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Personality Inventory
A questionnaire (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; used to assess selected personality traits.
Projective test
A personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics
Projection
Defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others.
Psychoanalysis
Freud’s theory that attributes our thoughts and actions to the unconscious motives and conflicts; the techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious
Psychosexual Stages
The stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) during which, according to Freud, the id pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones.
Rationalization
Defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening unconscious reasons for one’s actions.
Reaction Formation
Defense mechanism by which the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites. Thus, people may express feelings that are the opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious fee
Regression
Defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated.
Repression
In psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness.
Rorschach inkblot test
The most widely used projective test, a set of 10 inkblots, designed by Hermann Rorschach; seeks to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.
Self-actualization
According to Maslow, the ultimate psychological need that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one’s potential.
Self-concept
All our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question “Who am I?”
Self-esteem
One’s feelings of high or low self-worth
Self-Serving Bias
A readiness to perceive oneself favorably
Sublimation
In psychoanalytic theory, the defense mechanism by which people rechannel their unacceptable impulses into socially approved activities.