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Lecture 4

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McGill University
PSYC 331
Donald Taylor

LECTURE 4 PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY th January 16 , 2013 PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY  A psychological theory that assumes persons are irrational o It is an interesting starting point because it is not as other theories, such as in economics, that assume individuals are rational o According to Freud, the ID, Ego and Superego are struggling inside the individual at the unconscious level o He believes that if you want to understand inter-group conflicts, you should look at your own hang-ups  Frustration/Aggression  The authoritarian personality  Freud did not have anything very scientific  Until 20 years ago, you didn’t have cognitive science o They started to use response time and computer programs to measure different behavior o It ignores group theories  Freud was the kind of guy that theorized about everything and anything, including groups SELF-ESTEEM  Freud introduced the unconscious self-esteem  Line 1: Genuine positive conscious self-esteem o People who tend to have high conscious self-esteem  Tend to have high outgroup attitudes  Line 2: Cover-up positive conscious self-esteem o People with UNCONSCIOUS self-esteem, but a positive conscious self-esteem  Tend to have a negative attitude toward other groups o According to Freud, people here do not feel good about themselves and they cover it up by bragging about themselves  They are patriotic and look for information to put other groups down  Line 3 o Negative unconscious and conscious self-esteem  Tend to have a positive attitude toward outgroups  Make us think about disadvantaged groups in society who look positively to other groups  This is a basic theory for inter-group conflicts o If you want to understand inter-group conflicts, you need to look at the underneath psychological conflicts o You need to keep looking for Line 2 who experience psychological insecurity FRUSTRATION/AGGRESSION THEORY  Frustration o The blocking of a goal directed activity  Aggression o Behavior intended to harm  Theory o Frustration always leads to aggression BUT  Aggression is usually displaced because the source of frustration is too powerful (after all they do have the power to block goal directed behavior) THEREFORE  Aggression is displaced on to a weaker target (might even be the self)  Frustration always leads to aggression o Ex: If you get 32% on an essay, you might kick the cat on the way back home since you cannot get it on the prof!  You need to get rid of the frustration by using aggression  However, the closer your aggression is to the source of frustration, the more psychologically satisfying  The point is that where the aggression is displayed must be a target that cannot fight back BUT it still as close as possible to the source of frustration  When we raise these concerns to the group-level, it raises the complexity significantly o Example: Holocaust  Germany, before WWII, was deeply into financial problems. The nation was experiencing a lot of
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