• Psychodynamic Perspective (p26) – School of thought united by a common concern with the
dynamics, or interaction, of forces lying deep with the mind.
3 Basic Principles:
A) Psychic Determination – much of our behavior is not freely chosen, but on the
contrary, is determined by the nature and strength of intra-psychic forces.
B) The belief that such forces operate, for the most part, unconsciously (true motives
of our behavior are unknown.
C) Assumption that the form these forces take is deeply affected by childhood
experience, and relationships with the family.
Founding father was Sigmund Freud.
• Psychoanalysis (p26) - Form of therapy, where the patient is cured through the gradual
understanding of unconscious conflicts.
• Depth Hypothesis (p26) – The key concept of psychoanalysis, and Freud’s most important
contribution to psychology. It is the idea that almost all mental activity takes place
unconsciously. Mind is divided into 2 levels: 1) Perceptual Conscious. 2) Unconscious.
• Unconscious (p27) – Level of mind that consists of all the psychological materials (memories,
desires, fears, etc) that the mind is not attending to at that moment.
2 levels of the Unconscious: 1) Preconscious – materials that are normally unconscious, but may
still be retrieved.
2) Unconscious Proper – not readily accessible to consciousness.
• Preconscious (p27) – materials that are normally unconscious, but may still be retrieved.
• Interpretation (p27) – Revealing the hidden, intra-psychic motives. Freud’s primary tool.
The goal of his therapy was to reveal, via interpretation, the latent content.
• Manifest Content (p27) – Surface meaning.
• Latent Content (p27) – True, unconscious meaning. Unconscious forces that cause people to
do what they do.
• Structural Hypothesis (p27) – Freud’s second, complementary, psychic schema. States that
the mind can be divided into 3 parts: 1) Id 2) Ego, 3) Superego, and that these forces are
continually interacting with one another, often in conflict.
• Id (p27) – At birth, the energy of the mind is bound up entirely in primitive biological drives.
The foundation of psychic structure and the source from which the later developments of
ego and superego must borrow their energy. 2 Basic types of drives make up the Id: 1)
Sexual 2) Aggressive.
Libido – basic sexual drive. Major source of psychic energy.
Pleasure Principle – utterly hedonistic, seeking only its own pleasure or release fro
tension, and taking no account of logic or reason, reality or morality.
• Ego (p28) – Mediates between the id and the forces that restrict the id’s satisfactions.
Functions begin to develop shortly after birth and emerge slowly over a period of years.
Operates on the Reality Principle – to find what is both safe and effective. It is from the
ego’s weighing of these considerations that the mind develops and refines all its higher
1 functions: language, perception, learning, discrimination, memory, judgment, and
• Superego (p28) – The part of the mind that represents the moral standards of the society and
the parents which the child internalizes. Equivalent to what we call a ‘conscience’.
However, instead of taking into account reality or possibility, the superego embraces an
abstract Ego Ideal – a composite picture of values and moral ideals, and demands that the
sexual and aggressive impulses of the id be stifled and that moral goals be substituted
• Anxiety (p29) –
• Defense Mechanisms (p29) – The ego’s tendency to distort or simply deny a reality
(whether internal or external). As long as this works, anxiety will not be experienced consciously.
They allow us to avoid facing what we cannot face and thus to go on with the business of living.
Without them we would be psychologically disabled.
Basic defense mechanisms:
1) Repression – unacceptable id impulses are pushed down into the unconscious an thereby robbed
of their power to disturb us consciously. Repression is the basis for all other defense mechanism.
2) Projection – unacceptable impulses are first repressed, then attributed to others.
3) Displacement – involves a transfer of emotion. What is switched is not the source but the object
4) Rationalization – offers socially acceptable reasons for something that he or she has actually
done for unconscious and unacceptable motives. One of the most common defenses.
5) Isolation – engaged when we avoid unacceptable feelings by cutting them off from the events to
which they are attached, repressing them, and then reacting to the events in an emotionless manner.
6) Intellectualization – the person achieves further distance from the emotion in question by
surrounding it with a smokescreen of abstract intellectual analysis. Often accompanies Isolation.
7) Denial – the refusal to acknowledge the existence of an external source of anxiety.
8) Reaction Formation – repressing the feelings that are arousing anxiety and then vehemently
professing the exact opposite.
9) Regression – returning to a developmental stage that one has already passed through.
10) Undoing – engaging in a ritual behavior or thought in order to cancel out an unacceptable
11) Identification – attaching oneself psychologically to a group in order to diminish personal
12) Sublimation – transformation and expression of sexual or aggressive energy into more socially
acceptable forms, differs from all other defense mechanism in that it can be truly constructive.
• Psychosexual Development (p31) – the development of the personality. A series of
stages in which the child’s central motivation is to gratify sexual and aggressive drives in various
erogenous (pleasure-producing) zones of the body: the mouth, the anus, and the genitals. The
characteristics of the adult personality are a consequence of the ways in which these id strivings are
handled at each stage of development.
1) The Oral Stage – begins at birth. The mouth is the primary focus of id strivings. Sucking in,
holding on, spitting out, and closing – service as prototypes for later personality traits such as
dependency and stubbornness.
2) The Anal Stage – begins in the second year of life. The libido shifts its focus to the anus and
derives its primary gratification from the retaining and expelling of feces. States that toilet training
is the first difficult demand on the developing ego.
3) The Phallic Stage – third to fifth or sixth year. The focus is shifted to the genitals, and sensual
2 pleasure is derived from masturbation. Child develops a strong sense of self, independence, and
The scene of Oedipus Complex – child’s extreme dependence on the mother during infancy
culminates, during the phallic stage, in sexual desire for the mother. Electra Complex / Penis Envy –
situation girls go though.
It is through incorporation of the parent’s moral values that the superego develops.
4) Latency – usually between ages of six and twelve. Period during which sexual impulses seem