Chapter 8 Intrapsychic foundations of personality
According to attachment theory: we form emotional bonds with our caregivers, which become
mental representations, called internal working models, of all future intimate relationships. EX:
love relationships with parents and caregivers.
These ideas of relationship styles and of TRANSFERENCE (loving someone like your
parents)come from Sigmund freud.
Freud defined psychoanalysis as a theory of personality, a method for investigating
unconscious processes, and a technique of treatment.
Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis
Freuds ideas and terminology are an important part of the history of psychology as well as the
Background (instincts: the connection between mind and body)
Just as the body used energy to carry out its bodily functions of breathing, blood circulation,
muscular and glandular actibity, he reasoned that there had to be a similary of energy for the
He called this energy psychic energy and believed that psychic energy fuled the functions of the
mind including thinking, imagining and remembering.
Freud argued that energy within the mind-body system must also be conserved.
Instincts ( trieb – German) or impulse – a tension or an excitation originating from within the
body. Always present- we always feel a certain amount of tension.
we deal with impulses by gratifying them, inhibiting them, turning them into more acceptable
or denying their very existence, form our personality.
According to Freud, there are two broad categories of instincts: life instincts, which he called
EROS, and the death instincts, which he called Thanatos. The life instincts are concerned with
survival of the individual and the species and include the needs for food, water, air, and sex. The
psychic energy of the life instincts it called libido. The most important of the life instincts ,
according to Freud is sex.--> today most psychologists would deemphasize sex and instead
emphasize the needs for relationships and self-esteem as important life instincts.
Freud reasoned that we have been socialized to consciously hide our sexual and aggressive
impulses and to express them only in socially acceptable ways.
Instead instincts become expressed in unconscious ways.
Uncovering the Unconsious
How does Freud propose we get at this unconscious materal? Unacceptable urges are likely to
leak into our everyday behaviour when our normally vigilant consciousness is relaxed.- including
hypnosis , free association, dreams , freudalian slips, humor, and symbolic behavior. Free association
Psychoanalysis: ppl revealed their private thoughts and desires while under hypnosis. ppl
needn’t be in an altered state, but just very relaxed.
This free association of one thought to the next may lead the patient to reveal unconscious
Free association was particularly useful for patients describinh their dreams.
Interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the
He used dream analysis, the detailed examiningation of the content and symbolism of dreams
in order to decipher their hidden, unconsciousness meaing.
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.
On walking, many ppl are able to describe in great detail what they saw in their dreams, called
the manifest content.
For freud both the dream symbolism and our reactions to the dream, expressed thru free
association under the guidance of a therapist, are impo for understand the latent content or
true meaning of the dream.
This suggests that freud has the process correct—that suppressed thoughts will appear later in
our dreams—he was incorrect that this had anything to do with our hidden desires or wishes.
Instead researchers believe that this is an example of cognitive ironic processes of mental
control, rather than unconscious motivation from our instincts.
Parapraxes: mistakes in speaking and Acting
Another way that our unconscious urges can reveal themselves in thru mistakes in thought or
deed. For freud nothing is ever done by accident. He believe that slips of the tongue, mistakes
and errors forgetten names and words, lost and mislaid objects all reveal our hidden desires.
Freud called mistakes caused by unconscious desires parapraxes.
One type of parapraxes is a Freudian slip, or a mistake in speech.
Research suggests that not all slips are Freudian.
In particular, such slips may be caused by cognitive indecision over word choice.
Another type of parapraxis is an accident or a mistaken action.
Even jokesm especially spur of the moment quips and comebacks and spon taneous reactions
can be analyzed, much like dreams, to uncover the unacceptable desires they satisfy . Somehow these normally taboo thoughts are socially acceptable in jokes. Though consciously
we might be thinking “I was only kidding” the impulses expressed are quite real to our
Symbolic behaviour- being kind –
These symbolic behaviors allow us to safetly express our id impulses under the guise of a benign
These oral behaviors symbolize or stand in as more acceptable ways of getting sexual (smoking,
eating) or aggressive (sarcasm) gratification.
Then and now: the word association test and the implicit attitudes test
The word association method was used by many psychologists of the day to identify the
connections ppl made between words. Jung, however, took it to a new level by using the test
to identify unconscious complexes, or important concerns for a person that he or she may not
even be aware of. Complexs, what we call a scheme today, are patterns of thoughts, memories
and perceptions organized about a theme.
Sometimes a subject might be moved to give an explanation for his or her idiosyncratic answers.
Jung would also calculate average reactions times and see which words elicited a faster or a
slower response. These, too could indicate a complex or a hidden problem.
Even today, researchers and clinicians use cariations of the word association test to assess
verbal fluency and semantic memory, personality, brain injury and more.
The idea that our reaction times can reveal our hidden thoughts and hidden thoughts and
feelings is also behind a more modern assessment technique: the implicit Association test, IAT.
When it comes to self-reports, ppl may be reluctant to give their true responces, especially on
The IAT uses reaction times to measure the strength of associations between concepts.
For the IAT measure of anxiety, participants had to categorize words reflecting the self (I, self,
my, me own) and other (they, them your, you, others) alng with anxiety related words (nervous,
afraid, fearful, anxious, uncertain) and calmness relatedwords (relaxed, balanced, at ease, calm,
This suggests more of an association in their minds between self and anxiety then between self
IAT and self repport measures are actually different evaluations of the same object and each
predict slightly diff outcomes.
The key diff between self-report and IAT measures of attitude appear to be depth of processing
or how conscious we are of our beliefs. Perhaps our true attitudes and beliefs , like our true
motivations , lurk deep in our unconscious just as freud and jung hypothesized.
Perhaps our true attitudes and beliefs , like our true motivations, lurk deep in our unconscious
just as frued and junk hypothesized Freud described personality with using a structural model, which outlines the parts of personality and a
topographic model, which desvribed the regins in our mind where the parts of personality resided.
The structural model of personality: ID, Ego, Superego,
The model is indeed what we think of when we think of the self today, is made up of threeparts:
id, ego and superego.
Id 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
thought. Id works in unconscious behaviors like dreams and parapraxes.
two ways in which Id satisfied id instinct: Mind and body
o Reflex action: is when the id seeks gratification thru immediate physical action. If it is
not possible or not practical to carry out a reflex action, then the id may try
o Wish fulfillment: id seeks gratification by imagining what it wants. EX: thru dreams.
Identification: the “I” or ego must try to match the wishes of the id with objects and events in
the real world.
The ego therefore, must operate according to the reality principle where it tries to satisfy the id
within the constraints of social and physical reality
Ego must fulfill id with the least amount of negative consequences from both reality and from
The ego operates using secondary process thinking, what we might think of a logical thinking,
weighing the costs and rewards of possible courses of action.
Superego can reward or punish the ego for making a wrong decision in satisfying id impulsis.
The “over I” or the “above me” contains moral standards for thinking and acting, standing like a
harsh juge looking down over everything we do ready to inflict punishment on the ego for
allowing id impulses to escape. The superego strives for perfection, and is just as unrealistic as
the id. contains societys standards of behavior that we have learned from parents while
The conscience (not to be confused with the conscious mind)contains knowledge of what we
should not do. punishes if we do rong by embarassement, guilt.
The ego deal contains knowledge of what we shud do. EX: feelings of pride
The topographic model of personality: conscious, preconcious, Unconsious
Conscious: mind contains the thoughts and sensations that we are currently aware of.
Preconsious: mind contrains thoughts that are just outside of our awareness, thoughts that are easily
summon into our coniousness.
Unconsiouness: mind contrains urges, thoughts, wishes, desires and memories that we are unable to
know about “in itself and without more ado”
Motivated unconscious: unconciosu produce particular thoughts, feelings, behaviorus and defenses in
us related to our impulses. freud was correct in realizing that there is really more of a continuum between conscious and
unconscious rather than a clear cut line b.w the two states
correct in suggesting that the unconsiousnes influences our consiousn experiences, including
out thoughts and actions.--> too simplistic today.
Current research suggest that the cognitive unconscious is motivated and goal driven, as frued
hypothesized, but not quite in the way that he thought.
Anxiety and the defence mechanisms
Balancing id and superego causes anxiety in ego come out thru mind/body dualism thru a
physical symptom (called conversion reaction)
Defence mechanism: ego’s way of handling a threatening thought or an unacceptable impulse
to protect itself and minimize anxiety and distress. we more concerned with threat to our
self esteem rather than to our ego.
Reaction formation: instead of expressing a threatening id impuse, ppl express the opposite of id
impulse. A good clue to a reaction formation is that the reaction is out of proportion to the actual
event.--> eX: couple break up—suddenly start hating eachother—as a way of coping.
Isolation: occurs when we mentally isolate a threatening thought by keeping it separate from other
thoughts and feelings. freud with his patients: creating gap or pause bw one train of though to 2.
Intellectualization: when we isolate the emotion so that we can expericne toughts or memories
without the disturbing feelings. EX: might use to logically understand a traumatic event.
Denial : when we refuse to believe or even acknowledge a threatening or traumatic event or the
emotions associated with the event. EX: deny feedback to keep ur self-esteem
More effective in short term, but less affective then other stragies in long run.
Undoing: a person who has either thought about performing or who has already performed an
unacceptable behavior attempts to nullify that action with a later action.
Help ppl develop alternative strategies to help a future performance.
Projection: we attribute our own disturbing or unacceptable impulses to another person
Projection occurs as a result of trying to suppress thinking about one’s own fault.
Displacements: the true id impulse is expressed but the target of that impulse is changed into a more
acceptable one. You mad at yur mom , you don’t take the anger out on her but u hit the wall
Catharsis: id impulses build up, and the release of the id energy is called.