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PSY 437 Alfred Adler
Book: Theories of Personality by Gregory J. Feist, Tomi-Ann Roberts, & Jess Feist 10th Edition
Terms in this set (58)
Early recollection, Sense of Inferiority, Style of Life, and Social Connection
The cornerstones of Individual Psychology
- people are motivated by social influences and by their striving for superior or success
- people are largely responsible for who they are
- present behavior is shaped by people's view of the future
- psychologically healthy people are usually aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it
How does Adler differ from Freud?
Infants are blessed to be born with weak and inferior bodies, as this inferiority will drive us either to success or superiority.
What did Adler emphasize on infants?
- One dynamic force behind people's behavior is striving for successor superiority.
- Subjective perceptions shape people's behavior and personality.
- Personality is unified and self-consistent.
- All human activity must be seen from a social interest point of view.
- Personality structure develops into style of life.
- Style of life is greatly influenced by people's creative power.
What are the major tenets of Adlerian Theory?
Striving for success or superiority
Major drive behind people's behavior according to Adler
Strive for Success; not only for them but for the society as well
What do psychologically healthy people strive for?
Strive for superiority
What do psychologically unhealthy people strive for?
The Final Goal
- It is fictional and no objective existence.
- It is influenced by our creative power.
- It is not set into stone.
- It lessens inferiority and directs a person.
- It develops at the age of 4-5 years old.
When an individual's final goal is known, all actions make sense and each subgoal takes on new significance.
What did Adler say about the final goal?
born with weak and inferior bodies > feelings of inferiority > compensation > strive for success
- it must be developed by parents
- at age 4-5, children begin setting their goal
Explain: The striving force as compensation
no movement towards perfection > no feelings of inferiority > no goal set
Explain: No movement towards perfection
It is an individualized concept and all people formulate their own definition of it.
- We are pushed by the need to overcome inferiority feelings, and pulled by the desire for completion.
- Hereditary established potentiality, environment contributes to the development of social interest and courage.
Striving for Superiority
- Avenue wherein people have little or no concern for others.
- motivated by exaggerated feelings of inferiority
- example: murderers, thieves, and con artists
Striving for Success
- Avenue wherein people have concern for themselves and the society
- natural tendency to move toward completion or perfection
- motivated by improving society
These are ideas that have no real existence, yet they influence people as if they really existed.
the impetus toward perfection or completion
The deficient organ expresses the direction of the individual's goal.
- a creative expression of a person's goal
- Feeling of oneness with all humanity
- must be developed by parents
- develop bond that encourages the child's mature social interest and fosters a sense of cooperation
- give love that is centered on the child's well-being
- if mother is focused just on child, the child may grow pampered.
- if mother is focused just on husband or society, the child will feel neglected.
What is the mother's role in developing social interest?
- demonstrate a caring attitude toward his wife as well as to other people
- avoid the dual errors of emotional detachment and paternal authoritarianism
What is the father's role in developing social interest?
The sole criterion of human values
Style of Life
- flavor of a person's life
- includes person's goal, self-concept, feelings for others, and attitude toward the world
- product of heredity, environment, and creative power
- establish by age 4 or 5
- inflexible lives
- inability to choose new ways of reacting to the environment
What is the style of life of psychologically unhealthy people?
- diverse and flexible lives
- lifestyles are complex, changing, and enriched
- express social interest through action
What is the style of life of psychologically healthy people?
- Gives us the ability and empowerment to create our own style of life and shape our final goal
- dynamic concept implying movement
Contributed by factors:
exaggerated physical deficiencies, pampered style of life, and neglected style of life
Neglected Style of Life
Style of life in which children felt unloved and unwanted
- little confidence
- overestimate difficulties of life's major problems
- unable to cooperate with common welfare
- more likely be dangerous to others
Consequences of a Neglected Style of Life
Pampered Style of Life
Style of life in which feelings of inferiority were accentuated by parents who had done everything for them
- feeling entitled
- expects everyone to take care of them
- extreme discouragement
Consequences of Pampered Style of Life
Exaggerated Physical Deficiencies
Style of life physical deficiencies are accentuated by feelings of inferiority
- feeling more defeat
- striving for superiority
Consequences of Exaggerated Physical Deficiencies
- patterns of behavior to protect exaggerated sense of self-esteem against public disgrace
- largely conscious
Safeguarding technique that involves "If only" and "Yes but"
Safeguarding technique used to protect or shield people's exaggerated superiority complex
The tendency to undervalue other people's achievements and to overvalue one's own.
The tendency to blame others for one's failures and to seek revenge.
Marked by self-torture and guilt
Safeguarding through distance
similar to regression but this one is conscious
avoiding responsibilities by doing nothing
compulsive behaviors are attempts to waste time
Safeguarding tendency in which people create a barrier to their own success, thus allowing them to protect their self-esteem by either using the barrier as an excuse for failure or by overcoming it.
- Overemphasizing the importance of being manly
- Originated from cultural perspective of boys and girls
Includes the birth order, gender of siblings, and age spread between
- have intensified feelings of power and superiority
- have high anxiety
- have overprotective tendencies
- occupy unique position of being alone
He will view this dethronement into a previously established style of life.
- if self-centered, he will be hostile and feel resentment towards baby sibling.
- if cooperating, he will be cooperative towards baby sibling.
If the firstborn was age 3 or older and had another sibling,
Their hostility and resentment will be largely unconscious
If firstborn was less than 3 years old,
- have better cooperation and social interest
- personality is shaped by older sibling's attitude towards them
- if older sibling is hostile, he may become highly competitive yet easily discouraged.
- if older sibling is okay, he matures toward moderate competitiveness, healthy desire to overtake the older rival
- if secondborn child gains success, he is likely to develop revolutionary attitude and challenge authority always
- most pampered
- run a high risk of being problem children
- strong feelings of inferiority and lack sense of independence
- highly motivated to exceed older sibling
- develop an exaggerated sense of superiority and inflated self-concept
- lack well-developed feelings of cooperation and social interest
- expect other people to pamper and protect them
- yield clues to understanding both their final goal and present style of life
- people incorporate subjective feeling into their memories to reconstruct and make them consistent with their present style of life
these provide clues for solving future problems
to enhance courage, lessen feelings of inferiority, and encourage social interest
What is the purpose of Adlerian Psychotherapy?
Treating children in front of an audience of parents, teachers, and health professionals, as he believed that this will enhance children's social interest (to make them feel like they belong in the community)
- above average on generate research
- high on organizing data
- high on guides action
- low on internally consistent
- average of parsimony
- difficult to falsify
Critique on Adler's Theory
- Free choice
- Low causality
- Moderate on unconscious
- Social influences
From which dimensions do Adler's theory belong to?
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