March 26, 2010
Possible Chapter 13 Essay Questions
During a heated argument with his father, 15-year-old Jason developed a paralysis of his right arm. Medical examinations can find no physical cause for the paralysis. Use the psychoanalytic perspective to explain how the paralysis may be Jason’s attempt to deal with an unconscious conflict between his id and superego.
According to a number of distinguished psychologists, a major purpose of the defense mechanisms described by Freud is the protection of self-esteem. Give an example of how repression, reaction formation, projection, rationalization, and displacement could each be used to protect or even enhance a positive self-image.
Carl Rogers believes that most people consider themselves worthless and unlovable. Reinhold Niebuhr, on the other hand, claims that most people suffer from excessive self-love and self-pride. What do you consider to be the strengths or weaknesses of each of these contrasting positions? Use psychological research findings to support your arguments.
Tonya demonstrates personality traits at parties with her friends that are very different from those she exhibits when she participates in class activities. Using your knowledge of both the person-situation controversy and reciprocal determinism, explain why the variability of Tonya’s behavior in different situations is not surprising.
The behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner emphasized that people are largely controlled by forces outside themselves. Critique the practical implications of personally accepting Skinner’s position in light of contemporary research on locus of control and learned helplessness.