AP Psychology : Theories of Personality

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Theories Of Personality

In Freudian psychoanalytic theory the __________ is an innate biological instinct that operates on the pleasure principle.

Possible Answers:

conscience

superego

ego

None of these answers are correct

id

Correct answer:

id

Explanation:

Freud postulated that there were three distinct parts of the psyche: the id, the ego, and the superego. These three parts develop at different times in a person's life. The id is the most basic, innate part of the psyche. It is the primitive and instinctive component of the personality. It consists of all biological instincts, such as sexual attraction and aggression. The id responds immediately and directly to its instincts, seeking pleasure and self-preservation.

Example Question #2 : Theories Of Personality

Which of the following did Freud consider to be the "executive" or regulator of personality?

Possible Answers:

None of these answers are correct

The superego

The conscience

The ego

The id

Correct answer:

The ego

Explanation:

Freud proposed that the psyche/personality is divided into three distinct sections: the id, the ego, and the superego. Each has a distinct role and function within the person. The ego is the mediator or regulator of the personality because it works out realistic ways of satisfying the id's demands, while also seeking to satisfy the superego by considering realities, norms, and etiquette and avoiding negative societal consequences. 

Example Question #3 : Personality

Which of the following is not one of Freud's proposed psychosexual stages?

Possible Answers:

Oral

Phallic

Erogenous

Anal

All of these answers correspond to Freud's psychosexual stages

Correct answer:

Erogenous

Explanation:

Freud believed there were five psychosexual stages of development. In order of development from earliest to latest, these were the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latent stage, and the genital stage. 

Example Question #3 : Theories Of Personality

Freud proposed a natural progression through five developmental psychosexual stages. Stagnation of development during which phase could result in pica, a disorder characterized by the compusion to chew on non-nutritional substances such as chalk or metal?

Possible Answers:

Oral

Latency

Phallic

Genital

Anal

Correct answer:

Oral

Explanation:

Freud believed there were five psychosexual stages that people went through as they matured into adults. Either frustration and overindulgence in a particular stage might lead a person to become fixated in that stage. The oral stage is the first stage that a person goes through, and is very mouth-oriented. A person in this stage will have a tendency to bite, suck, swallow, and generally explore the world with their mouth. The oral stage is typically experienced for the first year of life, during which infants are frequently seen to place unnatural objects like sand or plastic in their mouths.

Stagnation or fixation in the oral phase could lead these effects to linger into adulthood. The compulsion to chew metal or other items, as is common in pica, could be attributed to this phenomenon.

Example Question #4 : Theories Of Personality

Which of the following is not one of the big five personality traits?

Possible Answers:

Extraversion

Openness

Conscientiousness

Neuroticism

Self-reliance

Correct answer:

Self-reliance

Explanation:

The big five personality traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Use the acronym OCEAN to help you remember.

Example Question #4 : Theories Of Personality

Which of the following is not one of Sigmund Freud's stages of psychosexual development?

Possible Answers:

Tactile

Genital

Phallic

Latent

Oral

Correct answer:

Tactile

Explanation:

The five stages of Freud's psychosexual development are: oral, anal, phallic, latent, and genital. At each of these stages, he theorized that one could become "fixated" and thus have consequences on personality throughout the lifetime.

Example Question #7 : Personality

Freud was an influential albeit controversial figure of psychoanalysis. He came up with the idea of the ego, superego, and the id and explored how repressed sexual desires could potentially influence neurosis. Lacking enough empirical research to support his claims, many of his ideas have been strongly criticized and disproven. 

Which statement is a feminist criticism of the Freudian concept of penis envy?

Possible Answers:

Freud's sexist attitudes were embodied in his work

The concept was based on the idea that it was better to be a man

Freud lacked the scientific research necessary to support his conjectures

Freud was far too focused on women's resentment as an influence on their behavior

Correct answer:

The concept was based on the idea that it was better to be a man

Explanation:

Though there are numerous feminist criticisms of the idea of penis envy, the main argument is that Freud's concept is an abstract idea built on the premise that women subconsciously want to be men, implying it is better to be a man. If there were such a thing as "penis envy," feminists suggest it would be due to men's advantages in society due to perceptions engrained in social contexts.

Example Question #3 : Theories Of Personality

According to Freud, which part of the mind operates on the reality principle?

Possible Answers:

ego

personality

id

superego

unconscious

Correct answer:

ego

Explanation:

Freud believed that the ego helps us deal with life's demands (reality), whereas the superego deals with cultural rules, and the id operates on the pleasure principle. 

Example Question #5 : Theories Of Personality

According to the Somatotype theory of personality, which of the following descriptions would most likely describe a mesomorph?

Possible Answers:

Muscular and mature-looking, adventurous, dominant, courageous

Thin and young-looking, self-conscious, private, anxious

Round-shaped, adventurous, dominant, courageous

Muscular and mature-looking, self-conscious, private, anxious

Round-shaped, tolerant, sociable, food-loving

Correct answer:

Muscular and mature-looking, adventurous, dominant, courageous

Explanation:

According to the theory, mesomorphs are muscular and mature-looking, have a sense of adventure and courage, and desire to dominate and have power. The other two types are ectomorph, which are thin and young-looking people who are self-conscious and introverted, and endomorphs, which are round people who are tolerant and sociable and have over-active digestive systems. The connection of temperament and character with the physical types has been widely discredited.

Example Question #9 : Personality

In Carl Rogers' humanistic theory of personality, which term describes the separation between one's self-concept and their reality?

Possible Answers:

Incongruence

Split self

Dissociation

Possible selves

Correct answer:

Incongruence

Explanation:

In Rogers' theory, individuals strive for congruence, or rather, a match between their imagined self and reality. When this match is not achieved, we describe the disconnect as incongruence. Possible selves are the cognitive concept of an individual's goals, hopes, or anxieties about their future. For example, a teenager's possible selves might include being a mother or a doctor, but might also include being an addict or homeless.

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