PSY 239 401 Chapter 11 SLIDES


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  • Anxiety from psychic conflict: when the mind battles itself
    The things we want (from the id), that are possible (from the world), and that are morally right (from the superego) are not always the same.
    Compromise formation: find a compromise for competing demands; may be the most important function of the ego
  • From the outside world: mortality, relationships, performance, career aspirations, threats to self-esteem
    Terror management theory: Many of our thought processes and motivations are based on an effort to deal with the fact that we will die.
    Is realistic anxiety good or bad for us?
    Bad: It can lead to depression; optimistic people are happier and have better mental health.
    Good: forces us to deal with the cause of anxiety
    Goal: keep it within bounds: some anxiety is good, but too much or too little is bad
  • Think About It
  • Definition: techniques the ego uses to keep certain thoughts and impulses hidden in order to avoid or lessen anxiety
    Denial: refusal to acknowledge, or failure to see, a source of anxiety
    Effective way to deal with initial shock: common reaction when people learn they have a fatal illness
    Can lead to lack of contact with reality, if used too long
    Research: People deny the implications and interpretations of events that they find threatening; external attributions for failure
  • Repression: banishing the past from present awareness; more complex, farther reaching, and longer lasting than denial
    The more things are repressed, the more things related to the anxiety-provoking thought or impulse are also repressed
    The ego can run out of energy: Only a certain number of things can be repressed before they start causing anxiety; many forbidden impulses may become conscious at the same time and result in lashing out, emotional outbursts, and other irrational behaviors
    Can cause depression: If there isn’t enough energy left over for other purposes; this is what Freud thought
    Research: trying not to think about something may decrease memory retrieval later (this supports repression as a defense mechanism), but it can also cause you to think about it more
  • This is on p. 384 in the new edition
  • Reaction formation: instigation of the opposite of forbidden thoughts, feelings, and impulses
    The opposite thought, feeling, or behavior is usually illogically strong and out of proportion to the provocation; example: gay bashing
    Research support: high sex guilt and homophobia are related to less psychological arousal but more physiological arousal in response to sexual stimuli
    Activity 11-1. Third Eagle of the Apocalypse
  • Projection: attributing to someone else a thought or impulse that is feared in oneself
    Research: participants rated another person worse on their own supposedly bad trait that they were told not to think about
    Rationalization: concoction of a rational reason for doing something that would otherwise cause shame; perhaps the most common defense mechanism
    Activity 11-2. “I enjoy young people”
    Trivialization: convincing yourself that your shortcomings or regrettable actions don’t matter
    Cognitive dissonance: felt when cognitions and behaviors are inconsistent; people change beliefs to match behaviors unless there is a way to discount or trivialize the behavior
  • Intellectualization: turning an anxiety-provoking feeling into a thought that is cool, abstract, and analytical
    Research: effective for reducing anxiety
  • Displacement: replacing one object of emotion with another
    Can be a problem if the necessary direct action is not taken or if the target is innocent
    Research: Displacement is generally ineffective; people who express displaced aggression often become more aggressive, not less.
    Sublimation: forbidden impulses are transformed into constructive behaviors; artists, scientists
    Occupational choice (surgeon, lawyer): constructive expression of desires and impulses
    According to Freud, this is a positive process and a part of normal functioning because it channels psychic energy into useful pursuits
    Baumeister et al. article from the reader—Freudian defense mechanisms and empirical findings in modern social psychology
  • Definition: leakages from the unconscious mind that manifest as mistakes, accidents, omissions, or memory lapses
    Forgetting: suppressing something in the unconscious mind affects real life
  • Slips: unintended actions
    Humor: a forbidden impulse is expressed in a controlled manner
    A form of sublimation; an impulse is vented in a safe and enjoyable way
    Good jokes: surprise is used to let otherwise problematic thoughts and impulses be enjoyed without causing anxiety
    Bad jokes: there is not a forbidden impulse (a person who is not suppressing aggressive tendencies will not perceive a violent joke to be funny); too direct to be surprising
    Activity 11-3. Funny commercial
  • Theories are based on introspection and insight from specific cases, not on public, scientific observations
    High likelihood of bias (therapist may influence what client says or bias may affect the interpretation of what is said)
    Operational definitions: operations or procedures used to identify or measure them; example: psychic energy
  • Untestability: Hypotheses based on the theory can only sometimes be proven false.
  • Focused on ideas that are underemphasized elsewhere: conflicting motives are a source of confusion and anxiety; sex and aggression are powerful forces in psychological life; importance of childhood experiences for adult personality and behavior; a child’s relationship with parents forms a template for later relationships
    Influence on the practice of psychotherapy: use of talking to help problems, free association, transference
  • Many ideas in popular culture: helps people think and talk about each other
    Complete theory of personality: covered all the important issues that we should continue to study
  • Correct answer: b (d is incorrect because jokes are funny because they allow for the expression of impulses without anxiety)
  • Correct answer: c
  • Correct answer: d
  • PSY 239 401 Chapter 11 SLIDES

    1. 1. Chapter 11: The Workings of the Unconscious Mind: Defenses and Slips The Personality Puzzle Sixth Edition by David C. Funder Slides created by Tera D. Letzring Idaho State University © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1
    2. 2. Objectives • Discuss anxiety • Discuss defense mechanisms and how they are used to deal with anxiety • Discuss slips and humor • Evaluate Freud’s contribution to psychology © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2
    3. 3. Anxiety • Anxiety from psychic conflict – Things we want vs. those that are possible vs. those that are morally right – Compromise formation – We usually do not know what is causing the anxiety © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 3
    4. 4. Anxiety • Realistic anxiety – From the outside world – Underestimated by Freud – Terror management theory – Is realistic anxiety good or bad for us? – Goal: keep it within bounds © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 4
    5. 5. Think About It • Can you be anxious about something without knowing what it is? Or does that strike you as nonsensical? © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 5
    6. 6. Defense Mechanisms • Definition • Not used consciously • Denial – Common and effective in the short run – Can lead to lack of contact with reality – Blame failures on external circumstances or other people – Effective way to deal with initial shock – Research 6 © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
    7. 7. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 7
    8. 8. Defense Mechanisms • Repression – The stronger the anxiety would be if something were remembered, the more things are repressed – The ego can run out of energy – Can cause depression – Research © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 8
    9. 9. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 9
    10. 10. Defense Mechanisms • Reaction formation – Common with especially strong sources of anxiety – Usually illogically strong and out of proportion – Research support © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 10
    11. 11. Defense Mechanisms • Projection – Research • Rationalization – Trivialization – Recent research: cognitive dissonance © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 11
    12. 12. Defense Mechanisms • Intellectualization – Common in warfare and medicine – Useful when reality is horrifying or too painful to deal with directly – Problematic if reality is not dealt with appropriately – Research © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 12
    13. 13. Defense Mechanisms • Displacement – The other object is a safer target and usually resembles the real target – Can be a problem – Research • Sublimation – Occupational choice – A positive process © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 13
    14. 14. Parapraxes • • • • Definition Freudian slips From belief in determinism Forgetting – Usually the result of repression © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 14
    15. 15. Parapraxes • Slips: unintended actions – Often in speech, but also in action – More likely when a person is tired, not paying attention, in a hurry, or excited • Humor – A form of sublimation – Good jokes vs. bad jokes © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 15
    16. 16. Psychoanalytic Theory: A Critique • Excessive complexity • Dependence on case studies – Theories are based on introspection and insight from specific cases – High likelihood of bias • Vague definitions – Concepts not defined in terms of operational definitions © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 16
    17. 17. Psychoanalytic Theory: A Critique • Untestability: cannot be proven false • Sexism – Males are considered to be the norm – Females are considered as aberrations or deviations from the male model – Freud thought females had less self-esteem, creativity, and morality than males, and spent most of their lives coming to terms with not being male © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 17
    18. 18. Why Study Freud? • Focused on ideas that are underemphasized elsewhere • Influence on modern conceptions of the mind • Influence on the practice of psychotherapy © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 18
    19. 19. Why Study Freud? • Many ideas in popular culture • Revival of Freudian thought in research • Proposed the only complete theory of personality © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 19
    20. 20. Clicker Question #1 Which of the following statements about anxiety is true? a) Anxiety is always bad. b)Anxiety can result from two sources: the mind and the outside world. c) Parapraxes are a way to avoid anxiety. d) Jokes are only funny if they cause us anxiety. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 20
    21. 21. Clicker Question #2 If you think a person is extremely rude, and this person constantly talks about times that other people have been rude, then this person is likely using the defense mechanism of a) denial. b) reaction formation. c) projection. d) intellectualization. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 21
    22. 22. Clicker Question #3 Which of the following about Freud’s theory is true? a)It is no longer an important part of psychological thought. b)It has been proven false. c)It was too simplistic to explain all of personality. d)Many of the issues that Freud thought to be important are topics of current research. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 22