Self and Personality - Solutions

 CBSE Class 12 Psychology

NCERT Solutions
Self and Personality

  1. What is self? How does the Indian notion of self differ from the Western notion?
     Self is an organized cognitive structure. It can be understood in terms of subject and object or I and Me. It refers to the totality of one's conscious thoughts, and feelings which pertain to one's own self. 

    Indian Concept of Self 

    • Self is characterized by the shifting nature of the boundaries. 
    • The Indian view does not make rigid dichotomies. 
    • It is based on collectivistic Indian society. 

    Western Concept of Self 

    • The boundaries between self and the group are rigid. 
    • It holds clear dichotomies between self and group. 
    • It is based on individualistic society of the West.

  1. What is meant by delay of gratification? Why is it considered important for adult development?
    1. Learning to delay or defer from gratification of needs is called self-control. It emerges from self-regulation. 
    2. Self-regulation is behavioural component of self. 
    3. It refers to an ability to organize and monitor ones own behaviour. People who can change their behaviour according to the demands of the external environment are high on self-monitoring. 
    4. Self-regulation leads to self-control. 
    5. It plays a key role in fulfilment of long-term goals. 
    6. Indian culture provides us effective mechanisms like fasting (vrata or roza) and non-attachment with worldly things to develop self-control. 
    7. It is ones ability to say 'No'. 

    Psychological techniques to develop self-control are: 

    1. Observation of Own Behaviour: it provides us with necessary information that may be used to change, modify, or strengthen certain concepts of self. 
    2. Self-instruction: We often instruct our;elves to do something and behave the way we want. 
    3. Self-reinforcement: It involves rewarding behaviours that have pleasant outcomes (like going to see a movie with friends if we do well in exams). 

    Self-control is important for the development of mature personality. This is the reason that all cultures emphasise the self-control. It helps in the fulfilment of long-term goals. Indian cultural tradition provide us with certain effective mechanisms. e.g., fasting· in varta or roja and know attachment with worldly things for developing self-control. 
    Self-control is also important for effective functioning of social network.

  1. How do you define personality? What are the main approaches to the study of personality?
     The word 'personality' is derived from the Latin word 'persona', which means a mask or false face which Greek actors used to wear when acting on stage. According to Gordon Allport "Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment." 

    One of the major approaches to understanding personality was to develop theories on what it was. There are many broad personality theories, which can be grouped into four categories: 

    1. Dynamic approaches, which emphasize on-going interaction among motives, impulses and psychological processes. 
    2. Type and train approaches, which focus on people's characteristics, stubbornness, shyness and so forth and how these characteristics are organized into systems. 
    3. Humanistic approaches, which emphasize the self and the importance of the individual's subjective view of the world. 
    4. Learning and behavioural approaches, which emphasize the way habits are acquired through basic learning process.

  1. What is trait approach to personality? How does it differ from type approach?
    Trait approach psychologists explain personality on the basis of specific psychological characteristics. 

    Type approach psychologists believe that personality can be classified into broad categories. 
    Traits are relatively stable, persistent and characteristic patterns of behaviour which makes the individual different from others. 

    1. These are overlapping, i.e., inclusive in nature. 
    2. Traits are specific psychological characteristics. e.g., shy or timid.

    Types are cluster of similar traits. 

    1. These are broad categories. 
    2. These do not overlap, i.e., exclusive in nature. e.g., extrovert or introvert. 

  1. How does Freud explain the structure of personality?
    . The Id: 
    1. The Id is the original source of personality, present in the newborn infant, from which the ego and super ego later develop. 
    2. It consists of everything that is inherited, including the instinctual drives-sex and aggression. 
    3. It is closely linked to the biological processes and provides the energy source-the libido for the operation of all three systems. 
    4. It is totally unconscious and works on pleasure principles regardless of any external potential costs of seeking the gratification of impulses. 

    The Ego:

    1. The ego develops out of Id because of the necessity for dealing with the real world. The ego's task is to hold the Id in check until conditions allows for satisfaction of its impulses. 
    2. It operates on reality principles. For example, a hungry man would want to have food at any cost due to id impulses, but it is the ego which delays this hunger impulse until the appropriate conditions are found. 
    3. The ego is essentially the executive of the personality. It keeps a person working for a living, getting along with people and generally adjusting to the realities of life. 
    4. Ego mediates between the demands of id, the realities of the world and the demands of the super ego. 

    The Super Ego: 

    1. It is related to the values and morals of the society as taught to us by our parents and others. It works according to social norms. 
    2. It is concerned with morality-whether various ways that could satisfy id impulses are right or wrong. 

    The main functions of the super ego are: 

    1. To inhibit the unacceptable impulses of Id such as sex and aggression. 
    2. Freud assumed that Id is energised by two instinctual forces, called life instinct and death instinct. Life instinct is individuals, tendency to construct whereas death instinct is for the destruction. According to Freud, life instinct is more dominant among human beings.
      According to Freud, the instinctual life force that energises the Id is called Libido.
      It works on the pleasure principle, and seeks immediate gratification. It is source of energy.

  1. How would Horney's explanation of depression be different from that of Alfred Adler?
     While Karen Horney focuses more on interpersonal relationships during childhood, Alfred gives greater importance to personal goals of an individual. 
    There are, in my opinion, Horney would attribute the cause of depression to parental relations with children which are characterized by excessive interference or indifference. Deep anxiety would result from the behaviour rewards the child which, if is erratic, indifferent and discouraging feelings of isolation and helplessness will also emerge. 
    Alfred Adler would, on the other hand, attribute depression to the feeling of inadequacy and guilt arising within the individual, due to the inability to achieve his/her personal goals. These goals provide an individual with security and are important in overcoming feelings of inadequacy. If individual is not able to attain the goals and could not overcome inferiority appropriately then it leads to depression. 

  1. What is the main proposition of humanistic approach to personality? What did Maslow mean by self-actualization?
    Humanistic theories emphasise personal responsibility and innovate tendencies toward personal growth. They focus on the importance of people's subjective attitudes, feelings and beliefs especially with regard to the self. 
    • According to humanistic approach, we human beings are most creative, growing, fully functioning and self-actualizing people. 
    • Fully functioning persons, according to Rogers theory, psychologically healthy persons who live life to the fullest. 
    • They live in the here and now and trust their own feelings. They are sensitive to the needs of others but they do not allow society's standards to shape their feelings or actions to an excessive degree. 
    • Rogers suggests that each individual has a concept of ideal self. If there is discrepancy between real self and ideal self then individual develops maladjustment. 
    • Rogers proposed two basic assumptions: 
    1. Human behaviour is goal-directed and worthwhile. 
    2. People always choose adaptive and self-actualizing behaviour. 
      • Rogers believed that many individuals fail to become fully functioning persons because they grow up in an atmosphere of conditional positive regard and develop distorted self-concepts which interferes with personal growth. Such people fail to self-actualise. 
      • All human beings desire unconditional positive regard, freedom of choice and feeling of fulfilment for attainment of self-actualization. 
      • Humanistic theories don't deny the importance of past experience but they generally focus on the present. 

    Maslow's Contribution to Humanistic Approach

    Maslow's Self-Actualization 

    • It is a state which people have reached their own fullest potential. 
    • He had an optimistic view of man who has potentialities for love, joy and creative work. 
    • According to him, human beings are free to shape their lives and to self-actualise.

  1. Discuss the main observational methods used in personality assessment. What problems do we face in using these methods? 
    • Observational method is a very powerful tool of psychological enquiry. It is an effective method of describing behaviour. 
    • A scientific observation differs from day-to-day observation in many respects. 
    1. Selection: Psychologists do not observe all the behaviour that they encounter. 
      Rather, they select a particular behaviour for observation. 
    2. Recording: While observing, a researcher records the selected behaviour using different means, such as marking tallies for the already identified behaviour whenever they occur, taking notes describing each activity in greater detail using short hand or symbols, photographs, video recording, etc. 
    3. After the observations have been made, psychologists analyse whatever they have recorded with a view to derive some meaning out of it. 
    4. Observation is a skill. A good observation is a skill. A good observer knows what he/she is looking for, whom he/she wants to observe, when and where the observation needs to be made. 

    Observation can be of the following types:
    (a) Non-Participant vs. Participant Observation:

    1. Non-participant observation
      1. To observe the person or event from a distance.
      2. The observer may become part of the group being observed.
      3. In the first case, the person being observed may not be aware that he/she is being observed. For example, you want to observe the pattern of interaction between teachers and students in a particular class. 
      4. Install a video camera to record the classroom activities, which you can see later and analyse. Alternatively, you may decide to sit in a corner of the class without interfering or participating in their everyday activities. This type of observation is called non-participant observation. 
    2. Participant observation 
      1. In participant observation, the observer becomes a part of the school or the group of people being observed. 
      2. the observer takes some time to establish a rapport with the group so that they start accepting him/her as one of the group members. 
      3. the degree of involvement of the observer with the group being observed  would vary depending upon the focus of the study. 

    The advantage of the observation method is that it enables the researcher to study people and their behaviour in a naturalistic situation, as it occurs. However, the observation method is labour-intensive, time-consuming, and is susceptible to the observer's bias. Our observation is influenced by our values and beliefs about the person or the event.

  1. What is meant by structured personality tests? Which are the two most widely used   structured personality tests? 
    Structured personality tests are self-report measures that have the following features: 
    1. Questions are direct and structured. 
    2. They are called self-report because the examinee has to respond objectively to the items of the measure and his/her response are accepted as they are. 
    3. They are objective in nature and they deal with the present state of mind. 
      • - Self-report measures use inventories and questionnaires to assess conscious part of personality. 
      • - Goal of the test may be revealed. 
      • - These tests assess only conscious part of personality 
      1. Their results depend on motivation and emotional state of the examinee; they are non-projective and direct inferences are made. 

    Some of the self-report measures are: 

    1. Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ): This test was developed by Eysenck to assess two basic dimensions of personality namely introverted-extroversion and emotionally stable-emotionally unstable (Neuroticism). 
    2. MMPI: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This test was developed by Hathaway and Mckinely. 
      • It has been found very effective in detecting psycho-pathology like hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria etc. 
      • The test is divided into 10 sub scales. This test helps in clinical diagnosis of various mental disorders like hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria, etc. 
      • It has two sets MMPI-I and MMPI-II. Now-a-days, MMPI-II is being used. 
      • It has 567 items in the form of affirmative statements. The subject judges each item 'statements' as true or false. 
      • MMPI is one of the very good tests for clinical purposes (diagnosis). 
      • Indian version of MMPI is also available named as Jodhpur Multiphasic Personality Inventory (JMPI) by Malik and Joshi. 
        16-PF Questionnaire 
      • It is developed by Cattell. 
      • It identifies large set of personality descriptions-subjected to factor analysis to identify basic personality structure. 
      • Subject responds to situation by choosing frorri alternatives. 
      • This test is being used with high school level students in India for career guidance and counselling. 
      • Problems Faced by self-report Measures 
      • Social Desirability: It is a tendency on part of the respondent to endorse items in a socially desirable manner. 
      • Acquiescence: It is a tendency of the subject to agree with items/questions irrespective of contents. 
      • Testing and understanding personality require great skill and training. 
      • People become self-aware and conscious, hesitate to share thoughts and feelings and motivation. If they do it, it is done in a socially desirable manner. So, the real personality characteristics are not manifested.

  1. State in common features of projective techniques. Describe anyone projective technique.
    • Projective tests of personality are widely used by psychologists. 
    • Projective techniques are most indirect method to assess personality. 
    • Psycho analytic theory proposed that behaviour is also determined by unconscious forces. 
    • The projective techniques were developed to assess unconscious motives and feelings. 
      • The stimulus material is relatively or fully unstructured and poorly defined. The person being assessed is usually not told the purpose and the method of scoring and interpretation before the administration of test. 
      • The person is informed that there are no right or wrong responses. 
      • Each response is considered to reveal a true and significant aspect of ''personality"
      • The scoring and interpretation in projective assessment are lengthy and subjective. 
      • Projective Techniques 
      • Developed to assess unconscious motives, feelings and conflicts. 
      • A less structured or unstructured stimulus or situation will allow the individual to project his/her feelings, desires and needs on to that situation. - Projections are interpreted by experts. 
      • Cannot be scored objectively, require qualitative analysis for which a rigorous training is needed. 

    Use and interpretation of this test requires extensive training


    1. The Rorschach Inkblot Test (Hermann Rorschach) 
      • Consists of 10 inkblots-5 black and white, 2 with red ink, 3 in pastel colours. 
      • Blots are symmetrical in design with a specific shape or form, made by dropping ink on a piece of paper and then folding the paper in half(hence called inkblot test). 
      • The cards are administered individually in two phases: 
        • Performance proper: The subjects are shown the cards and are asked to tell what they see in each of them. 
        • Inquiry: A detailed report of the response is prepared by asking the subject to tell where, how, and on what basis was a particular response made. 
      • Fine judgment is necessary to place the subject's responses in a meaningful context. 
      1. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Morgan and Murray 
        • This test consists of 30 black and white picture cards and one blank card-each picture card depicts one or more people in a variety of situations. 
        • Some cards are used specifically with adult males or females, boys or girls-have been modified for the children and the aged. 
        • The cards are presented one at a time and the subject is asked to tell a story describing the situation presented in the picture-what led up to the situation, what is happening at the moment, what will happen in the future, what the characters are feeling and thinking? 
        • Uma Chaudhury's Indian adaptation of TAT is also available.
      2. Rosenzweig's Picture-Frustration Study (P-F Study) 
        • This study assesses how people express aggression in the face of a frustrating situation. 
        • Presents with the help of cartoon-like pictures a series of situations in which one person frustrates another, or calls attention to a frustrating condition. 
        • The subject is asked to tell what the other (frustrated) person will say or do. 
        • The analysis of responses is based on the type and direction of aggression-examine whether the focus is on the frustrating object (environment), or on protection of the frustrated person (oneself), or on constructive solution of the problem. 
        • Pareek has adapted this test for the Indian population
      3. Sentence Completion Test 
        • This test makes use of a number of incomplete sentences-the starting part of the sentence is first presented and the subject has to provide an ending to the sentence. 
        • The type of endings used by the subjects reflect their attitudes, motivation and conflicts. 
        • The test provides subjects with several opportunities to reveal their underlying unconscious motivations. 
      4. Draw-a-Person Test 
        • In this test, the subject is asked to draw a person on a sheet of paper and then a figure of an opposite sex person. 
        • Finally, the subject is asked to make a story about the person as if he/she was a character in a novel or play. 
        • Some examples of interpretations are as follows: 
          • Omission of facial features suggests that the person tries to evade a highly conflict-ridden interpersonal relationships. 
          • Graphic emphasis on the neck suggests lack of control over impulses. 
          • Disproportionately large head suggests organic brain disease and pre- occupation with headaches. 
      • Interpretation of the responses requires sophisticated skills and specialized training. 
      • There are problems associated with the reliability of scoring and validity of interpretations.

  1. Arihant wants to become a singer even though he belongs to a family of doctors. Though his family members claim to love him but strongly disapprove his choice of career. Using Carl Rogers' terminology, describe the attitudes shown by Arihant's family. 
    . Arihant wants to become a singer even though he belongs to a family of doctors. His family 'claims' to love him, but disapproves of his choice of career. 
    This fact warrants my attention towards an important terminology given by Carl Rogers, i.e., unconditional positive regard.
    As the desire of Arihant to become a singer is contradicted by his family, it results in a situation of negative social conditions which will reduce his level of self-concept and self-esteem. 
    His inability to fulfil his goal will prevent him from becoming a 'fully functioning person'. Moreover, his conception of an 'ideal self involves him being a singer, while his 'real self is not one due to familial pressure. This discrepancy between the real and ideal self results in dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
    The provision of unconditional positive regard which includes empathy, love and warmth irrespective of other factors is necessary for Arihant.
    According to Rogers, a person attains self-actualization only when people have reached their own fullest potential.
    His inability to pursue singing will not allow self-actualization to occur which will prevent his psychological health and well-being.