What are Jung's three main contributions to both psychology and mainstream thinking?
- He developed conceptions of the collective unconscious and archetypes, and although these ideas are not accepted by contemporary personality theorists in their simple and literal sense, Jung’s brilliant creativity in this area has opened doors for subsequent theorists, and this portion of his theory may in time be accepted in some more complex form.
- The concept of “complexes” (emotionally charged thoughts and feelings on a particular theme)—has been well accepted by the psychological community, and has made its way into our everyday language.
- He described personality as being comprised of competing forces, pulling against one another to reach equilibrium, best illustrated by the dimensions of extroversion (a tendency toward outward focus) and introversion (a tendency toward inward focus). These terms are also widely used today, although they are usually conceptualized as opposite poles of the same dimension.
What was Alder's major influence?
- Conceptions of the inferiority complex (exaggerated feelings of personal incompetence) and the corresponding superiority complex (ego-protective feelings of grandeur).
- His individual psychology focuses on the uniqueness of individuals and the importance of how they perceive themselves. He believed that many personality problems could be avoided by using detailed knowledge about individuals to construct healthier social environments.
What was Horney's major contribution to psychoanalytic theory?
- She changed the way that psychoanalytic theory viewed women, putting aside Freudian beliefs about penis envy and replacing them with theories, based on her own observations, for the reasons why women often did feel inferior to men.
- She emphasized the social influences on women—their relative lack of opportunities—as determinants of these inferiority feelings.
- She also modified Freudian biological determinism with her concept of basic anxiety (the child’s sense of helplessness and insecurity).
- Thus, she moved psychoanalytic thought away from its predominately deterministic view and toward a more inclusive and interactive interpretation.
How did Erikson build on and branch off of Freud's psychoanalytic theory?
Instead of viewing adulthood primarily as a reaction to childhood experiences, he saw it as a continuing developmental process, with its own issues and conflicts. At each stage a certain ego crisis must be resolved, and successful resolution of each crisis enables healthy development at later stages, throughout life.
What do modern identity theorists look at?
- They often take a functional approach to personality; that is, they look at motivated behaviors and goals in order to understand the self that underlies them.
- Some researchers believe that day-to-day goals have the most impact on personality, whereas others believe that our far-reaching, abstract goals are more significant.
- Some place more importance on the ways individuals plan to reach their goals than on the goals themselves.
- But all of these researchers agree that it is useful to look at these building blocks of identity (goals, motives, strivings, desires) to understand more fully the person beneath.
What are the advantages of the ego (neo-analytic) approach to personality?
- Emphasizes the self as it struggles to cope with emotions and drives on the inside and the demands of others on the outside.
- Emphasizes the importance of the positive and goal-oriented nature of humanity.
- Acknowledges the impact of other individuals, society, and culture on personality.
- Attempts to explain the structure of healthy and unhealthy psyche.
- Assumes development continues throughout the life cycle.
What are the limits of the ego (neo-analytic) approach?
- Relatively unconcerned with biology and fixed personality structures.
- Very difficult to test empirically.
- Sometimes a hodgepodge of different ideas from different traditions.
- Sometimes relies on abstract or vague concept
What implications did the the ego (neo-analytic) approach have for therapy?
As with psychoanalytic therapy, insight into inner motivations is key, but because the ego is central, there is less concern with unconscious motivation. So, for example, you could work with a therapist to understand your constant bragging to friends or your fear of getting close to a lover in terms of early fears of abandonment, insecurity, mistrust, and feelings of inferiority. You may come to see your faulty patterns of relations with peers as derived from poor patterns of relations with your parents or siblings or early teachers.