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Chapter 05

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
Andrew Robinson

Chapter 5 – Psychodynamic Theories Psychodynamic Theory and Sigmund Freud - psychodynamic theorists assume that personality is a reflection of the dynamic interplay of internal motives and conflicts o Endorse importance of unconscious influences on our conscious behaviours, thoughts and feelings - Introspective method  used by psychodynamic theorists. Analysis of dreams, thoughts and images - Freud was trained as a medical doctor but became a psychiatrist - Freud’s version of psychoanalytic theory became increasingly subjective over time - He used an analogy of an iceberg to convey the belief that only 10% of ourselves is in conscious awareness but the other 90% is unconscious or preconscious (below the water) - His goal was to bring the unconscious to the surface into conscious awareness so it could be interpreted by a psychoanalyst Components of the Psyche - Freud proposed the psyche (mind and self) has 3 components Id  hedonistic - primitive and least rational part. - Unconscious - Operates according to the pleasure principle  seeks pleasure and immediate gratification without concern of the possible consequences - Driven by biological needs for food, water, sex (reservoir for libido) - When the id cannot be satisfied by engaging in activities that provide pleasure it must be satisfied by other means, - One way to do this is primary process thinking  person generates cognitive images of pleasurable stimuli o This comes in the form of wish fufillment, fantasies reflect the wishes of the id. - Catharsis  The reduction of tension by engaging in processes (eg primary process thinking), provides some temporary relief - Eros life instinct, reflected by libido. Reflects sex instinct and self-preservation - Thantos death instinct, instinct towards aggression. Thought to be in constant conflict with eros - Id is present at birth Ego  realistic - address the demands of the environment and reality - Mostly conscious - Operates according to the reality principle  tries to balance the primitive urges of the id with the reality of the situation - Uses secondary processing thinking  planful thoughts and decisions that consider environmental contingencies and challenges - Ego is derermined primarily by a person’s experiences Superego  Moralistic - Last part to emerge - Requires us to act according to accepted societal standards - Operates according to the perfection principle  notion that we must act perfectly by meeting societal dictates, often come in the form of endorsing and internalizing our parents values - Freud thought we come to internalize parental values as a way of resolving the Oedipus complex (boys) or Electra complex (girls) - Drew on Greek mythology to suggest that as children reach the age of about 4, they start to covet the opposite-sexed parent. - Eg: for a boy, his desire for his mother must be balanced by his fear that his father will find out and punish him o Punishment leads to castration anxiety bc the boy fears the father will remove his penis - Freud thought the way to resolve the Oedipus complex was through introjection  identification with the father, allows the boy to internalize his father’s values - Electra complex  girl’s desire for her father - Freud suggested girls suffer from penis envy which can be compensated for by developing a relationship with the father - Girls were proposed to identify with the opposite sex parent which resulted in a weaker internalization and a weaker superego - Karen Hornby challenged this view and said that if anything men suffer from womb envy due to their inability to bear a child - Children actually appear to develop a conscious earlier than Freud postulated Freud’s Views on Culture - Viewed culture and civilization as the same thing - Defined culture as “the sum of achievements and institutions which differentiate our lives from those of our animal forebears” - Focused on culture as a source of dissatisfaction and unhappiness for people since it restricts the id’s search for pleasure - Four sources of dissatisfaction o Individual must give up power to the broader group o Civilization restricts individual freedom o Biological instincts of eros and thanatos must be renounced in favor of cooperation o Culutural limitations are placed on sexuality (eg demand for monogamy and heterosexuality) - Freud suggested the process of id, ego and superego development occurs at the individual and societal level - Cultures differ in their balance of eros and thanatos Freud’s Stage Theory of Psychosexual Development - For each stage, a particular area of the body is the main source of pleasure and sexual gratification for the id and its impulses - It’s important to get just the right amount of gratification at each age - Too much or too little gratification within each stage results in a fixation  psychosexual development becomes stuck at a particular stage. - The adult personality is a reflection of how these early stages of childhood are dealt with and resolved - Oral Stage  birth – 18 months. Pleasure is centred around the mouth, involves feeding, sucking and biting o Fixation from understimulation  need for more support and dependency on others (oral dependent personality) o Fixation from overstimulation  adult problems involving the mouth like overeating and smoking (oral aggressive personality) - Anal stage  18 months – 3 yrs. o Too much gratification  anal reflective personality, rigid and ordered, focused on cleanliness o Too little  anal expressive personality, excessive, disorganized, careless - Phalic stage  4-6 yrs. contains the Oedipus and Electra complexes. Pleasure is focused on the genital area. - Latency Period  6-12. Psychosexual urges seem dormant - Genital Stage  coincides with puberty. Psychosexual pleasure is refocused on the genital area, with the goal of establishing healthy heterosexual relationships Defense Mechanisms - - Freud postulated different types of anxiety depending on whether the id, ego, or superego was prevailing - If id is predominant  neurotic anxiety - If ego is in control  realistic anxiety - If superego is predominant  moral anxiety - Neurotic anxiety is addressed via defense mechanisms  unconscious strategy that helps the ego by warding off anxiety - - See image above for definitions, other notes below - These defense mechanisms reflect work of Sigmond Freud and his daughter Anna Freud - Repression distressing impulses or experiences are submerged into the unconscious - Denial  common tendency to initially use denial when faced with overwhelming traumas that seem impossible to accept o Can be useful in short term, but harmful in the long run - Projection  Occurs because admitting unacceptable aspects of the self to oneself at a conscious level is too threatening - Displacement  directing frustration at a less threatening target. Eg: stress spillover  when stress at work contributes to stress at home or vice versa - Regression  eg: a behaviour you have outgrown suddenly returns - Highly maladaptive defense mechanisms are called immature defenses - Adaptive ones are called mature defenses - Sublimation  a relatively mature defense. - Rationalization  also mature. Involves coming up with a cognitive explanation to counter unacceptable thoughts, impulses and behaviours - Baumeister et al. found evidence for some defense mechanisms like reaction formation and denial - Found evidence for a defence mechanism known as undoing which didn’t seem to help defend people against threat. o Involves a cognitive attempt to reconstruct the past so it appears an event didn’t actually take place - Less mature defenses are seen as unconscious responses to life stressors - More mature defenses are accessible in conscious awareness Contemporary Theory and Research on Repression and Other Defense Styles - Contemporary research has focused on repressors (rely on repression) - They are self-destructive and report high levels of social desirability. They score low on trait anxiety - They’re good at avoiding exposure to emotional information, less likely to recall negative emotional information in the short term, and are quick to recall happier times after watching unpleasant stimuli - They may cope better in the short-term after a traumatic event (less likely to get PTSD) - There is a ‘rebound effect’ that makes them more likely to have intrusive memories in the long term - Defense Styles typical ways that people respond when feeling anxious and challenged - most defense sytles are unconscious but can be assessed subjectively via self-reports - Some of thse self-reports include the Defence Mechanism Inventory and Defence Styles Questionnaire (DSQ) - These measure mature, neurotic and immature defense styles - Other researchers have looked at defense styles using projective tests - Valliant: created a hierarchical model of defense mechanisms. According to the model defense styles vary in their relative levels of maladaptiveness vs adaptiveness, and their associated levels of developmental maturity. Four levels include o Psychotic defenses (delusions and distortions) o Immature defences (projection, denial) o Neurotic defenses (reaction formation) o Mature defenses (sublimation) - Immature defenses are present during early development, mature defenses occur later in development - Cramer developed a model of defence styles based on the notion that certain key defences are dominant depending on one’s age o Denial is most commen in preschool children o Middle childhood and late adolescence is characterized by an increase in projection o College-age participants use identification Evaluation of Freud’s Contributions criticisms - Scientific basis of psychoanalysis, ie the abstractness and untestable attributes of some theories - Great importance placed on libido and psychosexual energy… motives may be more general - Reliance on case studies… makes research not generalizable to population - Agent of change is the therapist o The psychoanalyst’s job is to analyze and provide interpretations to clients - Freud’s patronizing view of women - Notion that personality is fixed and based on early childhood experiences Positives - Developmental theory paved the way for advances in the study of children - He was right that the unconscious exists and can have a profound influence on us - Played a key role in linking personality and culture - He attempted to provide a comprehensive, controversial theory that drew people’s attention to psychological factors. Also, he trained other theorists The Neo-Freudians: Carl Jung’s Analytical Psychology - He has a great interest in religious symbols - Regarded as a neo-Freudian because he accepted many of Freud’s core beliefs, but rejected others - He liked Freud’s emphasis on the unconscious, the importance of defences and the impact of early experiences - He questioned the basis for repression and the nature of unconscious conflict (didn’t believe conflicts reflect psychosexual energy) - Jung rejected the notion of psychosexual energy and instead focused on psychosocial energy - Jung regarded dreams of a natural form of self-expression o Thought dreams required interpretation and understanding - Jung placed a lot of importance on spiritual matters - Led to his emphasis on the collective unconscious - When Jung rejected Freud’s sexual theory in published form he became an outcast of Freud and his associates The Personal and Collective Unconscious - Personal unconscious  reflects our unique experiences and conflicts - Composed of feeling-toned complexes  reflect personal conflicts and tensions - Jung introduced the term “complex” which means a highly emotional image of a certain psychic situation - Collective unconscious  Shared experience that makes us similar to everyone else. He argued this is inherited - Composed of archetypes  symbols that reflect our instincts and how they are expressed o Primordial images that reflect the themes that stretch back to our early ancestors - Got his idea for the collective unconscious from his work with schizophrenics, and the recurring themes that occurred in their hallucinations Specific Archetypes - Mandala  most central archetype, represented by images of circles o Reflects the ultimate goal of developing a complete, whole, unified self o Bc this is part of the collective unconscious, the goal applies to everyone o But, everyone is to have a unique self… o Individualisation  occurs when a person becomes a psychological individual by achieving a separate unity or whole - Other promintent archetypes: mother, wise old man, hero, trickseter, anima/animus - Anima/animus archetype  anima refers to the hidden, feminine side of men… animus refers to the hidden, masculine side of women o Both have positive and negative aspects, the positive side communicates aspects of the unconscious to the conscious o This theory is incorporated into the anima/aimus concept of androgyny. o Androgynous people have instrumental characteristics associated with masculinity and the expressive characteristics associated with femininity - Shadow archetype  dark side of personality. Jung thought it was in all of us o Similar to Freud’s ‘thanatos’. Jung thought the shadow was responsible for aggression Popular Applications of Jungian Concepts - Scholars have argued that popular books and movies have appeal because they include characters who represent archetypes of the collective unconscious o Would mean elements of these characters are also located deep in our collective unconscious - Eg: Star Wars contains the hero, mother, shadow and wise old man archetypes - Jung was influenced by Chinese thought, this is where he got the concept of synchronicity - Synchronicity  refers to the coincidental co-occurance of two things that are actually paired randomly but seem to go together Introversion-Extroversion - Jung = 1 personologist to make introversion/extroversion distinction - Suggested extroversion was libido (psychic energy) turned outwards and introversion was libido turned inwards - Introverts tend to focus attention inward on their own thoughts and perceptions - Extroverts focus attention outward and are constantly scanning the environment - Jung thought extroversion and introversion had associated cognitive differences - extroverts were more objective in their approach to life, while introverts are more subjective and guided by their own intuitions - He linked personality differences to cultural differences: thought Western societies are extroverted, while Eastern societies are introverted - Thought Western society has a conscious awareness of the ego - Goal in Eastern society is to transcend consciousness is to transcend consciousness and at an unconscious level, attain an ego-less mental condition - Psychological Functions  Other individual differences that reflect unique ways in which a person relates to other people, the world and the information available in the world. Jung considered these as preferences for how to interact and engage our worlds - The 4 functions = sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling - Distinguished between sensing and intuition: taking in sensory information vs coming up with insights that man not be obvious - Suggested sensing and intuition were 2 irrational functions - Thought thinking and feeling were 2 rational functions - Extroversion and introversion combine with the 4 functions to produce 8 psychological types - - Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - MBTI is one of the most widely used personality measures - Developed by a mother-daughter team based on Jung’s theory - Uses the 4 dimensions outlined above - 16 possible combinations exist - MBTI was used in a study to test student’s perceptions of the personality of Jesus, he was regarded as an extroverted feeler - The MTBI’s validity is shown by research which links MTBI measures of judgement and intuition with social information processing o The MTBI predicted performance on a social-cognitive task better than the 5-factor model o Shows the MBTI has incremental validity - This test has been criticized bc the scale leads to decisions reflecting a categorical approach instead of focusing on continuous personality dimensions o Test-retest studies show that a large portion of respondents change types when re-evaluated - There may also be problems with translating this test into different languages o Eg: Chinese version had an unacceptable number of items associated with the wrong factors after factor analysis. Evaluation of Jung’s Contributions - Same general criticism that applies to the psychoanalytic field - Conducted no empirical tests of his theories, regarded as unscientific (similar to criticism of Freud) - Some have questioned the concepts of inheriting part of the psyche, archetypes, collective unconscious - Positive: he provided the theoretical basis for the MBTI - 1 to identify introversion-extroversion trait - Promoted studying the role of culture in personality - Provided a testable hypothesis by suggesting that extroversion characterizes Western tendencies and introversion characterizes Eastern tendencies - Promoted study of cognitive factors in personality The neo-Freudians: Alfred Adler - Psychiatrist with medical training - His movement is called individual psychology  reflects the fact that each person is
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