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07 - Adler
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07 - Adler


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  • 1. Alfred Adler 1870 –1937
  • 2. Alfred Adler
  • 3. •First member of the psychoanalytic group to break with Freud •Developed his own society, own journal, new approach – individual psychology •The word individual means ‘undivided’- Adler stressed the importance of seeing people as wholes as opposed to a series of partsMajor Contributions…
  • 4.  1.Style of Life 2. Striving for Superiority 3. Parental Influence on Personality Development 4. Birth OrderMajor Contributions
  • 5. 1. Style of Life
  • 6.  Refers to how you live your life, handle problems and interpersonal relations. Nowadays called LIFESTYLE! Developed a typology to illustrate characteristics under different styles of life.Style of Life
  • 7.  Getting/Leaning: selfish, no give-just take. Anti-social with low activity levels Avoiding: hate being defeated. May be successful but without risks. Low social contact, fear of rejection/defeat. Ruling/Dominant: Strive for power; willing to manipulate. Prone to anti-social behaviour Socially Useful: very outgoing and active. Lots of social contact, strive for the good.Adler’s Four types of Style of Life
  • 9.  Life begins with a sense of inferiority. This perception of inferiority = lifelong struggle to overcome such feelings: striving for superiority. Believed striving for superiority was THE motivating force in life.Striving for Superiority
  • 10.  “I began to see clearly in every psychological phenomenon the striving for superiority. It runs parallel to physical growth and is an intrinsic necessity of life itself. It lies at the root of all solutions of life’s problems. All our functions follow its direction”Adler, in Ansbacher&Ansbacher, 1956, p.103
  • 11.  Adler argued that the MORE we perceive ourselves to be inferior, the stronger our superiority striving might be.WHY?
  • 12.  Adler believed the well-adjusted person expresses the striving for superiority through concern for the social interest.The well adjusted
  • 13.  Reflects his strong belief that humans are social creatures Believed people can be motivated by positive social urges, an innate instinct which makes community gain a higher priority than personal gain, where people lower their own needs for the greater good. Potential is innate, but needs proper nurturance/ guidance Believed that marital conflict, unloving relationship etc hindered development of social interest According to Adler, a person’s degree of social interest indicates their psychological healthSOCIAL INTEREST
  • 14.  Superiority complex Inferiority complex Compensation.Other Responses to inferiority
  • 15.  These people are poorly adjusted and expresses through selfishness and a concern for personal glory at the expense of others.Superiority complex
  • 16.  A belief that one is so inferior to everyone else that the reaction is helplessness rather than motivation to establish superiority. Primary inferiority: the original, normal feeling e.g. physiological difficulties, obstacles Secondary inferiority: feelings of insufficiency from adopting an unrealistically high/impossible compensatory goal – perfection It is a NEUROSISInferiority Complex
  • 17.  Adler also stresses on the concepts of compensation and overcompensation: the pursuit of activities that are designed to make up or overcome the inferiority.COMPENSATION/OVERCOMPENSATION
  • 19.  Adler placed great emphasis on the role of parents in the formation of personality. Two types almost certain to lead to problems: Pampering NeglectParental Influence
  • 20.  Too much attention and overprotection. Robs the child of independence  stronger feelings of inferiority  basis for adult neurosis. How to avoid: allow children to be independent, make a few of their own choices and mistakes.Pampering
  • 21.  Children who are not given enough attention. According to Adler, they will grow up cold and suspicious of others. Incapable of developing strong interpersonal relationships  inability to loveNeglect
  • 23.  First psychologist to outline a theory on the role of birth order in personality development. First child = much parental attention and pampering. Second child = first born ‘dethroned’ and attention is shared. First born = problem children, neurotics criminals, drunkards and perverts Middle child = strong superiority striving to surpass older sibling. Last borns= spoiled by all members. Dependent, strong feelings of inferiority.BIRTH ORDER
  • 24.  Scientific? How do we measure striving for success? Inferiority complexes? Too anecdotal – does not have generalityCRITICISMS