PS251, Lec 11, Ex. 3 11/15/2013
Karen Horney and psychology of women:
There are certain conditions that are a favorable environment:
If a person is born into a poor culture then a need for security develops.
Kid feels a basic anxiety if their need for security is not taken care of.
Look like a dependent person psychologically if you move along with people who hurt you.
If you withdraw, you’re an avoidant person. Ideas similar to Winnicott’s.
Person says I don’t know who I am anymore, or why I’m doing these things.
Instead of spending energy to become a real person you build up a false self “idealized” and based on
imagination. Get involved in comprehensive neurotic solution:
1. Need for perfection: everything has to be perfect or it’s ruined. Look like OCD, and are rigid. Never
fulfill this imaginary self.
2. Neurotic Ambition: Somebody who works so hard for something and they lose the reason they’re
working so hard. When the ambition is much Type A coronary prone personality.
3. Vindictive Triumph: Vengeful people. Their motto is I’m going to show them, they mess with the
wrong person. Bitter personality disorder. Waste a lot of energy.
Disagreed with Freud’s Oedipus complex, said child can love their mom and dad.
Disagreed on his views on women. Basic anxiety explain people’s behavior better than
instincts. Emphasized environmental factor in people. Believed Freud was too pessimistic. Freud
overemphasized childhood. She said you don’t need Oedipus complex to develop morality, can
learn from both their parents to grow up. Gave us an intro to feminist psychology. Disagreement with Freud:
(1) Views of Women
(2) Basic Anxiety over Instincts
(3) Environmental factors & people
(4) Freudian perspective was too pessimistic; there are
things to look forward to in life – people can be warm
& loving and have positive growth
(5) Freud overemphasized childhood; for Horney, all
experiences are important
(6) Don’t need Oedipal struggle to develop morality –
children can model themselves after both parents
• Oedipus/Electra Complex was wrong
• Girls do not envy penis; they like themselves and are aware of their vaginas
• Children both envy and are interested naturally in the opposite sex child’s genitals but do not desire
them in neurotic ways
• Girls do not change their area of pleasure and do not change their love from mother to father, etc.
She said that children can take the positive aspects from both their parents and leave what