I. Introduction: What Is Personality?
A. Personality is an individual’s unique and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
B. A personality theory is a theory that attempts to describe and explain similarities and differences in people’s patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior.
C. Personality theories can be roughly grouped under four basic perspectives: 1. The psychoanalytic perspective emphasizes the importance of unconscious processes and the influence of early childhood experience. 2. The humanistic perspective represents an optimistic look at human nature, emphasizing the self and the fulfillment of a person’s unique potential.
3. The social cognitive perspective emphasizes learning and conscious cognitive processes, including the importance of beliefs about the self, goal setting, and self-regulation.
4. The trait perspective emphasizes the description and measurement of specific personality differences among individuals.
II. The Psychoanalytic Perspective on Personality
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century. Psychoanalysis is the theory of personality that emphasizes unconscious determinants of behavior, sexual and
aggressive instinctual drives, and the enduring effects of early childhood experience on later personality development.
A. The Life of Sigmund Freud
1. Freud studied medicine, became a physician, and then proved himself an outstanding physiological researcher. Because prospects for
an academic career in scientific research were very poor, especially for a Jew in Vienna, which was intensely anti-Semitic at that time, Freud established a private practice in neurology to support his wife and six children.
2. Influences in the development of Freud’s ideas
a. An early influence on Freud was Joseph Breuer, a highly respected physician, who found that when patients were hypnotized and allowed to talk freely about a given symptom, forgotten memories of traumatic events would emerge. After patients freely expressed the pent-up emotions associated with the events, symptoms would disappear, a phenomenon Breuer called catharsis.
b. Freud later dropped Breuer’s method of using hypnosis and developed his own technique of free association to help patients uncover forgotten memories. Freud’s patients would spontaneously report their uncensored thoughts, mental images, and feelings as they came to mind.
c. Breuer and Freud described several of their case studies in their landmark book, Studies on Hysteria; its publication in 1895 marked the beginning of psychoanalysis.
d. In 1900, Freud published what many consider his most important work, The Interpretation of Dreams. In 1904, he published one of his most popular books, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.
e. For the next 30 years, Freud continued to refine his theory, lecturing and publishing many books and articles.
f. Freud came to focus on humanity’s destructive tendencies; Freud wrote Civilization and Its Discontents, in which he applied his psychoanalytic perspective to civilization as a whole. The central theme is that human nature and civilization are in basic conflict— a conflict that cannot be resolved.
g. In 1939, Freud died in London at the age of 83. B. Freud’s Dynamic Theory of Personality
1. Freud saw personality and behavior as resulting from a constant interplay between conflicting psychological forces that operate at three different levels of awareness.
a. All the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that you are aware of at this particular moment represent the conscious level.
b. The preconscious contains information of which you’re not currently aware but is easily capable of entering your
consciousness, such as childhood memories or your Social Security number.
c. The bulk of Freud’s psychological iceberg is made up of the unconscious, which lies submerged below the waterline of the preconscious and conscious. We are not directly aware of these submerged thoughts, feelings, wishes, and drives, but the unconscious exerts an enormous influence on our conscious thoughts and behavior.
d. Freud believed that unconscious material often seeps through to the conscious level in distorted, disguised, or symbolic forms. Dream analysis was particularly important to Freud. Beneath the surface images, or manifest content, of a dream lies its latent content, the true, hidden, unconscious meaning of the dream symbols.
e. The unconscious can also be revealed in unintentional actions, such as accidents, mistakes, instances of forgetting, and
inadvertent slips of the tongue, which are often referred to as “Freudian slips.”
2. The structure of personality
Psychological energy evolves to form the three basic structures of personality—the id, the ego, and the superego. These are distinct psychological processes.
a. The id, the most primitive part of the personality, is entirely unconscious and present at birth. It is completely immune to logic, values, morality, danger, and the demands of the external world.
(1) Two conflicting instinctual drives fuel the id: the life instinct and the death instinct. The life instinct, which Freud called Eros, consists of biological urges that perpetuate the existence of the individual and the species— hunger, thirst, physical comfort, and, most important, sexuality. Freud used the word libido to refer specifically to sexual energy or motivation. The death instinct, called Thanatos, is destructive energy that is reflected in aggressive, reckless, and life threatening
behaviors, including self-destructive actions.
(2) The id is ruled by the pleasure principle—the relentless drive toward immediate satisfaction of the instinctual urges, especially sexual urges. Freud saw the pleasure principle as the most fundamental human motive. b. A new dimension of personality develops from part of the id’s psychological energy—the ego.
(1) Partly conscious, the ego represents the organized, rational, and planning dimensions of personality. The mediator between the id’s instinctual demands and the restrictions of the outer world, the ego operates on the reality principle. The reality principle is the capacity to postpone gratification until the appropriate time or circumstances exist in the external world.
(2) The ego is the pragmatic part of the personality that learns various compromises to reduce the tension of the id’s instinctual urges. If the ego cannot identify an
acceptable compromise to satisfy an instinctual urge, it can repress the impulse or remove it from conscious awareness. c. Gradually, social values move from being externally imposed demands to being internalized rules and values. By about age five or six, young children develop an internal, parental voice that is partly conscious—the superego. As the internal representation of parental and societal values, the superego evaluates the acceptability of behavior and thoughts, then praises or admonishes.
3. The ego defense mechanisms: Unconscious self-deceptions
a. When the demands of the id or superego threaten to overwhelm the ego, anxiety results.
b. If a realistic solution or compromise is not possible, the ego may temporarily reduce anxiety by distorting thoughts or perceptions of reality through processes Freud called ego defense
mechanisms. By resorting to these largely unconscious self- deceptions, the ego can maintain an integrated sense of self while searching for a more acceptable and realistic solution to a conflict between the id and superego.
(1) The most fundamental ego defense mechanism is repression, which is unconscious forgetting. Unbeknownst to the person, anxiety-producing thoughts, feelings, or impulses are pushed out of conscious awareness into the unconscious.
(2) Displacement occurs when emotional impulses are redirected to a substitute object or person, usually one less threatening or dangerous than the original source of conflict.
(3) Sublimation is a special form of displacement which involves displacing sexual urges toward productive, socially acceptable, nonsexual activities. Freud believed sublimation was largely responsible for the productive and creative contributions of people and even of whole societies.
(4) Many psychologically healthy people temporarily use ego defense mechanisms to deal with stressful events; when they delay or interfere with our use of more constructive coping strategies, they can be counterproductive.
C. Personality Development: The Psychosexual Stages
1. According to Freud, people progress through five psychosexual stages of development. The foundations of adult personality are established during the first five years of life, as the child progresses through the oral, anal, and phallic stages. The latency stage occurs during later childhood, and the fifth and final stage, the genital stage, begins in adolescence.
2. The psychosexual stages are age-related developmental periods in which sexual impulses are focused on different bodily zones and are expressed through activities associated with those areas.
a. Oral stage: During the first year of life, the infant derives pleasure through the oral activities of sucking, chewing, and biting. b. Anal stage: Over the next two years, pleasure is derived through elimination and acquiring control over elimination.
c. Phallic stage: Pleasure seeking is focused on the genitals. 3. Fixation: Unresolved developmental conflicts
a. At each psychosexual stage, according to Freud, the infant or young child is faced with a developmental conflict that must be successfully resolved in order to move on to the next stage. b. If frustrated, the child will be left with feelings of unmet needs characteristic of that stage; if overindulged, the child may be reluctant to move on to the next stage. In either case, the result of an unresolved developmental conflict is fixation at a particular stage.
4. The Oedipus complex: A psychosexual drama
Freud believed that the most critical conflict occurs during the phallic stage. The Oedipus complex is a child’s unconscious sexual
desire for the opposite-sex parent, usually accompanied by hostile feelings toward the same-sex parent.
a. The little boy feels hostility and jealousy toward his father, but he realizes that his father is more physically powerful. The boy experiences castration anxiety.
b. To resolve the Oedipus complex, the little boy ultimately joins forces with his former enemy by resorting to the defense mechanism of identification; that is, he imitates and internalizes his father’s values, attitudes, and mannerisms.
c. The little girl discovers that little boys have a penis and that she does not. She feels a sense of deprivation and loss that Freud termed penis envy. The little girl blames her mother and develops contempt for and resentment toward her; however, in her
attempt to take her mother’s place with her father, she also identifies with her mother.
5. The latency and genital stages
a. Freud believed that because of the intense anxiety associated with the Oedipus complex, the sexual urges of boys and girls become repressed during the latency stage in late childhood. b. Final resolution of the Oedipus complex occurs in adolescence, during the genital stage. As incestuous urges start to resurface, they are prohibited by the moral ideals of the superego as well as by societal restrictions.
c. In Freud’s theory, a healthy personality and sense of sexuality result when conflicts are successfully resolved at each stage of psychosexual development.
D. The Neo-Freudians: Freud’s Descendants and Dissenters
1. In general, the neo-Freudians disagreed with Freud on three key points.
a. Freud’s belief that behavior was primarily motivated by sexual urges.
b. Freud’s contention that personality is fundamentally determined by early childhood experiences.
c. Freud’s generally pessimistic view of human nature and society. 2. Carl Jung: Archetypes and the collective unconscious
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung broke with Sigmund Freud to develop his own psychoanalytic theory of personality. Jung believed that people are motivated by a more general psychological energy that pushes them to achieve psychological growth, self-realization, and psychic wholeness and harmony. He also believed that personality continues to develop in significant ways throughout the lifespan.
a. Jung believed that the deepest part of the individual psyche is the collective unconscious, which is shared by all people and reflects humanity’s collective evolutionary history.
mental images of universal human instincts, themes, and preoccupations.
c. Jung described two important archetypes: the anima (feminine) and the animus (masculine). To achieve psychological harmony, Jung believed, men must recognize and accept their feminine aspects and women must recognize and accept their masculine aspects.
d. Jung’s concepts of the collective unconscious and shared archetypes have been criticized as unscientific or mystical. e. Jung was the first to describe two basic personality types: introverts, who focus their attention inward, and extraverts, who turn their attention and energy toward the outside world.
3. Karen Horney: Basic anxiety and “womb envy”
German-born American psychoanalyst Karen Horney came to
stress the importance of cultural and social factors and social relationships (especially the parent–child relationship) in personality
a. Horney believed that disturbances in human relationships, not sexual conflicts, were the cause of psychological problems. Such problems arise from the attempt to deal with basic anxiety.
b. Horney described three patterns of behavior that individuals use to defend against basic anxiety.
(1) Those who move toward other people have an excessive need for approval and affection.
(2) Those who move against others have an excessive need for power.
(3) Those who move away from other people have an excessive need for independence and self-sufficiency. c. Horney contended that people with a healthy personality are flexible in balancing these different needs.
d. Horney sharply disagreed with Freud’s notion that women suffer from penis envy. She believed that what women envy in men is not their penis, but their superior status in society. She contended that men often suffer womb envy—envying women’s capacity to bear children. She argued that men compensated for their minor role in reproduction by constantly striving to make creative achievements in their work.
e. Horney agreed with Jung that the drive to grow psychologically and achieve one’s potential is a basic human motive.
4. Alfred Adler: Feelings of inferiority and striving for superiority Austrian physician Alfred Adler broke away from Freud to establish his own theory of personality.
a. Adler believed that the most fundamental human motive is striving for superiority—the desire to improve oneself, master challenges, and move toward self-perfection and self-realization.
(1) This striving arises from universal feelings of inferiority.
(2) These feelings motivate people to compensate for their real or imagined weaknesses.
b. When people are unable to compensate for specific weaknesses or when their feelings of inferiority are excessive, they can develop an inferiority complex—a sense of inadequacy, weakness, and helplessness.
c. At the other extreme, people can overcompensate for their feelings of inferiority and develop a superiority complex. E. Evaluating Freud and the Psychoanalytic Perspective on Personality Although Freudian theory has had a profound impact on psychology and on society, there are several valid criticisms.
1. Inadequacy of evidence
a. Freud’s theory relies wholly on data derived from his relatively small number of patients and from his own self-analysis.
b. It is impossible to objectively assess Freud’s “data,” because he did not take notes during sessions and his reported cases consisted of his interpretations.
2. Lack of testability
a. Many psychoanalytic concepts are so vague and ambiguous that they are impossible to measure or confirm objectively, yet they are often impossible to disprove, because even seemingly contradictory information can be used to support Freud’s theory. b. Psychoanalysis is better at explaining past behavior than at predicting future behavior.
c. Nonetheless, several key psychoanalytic ideas have been substantiated by empirical research. Among them:
(1) much of mental life is unconscious;
(2) early childhood experiences have a critical influence on interpersonal relationships and psychological adjustment; and
(3) people differ significantly in the degree to which they are able to regulate their impulses, emotions, and thoughts toward adaptive and socially acceptable ends.
a. Freud claimed women are more vain, masochistic, and jealous than men. He also believed that women are more influenced by their emotions and have a lesser ethical and moral sense.
b. Horney and other female psychoanalysts have pointed out that Freud’s theory uses male psychology as a prototype. Women are essentially viewed as a deviation from the norm of masculinity. III. The Humanistic Perspective on Personality
A. The Emergence of the “Third Force”
In opposition to both psychoanalysis and behaviorism was a “third force” in psychology, called humanistic psychology. This view of personality
emphasizes human potential and such uniquely human characteristics as self-awareness and free will. It sees people as being innately good and focuses on the healthy personality.
1. Humanistic psychologists contended that the most important factor in personality is the individual’s conscious, subjective perception of his or her self.
2. Abraham Maslow, one of the two most important contributors to humanistic psychology developed the hierarchy of needs and the concept of self-actualization.
B. Carl Rogers: On Becoming a Person
Psychotherapist Carl Rogers, one of the two most important contributors to humanistic psychology, developed his personality theory from his clinical experiences with his patients, whom he referred to as “clients” to emphasize their active and voluntary participation in therapy. According to Rogers, the most basic human motive is the actualizing tendency— the innate drive to maintain and enhance the human organism.
1. The cornerstone of Rogers’s personality theory is the idea of the self concept, which is the set of perceptions and beliefs that you have about yourself. As children develop a greater sense of self-awareness, there is an increasing need for positive regard—the sense of being loved and valued by other people.
a. Rogers maintained that most parents provide their children with conditional positive regard—the sense that the child is valued and loved only when the child behaves in a way that is
acceptable to others. Incongruence is a state in which a child’s self-concept conflicts with his or her actual experience.
b. Unconditional positive regard refers to the child’s sense of being unconditionally loved and valued, even if she doesn’t conform to the standards and expectations of others.
c. Rogers did not advocate permissive parenting. He maintained that parents can disapprove of a child’s specific behavior without completely rejecting the child herself.
2. Through consistent experiences of unconditional positive regard, one becomes a psychologically healthy, fully functioning person who has a flexible, constantly evolving self-concept. Rather than defending against or distorting her own thoughts or feelings, the person experiences congruence: Her sense of self is consistent with her emotions
3. Critical Thinking: Freud Versus Rogers on Human Nature
a. Freud was deeply pessimistic about human nature, believing that people are inherently driven by aggressive instincts.
b. In his view, the destructive urges of the id have to be restrained by parents, culture, religion, and society; otherwise, civilization will be destroyed.
c. In contrast, Rogers believed people are naturally good.
they would invariably make constructive choices that benefit both themselves and society as a whole.
C. Evaluating the Humanistic Perspective on Personality
1. The humanistic perspective has been criticized on two counts. a. Humanistic theories are hard to validate or test scientifically, because they tend to be based on philosophical assumptions or clinical observations, rather than on empirical research.
b. Many psychologists believe that humanistic psychology’s view of human nature is too optimistic.
2. Although the influence of humanistic psychology has waned since the 1960s and early 1970s, it has made lasting contributions to psychotherapy, counseling, education, and parenting.
IV. The Social Cognitive Perspective on Personality
A. The idea that a person’s conscious thought processes in different situations strongly influence his or her actions is one important characteristic
of the social cognitive perspective on personality, which differs from the psychoanalytic and humanistic perspectives in several ways:
1. It relies heavily on experimental findings.
2. It emphasizes conscious, self-regulated behavior.
3. It emphasizes that our sense of self can vary, depending on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a given situation.
B. Albert Bandura and Social Cognitive Theory
Albert Bandura is best known for his now-classic research on observational learning (Chapter 5) and his more recent research on self-efficacy
(Chapter 8). Both topics are reflected in his personality theory, called social cognitive theory.
1. Social cognitive theory emphasizes the social origins of thoughts and actions but also stresses active cognitive processes and the human capacity for self-regulation.
2. Bandura’s research has shown that we observe the consequences that follow people’s actions, the rules and standards that apply to behavior in specific situations, and the ways in which people regulate their own behavior.
3. Reciprocal determinism is a model proposed by Bandura that explains human functioning and personality as caused by the interaction of behavioral, cognitive, and environmental factors.
4. Beliefs of self-efficacy
a. Collectively, a person’s cognitive skills, abilities, and attitudes represent the person’s self-system.
b. The most critical elements influencing the self-system are our beliefs of self-efficacy, the degree to which we are subjectively convinced of our own capabilities and effectiveness in meeting the demands of a particular situation.
c. We acquire new behaviors and strengthen our beliefs of self efficacy in particular situations through observational learning and mastery experiences.
5. Developing self-efficacy begins in childhood, but it continues as a lifelong process, with each stage of the lifespan presenting new challenges.
6. Critical Thinking: Freud Versus Bandura on Human Aggression a. Freud saw human aggression as a universal, unconscious instinct that must be controlled by the internal restraints of the superego and the external restraints of culture, society, and morality.
b. According to Bandura, people frequently act destructively, not because of reduced self-control, but because they consciously use moral justification and self-exoneration to go forward with destructive behaviors.
C. Evaluating the Social Cognitive Perspective on Personality
1. A key strength of the social cognitive perspective on personality is that it is grounded in research in learning, cognitive psychology, and social psychology, rather than on clinical impressions.
2. However, some psychologists feel that this approach applies best to laboratory research; they feel that clinical data rather than laboratory data may be more reflective of human personality.
3. The social cognitive perspective has been criticized for its limited view of personality; it focuses on very limited areas of personality— learning, the effects of situations, and the effects of beliefs about the self—and ignores unconscious influences, emotions, and conflicts. 4. By emphasizing the self-regulation of behavior, the social cognitive perspective places most of the responsibility for our behavior, and for the consequences we experience, squarely on our own shoulders. V. The Trait Perspective on Personality
A trait theory of personality is one that focuses on identifying, describing, and measuring individual differences in behavioral predispositions.
1. Trait theorists view the person as a unique combination of personality characteristics or attributes, called traits. A trait is a relatively
stable, enduring predisposition to behave in a certain way.
2. A trait is typically described in terms of a range from one extreme to its opposite.
A. Surface Traits and Source Traits
1. Surface traits are personality characteristics or attributes that can be easily inferred from observable behavior.
2. Source traits are the most fundamental dimensions of personality; they are the broad basic traits that are hypothesized to be universal and relatively few in number. A source trait can give rise to many surface traits.
B. Two Representative Trait Theories: Raymond Cattell and Hans Eysenck 1. Pioneer trait theorist Raymond Cattell used a statistical technique called factor analysis to identify traits that were most closely related to one another, eventually reducing his list to 16 key personality factors. Cattell developed the widely used personality test, the Sixteen
Personality Factor Questionnaire, or 16PF.
2. British psychologist Hans Eysenck developed a trait theory of personality that includes three basic dimensions.
a. Introversion–extraversion is the degree to which a person directs his energies outward toward the environment and other people versus inward toward his inner and self-focused experiences.
(1) High on introversion—quiet, solitary, reserved; avoiding new experiences
(2) High on extraversion—outgoing and sociable; enjoying new experiences and stimulating environments
b. Neuroticism–emotional stability refers to a person’s emotional predisposition.
(1) Neuroticism refers to a person’s predisposition to become emotionally upset.
(2) Stability reflects a person’s predisposition to be emotionally even.
c. Psychoticism, the third major personality dimension, was identified by Eysenck in later research.
(1) A person high on this trait is antisocial, cold, hostile, and unconcerned about others.
(2) A person who is low on psychoticism is warm and caring toward others.
d. Eysenck believed that individual differences in personality are due to biological differences among people.
e. (Focus on Neuroscience) Personality traits and patterns of brain activity. Specific personality traits can produce individual differences in the brain’s reaction to emotional stimuli.
(1) Female volunteers who scored high on extraversion had greater brain activity toward positive images than did women who scored low on extraversion. The brain activity was mostly in areas that control emotion.
(2) In contrast, women who scored high on neuroticism had more brain activation in response to negative images, but in fewer areas that control emotions.
C. Sixteen Are Too Many, Three Are Too Few: The Five-Factor Model Many trait researchers believe that the essential building blocks of personality can be described in terms of five basic personality dimensions,
sometimes called “the Big Five.” According to the five-factor model of personality, these five dimensions (extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) represent the
structural organization of personality traits.
1. The five-factor structure of personality has been found in a variety of cultures and may be universal.
2. Research has shown that traits are remarkably stable over time. 3. Traits are also generally consistent across different situations, but situational influences may affect their expression. Human behavior
is the result of a complex interaction between traits and situations. D. Personality Traits and Behavioral Genetics
1. Behavioral genetics studies the effects of genes and heredity on behavior.
2. Using twin studies and adoption studies, behavioral geneticists have found that certain personality traits are substantially influenced by
genetics, especially extraversion and neuroticism. Openness to experience and conscientiousness are also substantially influenced by
genetics, although to a lesser degree than extraversion and neuroticism. 3. In Focus Explaining Those Amazing Identical Twin Similarities In explaining twin similarities, David Lykkens refers to certain traits as emergenic; that is, they result from unique configurations of many interacting genes.
4. The influence of environmental factors is at least equal to the influence of genetic factors.
E. Evaluating the Trait Perspective on Personality
1. Psychologists generally agree that people can be described and compared in terms of basic personality traits.
2. Like the other personality theories, the trait approach has its weaknesses.
Trait theories fail to
a. truly explain human personality.
b. explain how or why individual differences developed. c. address other important personality issues, such as the basic motives that drive human personality, the role of unconscious mental processes, how beliefs about the self influence
personality, or how psychological change and growth occur. VI. Assessing Personality: Psychological Tests
Psychological tests assess a person’s abilities, aptitudes, interests, or personality on the basis of a systematically obtained sample of behavior. Any psychological test is useful insofar as it achieves two basic goals:
1. It accurately and consistently reflects a person’s characteristics on some dimension.
2. It predicts a person’s future psychological functioning or behavior. A. Projective Tests: Like Seeing Things in the Clouds
1. Projective tests are personality tests that involves a person’s interpreting an ambiguous image; they are used to assess unconscious motives, conflicts, psychological defenses, and personality traits.
a. The Rorschach Inkblot Test is a projective test using inkblots that was developed by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach in 1921.
b. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a projective personality test that involves creating stories about each of a series of ambiguous scenes.
2. Strengths and limitations of projective tests
wealth of qualitative information about an individual’s psychological functioning.
b. Projective tests have several drawbacks.
(1) The testing situation or the examiner’s behavior can influence a person’s responses.
(2) The scoring of projective tests is highly subjective, requiring the examiner to make numerous judgments about the person’s responses.
(3) Projective tests often fail to produce consistent results. (4) Projective tests are poor at predicting future behavior. c. Despite their widespread use, hundreds of studies of projective tests seriously question their validity (that the tests measure what they purport to measure) and their reliability (the consistency of test results).
3. (Science Versus Pseudoscience) Graphology: The “Write” Way to Assess Personality?
a. Graphology is a pseudoscience that claims that your handwriting reveals your temperament, personality traits, intelligence, and reasoning ability.
b. Numerous studies have cast doubts about the reliability of graphology.
B. Self-Report Inventories
1. Self-report inventories are psychological tests in which people’s responses to standardized questions are compared to established norms.
a. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a self-report inventory that assesses personality characteristics and psychological disorders; it is used to assess both normal and disturbed populations.
b. The California Personality Inventory (CPI) is a self-report inventory that assesses personality characteristics in normal populations.
c. The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16 PF) is a self-report inventory developed by Raymond Cattell that generates a personality profile with ratings on 16 trait dimensions.
2. Strengths and limitations of self-report inventories a. The strengths include
(1) standardization and the use of established norms. (2) their reliability and validity, which are generally greater than those of projective tests.
b. The weaknesses include that
(1) despite inclusion of items designed to detect deliberate deception, people can still successfully fake responses and answer in socially desirable ways.
(2) some people are prone to responding in a set way, whether the item accurately reflects them or not.
(3) people are not always accurate judges of their own behavior, attitudes, or attributes.
c. Personality tests are generally useful strategies that can provide insights about the psychological makeup of people.
VII. Application: Possible Selves: Imagine the Possibilities
1. According to Hazel Markus and her colleagues, possible selves are the aspect of the self-concept that includes images of the selves that you hope, fear, or expect to become in the future.
2. Your possible selves influence your incentive, drive, and motivation, as well as your decisions and choices about future behavior.
3. Assessing the role that your possible selves can play in your life helps you gain insight into whether they are influencing your behavior in productive, constructive ways.