Learning Objectives

Describe the strengths and also limitations the the psychodynamic method to explaining personality.Summarize the accomplishments of the neo-Freudians.Identify the significant contributions that the humanistic approach to understanding personality.

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Although actions such as the huge Five and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality perform (MMPI) space able to properly assess personality, they do not say much about where personality comes from. In this section we will think about two significant theories that the beginning of personality: psychodynamic and also humanistic approaches.

Psychodynamic theories of Personality: The role of the Unconscious

One that the most necessary psychological approaches to expertise personality is based upon the theorizing that the Austrian physician and psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), who founded what today is known as the psychodynamic approach, an strategy to understanding person behaviour that focuses on the function of unconscious thoughts, feelings, and memories. Many world know around Freud because his job-related has had a vast impact on our everyday thinking around psychology, and also the psychodynamic approach is among the most necessary approaches to mental therapy (Roudinesco, 2003; Taylor, 2009). Freud is probably the best known of all psychologists, in part because that his superior observation and also analyses that personality (there space 24 volumes of his writings). As is true of all theories, plenty of of Freud’s ingenious principles have turned the end to it is in at least partially incorrect, and also yet other elements of his theories space still influencing psychology.

Freud was affected by the job-related of the French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), who had actually been interviewing patients (almost every women) that were suffering what was at the time recognized as hysteria. Although the is no longer used to define a emotional disorder, hysteria in ~ the time referred to a set of personality and also physical symptoms that consisted of chronic pain, fainting, seizures, and also paralysis.

Charcot can find no biological reason for the symptoms. Because that instance, some women skilled a loss of emotion in your hands and yet not in their arms, and also this appeared impossible offered that the nerves in the arms space the very same as those in the hands. Charcot was trying out with the usage of hypnosis, and also he and also Freud uncovered that under hypnosis plenty of of the hysterical patients reported having experienced a traumatic sex-related experience, together as sexual abuse, as kids (Dolnick, 1998).

Freud and also Charcot likewise found that during hypnosis the psychic of the trauma was frequently accompanied by an outpouring that emotion, well-known as catharsis, and that following the catharsis the patient’s symptom were commonly reduced in severity. These monitorings led Freud and Charcot come conclude that these obstacle were caused by emotional rather 보다 physiological factors.

Freud offered the observations that he and Charcot had made to build his theory concerning the sources of personality and behaviour, and also his insights are central to the an essential themes that psychology. In state of free will, Freud go not think that we were may be to control our own behaviours. Rather, he thought that every behaviours room predetermined by motivations the lie outside our awareness, in the unconscious. This forces display themselves in ours dreams, in neurotic symptoms such as obsessions, when we are under hypnosis, and also in Freudian “slips that the tongue” in which world reveal your unconscious desires in language. Freud argued that us rarely understand why we execute what us do, although us can comprise explanations because that our behaviours after the fact. Because that Freud the mental was choose an iceberg, with the countless motivations the the unconscious being lot larger, but additionally out of sight, in comparison come the awareness of which us are mindful (Figure 12.7, “Mind together Iceberg”).

Figure 12.7 Mind as Iceberg. In Sigmund Freud’s conceptualization of personality, the most vital motivations are unconscious, simply as the significant part of an iceberg is under water.

Id, Ego, and Superego

Freud proposed the the mind is divided into 3 components: id, ego, and also superego, and also that the interactions and also conflicts among the contents create personality (Freud, 1923/1949). According to Freudian theory, the id is the component of personality that forms the communication of our most primitive impulses. The identifier is completely unconscious, and it cd driver our most vital motivations, including the sexual drive (libido) and also the wild or disastrous drive (Thanatos). Follow to Freud, the i would is thrust by the pleasure principle — the desire for prompt gratification of our sexual and aggressive urges. The identifier is why us smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, check out pornography, tell average jokes about people, and engage in other fun or harmful behaviours, often at the expense of doing much more productive activities.

In stark contrast to the id, the superego to represent our sense of morality and oughts. The superego tell united state all the things that us shouldn’t do, or the duties and obligations that society. The superego strives because that perfection, and also when we fail come live as much as its demands we feeling guilty.

In comparison to the id, i m sorry is about the satisfied principle, the role of the ego is based on the reality principle — the idea that we must hold-up gratification that our an easy motivations until the ideal time through the proper outlet. The ego is the largely aware controller or decision-maker the personality. The ego serves together the intermediary between the desires of the id and the limit of culture contained in the superego (Figure 12.8, “Ego, Id, and also Superego in Interaction”). We might wish to scream, yell, or hit, and also yet our ego generally tells united state to wait, reflect, and choose a much more appropriate response.

Figure 12.8 Ego, Id, and Superego in Interaction.

Freud thought that emotional disorders, and specifically the endure of anxiety, take place when there is dispute or imbalance among the motivations that the id, ego, and also superego. As soon as the ego finds that the id is pressing too tough for prompt pleasure, the attempts come correct for this problem, frequently through the use of defence mechanisms — unconscious mental strategies offered to cope v anxiety and maintain a hopeful self-image. Freud thought that the defence mechanisms were necessary for reliable coping with everyday life, but that any type of of them can be overused (Table 12.4, “The major Freudian Defence Mechanisms”).

Table 12.4 The significant Freudian Defence Mechanisms.Defence mechanismDefinitionPossible behavioural example
DisplacementDiverting threatening impulses away from the source of the anxiety and toward a much more acceptable sourceA student who is upset at her professor for a short grade lashes the end at her roommate, who is a much safer target of her anger.
ProjectionDisguising threatening impulses through attributing them to othersA guy with an effective unconscious sexual desires because that women cases that women usage him as a sex object.
RationalizationGenerating self-justifying explanations because that our negative behavioursA drama college student convinces herself that gaining the part in the play wasn’t that necessary after all.
Reaction formationMaking unacceptable motivations appear as their precise oppositeJane is sexually attracted to friend Jake, yet she cases in public the she intensely dislikes him.
RegressionRetreating to an earlier, much more childlike, and safer phase of developmentA college student who is worried about vital test begins to suck top top his finger.
Repression (or denial)Pushing anxiety-arousing thoughts into the unconsciousA person who witnesses his parents having sex is later on unable to remember anything around the event.
SublimationChanneling unacceptable sexual or wild desires into acceptable activitiesA human participates in sporting activities to sublimate aggressive drives. A person creates music or art to sublimate sexual drives.

The most controversial, and also least scientifically valid, part of Freudian theory is that is explanations that personality development. Freud said that personality is developed through a series of psychosexual stages, each concentrating on pleasure from a different part of the body (Table 12.5, “Freud’s stages of Psychosexual Development”). Freud believed that sexuality begins in infancy, and that the appropriate resolution of each stage has implications for later personality development.

Table 12.5 Freud’s stages of Psychosexual Development.StageApproximate agesDescription
OralBirth to 18 monthsPleasure originates from the mouth in the form of sucking, biting, and also chewing.
Anal18 month to 3 yearsPleasure originates from bowel and bladder elimination and the constraints of restroom training.
Phallic3 years to 6 yearsPleasure comes from the genitals, and also the problem is with sexual desires for the opposite-sex parent.
Latency6 year to pubertySexual feeling are much less important.
GenitalPuberty and also olderIf prior stages have actually been effectively reached, mature sex-related orientation develops.

In the very first of Freud’s proposed stages of psychosexual development, which begins at birth and lasts until about 18 months of age, the focus is on the mouth. During this oral stage, the child obtains sex-related pleasure by sucking and drinking. Infants who receive either too little or too much gratification come to be fixated or locked in the dental stage, and also are most likely to regress to this points of permanent under stress, also as adults. According to Freud, a son who receive too tiny oral gratification (e.g., who was underfed or neglected) will become orally dependent as an adult and be most likely to manipulate others to satisfy his or her needs rather than coming to be independent. On the other hand, the kid who to be overfed or overly gratified will resist growing up and try to go back to the front state of exposed by acting helpless, demanding satisfaction native others, and acting in a needy way.

The anal stage, lasting from around 18 months to three years of age, is as soon as children first experience psychological conflict. During this stage kids desire to experience pleasure through bowel movements, yet they are additionally being toilet trained to delay this gratification. Freud thought that if this toilet training to be either also harsh or as well lenient, kids would come to be fixated in the anal stage and also become likely to regress to this stage under stress as adults. If the child received too small anal gratification (i.e., if the parents had been very harsh around toilet training), the adult personality will be anal retentive — stingy, v a compulsive seek of order and also tidiness. On the various other hand, if the parents had been too lenient, the anal expulsive personality results, defined by a absence of self-control and a tendency toward messiness and carelessness.

The phallic stage, i m sorry lasts from age three to age six is as soon as the prick (for boys) and also clitoris (for girls) come to be the main erogenous region for sex-related pleasure. Throughout this stage, Freud believed that children develop a powerful but unconscious attraction because that the opposite-sex parent, and a desire to eliminate the same-sex parental as a rival. Freud based his concept of sexual development in boys (the Oedipus complex) ~ above the Greek supernatural character Oedipus, who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother, and also then put his very own eyes out when he learned what he had actually done. Freud said that boys will normally at some point abandon your love the the mother, and also instead recognize with the father, additionally taking ~ above the father’s personality characteristics, yet that guys who execute not properly resolve the Oedipus facility will experience psychological troubles later in life. Although that was no as crucial in Freud’s theorizing, in girl the phallic phase is frequently termed the Electra complex, after ~ the Greek character who avenged her father’s murder by killing her mother. Freud thought that girls generally experienced penis envy, the sense the deprivation supposedly knowledgeable by girls since they execute not have actually a penis.

The latency stage is a duration of relative calm that lasts from around six year to 12 years. During this time, Freud thought that sexual impulses were repressed, top boys and also girls to have tiny or no interest in members of the opposite sex.

The fifth and also last stage, the genital stage, begins about 12 year of age and lasts into adulthood. Follow to Freud, sexual impulses return throughout this time frame, and also if breakthrough has proceeded normally to this point, the son is able to move into the development of maturation romantic relationships. However if earlier difficulties have no been as necessary resolved, challenges with developing intimate love attachments are likely.

Freud’s Followers: The Neo-Freudians

Freudian theory was so famous that it resulted in a number of followers, including numerous of Freud’s own students, who developed, modified, and also expanded his theories. Bring away together, these approaches are well-known as neo-Freudian theories. The neo-Freudian theories room theories based upon Freudian principles that emphasize the function of the unconscious and also early experience in shaping personality but place less proof on sexuality together the major motivating pressure in personality and also are much more optimistic concerning the prospects because that personality development and change in personality in adults.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937) to be a follower of Freud’s who occurred his very own interpretation that Freudian theory. Adler proposed the the primary motivation in person personality was no sex or aggression, however rather the striving because that superiority. Follow to Adler, we desire come be far better than others and we accomplish this score by creating a unique and an useful life. We may attempt to satisfy our require for superiority through our college or skilled accomplishments, or by our enjoyment that music, athletics, or other tasks that seem essential to us.

Adler thought that emotional disorders start in at an early stage childhood. He argued that youngsters who are either overly nurtured or overly neglected by your parents are later likely to build an inferiority complex — a psychological state in which human being feel the they room not living up to expectations, leading them to have actually low self-esteem, through a tendency to try to overcompensate for the an unfavorable feelings. People with one inferiority complex often effort to demonstrate their superiority to others at every costs, also if it way humiliating, dominating, or alienating them. According to Adler, most psychological disorders result from misguided attempts to compensate for the inferiority complex in order meet the goal of superiority.

Carl Jung (1875-1961) was another student of Freud’s who arisen his very own theories about personality. Jung agreed with Freud about the power of the unconscious yet felt that Freud overemphasized the prominence of sexuality. Jung argued that in enhancement to the personal unconscious, over there was additionally a collective unconscious, or a collection of shared genealogical memories. Jung believed that the collective unconscious contains a range of archetypes, or cross-culturally global symbols, which define the similarities among people in your emotional reactions to numerous stimuli. Vital archetypes include the mother, the goddess, the hero, and also the mandala or circle, i m sorry Jung thought symbolized a desire for wholeness or unity. Because that Jung, the underlying an ideas that guides successful personality is self-realization, or learning around and occurring the me to the fullest possible extent.

Karen Horney (the last syllable of her last name rhymes through “eye”; 1855-1952) to be a German doctor who applied Freudian theories to produce a personality concept that she believed was an ext balanced in between men and women. Horney believed that components of Freudian theory, and particularly the ideas of the Oedipus complex and penis envy, were biased against women. Horney argued that women’s feeling of inferiority was not as result of their lack of a penis but rather to your dependency top top men, technique that the culture made it challenging for them to rest from. For Horney, the underlying an ideas that guides personality advancement is the desire because that security, the capability to develop appropriate and also supportive relationships v others.

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Another essential neo-Freudian was Erich Fromm (1900-1980). Fromm’s emphasis was on the an unfavorable impact that technology, arguing that the boosts in that use have actually led people to feel significantly isolated indigenous others. Fromm thought that the independence that an innovation brings us additionally creates the need to “escape native freedom,” the is, to end up being closer come others.