Chapter 3: Psychoanalytic Aspects of Personality Flashcards Preview

🎭 PSY230H1F: Personality and Its Transformations (2016) with D. Dolderman > Chapter 3: Psychoanalytic Aspects of Personality > Flashcards

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What is:


3.1 Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts

Many people in the 19th century, especially young women, would be afflicted with various forms of paralysis for which no organic cause could be found. Sometimes, almost miraculously, they could be cured by psychological and social influences.


What is:


3.1 Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts

 Charcot and Pierre Janet successfully used hypnosis to cure hysteria. The idea behind the therapy was that, unbeknownst to the patient, psychological forces in the mind were causing physical ailments. By unlocking the inner psychological tension, the outer body could be liberated.


What are manifest content and latent content?

3.1.1 The Unconscious and Therapeutic Techniques

Dreams are said to have two levels of content. The manifest content is what a person remembers and consciously considers. The latent content is the underlying hidden meaning.

  • The iceberg analogy is the hallmark of the psychoanalytic approach to personality. The idea is that what we see on the surface (what is manifest) is only a partial representation of the vastness that is lying underneath (what is latent).


Why did Freud think that dreams were so important?

Freud believed that dreams and other thoughts are made up of images that are readily accessible to recall (or manifest) but that these images are often symbolic of unconscious issues and tendencies (i.e. they have "latent" meaning).


What are Freud's idego, and superego?

  • The id is the most primitive part of the psyche and which is motivated to obtain pleasure.
  • The ego's goal is to find practical ways to satisfy the needs of the id.
  • The superego is a similar concept to the conscience, but includes an unconscious aspect, internalizes societyal norms, and guides our goal-seeking behaviours towards socially acceptable pursuits.


Outline Freud's psychosexual theory of development.

  1. Oral stage: a period during which drives to satisfy hunger and thirst are of paramount importance; individuals who become fixed here are overly concerned with issues of dependency and consumption.
  2. Anal stage: deals with the relief of deficating and issues of doing so at socially appropriate times; fixation at this stage leads to passive-aggressiveness or being exessively neat or sloppy.
  3. Phallic stage: the focus is on the genitals, and during this time boys are postulated to face an Oedipus complex (for girls, Electra complex) resolved through identification with a parent.
  4. Latency stage: sexual energies aren't as visible anymore but channeled into more academic and friendship pursuits.
  5. Genital stage: successful resolution of this stage is indicated by healthy adult heterosexual relationships, loving marriage, and the rearing of a family.


Highlight each of Freud's defense mechanisms.

  • Repression: relegating painful memories to the unconscious.
  • Reaction formation: transforming urges that go against one's fundamental beliefs into their opposite so that they can be acted upon.
  • Sublimation: transformation of dangerous urges into altruistic or useful and socially desirable motivations.
  • Denial: refusal or inability to accept an undesirable reality; when it can't be completely denied, these parts will be distorted.
  • Projection: anxiety-provoking impulses are attributed to someone/thing other than what produced them.
  • Displacement: threatening feelings are transferred to something/thing other than the true cause; new target generally more manageable.
  • Regression: "go back in time" to a safer and happier period to escape threats.
  • Rationalization: assigning logical explanations to behaviours and events that were originally motivated by our unconscious.


What are the advantages to the psychoanalytic approach?

  • Emphasizes the effects of patterns established early in life on personality development.
  • Attempts to understand unconscious forces.
  • Considers basic motivational drives of sex and aggression.
  • Considers defense mechanisms as an essential aspect of personality.
  • Assumes multiple levels are operating in the brain.


What are the limits to the psychoanalytic approach?

  • Pessimistic overemphasis on early experiences and destructive inner urges.
  • Relatively unconcerned with interpersonal relations or with the individual's identity and adaptation throughout life.
  • Difficult to test empirically.
  • Many ideas about structure have been discredited by modern research on the brain.
  • Assumes any deviation from heterosexual relations is pathological.
  • Focuses on male behaviour as the norm and female behaviour as a deviation.