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Psychoanalytic Personality Theory

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Steven Turner

on 1 December 2015

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Transcript of Psychoanalytic Personality Theory

Irrational thoughts of which we are mostly unaware
Unconscious Mind
Unconscious Thoughts are Revealed Through:
-Hypnosis (no, not really)
-Free Association
-Freudian Slips
Divisions of the Mind
Id- impulsive, self-centered, irrational.
-"Pleasure Principle"
-You're born with it

Ego- rational, logical, goal-oriented
- "Reality Principle"
- develops during Anal Stage

SuperEgo- morality and conscience
- develops during Phallic Stage
Stages of Development
1. Oral Stage- 0-18 months; characterized by dependency

2. Anal Stage- 2-3 years; development of self-control

3. Phallic Stage- 4-6 years; process of identification with same sex parent arises from Oedipal and Electra Complexes resulting in development of Superego

4. Latency Stage- 7-11 years; not much going on, sexual and aggressive urges are mostly sublimated

5. Genital Stage- Sexual maturity and relationships; Personality is largely fixed by this point
Psychoanalytic Personality Theory
according to Sigmund Freud
Conscious Mind-
Rational, goal-directed thoughts at the center of awareness
The proverbial "tip of the iceberg"
Preconscious Mind-
Knowledge that can enter in and out of consciousness at any time
It's "just below the surface" appearing and disappearing with the current
-Freud hypothesized that during the Phallic stage, boys developed a sexual attraction to their mothers, leading to...

-Castration Anxiety, or the fear of emasculation by their father
-Freud also believed that little girls felt an attraction to their fathers and experienced...

-Penis Envy, a literal and figurative desire for what boys have
Defense Mechanisms
-unconscious mental processes aimed at protecting the ego from unpleasant emotions/feelings
Repression: keeping thoughts or memories that would be too threatening to acknowledge from awareness

Example: When asked how he feels about the breakup with Muffy, Biff replies, “Why? Oh, yeah, I haven’t thought about her in a while.”
Defense Mechanisms
Denial: refusing to acknowledge external realities or emotions

Example: Biff continues to act as it he and Muffy are still together. He waits by her locker, calls her every night, and plans their future dates.
Defense Mechanisms
Displacement: redirecting one’s feelings toward another person or object that is less threatening.

Example: Biff could displace his feelings of anger and resentment onto his little brother or his pet hamster.
Defense Mechanisms
Projection: attributing ones own unacknowledged feelings or impulses to others

Example: Biff insists that Muffy still cares for him.
Defense Mechanisms
Displacement or Projection?

Displacement: Person A as feelings about person B, but redirects those feelings onto a third person or an object.

Projection: Person A has feelings about person B, but believes instead that person B has those feelings toward him or her (person A).
Defense Mechanisms
Reaction Formation: turning unacceptable feelings or impulses into their opposites

Example: Biff claims he loathes Muffy.
Defense Mechanisms
Rationalization: explaining away actions in a seemingly logical way to avoid uncomfortable feelings, especially guilt or shame

Example: Biff believes that he can now find a better girlfriend. Muffy is not really all that pretty, smart, and fun to be with.
Defense Mechanisms
Sublimation: converting sexual or aggressive impulses into socially acceptable activities

Example: Biff devotes himself to writing poetry and publishes a small volume before he graduates from high school.
Defense Mechanisms
Passive Aggression: indirect expression of anger toward others
Defense Mechanisms
Accepted Freud’s basic ideas:
Personality structures
Importance of unconscious
Shaping of personality in childhood
Dynamics of anxiety and defense mechanisms

Placed more emphasis on
role of the conscious
mind, and social interaction than on Sex and Aggression
Collective Unconscious:
universal symbols of the human race’s experiences that transcend the individual’s immediate concerns
Carl Jung

“Inferiority Complex” – much of our behavior is driven by efforts to conquer childhood feelings of inferiority
Alfred Adler
Basic Anxiety, caused by helplessness, triggers desire for love and security.
Culture important in development, and so-called penis envy merely outgrowth of West’s devaluation and oppression of women.
Karen Horney
What Lies Beneath?
Full transcript