PSYB30H3 Lecture Notes - Erich Fromm

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1 Feb 2011
Lecture 4
Experienced childhood illness and several injuries; developed fear of death
Average student but rose to superior position especially in mathematics
Studied medicine at the University of Vienna
Was President of the International Psychoanalytic Association, but disagreed with
Freud’s perspectives
Adler’s Basic Concepts
Emphasized the importance of human culture and society in the development of
individual personality
Social Interest—urge in human nature to adapt oneself to the conditions of the
social environment
Finalism—individuals are oriented towards goals that guide their behaviour,
many of which cannot be proven and are judged by their usefulness
oWe try to make sense of our lives, eg. Why are we in school?
oHUGE POINT: Adler was future oriented didn’t worry about the past,
looked at how the person feels about their lives and how they are
oNothing is set in stone—it is how we make sense of our experience—Only
way we can make sense is by the outcome
Fictional Finalism/ Narratives/ Control
oMost important goal of humansMASTER THEIR ENVIRONMENT
oAlmost all problems in life can be traced back to a matter of Control
Adler’s Basic Concepts
When he talked about control—coined Superiority Complexity and Inferiority
Complex—Life is about striving for something
oStriving for SUPERIORITY—the drive for competence and effectiveness
in whatever one strives to do
oINFERIORITY feelings arise from childhood dependence and lead us to
strive for superiority
oInitially associated inferiority with femininity but later realized that
society played a role in perpetuating male dominance: MASCULINE
PROTEST (similar to Freud’s Penis envy)
oSuggested that exaggerated masculinity--
Adler overcame a lot of Adversity—he assumed it was normal for most people to
Peoples perceptions shape how we see the world
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Assume everyone experiences things the way we do—PROJECTION
STYLE OF LIFE—unique way each individual seeks to cope with environment
and develop superiority—How you master your environment (if you are fit—you
could try to bully people, if you are smart—work hard in school)
oInfluenced by…
Family constellation (BIRTH ORDER)
CREATIVE SELFInterprets experiences of the organism and establishes a person’s
style of life.
Unlike Freud (who believed our personality is set)
Individuals create their own personalities
Adler worked with Conscious. CONCIOUSNESS central to personality—we can
understand our motives through self-examinationThis view opposite of Freud’s
emphasis on unconscious
Adler looked at neurosis differently Most expectations are too high—will never
achieve them
Adlerian Psychotherapy
Neurosesunrealistic life goals (fictional finalisms)
oEstablish contact and win confidence of patient
oDisclose errors in patient’s lifestyle and provide insight into present
In reality—it does not work for most people to have a therapist tell them what
their problems are.—It won’t change them—they will keep doing it
BUT—Adler says you can’t do anything with out being aware of it—but that is
not sufficient on it’s own
COMPENSATION—build up on weakness
Assessment and Research in Adler’s Theory
Adler’s theory stems from clinical observation
Primary tools of assessment include study of
oDreams—Are about understanding the future—goals to be met—tell you
something about your needs—give you insight into what you really want
to do in life.
oEarly memories
oBirth order
Birth Order and Personality
oAdler was the first Psychologist to say that our birth order has an impact on what
we become
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oKnowing someone is first born—and then saying their characteristics What is
impressive IS if they tell you their characteristics THEN you tell them their
oRead through List A and B from your text and check those that apply to you in
comparison with your brothers and sisters. If you are an only child, check those
that apply to you in comparison to your peers
oCRITICAL THINKING: Didn’t count for the age gaps, family size, Socio-
economic status, Neighbourhood, GENDER
oThe problem with research on BIRTH ORDER, compare BETWEEN families
doesn’t account for confounds—take a whole bunch of first-borns that have no
relation to each other
oBiggest confound for BIRTH ORDER—Socio-Economic status
oMORE IMPORTANT THAN BIRTH ORDER—how your parents deal with
the birth order.
oTwo Boys—Parents are hands-off, First born hits second born, 2nd born
learns that life is cruel
oVs the parents saying to the 2nd born—“Why can’t you be like 1st born”
oOr “Don’t be like 1st born—he’s a punk—we screwed up with him
oIf parents think that the youngest is supposed to be the baby—the kid will
act like the baby
oWHAT ABOUT TWINSParents will notice differences in temperate,
will like the one that cried less—and will like them from then on.
oInstead of studying between families—study with in family
Philosophy, Science and Art: Adler’s Theory
oEmphasized philosophical point of view rather than attempt to study personality
oBorn in New York, child of Irish Catholic farmers
oShy and awkward, had difficulty getting along with peers in community
oReceived scholarship to Cornell but was suspended for academic failure, received
medical degree from Chicago College
Sullivan’s Basic Concepts
oDefined personality as the character ways in which an individual deals with other
oAnxiety and unawareness
oAnxiety is interpersonal in origin and observable (Anxiety comes from
other people—Freud said it came from inside
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