PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Humanistic Psychology, Reality Principle, Thematic Apperception Test

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18 Apr 2012
- motives: a recurrent preference for a particular quality of experience, which energizes, directs, and
selects behaviour in certain situations
- what we want is often derived directly from what we need
- motives and goals are one class of characteristic adaptations -> people want things and they act upon
those wants
The Psychoanalytic View
- Most influential psychologist was Sigmund Freud
-> prime inventor of psychoanalysis: approach to psychology that focuses on the unconscious
determinants of behaviour, intrapsychic conflict, and instinctual drive concerning sexuality and
- Freud’s theory of motivation has four basic propositions:
1) determinism: forces over which we have little control determine all human behaviour and experience
2) drive: powerful forces within us can be traced back to drives or instincts-> drives for sexuality and
3) conflict: forces that determine all our behaviour and experience are in conflict with one another,
which causes us anxiety
4) the unconscious: we do not even know what those forces that determine our behaviour are-> they
are unconscious to us
- human mind as a machine uses energy-> psychic energy was drawn from 2 biological instincts:
1) life instincts: group of instincts serving sexual reproduction and survival-> also called eros
2) death instincts: instinctual drives assumed to motivate the person toward the behaviour and
experience promoting one’s own death and destruction or aggression toward others-> also called
The Unconscious
- unconscious: the state of being outside of awareness. The unconscious is a shadowy realm of the mind
wherein reside repressed thoughts, feelings, memories, conflicts
- much of what we know and feel is outside our conscious awareness
- topographical model: Freud’s model of the mind, which distinguishes among the conscious,
preconscious, and unconscious regions
- conscious region contains what a person is currently aware of
- preconscious region contains material about which the person is not currently aware but which could
readily enter awareness should the person decide to retrieve the material
- material in the unconscious region of the mind cannot be readily retrieved-> elements repressed
Repression and Repressors
- much of what we feel and think about people and social situations appears to be driven by
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nonconscious, automatic mental processes
- unconscious thought is often better able to process large amounts of information in an efficient and
effective manner
- repression: process of casting thoughts, memories, feelings, and conflicts out of consciousness,
rendering them unremembered
- repressors: individuals who show low levels of anxiety but high levels of defensiveness-> repressors
have less access to negative emotional memories about the self
-> repressors report fewer positive memories as well
-> report a greater number of memories involving emotional experiences of other people
- repressors tend to recall their parents as being indifferent or neglecting
- resilience: the ability to overcome difficult obstacles in life and thrive amidst adversity
-> in times of extreme stress coping styles can lead to resilience
The Ego’s Defenses
- Freud said the mind can be broken down into 3 independent structures:
1) id: the home for instinctual impulses of sex and aggression and their unconscious derivative wishes
-> obeys no logical or moral constraints
-> activity of the id is dictated solely by the pleasure principle: dictates that the individual seek
immediate gratification of instinctual impulses
-> driving force behind primary process thinking: irrational form of thinking driven by instinctual
2) ego: the mediator among the id, superego, and external reality
-> operating according to the reality principle: principle that pushes the individual toward behaviour
aimed at coping with conflicting demands, rationally weighing choices, and defending against various
threats to the well-being of the person
->able to weigh demands of the outside world and balance them with the needs of the id
-> secondary process thinking: rational cognitive activity
-> defense mechanisms: unconscious strategies of the ego designed to distort reality in order to lessen
anxiety-> table 7.2 pg 267
3) superego: serves as a primitive internalized representation of the norms and values of society
-> tells the person what they should/shouldn’t be doing
- ego now faces conflict through:
1) realistic anxiety: when the reality of the outside world poses objective dangers
2) neurotic anxiety: the id threatens the ego about the ever-present possibility of an uncontrollable
release of instinctual energy
3) moral anxiety: superego adds feelings of guilt or regret in failing to live up to perfect ideals
- ego psychologists: emphasizes the adaptive and integrating power of the ego over and against the id
and superego
- to cope with anxiety the ego has defense mechanisms-> some are primitive and immature
-> 3 main ones:
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