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Psychoanalyzing Steve Jobs

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Ivy Dawson

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Psychoanalyzing Steve Jobs

According to Erickson
According to Freud
Defense Mechanisms
It can be concluded that Steve Jobs was a patient of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and had an extreme personalities. In many ways, his extremeness was what defined him as a person ad fueled his success. ADAMS Psych Ward would have recommended he meet with his birth father at a youthful age and that they have a conversation about his adoption.. Jobs always knew that his real parents were Clara and Paul Jobs, however it would have helped him cope with the adoption process and feeling of abandonment. This would have avoided much of aggressiveness and coldness towards even his closest friends. Had he had the conversation with his birth parents, he would still feel chosen and special by his adoptive parents, thus he would still have a strong faith in himself, however he would not feel the need to belittle other people. Though he may not have had the same commanding role over so many people,, and maybe not even been as successful, he would have been in a healthier mental state, happier and probably would not have taken his initial loss of Apple so harshly.
The Big 5
Psychoanalyzing Steve Jobs
Jobs had an above average level of neuroticism as he could often be emotionally unstable, moody, irritable and anxious. He was always thinking, whether it be imagining his next invention, or seeking further enlightenment, this constant use of his brain led him to over think certain things which can be good, but can also lead to such neurotic thoughts.
Steve Jobs was incredibly above average in terms of openness. Without a doubt, he is one of the most imaginative people that has lived. He was incredibly innovative and had deep insight as a part of his many interests including Zen Buddhism, extreme "mucous free" diets as well as his devotion to Apple, Pixar and his family.
Steve Jobs was moderately talkative and expressive, however, he was incredibly assertive. Especially during board meetings and heated discussions, he was not afraid of speaking his mind and sharing his opinions, in a brutally honest fashion.
Though he knew how to manipulate conversations and was very business and tech savvy, Jobs was below average in agreeableness. People have even questioned his ability to be kind and altruistic. Granted, he contributed to several campaigns and charities, his main center of focus was himself. Due to his adoption, betrayals and many heartbreaking relationships, Jobs also had a very difficult time with trust, thus contributing to his lack of agreeableness.
Jobs was incredibly thoughtful, and not only when it came to everyday life, but spiritually too. He was very goal directed, organized and mindful of details to a fault. The only lacking portion of conscientiousness would be his lack of impulse control. Luckily for him, he hardly regretted anything because of his attention to detail, even when belittling other people.
School Age
While working with his father, Jobs learned the importance, beauty and satisfaction of perfection. This is reflected in the perfection of his products at Apple, later in life. Jobs did not have any particular issues with the neighbours or his peers.
Middle Adulthood
After having dated on and off, Jobs married Laurene Powwll, and having three kids, Reed, Eve and Erin, Not only this, but through his contributions to the technological industry, Jobs had a massive role and level of involvement with future generations.
As a child, Steve Jobs was adopted by two loving parents, despite his basic physical needs being met, the parental inconsistency developed a strong sense of mistrust. This is further displayed in later years as he fails to demonstrate a sense of sympathy and empathy with his co-workers.
Early Childhood
During this stage, Jobs developed a strong sense of autonomy, his two loving parents allowed him to take responsibility and were reassuring, all the while allowing him to explore his surroundings. Jobs carried his confidence with him throughout his life, it is that very confidence that allowed him to believe in himself and his abilities to create perfection in his projects at apple.
Jobs developed a strong sense of initiative, because his father was a car mechanic, among other things, he grew up to be quite inventive and useful. .
At this point, Jobs had no interest, nor did he make any conscious search for identity, he fulfilled the stereotypical role of the geek who fooled around, got in trouble and had fun with his techie friends. It was not until university did Jobs begin to truly explore this stage of his life.
Young Adulthood
Steve Jobs delayed this period, as he did his identity/spiritual searching during his college period, he discovered zen Buddhism and traveled to India. When he reached his Young Adulthood period, he was still in a relationship with Chrisann, his high school sweetheart, While they were dating, she became pregnant, at which point he rejected the child and they broke up. He even refused to pay child support until legal interference was necessary.
Though Jobs did not live to be 65 years of age, he did progress through the stage of Maturity and acceptance of death. Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jobs initially attempted to remedy himself with more extreme diets and a positive mindset, however, after his family pleading for years, he underwent surgery, for an organ transplant, however, his condition continued to worsen. On Monday, October 11th, 2011, Steve Jobs realized the inevitable outcome had arrived, so he called his family and died peacefully in their loving company. Though he was unable to come to complete terms with his death, he was able to die with a sense of fulfillment without despair. He had mentioned that he mused the idea of his memories or consciousness living on in some way, but also accepted that it could be similar to a light switch, either on or off.
Oral Stage
Steve Jobs was neither overindulged nor frustrated during this stage. Though he was not breastfed for his entire first year, he was well fed and mothered.. He does not show any significant signs of an irregular Oral Stage save his extreme diets and fasting, however those were as a result of a seemingly healthy diet.
Anal Stage
Steve Jobs strongly characterizes traits of an Anal Retentive person. Steve is known for his urge to control everything, even the things that went unseen, a trait taught by his father who said that “For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” Jobs was incredibly precise, orderly and was not often forthcoming with his emotions and personal matters. This is reflected through his preciseness with his products as he sees them as an extension of himself.
Genital Stage
In high school, Jobs met his first real girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan. During which time he learned to manage his romantic life along with his job and school work. Later on, she became pregnant and they broke up. Years later, after being kicked out of his own company, decided to find his child whom he rejected and married Laurene Powell. They had 3 kids, Reed, Eve and Erin.
Phallic Stage
Steve Jobs did not develop an Oedipus complex due to the fact that he was closer to his father than his mother. because he had a greater interest in what his father was doing.
Latent Stage
As a young child, Jobs knew he was adopted, when he informed the little girl across the street she asked "So does that mean your real parents didn't want you?" His parents explained to him that he was specifically picked out. Since then the concepts of being abandoned, chosen and special became a part of Jobs and how he saw himself. Because of Jobs' unique interest and remarkable brilliance, he was not entirely socially accepted at school due to the fact that his family lived in a poorer, more dangerous end of town, however, he did not struggle as much as any normal child would because he knew he was special and was self-reassured. In any case, they moved and he found friends with similar interests.
Mental Health
To Be or Not To Be (A Psychopath)
Jobs' actions were measured and
tallied according to a Fiske's big 5 theory
It is widely known that Steve Jobs often threw temper tantrums, yelled, belittled and insulted his co-workers at work. Some speculate that it is with the sole intention of pulling the best work out of them, it is also presumed that he is simply lacking in kindness or empathy. Jobs stated that he only wished to surround himself with people as passionate as he and he would often fire anyone who undermined his authority.
When it came to his work and perfecting Apple's products, Steve would speak his mind freely and vividly, however, when it came to personal matters, such as his lifelong struggle with accepting his adoption, he was very reserved and hardly spoke to anyone about it. Occasionally, if you were close to him, or when he was high on LSD, or emotionally overwhelmed, it would resurface and he would invert it towards himself.
When Chrisann, Jobs' high school sweetheart informed him that she was pregnant with their daughter, he denied ownership and went so far to accuse her of unfaithfulness. Months later, as it developed into a lawsuit, Jobs refused to take a paternity test as well as pay for child support, until he was legally obliged. It was not until after Jobs was abandoned again by his own company, and delved deeper spiritually that Jobs fully accepted his daughter, Lisa.
His co-workers call it his "Reality Distortion Field" (Star Trek reference), Jobs made the impossible possible, and he pushed people to do things according to his seemingly unrealistic ideas and requests. Jobs firmly believed that as long as he believed he could he would. This belief only ever failed him twice, once when Apple was stolen from him, and the second time when he tried to cure himself from cancer. Without his RDF he would never have been able to start Apple, much less progress as he did. From a young age, he genuinely believed that he was special and realized that there were things that he understood that even his parents did not; many people think he believed that the normal rules did not apply to him. however this was not the case, he simply believed in himself more than most people.. He said that "Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use." Jobs used his RDF as a way of coping with being adopted, it was his way of proving to himself that he was good enough, and it was his way of coping with the abandonment.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Steve Jobs strongly possessed most of major signs of a narcissist; he could be cruel, secretive, impulsive, he had unusual eating habits as well as strange work habits,, but most of all, he contradicted himself. Sometimes he would do so in an argument, just to try the other side of the debate, and other times it would be so large scale. An example of this would be when he proposed to Laurene Powell and she accepted, however, he did not mention the engagement for over 9 months and later stated that he wanted to make sure that she would handle his lifestyle, and even then it took him another month of debating between her and his ex-girlfriend before he was sure he wanted to marry her.
Aspergers Syndrome
Steve Jobs tended to lack the capacity to be empathetic, this social barrier prevented him from truly connecting to the majority of people he met. It was difficult for him to understand much less empathize and sympathize with other people. Jobs is known for his intense stare as well as his specified and deep rooting interests and tendency to be more withdrawn.
According to Piaget
Formal Operational
From Concrete Operational,Jobs went on from there learning consequences, actions and reactions and eventually developed an in depth understanding of the results in his actions. He had a strong understanding of problem solving and abstract thoughts.
Concrete Operational
Jobs' father was a car mechanic and taught Jobs about the machines at a young age therefore, this helped Jobs' cognitive process in understanding reversibility through assembling and repairing cars. He went on from there learning consequences, actions and reactions and eventually developed an in depth understanding of reversibility.
Jobs was always smart from a young age and his parents were aware of this, however, because of his insecurities about being adopted, they always told him he was special and chosen therefore he developed a strong sense of ethnocentrism that he never outgrew, it can be seen throughout his workday and even, at times, family life. Jobs believed in a broader range of ability and so due to his ethnocentrism, he would demand such "impossible tasks" from other people his ego centrism also prevented hm from being empathetic and as emotional as the average person.
Substance Abuse
At one point, Steve Jobs was consuming LSD however he was not addicted and soon overcame the phase, just as he lost all physical attachments as he did not find materialistic morals to have high value.
Jobs' sensory motor skills were developed without any pertinent issues.
Jobs tends to show signs of being a primary charismatic as well as those of a primary distempered psychopath. However, on the PCL-R he rated 9, which is not about 25 therefore he cannot be clinically recognized as a psychopath. Despite this, he has shown some remarkably unusually, psychopathic-like behavior.
Primary Charismatic Psychopath
Jobs has displayed an incredible amount of manipulativeness and control over primarily business conversations. he even went so far as to convince people who worked for him to complete the impossible.
Primary Distempered Psychopath
Steve Jobs was known for his temper and yelling fits where he could belittle anyone in the room and was so impulsive as to fire many people. Though he did not have an insatiable sex-drive he was incredibly romantic and did not lack intimacy.
Introducing: Steve Jobs
Works Cited
-Moisescot, Romain. "Biography | All about Steve Jobs.com." All about Steve Jobs.com. Romain Moisescot, 2013. Web. <http://allaboutstevejobs.com/bio/bio.php>
-Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.

-Simpson, Mona. A Regular Guy: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1996. Print.

-Kahney, Leander. Inside Steve's Brain. New York: Portfolio, 2008. Print.

Walter Isaacson brought in his biography on Steve Jobs and asked ADAMS!!! Psych Ward to psychoanalyze him so that he can create an extended Epilogue to uncover what it is that made Jobs so unique and what made him so successful.
As a result of Jobs repressing his emotions, anger and worries, it would come out at other times on other people, thus displacement. He never had the ability to confront his birth parents about being adopted, therefore he would enjoy his arguments with his co-workers as he could release all his stress and anxiety and end up with a good product that is perfect.
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Steve Jobs

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. -Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Jony Ive and Steve Jobs
Scott Forstall, Steve Jobs, Avie Tevanian
Lisa (Jobs' first daughter)
Jobs and family
Jobs and wife, Laurene Powell
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