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Chapter 8 notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Connie Boudens

Chapter 8: The Intrapsychic Foundations of Personality According to attachment theory we form emotional bonds with our caregivers, which become mental representations, called internal working models Our early relationships with parent and caregivers become transferred onto future potential partners, especially if they resemble these significant people in terms of personality characteristics and typical behaviours (transference) SIGMUND FREUD AND PSYCHOANALYSIS Freud believed that psychic energy fueled the functions of the mind including, thinking, imagining, and remembering According to the law of conservation in physics, Freud reasoned that energy within the mind-body system must also be conserved; neither created not deserved He hypothesized that body energy and psychic energy could be turned into each other thru an instinct, a “mental representation of a physical or bodily need” Freud’s original German word for what we call instincts (an excitation originating from within the body) was “trieb”, but the English word impulse really comes closer to capturing the concept Freud was trying to describe 2 broad categories of instinct:  Eros- life instinct  Concerned with survival of the individual and the species  Includes the needs for food, water, air, and sex  Libido: psychic energy of the life instinct  According to Freud the most important life instinct is sex  Thanatos- death instincts  All living things decay and die  Death and destruction must be inborn instincts as well  Freud discussed only 1 death instinct: aggression Freud proposes we get unconscious material from hypnosis, free association, dreams, Freudian slips, humor, and symbolic behaviours Free Association:  When a patient relaxes and says whatever comes to mind without consciously trying to control, monitor, or censor what he or she says  May lead the patient to reveal unconscious thoughts  Useful for patients describing their dreams Dream analysis:  Detailed examination of the content and symbolism of dreams in order to decipher their hidden, unconscious meaning  When we are asleep, it is the perfect time for our unconscious thoughts, dreams, and wishes to make themselves known  Freud believed that dreaming acted as a safety value allowing a controlled release of unconscious tension built up by our instincts  Dreams allow wish fulfillment and gratification of our instincts in a safe, symbolic form  Manifest content: on waking, many people are able to describe in great detail what they saw in their dreams  Latent content: true meaning of the dream  Supressed thoughts will appear later in our dreams Parapraxes (mistakes in speaking and acting):  Another way our unconscious urges can reveal themselves is thru mistakes in thought or deed  For Freud, nothing is ever done by mistake (he believed that slips-of-the-tongue, bungled actions- picking up tuning fork instead of a hammer, mistakes and errors, forgotten names and words, lost and mislaid objects, misreadings, slips of the pen and misprints, and other chance actions reveal our hidden desires)  Parapaxes: mistakes caused by unconscious desires  Freudian slip: mistake in speech, people make verbal errors as a result of priming from whatever is on their mind, not necessarily from forbidden id impulses, such slips may be caused by cognitive indecision over word choice Humor:  Jokes, especially spur of the moment one-liners and comebacks and spontaneous reactions, can be analyzed, much like dreams, to uncover the unacceptable desires they satisfy  Jokes give us socially acceptable means of expressing aggression & sexual desires thru laughter  Many people who wouldn`t normally express these impulses find sexual jokes, bathroom humor, and jokes playing on unflattering stereotypes about gender, height, hair color, religion, ethnicity, or profession quite funny  Consciously we might be thinking “I was only kidding” the impulses expressed are quite real to our unconscious Symbolic Behaviour:  Allow us to safely express our id impulses under the facade of a kind behaviour  People with an oral fixation are those who gratify their urges thru smoking, eating, or even biting sarcasm  These oral behaviours symbolize or stand in as more acceptable ways of getting sexual (smoking, eating), or aggressive (sarcasm) gratification The word association method was used by many psychologists of the day to identify the connections people made between words. Jung took it to a new level by using the test to identify unconscious complexes, or important concerns for a person that he/she may not be aware of. Complexes, what we call a schema today, are patterns of thoughts, memories, and perception organized about a theme Implicit Association Test (IAT): uses reaction times to measure strength of associations btwn concepts The Structural Model of Personality Id  Freud referred to it as das es or “the it”  emphasizes that it contains pure instinctual energy and is a bundle of reflexes and urges  operates thru primary process thinking meaning that it makes decisions without logical rules and conscious though  completely out of our control, being housed entirely in the unconscious  we see the workings of the id in unconscious behaviours like dreams and parapraxes  operates according to the pleasure principle- wanting what it wants when it wants, and demanding immediate gratification  2 ways of satisfying an id instinct: 1. Reflex action- id seeks gratification thru immediate physical action (if not possible/not practical to carry out a reflex action, id may try wish fulfillment) 2. Wish fulfillment- seeks gratification by imagining what it wants (for the id, fantasy can be just as satisfying as reality, or at least temporarily. In this way dreams can serve as wish fulfillment for the impulses of the id) Ego  Das ich or the “I”  Part of the personality that decides whether the id will be satisfied or not  Ego must try to match the wishes of the id with objects and events in the real world thru a process called identification  It must operate according to the reality principle where it tries to satisfy the id within the constraints of social and physical reality  Ego must figure out how to get the most amount of pleasure for the id with the least amount of negative consequence from both reality and from the superego  Ego operates using secondary process thinking- logical thinking, weighing the costs and rewards of possible courses of action Superego  Das uber ich or the “Over I” or the “above me”  Can reward or punish the ego for making a wrong decision in satisfying the id impulses  Contains moral standards for thinking and acting, standing like a harsh judge looking down over everything we do ready to inflict punishment on the ego for allowing id impulses to escape  Strives for perfection, and is just as unrealistic as the id  Contains society’s standards of behaviour that we have learned from our parents while growing up  Superego has 2 parts: 1. Conscious  Not to be confused with the conscious mind  Contains knowledge of what we should and should not do  Where we have internalizes, or accepted as our own, actions from our past for which we have been punished  Punishes us when we do something wrong with feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment 2. Ego ideal  Contains knowledge of what we should do  Where we have internalized experiences for which we’ve been rewarded  Rewards us with feelings of pride when we have done the right thing The Topographic Model of Personality Conscious mind- contains the thoughts and sensations that we are currently aware of Preconscious mind- contains the thoughts and sensations that are just outside our awareness, thoughts that are easily accessible and that we could readily summon into our consciousness Unconscious mind- contains urges, thoughts, wishes, desires, and memories that we are unable to know about (we are unable to retrieve thoughts from the unconscious by our own efforts except under the special circumstances- dreams, parapraxes, symbolic behaviours…)  Motivated unconscious- the unconscious can produce particular thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and defenses in us related to our impulses  Cognitive unconscious- motivated and goal driven Conversion reaction: when the balancing of id, superego, and reality is too much for the ego and causes anxiety Defense mechanism- ego’s way of handling a threatening thought or an unacceptable impulse to protect itself and minimize anxiety, some defence mechanisms are:  Repression  pushes unacceptable impulses and thoughts into the unconscious  suppression: ego consciously keeps unacceptable thoughts or urges outside of our awareness  trying not to think of something (repression) makes the thought occur more frequently  Freud believed that some traumatic events could be so anxiety-provoking that the ego would bury the event deep in the unconscious  Denial  denying a traumatic experience (being raped and pushing into the unconscious)  may be a helpful coping strategy in the short run, but less effective than other strategies in the long run  Projection  We attribute our own disturbing or unacceptable impulses to another person  woman who unconsciously sees herself as angry at others may instead see others as angry with her  safer to project our own insecurities onto others than to admit the failing in ourselves  evidence suggests that projection occurs as a result of trying to suppress thinking about one’s own faults; it is another example of ironic processing (like the dream study)  Catharsis: release of the id energy  Displacement  The true id impulse is expressed but the target of that impulse is changed into a more acceptable one  redirecting emotional responses from a perhaps dangerous object to a subs
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