Personality Theories and Personality Disorder

3-Personality Theories and Personality Disorder

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Page 1: 3-Personality Theories and Personality Disorder

Personality Theories and Personality Disorder

Page 2: 3-Personality Theories and Personality Disorder

Personality in Psychology

• Personality organizational behavior concerns the human nature—the basic operating characteristics of the human machine.

• Most business leaders understand the importance of personality; witness the current popularity of Emotional Intelligence in business seminars.

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20th CenturyConceptual Revolutions in Psychology


Founded by Sigmund Freud


John B. Watson (Founder)

B. F. Skinner


Abraham Maslow

Carl Rogers

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...a distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behavior, thoughts, motives, and emotions that characterizes an individual.

Theories of Personality

Jung and Adler were “Neo-Freudians”, who used some Freudian ideas but developed many ideas of their own...



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Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory

Main Components:• Thoughts and behavior are guided mainly

by the unconscious part of the mind. • Personality consists of three parts Id, ego

and superego• Sexual motivation plays a central role in

everyday life. • Concept of “infantile sexuality” shape

personality in adulthood.

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Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory

Three Levels of Mind (topographic model)• Conscious: everything we are aware of at

the moment; just the “tip of the iceberg”. • Preconscious: memories that we can bring

to consciousness. • Unconscious: memories, wishes, and

instincts (desires) that are too threatening or painful to bring to consciousness.

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Three Parts of Personality (Structural Model)

• Freud said that personality is divided into 3 parts, ID, EGO, and SUPEREGO. They are always in conflict but most of the time the conflict is unconscious.

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Id• Contains life instincts (sex, hunger, thirst, etc.)

and death instincts (aggressive, destructive tendencies).

• Libido: sexual energy that fuels the entire personality; needed for everyday life.

• Pleasure Principle: seeks immediate gratification of impulses regardless of consequences.

• Everything in the id is unconscious (intensity of desires, goals that would give the most satisfaction).

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Ego• Logical, rational. • Executive of personality: determines where, when, and

how impulses are expressed. • Goal: to satisfy the id in ways that are socially and

morally acceptable. • Reality Principle: tendency to delay gratification of

impulses until they can be expressed in socially and morally acceptable ways.

• The ego is part conscious and part unconscious. The unconscious part distorts our perceptions of reality (including ourselves).

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• Contains moral values; not rational; doesn’t care about consequences (like id).

• The superego is part conscious and part unconscious; if we feel guilty and don’t know why, it’s caused by the unconscious part.

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Infantile Sexuality

• Oral stage (0-18 months)• Anal stage (18-36 months)• Phallic stage (3-6 years)• Latent stage (6-11 years)• Genital stage (11-18 years)

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Freud’s Theory• According to Freud, much of what people do, think and

feel is really a way of avoiding anxiety.• Anxiety is the way the body signals us that we face a

threatening situation.• For Freud, the threat comes from the unconscious: an

unacceptable sexual or aggressive impulse.• Protecting ourselves from this anxiety is normal and

natural. Carried to an extreme, it becomes a psychological disorder:– Neurosis: a disorder in which one’s efforts to avoid anxiety

interfere with or limit normal human functioning; it involves self-punishing, self-defeating behavior, and emotional or physical symptoms.

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Freud’s Theory

• Freud based his theory mainly on a small number of neurotic patients. He assumed that they were like normal individuals; they just went too far in their efforts to avoid anxiety.

• The theory is harder to apply to a more severe type of disorder: – Psychosis: an extreme mental disturbance

involving distorted perceptions of reality and irrational behavior; basically, a complete break with reality.

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Neo-Freudian Approach

• Alfred Adler• Carl Jung• Karen Horney• Eric Berne

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Alfred Adler Basic Human Motivation:Drive for Superiority, the

desire for self-improvement, an “upward drive” for perfection.

Basic Human Problem:Inferiority Complex,

extreme feelings of weakness or inadequacy; involves an inability to accept natural limitations.

An Inferiority Complex occurs when the need for self-improvement is blocked.

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Inferiority Feelings and Personality

Feelings of inferiority are a natural part of personality development. They start in childhood when we compare ourselves to adults and continue into adulthood when we discover limitations to our abilities.

The natural and healthy reaction to inferiority feelings is Compensation, efforts to overcome real or imagined inferiority by developing one’s abilities.

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Adler Versus Freud

For Freud, a person’s primary motivation was avoid anxiety; people were similar to animals and machines: driven by natural forces with no say in what they did.

For Adler, the primary motivation was self-perfection and equality with others; the emphasis was on what made people different from animals and machines: goals, values, free will.

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Carl Jung

• Ego: conscious level; carries out daily activities; like Freud’s Conscious

• Personal Unconscious: individual’s thoughts, memories, wishes, impulses; like Freud’s Preconscious + Unconscious

• Collective UnconsciousCollective Unconscious: storehouse of memories inherited from the common ancestors of the whole human race; no counterpart in Freud’s theory

3 Levels of Consciousness:

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Basic Personality Orientations

• Introversion: focused inward; the person is cautious, shy, timid, reflective.

• Extroversion: focused outward; the person is outgoing, sociable, assertive, energetic.

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Karen Horney’s Theory• Horney's theory is perhaps the best theory of neurosis

we have. First, she offered a different way of viewing neurosis. She saw it as much more continuous with normal life than previous theorists. Specifically, she saw neurosis as an attempt to make life bearable, as a way of "interpersonal control and coping."

• Second, the neurotic's need is much more intense, and he or she will experience great anxiety if the need is not met.

• Compliance (moving toward people)• Aggression (moving against people)• Withdrawal (moving away people)

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Eric Berne’s theoryBerne said that each person is made up of three alter ego states:

• Parent (Taught-Superego) This is our ingrained voice of authority, absorbed conditioning, learning and attitudes from when we were young. We were conditioned by our real parents, teachers, older people, next door neighbours, aunts and uncles, Father Christmas.

• Child (felt-id)Our internal reaction and feelings to external events form the 'Child'. This is the seeing, hearing, feeling, and emotional body of data within each of us.

• Adult (Thought-ego) Our 'Adult' is our ability to think and determine action for ourselves, based on received data.

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Behaviorist Approach

• Behaviorists believe that people’s actions depend on the circumstances they are in rather than on the kinds of people they are.

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Reinforcement Versus Punishment(Skinner-Behaviorist)

Reinforcement Punishment

PositiveStimulus is ...Presented


Negative Negative Positive

Removed Presented Removed



Behavior...Increases Decreases


Stimulus is ... Stimulus is ...Stimulus is ...

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Physiological ApproachKreschmer’s Personality Theory

• Ernst Kretschmer was probably the first person ever, to observe a correlation between people's body build and some of their fundamental behavior patterns. He established 3 personality-types based on his theory, and named them;– Pikynic type– Asthenic type– Athletic type

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Athletic (muscular, large–boned)

• Extroverts ,aggressive, adventurous, dynamic, noisy, active, leaders, careless, competitive, warriors, dominant, logical, opposing, courageous, confronting, achievers

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Astenic/ (thin, small, weak)• Introverts, rational,

intellectual, quiet, self-starters, compulsive, autonomous, observers, analytical, perceptive, avoiding, creative, detached, inventors.

• This was seen as a milder form of the negative symptoms exhibited by withdrawn schizophrenics.

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Pyknic (stocky, fat)• Interactive, romantic,

emotional, talkative, followers, kind, imaginative, accepting, fearful, joiners.

• In a more extreme version of these traits, this would mean for example that the obese are predisposed toward manic-depressive illness

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Personality Disorder at Work

• Personality disorder is "an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time and leads to distress or impairment."

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Personality Disorder

• Avoidant personality• Dependent personality• Obsessive-compulsive personality• Anti-social personality• Borderline personality• Histrionic personality• Narcissistic personality• Paranoid personality• Schizotypal personality

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Avoidant Personality

• Feelings of inadequacy and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation or criticism

• These are people who fear people • they are very lonely people • They may develop a small number of close

friendships with peers who are non-threatening • Avoidants are usually at a distinct disadvantage

in job roles that require entrepreneurial "people skills

• Prone to somatizing their distress in the form of "psychosomatic" illnesses or "job stress

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Management Strategies for Avoidant Personality

• Give him a task to do• Keep the supervision brief and positive • Let him stay out of the spotlight • A well-defined work situation with minimal

interpersonal contact can be compatible with this personality type

• keep the supervision light, more in line with a coaching and counseling approach, rather than as criticism or discipline

• If he can't tolerate appropriate constructive criticism, he will eventually just leave the company.

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Dependent Personality • Submissive and clinging behavior stemming from an

excessive need to be taken care of • Need people and fear only their rejection or loss of

support • They look to others to provide guidance and direction and

are ready-made followers • their feelings are easily hurt, even by neutral or innocuous

constructive criticism • Overdependence on validation from others,

hypersensitivity to slights and rejections and overreaction to real or imagined criticism

• anxiety may cause her to overfocus on the impression her performance will make on others rather than on the particulars of the assignment itself

• Loyalty and high performance based on validation

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Management Strategies for Dependent Personality

• Her need for approval and eagerness to please would make the Dependent personality the ideal assistant or subordinate

• He may be given tasks that doesn’t require initiation

• Complimenting the good behavior, rather than criticizing the bad make them feel secure enough in the work relationship to do a really great job.

• If you can train her carefully and dose your approval accordingly, you may have a loyal, competent and stable employee

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Obsessive-Compulsive Personality • Obsession on orderliness, perfectionism and control • Over-sensitivity to the details• Tend to excel in jobs that require exactitude and precision.

they tend to gravitate toward jobs that make the best use of their high-level cognitive skills and devotion to detail--engineering, economics, computer science

• They can be sociable, even cordial, when the situation calls for it. But overall social interactions are just another tool for getting the job done.

• Extremely uncomfortable with imprecision, ambiguity or lack of clarity

• They are scientists, not artists; planners, not dreamers • Problems arise when spontaneity and sociability are

required • Stress stemming from the “best-one”

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Management Strategies for Obsessive-Compulsive Personality

• He must be prevented by directions to get into details

• He must be directed on what they have to focus not to lose time

• They have to be appreciated

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Antisocial Personality

• Consistent disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others

• Such individuals seem to have been born literally without a conscience and without the ability to empathize; for them, other people are simply sources of gratification

• Selfish, immature and untrustworthy people, who are quick to take advantage of favors and friendships, but offer little in return

• Intelligence and quite intuitive about the needs and desires of other people, which they then use to manipulate others to their own ends

• Antisocials "live for the game." • Dishonest, exploitive and betrayal• More frankly confrontational and even violent behavior • Blaming destiny and other people for the problems

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Management Strategies for Anti-social Personality

• The best strategy is prevention (not to hire). In this regard, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so study his work record. Take your hiring responsibilities seriously, screen carefully and check all references.

• Try to make the most of him by giving clear directions and monitoring his work. For short, simple tasks, such as seasonal postal work or a temporary municipal construction project

• don't expect long-term follow-through, unless he's using your agency for his own purposes

• have a well thought-out and carefully documented system of discipline, so if you do have to fire him, you minimize your risk of him making a legal hassle for spite and profit

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Borderline Personality• Unstable interpersonal relationships, fragile self-

image and wide emotional swings • Tendency towards mani-depressive• Sometimes out of touch with reality • She really believes in--or convinces herself of--

whatever version of the truth she's telling at the moment, and she expects you to readily go along with the new version

• Changeability of ideas and splitting people into two groups good-bad and black-white

• Angriness, fear of lonliness and not to know self-identity

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Management Strategy for a Borderline Personality

• Be not all protective but lovingly supportive authority figure

• As much as possible, try to provide her with a model of stability and reliability

• Reward accomplishment appropriately • Give constructive criticism in as positive a

context as possible

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Histrionic Personality • theatricality in speech and behavior • a nonlogical and impressionistic cognitive style • use of exaggeration to maintain largely superficial

relationships for the purpose of getting emotional needs met by being cared for by others

• gravitation to careers that put them in front of adoring crowds: acting, politics, teaching, sales

• they tend to form great first impressions, because for them this is not an act. They absolutely love getting attention from people and genuinely enjoy such positive interactions

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Management Strategies for Histrionic Personality

• if you let the Histrionic play to her strengths--as a salesperson, marketer, public relations rep, or front-office staff person--she may quickly become a credit to your organization because her friendly, helpful style will genuinely make people feel good about themselves and your organization

• Managers need to take a highly supportive approach in describing and reinforcing positive, work-relevant behavior

• Gentle, reality-based guidance may protect the employee's self-esteem while refocusing her efforts on work-related tasks.

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Narcissistic Personality• grandiosity, entitlement, need for admiration, lack of

empathy for others' • not likely to expend much effort toward self-improvement • difficulty differentiating self from other and wish from

reality • Under the surface of many Narcissist's superficially

bloated ego may lie a core of fragile self-esteem and intense feelings of shame and inadequacy

• Over-sensitivity to critiques and angriness• Coaching, counseling and mentoring are all difficult with

the Narcissistic employee, because his self-inflated view and sense of entitlement cause him to dismiss out of hand any advice or direction

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Management Strategies for Narcissistic Personality

• If the Narcissistic employee is doing an acceptable job, and there is genuinely room for improvement, a collaborative, "we're in this together" type of coaching style from someone the employee respects may be effective

• if the Narcissistic employee spouts forth unrealistic, nonsensical and purely self-aggrandizing schemes, at least you'll be able to decide if you want to waste any more time with him.

• Malignant kinds of those have to be observed and banned from axplotiation

• Disciplining and, if necessary, firing these workers must be done carefully and tactfully, and be well-documented

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Paranoid Personality• pervasive distrust and suspiciousness • supersensitiveness in picking up verbal and nonverbal

cues of duplicity, hostility and betrayal • being suspicious and always having to keep their guard

up • tend to externalize blame generally • Because they often have a bent for technical details and

are able to channel considerable energy in the direction of goal accomplishment, Paranoids may actually achieve considerable success at work

• In highly competitive industries that call for combativeness against well-defined corporate "enemies," Paranoid personality styles may be quite functional, and they may even emerge as leaders

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Management Strategies for Paranoid Personalities

• In managing the Paranoid personality, take care to keep workplace assignments rational and straightforward. Expect suspicious questioning of your own and others' motives

• As much as possible, offer calm, rational explanations for work tasks, and provide forthright but nonconfrontational reality checks for Paranoid misperceptions or misinterpretations

• Paranoids respond better to tight logic than loose assurances, and use your legitimate authority, so don't be afraid to stand your ground as the boss and make it clear that you expect policies to be followed

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Schizoid & Schizotypal Personalities • avoidance of others, severe deficiencies in social skills,

preference toward lonliness, avoidence from sincere relations

• generalized withdrawal from life and sometimes deficits in perceptual and cognitive skills

• detachment from social interaction, with a restricted range of emotional expression

• distortions of thought, perception and action, including delusions and hallucinations

• due to their impulsivity, poor socialization, impaired contact with reality, bizarre behavior and general inconsistency, Schizotypal personality not likely to last very long in traditional employment settings

• They could care less what others think of them, so they make no effort to impress or ingratiate themselves with others

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Management Strategies for Schizotypal Personalities

• Schizoid personalities may be well-suited to isolated, low-level jobs of limited complexity

• They are good employees under conditions of both interpersonal distance and quiet, nonthreatening support

• monitoring can be impersonal • Let him know what you want done, how you want

him to do it, when it's expected to be completed, and then leave him alone

• periodic supportive supervision sessions may be necessary to monitor and productively focus his progress