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Chapters 8: Psychoanalytic Perspective. Theories of Personality March 7, 2003 Class #7. THE ASSAULT ON FREUD. Watson commonly referred to as “The Father of Behaviorism” spent much of his career attacking Freudian views…

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Chapters 8:Psychoanalytic Perspective

Theories of Personality

March 7, 2003

Class #7


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THE ASSAULT ON FREUD

  • Watson commonly referred to as “The Father of Behaviorism” spent much of his career attacking Freudian views…

    • In 1930, he predicted “20 years from now Freudian Theory will be placed on the same plane as a phrenologist?”

    • Well, here it is the year 2003 and although bloodied by his legion of critics, Freudian views are probably still the most discussed in psychological circles


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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): Background Information

  • 1881: At age 25, earned MD and went into private practice specializing in neurological disorders

    • Became interested in hidden aspects of personality when he found himself confronted with patients whose apparent disorders made no neurological sense

      • Example: Anna O.


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Classic Freudian Setting

  • What is the classic setting?

    • Why this set-up?

  • Used hypnosis and then free association

  • Classic Freudian setting and Iceberg Theory of the Mind

    • Our access to what goes on in our mind is very limited

    • The majority is in our unawareness

    • Freud felt nothing was accidental – dreams, slips of tongue, slips of pen, etc.


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Freud’s Life

  • 1884: Began to experiment with cocaine

    • Felt that this “magical substance” relieved depression

    • Deeply scarred by this “cocaine episode”

  • 1885: He bounces back and gets grant to study hysteria and hypnosis under Jean Charcot in Paris

    • Major break in his career

    • All of psychology might be different today

    • These five months changed his life and maybe ours forever


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Freud’s Life

  • 1902: Vienna Wednesday Psychoanalytic Society

    • Initially took place in Freud’s apartment

    • Founded officially in 1910 and Alfred Adler became first president

    • After a dispute with Freud, Adler resigned and Freud took over as president of the Society until 1938


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Agree or be uninvited next week…

  • Freud saw himself as the leader, teacher, and prophet of this group of intellectuals


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Freud’s Life

  • 1906

    • Begins correspondence with Carl Jung

    • From “crown prince” to traitor

    • Freud couldn’t deal with Jung’s belief in mythology and the collective unconscious and ghosts

  • 1913

    • Breaks all ties with Jung and his followers

  • 1918

    • Loses entire fortune which was tied up in Austrian State Bonds


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Freud’s Life

  • 1923

    • The first signs of Freud’s oral cancer are detected

  • 1920’s

    • Honors, honors, and more honors

  • 1930

    • A heart attack forces him to give up smoking (for awhile anyway)

  • 1930’s

    • More honors

  • 1939

    • Freud dies


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Freud’s Personality Structure

  • For Freud, personality was composed of three interacting systems: id, ego, and superego


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Freud’s Personality Structure

  • Id

    • Operates on the “pleasure principle”

    • Immediate gratification

  • Ego

    • Operates on the “reality principle”

    • Seeks to gratify id’s impulses in realistic ways that will bring long-term pleasure rather than pain and destruction

  • Superego

    • Operates on the “ideal principle”

    • What is morally correct


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Freud’s Personality Development:The Psychosexual Stages

  • Freud’s analysis of his patient’s problems and memories convinced him that personality is decisively shaped in the first few year’s of life

    • He felt that his patient’s symptoms stemmed from unresolved conflicts that originated in early childhood

    • He concluded that children pass through a series of psychosexual stages of development – stages during which the Id’s pleasure-seeking energies are focused on pleasure-sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones


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The Psychosexual Stages

  • Oral

  • Anal

  • Phallic

  • Latency

  • Genital


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Freud’s Oral Stage

  • About first 12-18 months of life

    • Focus: sucking, biting, etc.

  • According to Freud, a fixation here causes which problems as an adult?


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Freud’s Anal Stage

  • Approx. 18 months to three years of age

    • Anal region is focus

      • Toilet-training, etc.

  • Fixation causes???


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Freud’s Phallic Stage (3-6yrs old)

  • Children realize anatomical difference – up to this point Freud feels that children thought that the other had the same “equipment” they did…

  • Boys:

    • Initially think girls are hiding penis; then think its been cut off (ouch!)

    • According to Freud, at this point in the phallic stage the boy has discovered masturbation and wants to direct this phallic activity towards his mother


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Freud’s Phallic Stage: Boys

  • At this point, boys enter Oedipus complex and are in a “sexual love” with mother and want to kill father and marry mother

    • They want sole sexual possession

  • “Castration anxiety” ends this…

    • Fear of their father creates the superego

    • Desires for mother goes deeply into unconscious and creates strong superego

    • He identifies with dad and incorporates many of his values


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Boys

    • Basically, he abandons the incestuous desires of the Id (under the threat of castration) and subdues the pleasure principle…

      • He does however understand that his time will come…he’ll get a woman someday hence he just has to wait to fulfill his libidinal urges


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Boys

    • This ends the Oedipus complex for boys…

    • Their desires for mom go deeply into the unconscious…later on in life other unfulfillable and inexpressible wishes will follow into this repressed area – like prohibitions on behavior from parents, teachers, police, religious authorities, etc.


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Girls

    • The path for girls is less clear:

    • First of all, Freud believes that all girls suffer from “penis envy”…

    • She has seen it, and knows that she is without it, and she wants to have it…


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Girls

    • Freud feels that girls try to deal with these feelings in three possible ways:

      • Denial – she persists in her thinking (at least for awhile) that she has a penis and this leads to psychosis later in life

      • I’ll get one somehow – she may somehow fixate on the idea that she will someday get a penis by whatever means possible

      • The normal route – accept the fact that she has been castrated


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Girls

    • According to Freud, many girls believe they have been castrated, probably as a punishment for masturbating…

    • Well, regardless of the route taken…

      • Inferiority complex develops which carries into adulthood

      • Furious with mother

        • Anger and hatred for not giving her a penis

      • Contempt for entire female sex

      • Also, she feels the clitoris is inferior to the penis…so much so that she gives up masturbation entirely…even the idea disgusts her


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Girls

    • Ok, so what happens next…

    • Her father becomes a love object…

      • Since I can’t get a penis – I’ll have dad’s baby instead

        • At this point, Freud announces, “the girl has turned into a little woman”

    • Mother is rival

      • The mother becomes solely the object of jealousy and rivalry


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Girls

    • So then, how does the Oedipus (Electra) complex end for girls???

      • Freud struggles with explanation…

      • Basically, somehow (???) its repressed

    • But not deeply into unconscious…

      • Girls don’t ever develop strong superego

      • Thus, they are not as moral as men

      • Aren’t suitable to be leaders, rulers (someone better tell Hillary)


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Girls

    • Basically, girls never formed the strong superego – its not anchored like the boys and thus their unconscious wishes are more likely to rise up into consciousness during adulthood


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    Freud’s Phallic Stage: Girls

    • Many girls stay in Oedipus complex forever…

      • Nothing really ever ended it for them

      • Marry guys like dad


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    Latency Period(Age 6 to puberty)

    • Now, with sexual feelings are repressed we see sexually-dormant children playing mostly with same-sex friends


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    Genital Stage(Puberty)

    • Youths begin to experience sexual feelings towards others


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    An early Freudian gaffe…

    • In 1896, Freud (who is 40 years old and just beginning to make a name for himself) presented a paper titled Etiology of Hysteria to a professional society in which he theorized that hysteria in adults was caused by infantile seduction

      • Freud proposed the Seduction Theory after listening to all eighteen of his hysterical patients disclose childhood experiences of unwanted sexual contact (Masson, 1984)

      • As a result of treating these patients, Freud was able to make links between infantile sexual abuse, defense mechanisms (such as amnesia), and hysteria


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    Seduction Theory

    • Freud hypothesized that infantile seduction occurred more frequently than most people believed

    • Freud hypothesized that many victims developed obsessions and neuroses as a result of the abuse they experienced


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    Meet with silence…

    • You can imagine the response from his audience


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    Suppression of the Seduction Theory

    • Masson (1984)

      • Suggests that Freud gave up the seduction theory because of a lack of courage

      • Nevertheless, it seems Freud was right

      • Present researchers confirm Freud's original belief that most frequently an abuser was someone the child knew and trusted

      • Freud gave up the seduction theory in favor of the Oedipus complex theory


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    Suppression of the Seduction Theory

    • Interesting twist…

      • One of the reasons, he ignored the reality of his seduction theory is the possibility that his close friend and colleague, Wilhelm Fliess may have molested his own son

      • Freud may have been aware of this

      • Adding to this is the fact that he had yet to achieve his ultimately high status maybe Freud figured rather than upset the whole psychological community, he figured it best to abandon his theory

      • Maybe the world wasn’t ready to accept this reality


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    Suppression of the Seduction Theory

    • Masson (1984)

      • Felt that had Freud remained faithful to his seduction theory the entire history of psychoanalysis would have been different

    • Crewdson (1987)

      • Instead of exploring the imagined sexual lives of children, real sexual abuses of children would have been acknowledged


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    Freud’s Authoritarianism

    • Freud was authoritarian and paternalistic…

      • Unable to tolerate disagreements

      • Examples: Fliess, Adler, and Jung

      • They were his children, his disciples, and they were to accept what he said without question

      • Disagreements were an act of treason


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    Rigid Authoritarianism

    • This problem of Freud’s has been well documented

    • He was intolerant of others opinions and refused revision of his theories

    • He never accepted any significant suggestions for change in his theoretical work

    • Either one had to be completely in favor of his theory or it was taken as a personal attack on him


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    A drastic example…

    • Sandor Ferenczi was a loyal pupil of Freud who at the end of his life mentioned to Freud certain beliefs concerning therapy

    • He felt the patient needed to feel that the therapist really cared about him

    • Freud became increasingly impatient and warned that Ferenczi was “on dangerous ground” and was departing from the fundamentals of psychoanalysis


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    Discussion over!!!

    • Freud felt that all this will do is cause the patient to become dependent on the therapist – “your ideas are wrong”

      • The interview ended with Freud ready to blow a gasket

      • Ferenczi was hurt by this reaction and held out his hand in an affectionate adieu

      • Freud disgustedly turned his back and walked out of the room


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    Freud’s Symbolism…

    • Does he take it too far?

      • Dreams

      • Humor

      • Phobias


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