Who is alfredadler?! Born on February 7, 1870 At 5, Alfred almost died of pneumonia which is what led him to being a physician He was an average student and was also very outgoing, popular and active He began his career as an ophthalmologist, but soon he switched to general practice His office was in a lower class part of Vienna, which was a combination of an amusement park and circus His clients included circus people and their unusual strengths and weaknesses led to his insights into organ inferiorities and compensation
Adler continued After writing about organ inferiority, he wrote his first paper on aggression instinct which Freud didn’t approve of He also wrote a paper on children’s feelings of inferiority which suggested that freuds sexual notions should be more metaphorical than literal During WW1, Adler served as a physician in the Austrian Army, first on the Russian front and then later in a children's hospital. He saw the damage war had on people and this led him to his concept of social interest He is the founder of individual psychology
Adlers theory There is a single drive or motivating force behind all of our behaviour and experience -Striving for perfection: It is the desire to fulfill our potentials and to come closer and closer to our ideal Aggression Drive: The reaction we have when other drives, such as the need to eat, to be loved, etc are not met He also believed basic motivation was compensation (striving to overcome)
Masculine Protest Adler noted that boys were held in higher esteem than girls Boys wanted desperately to be thought of as strong, aggressive, in control – ie. Masculine (does this point sound familiar class!) The idea of weakness and dependency is seen feminine
Masculine protest cntd Ex). If a boy fusses or demands to have his own way (masculine protest) they say it is natural. If a girl is quiet and shy, she is praised for her femininity. However if a boy is quiet and shy, they worry he may grow up to be a sissy and if a girl is assertive, they call her a “tomboy” and hope she grows out of it. Adler asserted that men are no more successful or powerful because they are men but because they are encouraged to be assertive. Both genders begin life with a capacity to “protest”, what they protest though is largely shaped by what we expect them to be.
Striving for superiority Striving for superiority: Striving for superiority refers to the desire to be better, but also has the idea that we want to be better than others, rather than better in our own right Adler later asserted that striving for superiority can be unhealthy or neurotic
Inferiority What do all of us ultimately strive for everyday? The pull towards fulfillment, perfection, self-actualization This can be positive, but we lack social interest (community feeling) and are instead self-interested Our self interest comes because we suffer from inferiority You can only afford to think of the well-being of others if you are feeling competent and doing well
Organ iNFERIORITY We all are physically stronger or weaker than one another as people as well as stronger and weaker anatomically Organ inferiorities are linked very closely with compensation – they make up for deficiencies in their own way Some organs may be strengthened than others, but some can be overdeveloped to compensate psychologically for the real problem by developing certain personality styles or skills.
eXAMPLE Ex). Someone that is extremely insecure about their height may invest all of their energy in working out to compensate for their inferiority.
Inferiority Complex Depending on whatever complex you may have (you may have more than one), you will develop an inferiority complex Ex). If I have very successful and talented parents that are famous musicians and also am personally bad at sports and generally I school, I may develop an inferiority complex that makes me become ashamed making me shy and withdrawn in the real world
Birth Order! Adler was the first theorist that focused not only on a child’s parents for influencing the behavior but also the child’s brothers and sisters as well
Only child More likely to be pampered Because the parents have probably invested all of their love and energy into this one and only child, this child is usually extremely taken care of Sometimes this excessive care can lead to anxiety-filled control because the child is the pride and joy of the parents If the parents are abusive, the child will suffer the consequences of abuse all alone
First Child The first step of this child’s life is as an only child The child will be used to complete attention given to him/her When the second child comes and “dethrones” the first child, this child often battles for his/her lost position. The child may act like a baby and cry, refusing to grow up Some may become disobedient and rebellious Adler believed the eldest child is more likely than any other to become a problem child On the positive side – they tend to be solitary and more conservative They are also extremely caring with the rest of the family and extremely responsible
Second child This child has the role as the “pace-setter” He/she will often be very competitive, constantly trying to outdo the eldest child – they also often succeed They still feel often throughout their whole lives that the race is never complete and tend to dream of constantly running without getting anywhere
Youngest child Most likely to be most pampered in the family with more than one child – this child is never ‘dethroned’ that’s why! Youngest children are often the second most likely source of problem children after the first children They may also incredibly feel inferior with everyone being older, thus “superior” The youngest are often very social and confident and usually funnier