Chapter 12 – Writing Stories of Lives: Biography and Life Course
Mur ray – pioneer in American psychology. He advocated a broad and interdisciplinary approach
to studying human lives, and he put special emphasis on the interpretation of fantasy stories and
Icarus complex: Mur ray’s concept for a cluster of themes in personality functioning, including
urethral erotism, ascensionism, cynosural, narcissm, falling, craving for immorality, and
depreciation and enthrallment of women – all modeled after the ancient Greek story of Icarus
Proceeding: smallest meaningful unit of time in human behaviour – it is a single episode of
behaviour abstracted from the temporal complexity of ongoing life. We may see it as a single
instance of interaction between a person and his or her environment, an interaction long enough
to initiate and complete a dynamically significant pattern of behaviour.
Durance: when you take all of the overlapping proceedings during a given period of time. They
range from shor t scenes in a person’s life to longer periods that may be viewed as chapters in
one’s evolving life story.
Serials: a long durance may be made up of serials. A serial is a relatively long and directionally
organized series of proceedings involving a particular life domain. Examples of serials are
particular friendships, mar r iages, careers, etc. Each serial, therefore organizes a sequence of life
events having to do with a particular impor tant area of personal investment.
Serial programs: we often develop particular programs for given serial domains in order to meet
future goals, these are called serial programs, they are an orderly arrangement of subgoals
stretching into the future for months or years such that achievement of the subgoals will ensure
progress toward some desired end state. They provide our strivings with direction and purpose
and often connect with fundamental psychological needs.
Unity-thema: a well-organized pattern of related needs and press that provides meaning to a
large portion of t he individual’s life. It may be viewed as t he central, organizing motif of a
person’s life story.
Six general propositions that characterize Mur ray’s personlogical approach
Personlogy as well as the personlogist is shaped by numerous and various forces (2) personlogy
is a complex, lifelong, never-ending enterprise (3) personlogy focuses on the close examination
of mental life – conscious and unconscious processes including creativity, (4) personlogy
requires a multidisciplinary approach, as well as special strategies and techniques of
investigation, (5) personlogy studies living, historical, f ictional, and mythological figures as well
as special human complexes, (6) personlogy encompasses a wide range of concerns from specific
practical issues to human values and urgent global problems