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PSY/250 v10 Freud’s Theory Matrix Instructions The main function of a scientific theory is to help us to describe and explain how the world works. To form a scientific theory, scientists start with a set of assumptions, then use logic and deductive reasoning to come up with hypotheses that they can test. Psychologists use scientific theories to attempt to explain human thought, emotion, and behavior. According to your textbook, Theories of Personality, there are six criteria of a useful scientific theory. A useful theory: generates research, is falsifiable, organizes data, guides action, is internally consistent, and is parsimonious (simple). Complete the matrix below with the following information: • • • Define each of the six criteria of a useful scientific theory. Evaluate how well each criterion applies to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory in approximately 90 words per criterion. Explain your answers. You may use bullet points, but do not use one-word responses. Provide the page number from the textbook where you found the information for each response. Chapters 1 and 2 from this week’s readings provide excellent information to address each of the criteria. Note: Include appropriate APA references and citations if you use any resources other than the textbook to complete the matrix. Remember to include page numbers in your citations for any direct quotes. (Use the Reference and Citation Generator in the Center for Writing Excellence for assistance with APA style.) Matrix Criteria Generates Research Falsifiable Organizes Data Guides Actions Internally Consistent Parsimonious (simple) References Definition Application to Freud’s Theory Page 1 PA RT O N E Introduction Chapter 1 Introduction to Personality Theory 2 Page 2 CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Personality Theory © Purestock/SuperStock What Is Personality? What Is a Theory? Theory Defined Theory and Its Relatives Why Different Theories? Theorists’ Personalities and Their Theories of Personality What Makes a Theory Useful? Dimensions for a Concept of Humanity Research in Personality Theory Key Terms and Concepts 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © people behave as they do? Do people have some choice in shaping W hytheirdoown personality? What accounts for similarities and differences Page 3 among people? What makes people act in predictable ways? Why are they unpredictable? Do hidden, unconscious forces control people’s behavior? What causes mental disturbances? Is human behavior shaped more by heredity or by environment? For centuries, philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers have asked these questions as they pondered the nature of human nature—or even wondered whether humans have a basic nature. Until relatively recent times, great thinkers made little progress in finding satisfactory answers to these questions. More than 100 years ago, however, Sigmund Freud began to combine philosophical speculations with a primitive scientific method. As a neurologist trained in science, Freud began to listen to his patients to find out what hidden conflicts lay behind their assortment of symptoms. “Listening became, for Freud, more than an art; it became a method, a privileged road to knowledge that his patients mapped out for him” (Gay, 1988, p. 70). Freud, in fact, was the first to develop a truly modern theory of personality, based mostly on his clinical observations. He developed a “Grand Theory,” that is, one that attempted to explain all personality for all people. As we see throughout the course of this book, many other theorists from different points of view have developed alternative grand theories. The general trend over the course of the 20th century was to base theories more and more on scientific observations rather than on clinical ones. Both sources, however, are valid foundations for theories of personality. What Is Personality? Humans are not alone in their uniqueness of and variability between individual members of the species. Individuals within every living species exhibit differences or variability. Indeed, animals such as octopi, birds, pigs, horses, cats, and dogs have consistent individual differences in behavior, otherwise known as personality, within their species (Dingemanse, Both, Drent, Van Oers, & Van Noordwijk, 2002; Gosling & John, 1999; Weinstein, Capitanio, & Gosling, 2008). But the degree to which individual humans vary from one another, both physically and psychologically, is quite astonishing and somewhat unique among species. Some of us are quiet and introverted, others crave social contact and stimulation; some of us are calm and even-keeled, whereas others are high-strung and persistently anxious. In this book, we explore the explanations and ideas that various men and women have had concerning how these differences in human personality come about. Psychologists differ among themselves as to the meaning of personality. Most agree that the word “personality” originated from the Latin persona, which referred to a theatrical mask worn by Roman actors in Greek dramas. These ancient Roman actors wore a mask (persona) to project a role or false appearance. This surface view of personality, of course, is not an acceptable definition. When psychologists use the term “personality,” they are referring to something more than the role people play. Page 4 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © No two people, not even identical twins, have exactly the same personalities. © by golf9c9333/Getty Images However, personality theorists have not agreed on a single definition of personality. Indeed, they evolved unique and vital theories because they lacked agreement as to the nature of humanity, and because each saw personality from an individual reference point. The personality theorists discussed in this book have had a variety of backgrounds. Some were born in Europe and lived their entire lives there; others were born in Europe, but migrated to other parts of the world, especially the United States; still others were born in North America and remained there. Many were influenced by early religious experiences; others were not. Most, but not all, have been trained in either psychiatry or psychology. Many have drawn on their experiences as psychotherapists; others have relied more on empirical research to gather data on human personality. Although they have all dealt in some way with what we call personality, each has approached this global concept from a different perspective. Some have tried to construct a comprehensive theory; others have been less ambitious and have dealt with only a few aspects of personality. Few personality theorists have formally defined personality, but all have had their own view of it. Although no single definition is acceptable to all personality theorists, we can say that personality is a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior (Roberts & Mroczek, 2008). Traits contribute to individual differences in behavior, consistency of behavior over time, and stability of behavior across situations. Traits may be unique, common to some group, or shared by the entire species, but their pattern is different for each individual. Thus each person, though like others in some ways, has a unique personality. Characteristics are unique qualities of an individual that include such attributes as temperament, physique, and intelligence. What Is a Theory? Page 5 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © The word “theory” has the dubious distinction of being one of the most misused and misunderstood words in the English language. Some people contrast theory to truth or fact, but such an antithesis demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of all three terms. In science, theories are tools used to generate research and organize observations, but neither “truth” nor “fact” has a place in scientific terminology. Theory Defined A scientific theory is a set of related assumptions that allows scientists to use logical deductive reasoning to formulate testable hypotheses. This definition needs further explanation. First, a theory is a set of assumptions. A single assumption can never fill all the requirements of an adequate theory. A single assumption, for example, could not serve to integrate several observations, something a useful theory should do. Second, a theory is a set of related assumptions. Isolated assumptions can neither generate meaningful hypotheses nor possess internal consistency—two criteria of a useful theory. A third key word in the definition is assumptions. The components of a theory are not proven facts in the sense that their validity has been absolutely established. They are, however, accepted as if they were true. This is a practical step, taken so that scientists can conduct useful research, the results of which continue to build and reshape the original theory. Fourth, logical deductive reasoning is used by the researcher to formulate hypotheses. The tenets of a theory must be stated with sufficient precision and logical consistency to permit scientists to deduce clearly stated hypotheses. The hypotheses are not components of the theory, but flow from it. It is the job of an imaginative scientist to begin with the general theory and, through deductive reasoning, arrive at a particular hypothesis that can be tested. If the general theoretical propositions are illogical, they remain sterile and incapable of generating hypotheses. Moreover, if a researcher uses faulty logic in deducing hypotheses, the resulting research will be meaningless and will make no contribution to the ongoing process of theory construction. The final part of the definition includes the qualifier testable. Unless a hypothesis can be tested in some way, it is worthless. The hypothesis need not be tested immediately, but it must suggest the possibility that scientists in the future might develop the necessary means to test it. Theory and Its Relatives People sometimes confuse theory with philosophy, or speculation, or hypothesis, or taxonomy. Although theory is related to each of these concepts, it is not the same as any of them. Philosophy First, theory is related to philosophy, but it is a much narrower term. Philosophy means love of wisdom, and philosophers are people who pursue wisdom through thinking and reasoning. Philosophers are not scientists; they do not ordinarily conduct Page 6 controlled studies in their pursuit of wisdom. Philosophy encompasses several branches, one of which is epistemology, or the nature of knowledge. Theory relates most 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © closely to this branch of philosophy, because it is a tool used by scientists in their pursuit of knowledge. Theories do not deal with “oughts” and “shoulds.” Therefore, a set of principles about how one should live one’s life cannot be a theory. Such principles involve values and are the proper concern of philosophy. Although theories are not free of values, they are built on scientific evidence that has been obtained in a relatively unbiased fashion. Thus, there are no theories on why society should help homeless people or on what constitutes great art. Philosophy deals with what ought to be or what should be; theory does not. Theory deals with broad sets of if-then statements, but the goodness or badness of the outcomes of these statements is beyond the realm of theory. For example, a theory might tell us that if children are brought up in isolation, completely separated from human contact, then they will not develop human language, exhibit parenting behavior, and so on. But this statement says nothing about the morality of such a method of child rearing. Speculation Second, theories rely on speculation, but they are much more than mere armchair speculation. They do not flow forth from the mind of a great thinker isolated from empirical observations. They are closely tied to empirically gathered data and to science. What is the relationship between theory and science? Science is the branch of study concerned with observation and classification of data and with the verification of general laws through the testing of hypotheses. Theories are useful tools employed by scientists to give meaning and organization to observations. In addition, theories provide fertile ground for producing testable hypotheses. Without some kind of theory to hold observations together and to point to directions of possible research, science would be greatly handicapped. Theories are not useless fantasies fabricated by impractical scholars fearful of soiling their hands in the machinery of scientific investigation. In fact, theories themselves are quite practical and are essential to the advancement of any science. Speculation and empirical observation are the two essential cornerstones of theory building, but speculation must not run rampantly in advance of controlled observation. Hypothesis Although theory is a narrower concept than philosophy, it is a broader term than hypothesis. A good theory is capable of generating many hypotheses. A hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction specific enough for its validity to be tested through the use of the scientific method. A theory is too general to lend itself to direct verification, but a single comprehensive theory is capable of generating thousands of hypotheses. Hypotheses, then, are more specific than the theories that give them birth. The offspring, however, should not be confused with the parent. Of course, a close relationship exists between a theory and a hypothesis. Using Page 7 deductive reasoning (going from the general to the specific), a scientific investigator can derive testable hypotheses from a useful theory and then test these hypotheses. The results of these tests—whether they support or contradict the hypotheses —feed back into the theory. Using inductive reasoning (going from the specific to the general), the investigator then alters the theory to reflect these results. As the theory grows 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © and changes, other hypotheses can be drawn from it, and when tested they in turn reshape the theory. Taxonomy A taxonomy is a classification of things according to their natural relationships. Taxonomies are essential to the development of a science because without classification of data science could not grow. Mere classification, however, does not constitute a theory. However, taxonomies can evolve into theories when they begin to generate testable hypotheses and to explain research findings. For example, Robert McCrae and Paul Costa began their research by classifying people into five stable personality traits. Eventually, this research on the Big Five taxonomy led to more than a mere classification; it became a theory, capable of suggesting hypotheses and offering explanations for research results. Why Different Theories? If theories of personality are truly scientific, why do we have so many different ones? Alternate theories exist because the very nature of a theory allows the theorist to make speculations from a particular point of view. Theorists must be as objective as possible when gathering data, but their decisions as to what data are collected and how these data are interpreted are personal ones. Theories are not immutable laws; they are built, not on proven facts, but on assumptions that are subject to individual interpretation. All theories are a reflection of their authors’ personal backgrounds, childhood experiences, philosophy of life, interpersonal relationships, and unique manner of looking at the world. Because observations are colored by the individual observer’s frame of reference, it follows that there may be many diverse theories. Nevertheless, divergent theories can be useful. The usefulness of a theory does not depend on its commonsense value or on its agreement with other theories; rather, it depends on its ability to generate research and to explain research data and other observations. Perspectives in Theories of Personality One of the primary functions of scientific theory is to describe and explain how the world works. Psychologists attempt to explain how human thought, emotion, motivation, and behavior work. Yet human personality is so complex that many different perspectives have developed on how to best explain it. These perspectives make different assumptions and focus on different aspects of behavior. In psychology, there are at least five major theoretical perspectives on what personality is and how it develops. We have organized the book around these five perspectives, one for each section of the book (see Table 1.1). 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © Table 1.1 Overview of Five Major Theoretical Perspectives in Personality Psychology 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © Psychodynamic Theories Page 8 Beginning with Freud, psychoanalytic and then the more general psychodynamic approaches have focused on the importance of early childhood experience and on relationships with parents as guiding forces that shape personality development. Additionally, this view sees the unconscious mind and motives as much more powerful than the conscious awareness. Psychoanalysis traditionally used dream interpretation to uncover the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and impulses as a main form of treatment of neurosis and mental illness. After Freud, these theorists moved away from the importance of sexuality and more toward social and cultural forces. Humanistic-Existential Theories The primary assumption of the humanistic (currently known as “positive psychology”) approach is that people strive toward meaning, growth, well-being, happiness, and psychological health. States of positive emotion and happiness foster psychological health and pro-social behavior. Understanding these evolved positive aspects of human behavior provides just as much insight into human nature as does understanding the pathological aspects. Existential theorists assume that not only are we driven by a search for meaning, but also that negative experiences such as failure, awareness of death, death of a loved one, and anxiety, are part of the human condition and can foster psychological growth. Dispositional Theories Dispositional theorists argue that the unique and long-term tendencies to behave in particular ways are the essence of our personality. These unique dispositions, such as extraversion or anxiety, are called traits. The field has converged on the understanding that there are five main trait dimensions in human personality. Traits serve the function of making certain behaviors more likely in some people. Biological-Evolutionary Theories Behavior, thought, feelings, and personality are influenced by differences in basic genetic, epigenetic, and neurological systems between individuals. The reason some people have different traits, dispositions, and ways of thinking stems from differences in their genotype and central nervous system (brain structures and neurochemistry). Because they are based on evolved brain systems, human thought, behavior, and personality have been shaped by forces of evolution (natural and sexual selection) over millions of years. The body, brain, and environment co-exist and co-evolve, and so more than any other psychological perspective, this one emphasizes that what we think, feel, and do is always an interaction between nature (biological) and nurture (environment). Learning-(Social) Cognitive Theories If you want to understand behavior, then focus only on behavior, not on hypothetical and unobservable internal states such as thoughts, feelings, drives, or motives. All behaviors are learned through association and/or its consequences (whether it is reinforced or punished). To shape desired behavior we have to understand and then establish Page 9 the conditions that bring about those particular behaviors. 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © The cognitive perspective argues that how we think about ourselves and other people, as well as the assumptions we make and the strategies we use for solving problems, are the keys to understanding differences between people. Whether we believe we can do something successfully or not influences our behavior as well as our personality. In short, what personality we have is shaped by how we think and perceive the world. Theorists’ Personalities and Their Theories of Personality Because personality theories grow from theorists’ own personalities, a study of those personalities is appropriate. In recent years a subdiscipline of psychology Page 10 called psychology of science has begun to look at personal traits of scientists. The psychology of science studies both science and the behavior of scientists; that is, it investigates the impact of an individual scientist’s psychological processes and personal characteristics on the development of her or his scientific theories and research (Feist, 1993, 1994, 2006; Feist & Gorman, 1998; Gholson, Shadish, Neimeyer, & Houts, 1989). In other words, the psychology of science examines how scientists’ personalities, cognitive processes, developmental histories, and social experience affect the kind of science they conduct and the theories they create. Indeed, a number of investigators (Hart, 1982; Johnson, Germer, Efran, & Overton, 1988; Simonton, 2000; Zachar & Leong, 1992) have demonstrated that personality differences influence one’s theoretical orientation as well as one’s inclination to lean toward the “hard” or “soft” side of a discipline. An understanding of theories of personality rests on information regarding the historical, social, and psychological worlds of each theorist at the time of his or her theorizing. Because we believe that personality theories reflect the theorist’s personality, we have included a substantial amount of biographical information on each major theorist. Indeed, personality differences among theorists account for fundamental disagreements between those who lean toward the quantitative side of psychology (behaviorists, social learning theorists, and trait theorists) and those inclined Page 11 toward the clinical and qualitative side of psychology (psychoanalysts, humanists, and existentialists). Although a theorist’s personality partially shapes his or her theory, it should not be the sole determinant of that theory. Likewise, your acceptance of one or another theory should not rest only on your personal values and predilections. When evaluating and choosing a theory, you should acknowledge the impact of the theorist’s personal history on the theory, but you should ultimately evaluate it on the basis of scientific criteria that are independent of that personal history. Some observers (Feist, 2006; Feist & Gorman, 1998) have distinguished between science as process and science as product. The scientific process may be influenced by the personal characteristics of the scientist, but the ultimate usefulness of the scientific product is and must be evaluated independently of the process. Thus, your evaluation of each of the theories presented in this book should rest more on objective criteria than on your subjective likes and dislikes. What Makes a Theory Useful? A useful theory has a mutual and dynamic interaction with research data. First, a theory generates a number of hypotheses that can be investigated through research, thus yielding research data. These data flow back into the theory and restructure it. From this newly contoured theory, scientists can extract other hypotheses, leading to more research 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © and additional data, which in turn reshape and enlarge the theory even more. This cyclic relationship continues for as long as the theory proves useful. Second, a useful theory organizes research data into a meaningful structure and provides an explanation for the results of scientific research. This relationship between theory and research data is shown in Figure 1.1. When a theory is no longer able to generate additional research or to explain related research data, it loses its Page 12 usefulness and is set aside in favor of a more useful one. FIGURE 1.1 The Interaction among Theory, Hypotheses, Research, and Research Data. In addition to sparking research and explaining research data, a useful theory must lend itself to confirmation or disconfirmation, provide the practitioner with a guide to action, be consistent with itself, and be as simple as possible. Therefore, we have evaluated each of the theories presented in this book on the basis of six criteria: A useful theory (1) generates research, (2) is falsifiable, (3) organizes data, (4) guides action, (5) is internally consistent, and (6) is parsimonious. Generates Research The most important criterion of a useful theory is its ability to stimulate and guide further research. Without an adequate theory to point the way, many of science’s present empirical findings would have remained undiscovered. In astronomy, for example, the planet Neptune was discovered because the theory of motion generated the hypothesis that the irregularity in the path of Uranus must be caused by the presence of another planet. Useful theory provided astronomers with a road map that guided their search for and discovery of the new planet. A useful theory will generate two different kinds of research: descriptive research and hypothesis testing. Descriptive research, which can expand an existing theory, is concerned with the measurement, labeling, and categorization of the units employed in theory building. Descriptive research has a symbiotic relationship with theory. On one hand, it provides the building blocks for the theory, and on the other, it receives its impetus 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © from the dynamic, expanding theory. The more useful the theory, the more research generated by it; the greater the amount of descriptive research, the more complete the theory. The second kind of research generated by a useful theory, hypothesis testing, leads to an indirect verification of the usefulness of the theory. As we have noted, a useful theory will generate many hypotheses that, when tested, add to a database that may reshape and enlarge the theory. (Refer again to Figure 1.1.) Is Falsifiable A theory must also be evaluated on its ability to be confirmed or disconfirmed; that is, it must be falsifiable. To be falsifiable, a theory must be precise enough to suggest research that may either support or fail to support its major tenets. If a theory is so vague and nebulous that both positive and negative research results can be interpreted as support, then that theory is not falsifiable and ceases to be useful. Falsifiability, however, is not the same as false; it simply means that negative research results will refute the theory and force the theorist to either discard it or modify it. A falsifiable theory is accountable to experimental results. Figure 1.1 depicts a circular and mutually reinforcing connection between theory and research; each forms a basis for the other. Science is distinguished from nonscience by its ability to reject ideas that are not supported empirically even though they seem logical and rational. For example, Aristotle used logic to argue that lighter bodies fall at slower rates than heavier bodies. Although his argument may have agreed with “common sense,” it had one problem: It was empirically wrong. Theories that rely heavily on unobservable transformations in the Page 13 unconscious are exceedingly difficult to either verify or falsify. For example, Freud’s theory suggests that many of our emotions and behaviors are motivated by unconscious tendencies that are directly opposite the ones we express. For instance, unconscious hate might be expressed as conscious love, or unconscious fear of one’s own homosexual feelings might take the form of exaggerated hostility toward homosexual individuals. Because Freud’s theory allows for such transformations within the unconscious, it is nearly impossible to either verify or falsify. A theory that can explain everything explains nothing. Organizes Data A useful theory should also be able to organize those research data that are not incompatible with each other. Without some organization or classification, research findings would remain isolated and meaningless. Unless data are organized into some intelligible framework, scientists are left with no clear direction to follow in the pursuit of further knowledge. They cannot ask intelligent questions without a theoretical framework that organizes their information. Without intelligent questions, further research is severely curtailed. A useful theory of personality must be capable of integrating what is currently known about human behavior and personality development. It must be able to shape as many bits of information as possible into a meaningful arrangement. If a personality theory does not offer a reasonable explanation of at least some kinds of behavior, it ceases to be useful. 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © Guides Action A fourth criterion of a useful theory is its ability to guide the practitioner over the rough course of day-to-day problems. For example, parents, teachers, business managers, and psychotherapists are confronted continually with an avalanche of questions for which they try to find workable answers. Good theory provides a structure for finding many of those answers. Without a useful theory, practitioners would stumble in the darkness of trial and error techniques; with a sound theoretical orientation, they can discern a suitable course of action. For the Freudian psychoanalyst and the Rogerian counselor, answers to the same question would be very different. To the question “How can I best treat this patient?” the psychoanalytic therapist might answer along these lines: If psychoneuroses are caused by childhood sexual conflicts that have become unconscious, then I can help this patient best by delving into these repressions and allowing the patient to relive the experiences in the absence of conflict. To the same question, the Rogerian therapist might answer: If, in order to grow psychologically, people need empathy, unconditional positive regard, and a relationship with a congruent therapist, then I can best help this client by providing an accepting, nonthreatening atmosphere. Notice that both therapists constructed their answers in an if-then framework, even though the two answers call for very different courses of action. Also included in this criterion is the extent to which the theory stimulates thought and action in other disciplines, such as art, literature (including movies and television dramas), law, sociology, philosophy, religion, education, business administration, and psychotherapy. Most of the theories discussed in this book have had some Page 14 influence in areas beyond psychology. For example, Freud’s theory has prompted research on recovered memories, a topic very important to the legal profession. Also, Carl Jung’s theory is of great interest to many theologians and has captured the imagination of popular writers such as Joseph Campbell and others. Similarly, the ideas of Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, B. F. Skinner, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, and other personality theorists have sparked interest and action in a broad range of scholarly fields. Is Internally Consistent A useful theory need not be consistent with other theories, but it must be consistent with itself. An internally consistent theory is one whose components are logically compatible. Its limitations of scope are carefully defined and it does not offer explanations that lie beyond that scope. Also, an internally consistent theory uses language in a consistent manner; that is, it does not use the same term to mean two different things, nor does it use two separate terms to refer to the same concept. A good theory will use concepts and terms that have been clearly and operationally defined. An operational definition is one that defines units in terms of observable events or behaviors that can be measured. For example, an extravert can be operationally defined as any person who attains a predetermined score on a particular personality inventory. Is Parsimonious When two theories are equal in their ability to generate research, be falsified, give meaning to data, guide the practitioner, and be self-consistent, the simpler one is preferred. This is 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © the law of parsimony. In fact, of course, two theories are never exactly equal in these other abilities, but in general, simple, straightforward theories are more useful than ones that bog down under the weight of complicated concepts and esoteric language. Dimensions for a Concept of Humanity Personality theories differ on basic issues concerning the nature of humanity. Each personality theory reflects its author’s assumptions about humanity. These assumptions rest on several broad dimensions that separate the various personality theorists. We use six of these dimensions as a framework for viewing each theorist’s concept of humanity. The first dimension is determinism versus free choice. Are people’s behaviors determined by forces over which they have no control, or can people choose to be what they wish to be? Can behavior be partially free and partially determined at the same time? Although the dimension of determinism versus free will is more philosophical than scientific, the position theorists take on this issue shapes Page 15 their way of looking at people and colors their concept of humanity. A second issue is one of pessimism versus optimism. Are people doomed to live miserable, conflicted, and troubled lives, or can they change and grow into psychologically healthy, happy, fully functioning human beings? In general, personality theorists who believe in determinism tend to be pessimistic (Skinner was a notable exception), whereas those who believe in free choice are usually optimistic. A third dimension for viewing a theorist’s concept of humanity is causality versus teleology. Briefly, causality holds that behavior is a function of past experiences, whereas teleology is an explanation of behavior in terms of future goals or purposes. Do people act as they do because of what has happened to them in the past, or do they act as they do because they have certain expectations of what will happen in the future? A fourth consideration that divides personality theorists is their attitude toward conscious versus unconscious determinants of behavior. Are people ordinarily aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it, or do unconscious forces impinge on them and drive them to act without awareness of these underlying forces? The fifth question is one of biological versus social influences on personality. Are people mostly creatures of biology, or are their personalities shaped largely by their social relationships? A more specific element of this issue is heredity versus environment; that is, are personal characteristics more the result of heredity, or are they environmentally determined? A sixth issue is uniqueness versus similarities. Is the salient feature of people their individuality, or is it their common characteristics? Should the study of personality concentrate on those traits that make people alike, or should it look at those traits that make people different? These and other basic issues that separate personality theorists have resulted in truly different personality theories, not merely differences in terminology. We could not erase the differences among personality theories by adopting a common language. The 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © differences are philosophical and deep-seated. Each personality theory reflects the individual personality of its creator, and each creator has a unique philosophical orientation, shaped in part by early childhood experiences, birth order, gender, training, education, and pattern of interpersonal relationships. These differences help determine whether a theorist will be deterministic or a believer in free choice, will be pessimistic or optimistic, will adopt a causal explanation or a teleological one. They also help determine whether the theorist emphasizes consciousness or unconsciousness, biological or social factors, uniqueness or similarities of people. These differences do not, however, negate the possibility that two theorists with opposing views of humanity can be equally scientific in their data gathering and theory building. In building a theory of personality, psychologists should begin on a limited Page 16 scale and avoid sweeping generalizations that attempt to explain all of human behavior. That course of action was followed by most of the theorists discussed in this book. For example, Freud began with a theory based largely on hysterical neuroses and, over a period of years, gradually expanded it to include more and more of the total personality. Research in Personality Theory As we pointed out earlier, the primary criterion for a useful theory is its ability to generate research. We also noted that theories and research data have a cyclic relationship: Theory gives meaning to data, and data result from experimental research designed to test hypotheses generated by the theory. Not all data, however, flow from experimental research. Much of it comes from observations that each of us make every day. To observe simply means to notice something, to pay attention. You have been observing human personalities for nearly as long as you have been alive. You notice that some people are talkative and outgoing; others are quiet and reserved. You may have even labeled such people as extraverts and introverts. Are these labels accurate? Is one extraverted person like another? Does an extravert always act in a talkative, outgoing manner? Can all people be classified as either introverts or extraverts? In making observations and asking questions, you are doing some of the same things psychologists do, that is, observing human behaviors and trying to make sense of these observations. However, psychologists, like other scientists, try to be systematic so that their predictions will be consistent and accurate. To improve their ability to predict, personality psychologists have developed a number of assessment techniques, including personality inventories. Much of the research reported in the remaining chapters of this book has relied on various assessment procedures, which purport to measure different dimensions of personality. For these instruments to be useful they must be both reliable and valid. The reliability of a measuring instrument is the extent to which it yields consistent results. Personality inventories may be reliable and yet lack validity or accuracy. Validity is the degree to which an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure. Personality psychologists are primarily concerned with two types of validity—construct validity and predictive validity. Construct validity is the extent to which an instrument measures some hypothetical construct. Constructs such as extraversion, aggressiveness, intelligence, and emotional stability have no physical existence; they are hypothetical constructs that 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education © should relate to observable behavior. Three important types of construct validity are convergent validity, divergent validity, and discriminant validity. A measuring instrument has convergent construct validity to the extent that scores on that instrument correlate highly (converge) with scores on a variety of valid measures of that same construct. For example, a personality inventory that attempts to measure extraversion should Page 17 correlate with other measures of extraversion or other factors such as sociability and assertiveness that are known to cluster together with extraversion. An inventory has divergent construct validity if it has low or insignificant correlations with other inventories that do not measure that construct. For example, an inventory purporting to measure extraversion should not be highly correlated with social desirability, emotional stability, honesty, or self-esteem. Finally, an inventory has discriminant validity if it discriminates between two groups of people known to be different. For example, a personality inventory measuring extraversion should yield higher scores for people known to be extraverted than for people known to be introverted. A second dimension of validity is predictive validity, or the extent that a test predicts some future behavior. For example, a test of extraversion has predictive validity if it correlates with future behaviors, such as smoking cigarettes, performing well on scholastic achievement tests, taking risks, or any other independent criterion. The ultimate value of any measuring instrument is the degree to which it can predict some future behavior or condition. Most of the early personality theorists did not use standardized assessment inventories. Although Freud, Adler, and Jung all developed some form of projective tool, none of them used the technique with sufficient precision to establish its reliability and validity. However, the theories of Freud, Adler, and Jung have spawned a number of standardized personality inventories as researchers and clinicians have sought to measure units of personality proposed by those theorists. Later personality theorists, especially Julian Rotter, Hans Eyse 1274254 - McGraw Hill Education ©
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Freud’s Theory Matrix
Institutional Affiliation




Freud’s Theory Matrix

Generates Research



Application to Freud’s Theory

Research is the most important
criterion for a useful theory. A
useful research generates
descriptive research and
hypothesis testing. Descriptive
research can expand on an
existing theory and is
concerned with measuring,
labelling, and categorization
while hypothesis testing is the
verification of the usefulness
of a theory.

To create his theory, Sigmund
Freud relied on self-analysis.
Freud’s understanding of human
personality came from experiences
he had with patients, his own
dreams and readings in various
sciences and humanities (P.22).
The experiences he had provided
with data that allowed for his
theories to evolve. According to
Freud, theory followed
observation which is exactly how
he managed to generate his
theories. Moreover, Freud did not
quantify his data which was
collected from a small sample of
the population and wasn’t done in
controlled conditions. Freud
would then formulate hypotheses
when facts of the cases from his
case studies had been made.

To be fallible, a theory must be
evaluated on its ability to
either be confirmed or
disconfirmed. A theory can
achieve this by being precise
by creating a connection
between theory and research.

Freud’s theory is unfalsifiable in
which it can neither be confirmed
nor disconfirmed. One of the
criteria of achieving this is by
connecting theory to research,
which is not available (p.22).
Freud only relied on his own
observations to create the theories
in which only small samples of
participants were observed. As a
matter of fact, his theory is highly
unscientific since he did not use
scientific methods and approaches
(p.22). The samples he researched
are unrepresentative and came
from only the middle and upper
classes. Secondly, there was no
criteria to conduct the research or





Application to Freud’s Theory
measure the results. Therefore,
there is no connection between
research and theory which makes
it impossible to confirm or
disconfirm the theory.

A successful theory also
organizes research data that is
not incompatible with each
other. Lack of classification or
organization means that results
are isolated or disorganized.

Lack of organization in Freud’s
data is prevalent since he never
followed the scientific method.
This means that Freud relied on
his experiences with patients to
which he presented in his theories.
For instance, the Stages of
Development, Freud had very little
firsthand experience with children,
even his own (p.44). However, the
developmental theory was based
on describing early life of a child.
Lack of data may point towards
lack of organization. The failure to
use the scientific methods means
that there was not much data to
organize since research was not
done in a controlled environment
that would have provided
scientific data.

Guiding action refers to the
ability of the researcher to go
through normal day-to-day
problems. The practitioner
should then be able to answer
these questions or solve
problems. For instance, they
may try to understand how to
treat a patient or address a
problem they have.

Freud’s theory is based on
intensive interactions with
patients, which is the main source
of data for his theories. As such,
Freud did guide action in which he
helped patients with various
problems over time which led to
him developing the theories and
contributing to research at the
time. For instance, Freud used a
suggestive procedure to extract
repressed childhood memories
(p.53). He also described how he
treated patients and approaches he
used in his treatment methods.
Therefore, Freud was able to go
through the normal day-to-day
problems and provided answers to

Organizes Data

Guides Actions





Application to Freud’s Theory
difficult questions which form a
critical part of his theories.

As much as a theory needs to
be consistent with similar
theories, it must also be
consistent with itself. If a
theory is internally consistent,
then its components are
logically compatible.

Freud’s psychoanalysis theory is
internally consistent. Although
Freud edited the theory for more
than 40 years, the theory has
always remained to be internally
consistent at all times (P.26).
However, the edits came since
Freud figured that some of the
terms that he had used in his
theories did not have “scientific
rigor”. However, some terms are
not operationally defined whereby
researchers might have to come up
with their own meanings (Michael,
2018). Terms such as ego and id
among others are not adequately
defined despite the many edits that
the author carried out. However,
this does not mean that the
components are not logically

In parsimony, the criteria
states that when there are two
equal theories, the simplest
one solution to the problem is

Freud’s theory is seen as
parsimonious and has led to major
advances in the field. Human
personality is complex but the
theory by Freud does not make it
cumbersome. Therefore, its
application is possible in various
areas in the area. However, there
have been major concerns about
the effectiveness of the theory by
Freud (p.25). Moreover, simplicity
in the theory has allowed more
intense research to better human
personality and understanding
human behavior and development
(Tuckett, 2019). Such advances
are attributed to the parsimonious
nature of Freud’s theories and
their ability to be integrated in
other ...

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