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CHAPTER 8-1.docx

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Connie Boudens

CHAPTER 8: INTRAPSYCHIC FOUNDATIONS OF PERSONALITY - Attachment Theory: we form emotional bonds with our caregivers which become mental representations called internal working models of all future intimate relationships - Transference: unconscious redirection of feelings for one person onto a different person who resembles the original person in some way, especially from a person who was important in childhood onto a person important in present - Key premise of psychoanalytic psychology is that we form mental representations of ourselves, others and relationships from early experiences Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis Background - Freud influenced by scientists and philosophers of the day and believed he had a solution to the mind-body problem: instincts - He thought there had to be a similar energy source for the mind (psychic energy) and that this energy fueled the functions of the mind including thinking imaging, and remembering - Instinct: a tension, or an excitation originating from within the body - The habitual ways we deal with our impulses form or personality - There are 2 broad categories of instincts: Eros (Life Instincts) and Thanatos (Death Instincts) - Libido: psychic energy of the life instincts Uncovering the Unconscious - Free Association: patient relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, may lead patient to reveal unconscious thoughts - Dream Analysis: detailed examination of the content and symbolism of dreams to decipher hidden meanings o Manifest content: what is actually seen in dreams o Latent content: the true meaning behind the dream - Suppressed thoughts are more likely to appear in our dreams but this doesn’t have to do with desires or wishes - Parapraxes: mistakes caused by unconscious desires - Humor: Jokes give us a socially acceptable means of expressing aggression and sexual desires through laughter - Symbolic Behaviours: actions that seem innocent but represent deeper motives Then and Now - Complexes: what we call a schema today, are patterns of thoughts, memories, and perceptions organized about a theme - The idea that our reaction times can reveal our hidden thoughts and feelings is also behind more modern assessment technique: Implicit Association Test (IAT): Uses reaction times to measure strength of association between concepts Freud’s View of Personality: The Structural and Topographical Models The Structural Model of Personality: Id, Ego Superego - Id works through Primary Process Thinking: makes decisions without logical rules and conscious thought (pure instinctual energy, bundle of reflexes and urges) o Operates according to Pleasure Principle: wanting what it wants, when it wants it o Two ways of satisfying the id:  Reflex Action: through immediate physical action  Wish Fulfillment: imagining what it wants - Ego works through reality principle: tries to satisfy the id within the constraints of social and physical reality o Operates using Secondary process thinking: logical thinking, weighing the costs and rewards of possible courses of action - Superego contains moral standards. Has two parts: conscience and ego ideal o Conscience: contains knowledge of what we should not do o Ego Ideal: contains knowledge of what we are suppose to do The Topographical Model of Personality: Conscious, Preconscious, Subconscious - Conscious: contains thoughts and sensations that we are currently aware of - Preconscious: contains thoughts that are just outside of our awareness, thoughts that are easily accessible and that we are easily accessible and can readily summon into our consciousness - Unconscious: contains urges, thoughts, wishes, desires, and memories that were unable to know about o Can produce particular thoughts feelings behaviours and defenses in us related to our impulses and for this reason is often called the motivated unconscious - There is more of a continuum between conscious and unconscious than a clear cut line - Cognitive Unconscious: motivated and goal driven , the unconscious mind much like conscious can help regulate our thoughts emotions, motivations, goals and even intentions without all the conflict and drama Anxiety and the Defense Mechanisms - Sometimes the balancing of id superego, and reality is too much for ego and causes anxiety that can come out in physical symptom (conversion reaction) or psychological symptom - One way ego can prevent or lessen anxiety and acheieve a balance among desire (id) and morality (superego) is to use Defense Mechanisms: o Reaction Formation: instead of expressing a threatening id impulse, people express the opposite id impulse. o Isolation: when we mentally isolate a threatening thought by keeping it separate from other thoughts and feelings  Intellectualization: isolate the emotion so that we can experience thoughts or memories without the disturbing feelings o Denial: when we refuse to believe or even acknowledge a threatening or traumatic event or the emotions associated with the event o Undoing: a person who has either thought about performing or who has already performed an unacceptable behaviour attempts to nullify that action with a later action o Projection: we attribute our own disturbing or unacceptable impulses to another person  Not thinking about an undesirable trait actually increases in the tendency to see that trait in other people o Displacement: the true id impulse is expressed but the target of the impulse is changed into a more acceptable one (i.e. a child hitting a wall instead of their mom)  Often alternative explanations account for results better than displacement  Idea of displacement hinges on catharsis – build up of unsatisfied id impulses builds up and must be realised somehow  Release of id energy is called catharsis o Sublimation: change the unacceptable id impulse into something more
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