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Alfred Adler: Individual Psychology

Alfred Adler: Individual Psychology

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Alfred Adler: Individual Psychology

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  1. Alfred Adler: Individual Psychology

  2. Individual Psychology • Focuses on uniqueness of each person • Denies universal biological drives and goals

  3. Feelings of Inferiority • Always present as motivating force in behavior • Source of all human striving • Growth results from compensation: attempts to overcome inferior feelings

  4. Inferiority Complex • Inability to overcome inferiority feelings: helpless, poor self-opinion • 3 Sources: • Organic: Physical deficits • Spoiling: Immediate gratification, little regard for needs of others • Neglect: Lack love, security, develop feelings of worthlessness

  5. Superiority Complex • Overcompensate for feelings of inferiority • Exaggerated opinion of one’s abilities and accomplishments

  6. Striving for Superiority • Ultimate goal of life • Drive to perfection • Not an attempt to be better than others • Fictional finalism: Reach goals set in the future to be complete, whole • Potential goals guide behavior

  7. Style of Life • Expression of striving for superiority to attain goals • Learned from early social interactions • Guiding framework for all later behaviors

  8. Creative Power of the Self • Ability to create an appropriate style of life • We create ourselves, personality and character • Reactions and interpretations of experience more important than actual experience

  9. Universal Problems and Styles of Life for Dealing with Problems • Problems: • Involving behavior toward others • Occupational • Relationships/Love • Styles of Life: Specific Types • Dominant: Little social awareness • Getting: Expects to receive satisfaction from others, becomes dependent • Avoiding: Avoids life’s problems • Socially useful: Cooperates with others, shows social interest

  10. Social Interest • Innate potential to cooperate with others to reach personal and societal goals • Individual must cooperate with and contribute to society to achieve goals

  11. Birth Order • Major social influence in childhood • First born: Oriented to past, role of leader, organized, scrupulous • Second born: Optimistic, competitive, ambitious • Youngest: High achievers or helpless and dependent • Only child: Difficulty when not center of attention, mature early

  12. Assessment: Early Recollections and Dream Analysis • Early Recollections: • Personality created in first 4-5 years • Earliest memories: reveal primary interest in life • Ex: 1st school memory: Attitudes toward achievement, mastery and independence • Dream Analysis: • Reveal feelings about current problem and intended solution • Oriented to present and future, not past • Ex: School exams: Unprepared in situations

  13. Research in Adler’s Theory • Dreams: Support for solving current problems • Early Recollections: Early memories may be associated with later problems Ex: Criminals • Neglected children: Later showed more depression (inferiority)

  14. Research in Adler’s Theory Continued • Social Interest: Higher social interest=less depression and stress, higher empathy and popularity • Birth Order: • 1st born: Overrepresented in achievement- oriented positions • 2nd born: No support for competitive, ambitious nature • Last born: More likely to become alcoholics than 1st born (pampered excessively) • Only: Adjustment, initiative comparable to groups with siblings