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Chapter 9

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Western University
Psychology 2550A/B
James M Olson

CHAPTER 9 POSTFREUDIAN PSYCHODYNAMICSPostFreudians went on to call attention to the diversity of human motives and to mental and emotional processes in personality development after early childhood that hadbeen neglected beforeTOWARD EGO PSYCHOLOGY AND THE SELF Ego psychologymore attention is on the concept and functions of ego and self Ego has crucial functions that may be independent of underlying unconscious motives Ego deals with higher order With this growing role of the ego the person is viewed as a more competent potentially creative problem solver engaged in much more than the management of instinctsthat press for discharge Personality is rooted in social relations and in the context of cultureit is not isolated within the psyche of the individual and in the drama of the relations with theimmediate family in the first few years of lifeAnna Freud and the ego defense mechanisms Defense mechanisms are those through which the ego does much of its peacekeeping worktries to subordinate the impulses test reality and accommodate thedemands of the superego in the lifelong war within the psyche Defenses are designed to transform these wishes into an acceptable form for the egoenergy is exchange and directed toward different objects mediated by themechanisms of defenseTransformation of motives If sadistic aggressive impulses cannot be repressed but still are too threatening to selfacceptance they might be transformed into a more socially sanctionedform such as an interest in surgeryIf his anger is evident to those who know him well but truly hidden from his own awareness then repression may be at work as a defense In genuine repression if you push the person to face the underlying feelings that are being avoided unconsciously it may only increase the defensive attemptsto reject the interpretation and avoid the emotionmakes the defense more intenseDepth of defenses are greater in early childhood because threats are really frightening and they are most vulnerableProjectionProjectionthe persons own unacceptable impulses are inhibited and the source of the anxiety is attributed to another person Gives relief because it reduces anxietyReaction formationReaction formationoccurs when a person transforms an anxietyproducing impulse into its oppositeThis is like when someone is really against gay people but really they are gay themselves People hate in others the most what they cannot accept about themselvesStudy when watching the gay movies it was only the men high in homophobia who experience sexual arousal RationalizationRationalizationa defense that involves trying to deceive oneself by making rational excuses for unconscious impulses that are unacceptableLike if a man has hostile impulses toward his wifehe will stay at work long with reasons like hectic schedule so that he experiences less guilt
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