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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Reading Notes

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PSYC 2130
Frank Marchese

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 psychotherapy) 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  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 themselves 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” person 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 18 and 19 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 mind  one or more drives are presumed to direct the overall tone of our thoughts, feelings, and activities  when drives are not satisfied, experience tension  the need is not satisfied or the tension relieved until the drive is allowed some form of expression Freud’s View:  Freud’s early theory had two classes of drives: self-preservative and sexual  The self-preservative drive encompasses all our physical needs, including breathing, thirst, hunger, and excretion  Second drive was sexual drive o Freud’s ideas about sex were more encompassing than ours today o Almost anything experiences as sensuous would probability have been considered sexual by Freud (languidly petting a cat’s soft hair, for instance, while the cat purrs gently back at your “Advances”) Libido  Great inventions and discoveries of scientists’ times combine to produce a particular spirit or atmosphere (zeitgeist) in which scientists live and work  This spirit – or the discoveries that contribute to it – often evolves into metaphors on which the scientists of the day build their theories o So it was with Freud  The most important metaphor of Freud’s day was: complex but essentially inert machine o Newton had likened the whole universe to a giant clock o Machines were then known as inanimate things, which remain immobile unless energized in some way  Sexual drive was Freud’s answer to the need for energy with which to mobilize his proposed system o Schopenhauer thought that sex was most important human instinct  System would be static without the presence of psychic energy  English-language word for this form of energy is libido o This libidinal energy was cast by Freud as the ultimate source of energy for all mental activity, including all activities that modern personality psychologist call cognitive (thinking, perceiving, imagining, and problem solving
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