Summary – Chapter 7
•If dispositional traits make up a first level of personality, motives and goals are
important characteristic adaptations at the second level.
•Motivational concepts concern the internal forces and factors that energize and
direct human behaviour, including those most important and recurrent human
wants, needs and desires.
•Introduced by Sigmund Freud more than 100 years ago, the psychoanalytic view of
human motivation suggests that behaviour is ultimately determined by unconscious
sexual and aggressive drives and by the complex intrapsychic conflicts that arise in
•Unconscious processes work to repress threatening impulses, thought, and feelings
•While repression is universal, research suggests that some individuals may use
repression more than do others.
•Repressors report little anxiety on a conscious level, but they adopt a highly
defensive approach to life
•Research suggests that repressors report fewer negative memories from their past
and are able to keep emotionally negative scenes separated from one another in
•Freud’s structural model divides the psyche into id, ego, and superego.
•The id obeys the pleasure principle, the ego operates on the reality principle; and the
superego works as a primitive moral voice, representing internalized rules of
•Caught in the middle of the impulsive id, harsh superego and demanding outside
world, the ego seeks to resolve motivational conflicts to reduce anxiety
•Defence mechanisms are unconscious strategies that the ego employs to reduce
anxiety while distorting the reality in the process
•Considerable research on defence mechanisms supports the psychoanalytic view that
defences can be arranged on a developmental continuum from least to most mature.
•Among children, age-appropriate defences are associated with more effective coping;
among adults, more mature defences are associated with psychosocial adaptation