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Chapter 3

PSYC 2130 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Repetition Compulsion, Zeitgeist, The Human Instinct

Course Code
PSYC 2130
Frank Marchese

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Study Notes: Chapter #3 The Psychoanalytic Strategy
What is Psychoanalysis:
Psychoanalysis -> refers technically to psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy (the change
process) guided by psychoanalytic theory
it encompasses a theory of personality, an approach to studying personality and procedures for
assessing and changing personality
all theories of psychoanalytic strategy emphasize the primacy of driving forces within the person
that motivate them to display consistent patterns of behavior and interpersonal relations
o emphasis placed on these internal forces distinguishes psychoanalytic approaches from
those of the other strategies
there are subtle differences and disagreements between the specific views on some issues
including the number of fundamental human drives and their specific nature
many of these theorists also share some other assumptions about personality (which overlap to
some extent with theories of the other three strategies as well)
most psychoanalytic theorists contend that motivating forces derive from processes that occur
beyond the conscious awareness of the individual
o most also believe personality develops over the course of progression through an
invariant sequence of stages characterized by intrapsychic conflict
four basic issues in personality psychology:
o 1) theory
o 2) assessment
o 3) research
o 4) application
These issues are highly intertwined in the psychoanalytic strategy
Most psychoanalysts are therapists and are directly involved with personality change, which
requires assessment of people’s intrapsychic processes
Observations made in psychoanalytic therapy form both the basis of personality theory and the
research evidence in support of the theory’s validity
Psychoanalytic Strategy has been dominated by the work and writings of Sigmund Freud
o He was the founder of psychoanalytic thought (theory, research methodology, and
o Was also the first modern personality psychologist
Freud’s theory of personality consists of a number of separable but interrelated minitheories
o They were revised a number of times over the course of around 45 years of theorizing
that began in the mid 1890’s
Freud proposed an organizational framework of the mind, describing different mental structures
(id, ego, and superego) and their relationships to one another
o Also described three levels of consciousness:
1) unconscious

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2) preconscious
3) conscious
o To Freud, behavior is determined by conflict between forces within the mind
o These forces are often operating unconsciously (beyond the awareness of the person)
All psychoanalytic thinking is based to some extent on Freud’s ideas
Many followers of Freud diverged somewhat from his original theories and varied greatly among
o some offered ideas that are direct outgrowths of Freud’s theories
o others suggested major modifications or expansions of Freud’s ideas
o a few could be considered anti-Freudian
o even the most radical dissidents carried forth some basic underlying elements that
warrant their continued membership within the psychoanalytic strategy
o typically these later theorists agree at least to some extent with Freud about one or
more of his basic assertions regarding:
1) the concept of driving forces
2) the operation of the unconscious
3) conflict between the individual and society
4) the need for a development scheme to understand personality
Psychoanalytic theorists fall into five broad camps:
o 1) Freudians -> closely subscribe to Freud’s ideas
o 2) Revisionist State Theorists -> expand on or later Freud’s developmental scheme
o 3) Motivational Theorists -> expand on the number of basic drives described by Freud
and his early followers
o 4) Ego Psychologists -> focus more on ego processes and adaptation in the “healthy”
o Object-Relations Theorists -> emphasize interpersonal issues and the concept of self
Revisionist stage theorists, motivational theorists, ego psychologists, and object-
relations theorists are all considered post-Freudians
All of these theories as well as those of Freud are sometimes also called
psychodynamic theories
Search for the Driving Force(s)
Physicists in the 18th and 19th centuries identified two forces in physical nature:
o 1) the gravitational force
o 2) the electromagnetic force
Darwin theorized that two forces drove biological life:
o 1) Survival of the individual
o 2) Survival of the species
Freud reasoned that psychological life was also driven by universal forces
Drive -> (in psychoanalytic strategy) is an inborn force built into the human
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