This week focuses on psychodynamic models of personality development. We will compare and contrastthe views of various psychodynamic theorists, paying special attention to Freuds and Adlers explanationsof personality structure, development, and change. Discussions will explore the relevance of psychody-namic theory in our modern society.Learning Objectives:After studying Chapter 2 - Freud: Psychoanalysis, students should be able to: 1.Describe how Freud’s childhood experiences may have influenced his theory of personality. 2.Argue pro or con whether Freud was scientific in his writings. 3.Describe the three provinces of the mind and explain how they relate to the three levels of mental life. 4.Explain Freud’s concept of the sexual and aggressive instincts. 5.List the Freudian defense mechanisms and give examples of each. 6.Summarize the psychosexual stages of development and their possible effects of personality devel-opment. 7.Explain why Freud’s early therapeutic technique relates to contemporary reports of recovered memo-ries. 8.Trace the development of the Oedipus complex for boys and girls. 9.Describe Freud’s concept of dreams.After studying Chapter 3 - Adler: Individual Psychology, students should be able to: 1.Distinguish between striving for superiority and striving for success. 2.Describe the role of subjective perceptions in Adler’s theory of personality. 3.Discuss Adler’s concept of fictionalism. 4.Explain how seemingly contradictory behaviors may reflect a single goal of striving for superiority. 5.Explain organ dialect and give examples of how it is expressed in a person’s behavior. 6.Define social interest and give examples of what it is and what it is not. 7.Discuss Alder’s concept of creative power and be prepared to debate the validity of this concept. 8.Define causality and teleology and discuss Adler’s teleological approach. 9.List and describe three types of Adlerian safeguarding tendencies. 10.Discuss Adler’s ideas on birth order. 11.Discuss research on Adler’s hypotheses concerning early recollections. Psychodynamic Theory: Freud and AdlerPsychodynamic theory emphasizes the power of the unconscious mind and the role of intrapsychic con-flict in personality development. Psychodynamic theory, particularly psychoanalysis, is considered the firstforce in psychology. There are a range of psychodynamic theories including psychoanalysis, individualpsychology, analytical psychology, object relations theory, psychoanalytic social theory, humanistic psy-choanalysis, interpersonal theory and a host of other neo-Freudian theories. The one thing shared by allpsychodynamic perspectives is a recognition of the unconscious forces that shape our thoughts, emotionsand behaviors. Beyond this common base, each theory emphasizes a different set of forces that moldpersonality.This week, we will be examining two influential psychodynamic theorists: Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler.To get started, please read Chapter 2, Freud: Psychoanalysis and Chapter 3, Adler: Individual Psycholo-gy.
Sigmund FreudFreud is considered the father of psychodynamic theory. As a matter of fact, Freud is such an influentialpsychologist, that a song was written about his theory and therapeutic techniques; click on the song titleto hear "The Ballad of Sigmund Freud" (text version). Freud was one of the first psychologists to fully rec-ognize the role of the unconscious mind and its influence on personality. Most of Freuds theoriesstemmed directly from his clinical experience; view the video "The Biography of Sigmund Freud" (text ver-sion) for a detailed look at the role of Freuds professional experiences and personal insight on the devel-opment of his psychodynamic theory.He theorized that mental activity occurs on three levels: conscious, preconscious and unconscious. Themind operates across all levels and is made up of three distinct components: id, ego and superego. Ourpersonality emerges as a product of the dynamic relationship between the structures of the mind and con-sciousness. View the following animation that illustrates the structure of personality and its relationship tothe levels of consciousness.A key factor in Freuds theory is the idea that we are constantly being pushed in different directions by arange of unconscious instincts and conscious pressures. This intrapsychic conflict leads to anxiety. In or-der to deal with the anxiety and restore mental balance, we unconsciously utilize defense mechanisms.For an overview of defense mechanisms, listen to "In Defense of Defense Mechanisms" athttp://www.thepsychfiles.com/. To gain a better understanding of the use of defense mechanisms, pleaseview the following presentation (you will need to turn on your speakers):PowerPoint on Freudian Defense Mechanisms (If the link does not work, please go to Doc Sharing todownload the powerpoint. Remember to check out all the notes under each slide. The notes explain theslides)To test your understanding of basic Freudian defense mechanisms CLICK HERE.Freuds theories were very controversial due to the emphasis on sex and aggression as key elements ofunconscious influence. Particularly troublesome was his developmental theory examining the role of sex-uality and conflict in children. Freuds Psychosexual Development Oral Phase← Birth-age 2← Primary erogenous zone is the mouth← Emphasis on sucking Anal Phase •Ages 2-3 •Primary erogenous zone is the anus •Emphasis on toilet training Phallic Phase Ages 4-7 •Primary erogenous zone is genitals •Emphasis on masturbation Latency Period Ages 7-11 •Dormant or suppressed psychosexual development • Genital Period
•Ages 12-adult •Primary erogenous zone is the genitals; Emphasis on mature sexual relationshipsIn addition to criticisms over his sexualized theory of development, Freud has been highly criticized for thegender bias in his theories and his views on women. For a more detailed look at Freuds views on wom-en, please read the article "Why Was Sigmund Freud Unable to Understand Women?".Despite the controversy surrounding Freud and his theories, his psychoanalytic theory is undoubtedly oneof the most influential personality theories. Many of the theorists we will study worked directly with Freud,others started their career collaborating with Freud before breaking away to promote their own theories,and other theorists spent their careers working in direct opposition to Freuds ideas.Supplemental resources: •Chapter outline •PowerPoint review of chapterQuestions for further thought: •Describe how Freuds three levels of mental life relate to his concept of the provinces of the mind. •Trace the development of both the male and the female phallic stages and explain why Freud believedthat they follow different paths. •How does Freuds early therapeutic technique relate to recent reports of childhood abuse?____________________________________________________________________________________Alfred AdlerAdler was one of Freuds original followers and was a member of the Psychological Wednesday Society.The Psychological Wednesday Society was a small, elite group of psychologists led by Freud. Membersof the Wednesday Society were hand-selected by Freud and included only those psychologists whoseideas and theories emerged as a direct result of Freuds theoretical influence. As such, the beliefs andvalues underlying Adlers theories share the same core principles as Freuds psychodynamic perspective.While Freud and Adler worked very closely together for a period of time, Adler began to challenge Freudsideas with his own views about the role of individual experience. As a result of their differences, theirworking relationship eventually dissolved and their theories moved in opposing directions. For more infor-mation on the split between these two theorists, read the article "Why Did Alfred Adler Really Break withFreud?".Like Freud, Adler believed that humans are motivated by a unconscious forces and that these forces cre-ate conflict; this conflict in term provides the motivation for personality formation and change. In contrastto Freud, Adler did not believe that people are primarily driven by sexual and aggressive instincts. Rather,Adlers theory of individual psychology highlights the role of each individual person in their attemptsto seek success in relation to their individual experiences in the world.The key underlying theme of Adlers individual psychology is that people are continually striving for suc-cess. In Adlers theory, the phrase "striving for success" doesnt mean that we are all trying to getahead or be better than other people, it simply means that we are driven by an internal pressure to be thebest that we can be. Adlers theory recognizes the role of each individuals subjective perception in under-standing and interpreting their unique environment.Adler coined the term "inferiority complex" to describe the unconscious, motivating force that leads us tostrive for success. Inferiority is the natural, biological result of being human. Humans are born as small,weak creatures who are "inferior" to the stronger adults around them. This inferiority serves as a motivatorto compete, compensate, and grow. As such, people are highly influenced by their immediate environ-
ment as these people provide a comparative basis from which to judge our own abilities. In this view, thefamily becomes an important influence on personality development. Please view the following presenta-tion: •PowerPoint on Family Constellation (If the link does not work, please go to Doc Sharing to downloadthe powerpoint. Remember to check out all the notes under each slide. The notes explain the slides)While Adler may not be one of the most well-known theorists, his ideas are pivotal in our understanding ofthe role of personal subjective experience as an influence on personality. Adlers ideas served as aspringboard for many other psychologists including Sullivan, Horney, Rogers, Ellis, May and others. Youwill see numerous Adlerian themes appear as we examine the theories proposed by these individuals.Supplemental resources: •Chapter outline •PowerPoint review of chapterQuestions for further thought: •Differentiate the striving for superiority and the striving for success in Adlers theory of personality. •Describe the role of subjective perceptions in Adlers theory of personality. •List and describe three Adlerian safeguarding tendencies.