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Flashcards in Freudian Psychology Deck (27):


An individual's characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors persisting over time and across situations
Develops from the efforts of our ego to resolve tension btwn our id and superego


Psychodynamic View on Personality

Behavior, as well as human emotions / personality, develop in a dynamic interplay btwn un/conscious processes, including various motives / inner conflicts


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Grew up in a poor, Victorian household
Intelligent, brilliant; knew many languages
Identified that many powerful mental processes operate in the unconscious
Founded psychoanalyses



Founded by Freud
Method of discovering and pursuing human personality / development
Includes free association, identification of freudian slips


Free Association

Technique used in psychoanalyses
Encouragement of the patient to speak his mind so that the therapist can verbally flow / lead a flow of thoughts into the past / unconscious


Freud's Personality / Mind Iceberg

Id: largely makes up the submerged body / entire iceberg
Ego: constitutes most of the visible tip
Superego: constitutes some of the visible tip and some of the submerged body
Personality development follows this order



Operates on the reality principle
Seeks to gratify the id's impulses in realistic ways that bring long-term pleasure



Operates on the morality principle
Our conscience that forces the ego to consider the ideal, producing pride / guilt; focuses on how we should behave



Operates on the pleasure principle
Unconscious psychic energy that constantly strives to satisfy basic drives (hunger / sex); seeks intimate gratification based on needs of the erogenous zones


Freud's Unconscious

A reservoir of thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories that are hidden from awareness b/c they feel unacceptable


Freud's Psychosexual Stages

(0-18mon) Oral: sucking, biting, chewing
(18-36mon) Anal: bowel / bladder elimination, copes w/ demands for control
(3-6yr) Phallic: genitalia, incest
(6-pub) Latency: dormant sexual feelings
(pub+) Genital: SEX


Freud on the Oedipus Complex

Freud believed that boys in their phallic stages develop unconscious sexual feelings for their mother / rivalry towards their father; the resolution is that boys identify w/ their fathers



Freudian defense against anxiety
Retreating to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated
eg. oral comfort of thumb sucking


Reaction Formation

Freudian defense against anxiety
Switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites
eg. displaying exaggerated friendliness to repress anger



Freudian defense against anxiety
Disguising one's own threatening impulses by attributing them to others
eg. thief thinks everybody else is a thief



Freudian defense against anxiety
Offering self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening unconscious reasons for one's actions
eg. habitual drinker assuring herself that she drinks to be sociable



Freudian defense against anxiety
Shifting sexual / aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable / less threatening object or person
eg. Girl kicks dog b/c she is upset from mother



Freudian defense against anxiety
Refusing to believe or even perceive painful realities
eg. partner denies his beloved's affair


Neo-Freudian, Psychodynamic Theorists' Agreements w/ Freudian Psychology

Figureheads: Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, Carl Jung
Similar in:
- ideas about important of unconscious and development
- id / ego / superego structure
- role of defense mechanism against anxiety


Neo-Freudian, Psychodynamic Theorists' Disagreements w/ Freudian Psychology

Figureheads: Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, Carl Jung
Differed in:
- belief that anxiety / personality are a function of social, not sexual, tensions in childhood (Adler, Horney)
- belief that we have a collective unconscious; containing similar images across the human race and not just personal ones (Jung)


Projective Tests

Structured, systematic exposure to a standardized set of ambiguous prompts, designed to reveal inner dynamics
Problem: results don't link well to traits and diff raters get diff results
eg. Rorschach tests (inkblot test)


Updates on Freud's Original Ideas

- development is lifelong
- infant neural networks do not create lifelong traumas
- peers have more influence on personality than do parents
- dreams / slips have many possible origins
- traumatic memories are usually intensely remembered, not repressed
- suppressed sexuality does not cause psychological disorders
- sexual id is more a function of genetics than Oedipus / Electra complex


Unfalsifiability Theories in Freud's Scientific Methods

Freud developed theories that are hard to dis/prove
eg. how can we test the presence of an id?


Unrepresentative Sampling in Freud's Scientific Methods

Freud did not build his theories on a broad sample of observations; he described all of humanity based on ppl w/ unusual psychological problems


Biased Observations in Freud's Scientific Methods

Freud based theories on his patients, which may give him an incentive to see them as unwell before his treatment


Post Facto Explanations (Hindsight Bias) in Freud's Scientific Methods

Freud did not make predictions about someone's psyche; he made ultimatum conclusions based on results
eg. if you don't / express anxiety, you're repressing / fixating


Modern Implications of Unconscious

Unconscious processes operate b/c they are automatic, not repressed
- implicit memories operate unconsciously
- right hemisphere makes choices the left doesn't verbalize
- priming affects our choices