Chapter 4 theories of Personality

Chapter 4 theories of Personality - Chapter 4 Alfred Adler...

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Chapter 4. Alfred Adler[*] Corbis/Bettmann Chapter Outline Biographical Sketch Organ Inferiority and Compensation Feelings of Inferiority Vaihinger’s Philosophy of “As If” Fictional Goals and Lifestyles Social Interest Mistaken Lifestyles Creative Self Safeguarding Strategies Goal of Psychotherapy Methods of Research Summary of the Differences between Adler and Freud Evaluation Summary Experiential Exercises Discussion Questions Glossary In many ways, Adler’s theory of personality is the opposite of Freud’s. Freud viewed individuals constantly in conflict with one another and with society, whereas Adler viewed them seeking companionship and harmony. Freud ignored questions concerning life’s meaning and the effects of future aspirations on one’s life, whereas Adler made these questions a central part of his theory. Freud saw the mind as consisting of different components often in conflict with one another, whereas Adler viewed the mind as an integrated whole working to help attain the future goals of the person. So by choosing the term individual psychology for his theory, Adler by no means intended to imply that people are selfishly motivated to satisfy their own biological drives. Rather, he meant that although individuals are unique, they are characterized by inner harmony and a striving to cooperate with fellow humans. Adler’s theory is related to humanism because of its concern with the positive relationships among humans. His theory is related to existentialism because of its concern with questions concerning the meaning of human existence. Adler shared with the existentialists the belief that humans are future oriented (a belief shared by Jung), free to determine their own fate, and concerned with the meaning of life. Clearly, little similarity exists between Adler’s individual psychology and Freud’s psychoanalysis. 95 Biographical Sketch Alfred Adler was born in a suburb of Vienna, Austria, on February 7, 1870. His father, Leopold, was a moderately successful grain merchant. Adler grew up under comfortable physical circumstances and was able to enjoy the open spaces, relative freedom from want, and a city (Vienna) that was one of the great cultural centers of Europe. In addition, he was able to share his love of music with his entire family. Despite apparent physical comfort, however, Adler looked on his childhood as miserable. He thought of himself as undersized and ugly. He was the third of seven children and had a major rivalry with his older brother, who apparently was very athletic and a model child. Adler’s mother seemed to prefer his older brother to him, but Adler got along very well with his father. Chapter 4 1
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Adler’s views of himself were not without foundation. He was a sickly child who was unable to walk until he was 4 years old. He suffered from rickets that prevented him from engaging in any strenuous physical activity. One of my earliest recollections is of sitting on a bench bandaged up on account of
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Chapter 4 theories of Personality - Chapter 4 Alfred Adler...

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