PS280 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Psychosexual Development, Personality Disorder, Rollo May

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14 Aug 2019
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Psychosocial Theories
-commonality of all these theories is that they stress experience
-cognitive theorists claim it is how people perceive their world that causes them to develop disorders
-humanists and existentialists suggest personal experience provides the basis for the development of
self-directed behaviour
-socio-cultural theorists say the surrounding society or culture exerts powerful influences on people +
society may define a person as abnormal bc it suits the ends of that society
Psychodynamic theories (Freud, mentored by Breuer):
-behaviour is motivated by unconscious processes acquired during the formative years of life
-this “talking cure” believes person has little control over their actions
-traumatic experiences early in love become repressed bc they're too distressing to cntemplate and
influence current functioning
-catharsis: discharge emotional responses attached to unconscious memories by identifying original
traumatic experiences during hypnosis
Four features together determine current behaviour and thinking in Freud's theory:
(1) the different levels of consciousness determine the accessibility of thoughts and desires
(2) the structures of personality represent the embodiment of various controlling forces
(3) the stages of psychosexual development indicate the points in experience where problems can arise
(4) defence mechanisms are the means by which people channel psychic energy in dsy/functional ways
-levels of awareness: conscious, preconscious (can be readily brought to awareness) unconscious
(majority of memories, difficult to bring to awareness)
-structures of personality constantly in conflict: id (pleasure principle), ego (develops in first year to
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curb id, not moral, reality principle), superego (moral conscience)
-sexual drives: major life instinct (eros), energy is libido, most important determinants of behaviour
-sexual pleasure (expression of libidinal energy) was focused on different body parts (erogenous zones)
-ego uses defence mechanisms to allow expression of libidinal desires in a distorted or symbolic form
-weaker ego (less resolved by psychosexual stages) = greater conflict + exhaustion of psychic energy
-insight: patient accepts analyst's account of the origin and problem, expected to alleviate problem
Oral (birth – 18 months): focus on oral activities (eating, sucking)
-not resolved = adulthood problems like alcoholism, overeating
Anal (18 months – 3 years): toilet training, child may co-operate or resist by soiling/withholding
-not resolved = excessive cleanliness/messiness, stubbornness, overcontrolling, rebeliousness
Phallic (2 – 6 years): Oedipal or Electra complex, castration, penis envy
-not resolved = vanity, promiscuity, sexual disorders
Latency (6 – 12 years): consolidation of behavioural skills and attitudes, relatively quiescent stage
-sexually quiet stage, more focused on intellectual and motor development
Genital (adolescence – death): achievement of personal and sexual maturity, focus on genitals
Defence Mech. Description + Example
Repression -bury unacceptable impulses of id in unconscious (can't recall abuse as child)
Regression -behaviour typical of earlier stage of development (tantrums when frustrated)
Projection -attributing one's own desires to others (cheater claiming that everyone else cheats)
Intellectualization -hiding real issues behind screen of abstract analyses (guilty criminal appeals
convinction on grounds of improper trial procedures)
Denial -refusal to acknowledge unpleasant reality
Displacement -transfer of feelings to other, less threatening person (yelled at by boss = angry at
wife)
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