archetypes, emotionally laden ideas and images that have rich and symbolic meaning for all people. Jung used the terms anima and animus to identify 2 common archetypes.


Adler’s individual psychology

In Alfred Adler’s (1870-1937) individual psychology, people are motivated by purposes and goals. Thus, perfection is the key motivator in human life. He argues that people have the ability to take their genetic inheritance and their environmental experiences and act upon them creatively to become the person they want to be. Adler believed that birth order could influence how successfully a person could strive for superiority. He also believed that the firstborn are more likely to suffer from psychological disorders and to engage in criminal behavior. Importantly, though, Adler didn’t believe that anyone was doomed by birth order. Instead, sensitive parents could help children at any place in the family.


Evaluating the Psychodynamic Perspectives

  • Personality is determined both by current experiences and, as the original psychoanalytic theory proposed, by early life experiences.

  • Personality can be better understood by examining it developmentally-as a series of stages that unfold with the individual’s physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development.

  • We mentally transform our experiences, giving them meaning that shapes our personality.

  • The mind is not all consciousness; unconscious motives lie behind some of our puzzling behavior.

  • The individual’s inner world often conflicts wit the outer demands of reality, creating anxiety that is not easy to resolve.

  • Personality and adjustment-not the experimental laboratory topics of sensation, perception, and learning-are rightful and important topics of psychological inquiry


Humanistic perspectives stress a person’s capacity for personal growth and positive human qualities. Humanistic perspectives contrast with both psychodynamic perspectives and behaviorism. Humanistic theorists sought to move beyond Freudian psychoanalysis and behaviorism to a theory that might capture the rich and potentially positive aspects of human nature.

Maslow’s Approach

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) referred to humanistic psychology as third force psychology because it stressed neither Freudian drives nor the stimulus-response principles of behaviorism. Maslow believed that we can learn the human personality by focusing on the self-actualizers.


Roger’s Approach

Carl Rogers’s (1902-1987) groundbreaking work established the foundations for more contemporary studies of personal growth and self-determination. He believed that we are all born with the raw ingredients of a fulfilling life.


Explaining Unhappiness
Unconditional positive regard is Rogers’s term for being accepted, valued, and treated positively regardless of one’s behavior. Conditions of worth are the standards we must live up to in order to receive positive regard from others. Roger’s theory includes the idea that we develop a self-concept, our conscious representation of who we are and who we wish to become. The self-concept reflects our genuine, innate desires, but it also can be influenced by conditions of worth.

Promoting Optimal Functioning
Roger believed that the person must reconnect with his or her true feelings and desires. He proposed that to achieve this reconnection, the individual must experience a relationship that includes three essential
- people need unconditional positive regard
- individuals can become more fulfilled by interacting with people who are empathic toward them
- being genuine means being open with one’s feelings and dropping all pretenses and facades

Evaluating the Humanistic Perspectives
The humanistic perspectives emphasize that the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us is an essential element of personality. Humanistic psychologists also stress that we need to consider the whole person and the positive bent of human nature. Some critics believe that humanistic psychologists are too optimistic about human nature and they overestimate people’s freedom and rationality. Self-determination theory demonstrates the way that psychologists have studied humanistic ideas that might appear too abstract and difficult to test.


Trait Theories

Trait theories state that personality consists of broad, enduring dispositions (traits) that tend to lead to characteristic responses. People can be described in terms of the ways they behave, such as whether they are outgoing, friendly, private, or hostile. People who have a strong tendency to behave in certain ways are referred to as “high” on the traits; those with a weak tendency to behave in these ways are “low” on the traits.

In the late 1930s, Allport, sometimes referred to as the father of American personality psychology, and his colleague H. S. Odbert (1936) created a method called the lexical approach. The idea is if a trait is important to people in real life, it ought to be represented in the natural language people use to talk about one another; furthermore, the more important a trait is, the more likely it is that it should be represented by a single word.

A statistical procedure called factor analysis allowed researchers to identify which traits go together in terms of how they are rated. One important characteristic of factor analysis is that it relies on the scientist to interpret the meaning of the factors, and the researcher must make some decisions about how many factors are enough to explain the data.

The Five-Factor Model of Personality 


Conscientiousness is a key factor in a variety of life domains; it is positively related to high school and college students' grade point averages, to better-quality friendships, to higher levels of religious faith, and to a forgiving attitude. Conscientiousness is associated with dressing neatly, especially in the case of men, and, like openness, is related to entrepreneurial success. Low levels of conscientiousness are associated with criminal behavior and substance abuse.


The big five factors of personality—the broad traits that are thought to describe the main dimensions of personality—are neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
  • Neuroticism is related to feeling negative emotion more often than positive emotion in one's daily life and to experiencing more lingering negative states, also neuroticism relates to health complaints.

· Individuals high in extraversion are more likely than others to engage in social activities and to experience gratitude and a strong sense of meaning in life; in addition, extraverts are more forgiving. Extraverts are smiling, standing energetically, and dressing stylishly.

  • Openness to experience is related to liberal values, open-mindness, tolerance, and creativity.

  • Agreeableness is related to generosity and altruism and to more satisfying romantic relationships.

  • Conscientiousness is a key factor in a variety of life domains.

Cross-Cultural Studies on The Big Five

Some research on the big five factors addresses the extent to which the factors appear in personality profiles in different cultures. Do the big five show up in the assessment of personality in cultures around the world? Some research suggests that they do: A version of the five factors appears in people in countries as diverse as Canada, Finland, Poland, China, and Japan. Among the big five, the factors most likely to emerge across cultures and languages are extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, with neuroticism and openness to experience being more likely to emerge only in English-speaking samples.

Animal Studies on The Big Five

Researchers have found evidence for at least some of the big five personality traits in animals, including domestic dogs and hyenas, in orangutans, geese, lizards, fish, cockatiels, and squid, but some researchers have found that squid “personality” may be more a function of environmental factors than stable individual differences.

Evaluating the Trait Perspectives

Some personality researchers say that these traits might not end up being the ultimate list of broad traits; they argue that more specific traits are better predictors of behavior. One alternative, the HEXACO model, incorporates a sixth dimension, honesty/humility, to capture the moral dimensions of personality. Other researchers argue that five factors is too many and that we can best understand personality as one big dimension, with extraversion, agreeableness, openness to experience, and conscientiousness at one end, and with neuroticism at the other end. In this single-dimension view, high-scoring individuals might be described as being outgoing, nice, creative, reliable, and emotionally stable—in other words, having a “really good” personality. Identifying a person's traits allows us to know that individual better. Psychologists have learned a great deal about the connections between personality and health, ways of thinking, career success, and relations with others using traits.

Murray's Personological Approach

Henry Murray (1893–1988) was a young biochemistry graduate student when he became interested in the psychology of personality after meeting Carl Jung and reading his work.

Henry Murray

Murray coined the word personology to refer to the study of the whole person. He believed that to understand a person, we have to know that person's history, including the physical, psychological, and sociological aspects of the person's life. Murray applied his insights into personality during World War II to develop a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler. Murray's analysis of Hitler was the first “offender profile,” and it has served as a model for modern criminal profiling. The aspect of Murray's research that has had the most impact on contemporary personality psychology is his approach to motivation. Murray believed that our motives are largely unknown to us.

  • Need for achievement:
  • Need for affiliation:
  • Need for power:

David Winter analyzed the motives revealed in inaugural addresses of U.S. presidents. He found that certain needs revealed in these speeches corresponded to later events during the person's presidency. For instance, presidents who scored high on need for achievement (such as Jimmy Carter) were less successful during their terms. Presidents who scored high on need for power tended to be judged as more successful (John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan), and presidents whose addresses included a great deal of imagery about making positive interpersonal connections or avoiding rejection (suggesting a high need for affiliation) tended to experience scandal during their presidencies (Richard M. Nixon).

The Life Story Approach to Identity

Dan McAdams developed the life story approach to identity. His work centers on the idea that each of us has a unique life story, full of ups and downs. He also introduced the concept of intimacy motivation. The intimacy motive is an enduring concern for warm interpersonal encounters for their own sake. Intimacy motivation is revealed in the warm, positive interpersonal imagery in the stories people tell. Intimacy motive has been shown to relate to positive outcomes.

Psychobiography is a means of inquiry in which the personality psychologist attempts to apply a personality theory to a single person's life.

Evaluating the Personological and Life Story Perspectives


Social cognitive perspectives on personality emphasize conscious awareness, beliefs, expectations, and goals. They emphasize individual’s interpretation of situations and focus on the uniqueness of each person by examining how behavior is tailored to the diversity of situations in which people find themselves. Social cognitive theorists are not interested in broad traits such as the big five. Instead, they investigate how more specific factors, such as beliefs, relate to behavior and performance.

Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory Bandura's social cognitive theory states that behavior, environment, and person/cognitive factors are all important in understanding personality. Bandura coined the term reciprocal determinism to describe the way behavior, environment, and person/cognitive factors interact to create personality. The environment can determine a person's behavior, and the person can act to change the environment. Person/cognitive factors can both influence behavior and be influenced by behavior. From Bandura's perspective, behavior is a product of a variety of forces, some of which come from the situation and some of which the person brings to the situation.

OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING By observing others behave and noticing the consequences of their actions, we might come to adopt the behavior ourselves. For example, a boy might observe that his mother's hostile exchanges with people are an effective way to get what she wants. Later, when the boy is with his peers, he might adopt the same strategy. Social cognitive theorists believe that we acquire a wide range of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings by watching others' behavior and that our observations strongly shape our personality. PERSONAL CONTROL Social cognitive theorists emphasize that we can regulate and control our own behavior despite our changing environment. Psychologists commonly describe a sense of behavioral control as coming from inside the person (an internal locus of control) or outside the person (an external locus of control). When we feel that we ourselves are controlling our choices and behaviors, the locus of control is internal, but when other influences are controlling them, the locus of control is external.


Self-efficacy is the belief that one can master a situation and produce positive change. Bandura and others have shown that self-efficacy is related to a number of positive developments in people's lives, including solving problems and becoming more sociable. Self-efficacy influences whether people even try to develop healthy habits, as well as how much effort they expend in coping with stress, how long they persist in the face of obstacles, and how much stress and pain they experience. Self-efficacy is also related to whether people initiate psychotherapy to deal with their problems and whether it succeeds. In addition, researchers have found that self-efficacy is linked with successful job interviewing and job performance. Mischel's Contributions Walter Mischel is a social cognitive psychologist who has explored how personality influences behavior.

MISCHEL'S CRITIQUE OF CONSISTENCY Mischel concluded that there was no evidence for cross-situational consistency in behavior. Thus, no evidence for the existence of personality as it had been previously conceptualized. Mischel said that personality often changes according to a given situation. Mischel asserted that behavior is discriminative. Mischel's view is called situationism, the idea that personality and behavior often vary considerably from one context to another. Personality psychologists responded to Mischel's situationist attack in a variety of ways. Researchers showed that it is not a matter of whether personality predicts behavior but when and how it does so, often in combination with situational factors. The research findings were that

  • The narrower and more limited a trait is, the more likely it will predict behavior.
  • Some people are consistent on some traits, and other people are consistent on other traits.
  • Personality traits exert a stronger influence on an individual's behavior when situational influences are less powerful. A very powerful situation is one that contains many clear cues about how a person is supposed to behave. For example, even a highly talkative person typically sits quietly during a class lecture. In weaker situations, however, such as during leisure time, the person may spend most of the time talking.
Moreover, individuals select the situations they are in. Consequently, even if situations determine behavior, traits play a role by influencing which situations people choose.

Over time, Mischel has developed an approach to personality that he feels is better suited to capturing the nuances of the relationship between the individual and situations in producing behavior.


Mischel's revised approach to personality is concerned with just such stability in the pattern of behavior over time, not with consistency across differing situations. Mischel and his colleagues have studied how behaviors in very different situations have a coherent pattern.

Cognitive affective processing systems (CAPS) Mischel's theoretical model for describing that our thoughts and emotions about ourselves and the world affect our behavior and become linked in ways that matter to behavior.

In keeping with the social cognitive emphasis on the person's cognitive abilities and mental states, Mischel conceptualizes personality as a set of interconnected cognitive affective processing systems (CAPS). According to this approach, our thoughts and emotions about ourselves and the world affect our behavior and become linked in ways that matter to behavior. Personal control and self-efficacy are psychological connections that a person has made among situations, beliefs, and behaviors.

CAPS theory focuses on how people behave in different situations and how they uniquely interpret situational features. Research using the CAPS approach generally involves observing individuals behaving in a variety of contexts in order to identify the patterns of associations that exist among beliefs, emotions, and behavior for each person across different situations .

Evaluating the Social Cognitive Perspectives

Social cognitive theory focuses on the interactions of individuals with their environments. The social cognitive approach has fostered a scientific climate for understanding personality that highlights the observation of behavior. Social cognitive theory emphasizes the influence of cognitive processes in explaining personality and suggests that people have the ability to control their environment.

Critics of the social cognitive perspective on personality take issue with one or more aspects of the theory.

  • The social cognitive approach is too concerned with change and situational influences on personality. It does not pay adequate tribute to the enduring qualities of personality.

  • Social cognitive theory ignores the role biology plays in personality.
  • In its attempt to incorporate both the situation and the person into its view of personality, social cognitive psychology tends to lead to very specific predictions for each person in any given situation, making generalizations impossible.


Psychologists' beliefs about these interacting processes in personality, though, were based on assumptions rather than on direct study.

Personality and the Brain

A great deal of research is currently addressing the ways in which brain activity is associated with various personality traits.


British psychologist Hans Eysenck (1967) was among the first to describe the role of a particular brain system in personality. He developed an approach to extraversion/introversion based on the reticular activation system (RAS). The RAS is the name given to the reticular formation and its connections. Eysenck proposed, the RAS of extraverts and introverts differs with respect to the baseline level of arousal.


Quiet, reserved, passive
Personality Characteristics
Outgoing, social, dominant
Level of Arousal
Keeping distractions to a minimum
Belong alone reading quiet
Typical activities
Seeking out distractions
Spending time with friends
Listening to loud music

Jeffrey Gray proposed a neuropsychology of personality, called reinforcement sensitivity theory, that has been the subject of much research. On the basis of animal learning principles, Gray posited that two neurological systems—the behavioral activation system (BAS) and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS)—could be viewed as underlying personality.
According to Gray, these systems explain differences in an organism's attention to rewards and punishers in the environment. An organism sensitive to rewards is more likely to learn associations between behaviors and rewards and therefore to show a characteristic pattern of seeking out rewarding opportunities. In contrast, an organism with a heightened sensitivity to punishers in the environment is more likely to learn associations between behaviors and negative consequences. Such an organism shows a characteristic pattern of avoiding such consequences.

Neuroticism is especially related to a certain serotonin transporter gene and to the binding of serotonin in the thalamus. Individuals who have less circulating serotonin are prone to negative mood; giving them drugs that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin tends to decrease negative mood and enhance feelings of sociability. Serotonin is also implicated in aggressive behavior. Behavior can influence brain processes, and patterns of behavior can therefore determine brain activity. One thing that behavior cannot influence, at least not yet, is genes, another important biological factor in personality.
Personality and Behavioral Genetics
Behavioral genetics is the study of the inherited underpinnings of behavioral characteristics. Even aspects of personality that are not traits reveal some genetic influence. Understanding the role of genetic factors in personality is enormously complex. Research on non-twin samples often suggests much lower heritability, for reasons that are not well understood. Furthermore, because genes and environment are often intertwined, it is very difficult to tease apart whether, and how, genes or experience explains enduring patterns of behavior. Finally, most traits are probably influenced by multiple genes, making the task of identifying specific molecular links very challenging.
Evaluating the Biological Perspectives
Research that explores the biological aspects of personality is clearly important, and it is likely to remain a key avenue of research. This work ties the field of personality to animal learning models, advances in brain imaging, and evolutionary theory. However, a few cautions are necessary in thinking about biological variables and their place in personality.
Biology can be the effect, not the cause, of personality. The autobiographical memories that interest personologists, then, might be viewed as well-worn patterns of activation. To the extent that personality represents a person's characteristic pattern of thought or the accumulation of memories over the life span, personality may not only be influenced by the brain—it may also play a role in the brain's very structure and functions.


The most commonly used method of measuring personality characteristics is self-report. A self-report test, which is also called an objective test or inventory, directly asks people whether specific items describe their personality traits. Self-report personality tests include items such as

  • I am easily embarrassed.

  • I love to go to parties.

  • I like to watch cartoons on TV.

Respondents choose from a limited number of answers (yes or no, true or false, agree or disagree).

Social desirability is one problem with self-report tests is a factor. One way to measure the influence of social desirability is to give individuals a questionnaire that is designed to tap into this tendency. If a person answers one questionnaire in a socially desirable fashion, he or she is probably answering all the questionnaires that way.

Another way to get around social desirability issues is to design scales so that it is virtually impossible for the respondent to know what the researcher is trying to measure.

Empirically keyed test, a type of self-report test that is created by first identifying two groups that are known to be different. The researcher would give these two groups a large number of questionnaire items and then see which items show the biggest differences between the groups. Those items would become part of the scale to measure the group difference. The researcher might generate a long list of true/false items that ask about a variety of topics but do not mention substance abuse. These questions would be presented to the members of the two groups, and on the basis of the responses, the researcher can then select the items that best discriminate between the members of the differing groups.


The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most widely used and researched empirically keyed self-report personality test. The MMPI was initially constructed in the 1940s to assess “abnormal” personality tendencies. The most recent version of the inventory, the MMPI-2, is still widely used around the world to assess personality and predict outcomes. The scale features 567 items and provides information on a variety of personality characteristics. The MMPI also includes items meant to assess whether the respondent is lying or trying to make a good impression (social desirability). Not only is the MMPI used by clinical psychologists to assess mental health, but it is also a tool in hiring decisions and in forensic settings, assessing criminal risk.

Assessment of the big five factors

Paul Costa and Robert McCrae (1992) constructed the Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Personality Inventory—Revised, a self-report test geared to assessing the five-factor model: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (emotional instability). The test also evaluates six subdimensions that make up the five main factors.

Face validity – the extent to which a test item appears to be a good fit to the characteristic it measures.

The MMPI and the NEO-PIR are well-established measures of personality characteristics. Yet, you may be more familiar with another assessment tool that is popular in business settings, called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. To learn about the way personality psychologists regard this questionnaire, see the Intersection.

It is likely that you could give a reasonably good assessment of your own levels of traits such as neuroticism and extraversion. What about the more mysterious aspects of yourself and others? If you are like most people, you think of psychological assessments as tools to find out things you do not already know about yourself. For that objective, psychologists might turn to projective tests.

Projective Tests

A projective test presents individuals with an ambiguous stimulus and asks them to describe it or tell a story about it—in other words, to project their own meaning onto the stimulus. Projective tests are based on the assumption that the ambiguity of the stimulus allows individuals to interpret it based on their feelings, desires, needs, and attitudes.

Projective test attempt to get inside the mind to discover how the test taker really feels and thinks; that is, they aim to go beyond the way the individual overtly presents himself or herself.

Rorschach inkblot test is a famous projective test that uses an individual's perception of inkblots to determine his or her personality. This test was developed in 1921 by the Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. The test consists of 10 cards, half in black and white and half in color, which the individual views one at a time. The person taking the Rorschach test is asked to describe what he or she sees in each of the inkblots.



== take a Rorschach inkblot test online!


Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a projective test that is designed to elicit stories that reveal something about an individual's personality. It was developed by Henry Murray and Christiana Morgan in the 1930s, is designed to elicit stories that reveal something about an individual's personality. The TAT consists of a series of pictures each on an individual card or slide. The TAT test taker is asked to tell a story about each of the pictures, including events leading up to the situation described, the characters' thoughts and feelings, and the way the situation turns out.

PERSONALITY AND HEALTH AND WELLNESSConscientiousness Conscientiousness is not the sexiest personality trait, but it might well be the most important of the big five when it comes to longevity and healthy living. In a longitudinal study of more than 1,200 individuals across seven decades, conscientiousness predicted a lower mortality risk from childhood through late adulthood. A variety of studies show that conscientious people tend to do all the things that they are told are good for their health, such as getting regular exercise, avoiding drinking and smoking, wearing seatbelts, and checking smoke detectors. Personal control Another personality characteristic associated with taking the right steps toward a long, healthy life is personal control. Feeling in control can reduce stress during difficult times and can lead to the development of problem-solving strategies to deal with hardship. A sense of personal control has been linked to a lower risk for common chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.Self-efficacy Self-efficacy is related to success in a wide variety of positive life changes, including achieving weight loss, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking, ending substance abuse, and practicing safe sex. Self-efficacy is also strongly linked to cardiovascular functioning. Optimism Optimism is a factor that is often linked to positive functioning and adjustment. Also it is the matter of how a person explains the causes of bad events. The type A/type B behavior pattern Type A behavior pattern is a cluster of characteristics—such as being excessively competitive, hard-driven, impatient, and hostile—related to the incidence of heart disease. Type B behavior pattern is a cluster of characteristics—such as being relaxed and easygoing—related to good health. Personality and Psychological Well-BeingSubjective well-being is a person's assessment of his or her level of positive affect and negative affect, and an evaluation of his or her life in general. Personality characteristics influence health through their relationships to behaviors and the experience of stress. Even a person very low in conscientiousness can engage in healthy behaviors. Believing in your own potential may be the first step to enhancing your health and wellness. REVIEW QUESTIONS:Q: Define personality

A: Personality is a pattern of enduring, distinctive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that characterize the way an individual adapts to the world.

Q: Tree parts of personality
A: Id, Ego, Superego

Q: Five factors of personality
A: Neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness

Q: Neurotransmitter that sends the message "do it again!"
A: Dopamine

Q: The most famous projective test is _ inkblot test
A: Rorschach

Q: What TAT consists of?
A: Series of pictures, each on an individual card or slide.


Completed by Kit Tsui & Elena Varghese