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Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms PowerPoint Presentation
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Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms

Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms

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Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms

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  1. We sometimes draw thesymbols from our distant past, but sometimes we draw them fromthe “day residue,”= the accumulation of events we experienced on the dayof the dream.

  2. A knife,umbrella, or tie symbolizes the penis; a pocket, tunnel, jug, or gate symbolizesthe vagina in some books. • Freudians believe that different symbols can mean different things to different dreamers. • Contrary to pop psych, did not say that all symbols mean the same to everyone.

  3. Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms • When danger from outside world arises, the ego experiencesanxiety.The ego will try to minimize anxiety via defense mechanisms: unconscious maneuvers intendedto minimize anxiety. Defense mechanisms areessential for psychological health. • Freud thought over reliance on one or twodefensemechanisms could cause problems.

  4. Defense Mechanism Examples • Repression – the most critical one, motivated forgetting of emotionally threatening memories or impulses. Repression is triggeredby anxiety: We forget because we want to forget. We repressunhappy memories of early childhood to avoid the pain they produce. This repressionleads us to experience infantile amnesia, the inability toremember anything prior to about age three. • Denial – motivated forgetting of distressing external experiences.We often observe denial in adolescence and people with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.

  5. Regression- Returning psychologically to a younger and safer time • Reaction-formation- transformation of an anxiety-provoking emotioninto its opposite. The observable emotion reflects the oppositeemotion the person feels unconsciously. OCD • Projection – unconscious attribution of our negative qualities onto others. People with paranoia are projecting their unconscioushostility onto others. They want to harm others, butbecause they can’t accept these impulses they perceive others as wanting to harm them.

  6. Displacement -we direct an impulse froma socially unacceptable target onto a safer and more socially acceptable target.

  7. Rationalization -provides a reasonable explanation for our unreasonablebehaviors or for failures. • A related defense mechanism,intellectualization, allows us to avoid anxiety by thinking about abstract and interpersonal (impersonal) thoughts. • Identification with the aggressor-the process of adopting the characteristics ofindividuals we find threatening: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Stockholm syndrome

  8. Sublimation-transforms a socially unacceptable impulse into an admired goal. • A man who set fires in childhood wenton to become chief of his local fire department.

  9. Stages of Psychosexual Development • Freud believed that we pass through stages, each stage is focused on an erogenous zone. • According to us, our genitals are our primary sexual organs, according to Freud, other bodily areas are sources of sexual gratification in early development. • For Freud, sexuality begins in infancy. • Individuals get fixated on a stage and have difficulty moving on, this psychosexual stage may not have been resolved.

  10. *Includes Oedipus and Electra complexes.

  11. The Oral Stagefocuses on the mouth. Infantsobtain sexual pleasure by sucking and drinking. Freud believed that adults whoare orally fixated are prone to unhealthy “oral” behaviors,like overeating, drinking excessively, or smoking.

  12. The Anal Stagechildren experience pleasure by moving their bowels, but soon discover that theycan’t do so whenever nature calls. They must learn to inhibit their urges and wait tomove their bowels in a socially appropriate place. If children’s toilet trainingis either too harsh or too kind, they’ll become fixated and prone toanal personalities—excessive neatness, stinginess, and stubbornness. To be rigid and perfectionistic.

  13. The Phallic Stage is importance in explaining personality. The penis and clitoris become the primary erogenous zones for pleasure. Children develop a powerful attraction for the opposite-sex parent, as well as a desire to eliminatethe same-sex parent as a rival.In boys, the phallic stage is termed the Oedipus complex.

  14. The boy, who wantsMommy for himself, wants to kill or rid himself of Daddy. The boy fears that his fatherwill castrate him as a result. Finally, these castration anxieties lead the boy to abandon this love. He then identifieswith the aggressor, that’s his father, and adopts his characteristics. Nevertheless, if children don’t resolve thiscomplex, the stage is set for psychological problems later in life.

  15. In the classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles, Oedipus blinds himself soon after discovering that he’d unknowingly murdered his father and married his mother. Freud was so influenced by this play that he referred to the supposed love of all boys for their mothers as the Oedipus complex.

  16. In girls, Electra complex after theGreek character who avenged her father’s murder by killing her mother. Girls, like boys, desirethe affections of the opposite-sex parent. In girls, the phallic stage takes the form of penis envy, in which the girldesires to possess a penis, just like Daddy has. Girls believe themselves inferior to boys because of their “missing” organ.

  17. In the Latency Stage, sexualimpulses are submerged into the unconscious. Most boys and girlsfind members of the opposite sex to be “yucky”.

  18. The Genital Stagesexual impulses reawaken. If development up tothis point has proceeded without problems, matureromantic relationships occur. In contrast, if serious problems weren’t resolved at earlierstages, establishing intimate love attachments is difficult.

  19. Evaluated Scientifically • Very influential in thinking about personality, but there are major criticisms • Unfalsifiable • Failed predictions • Questionable conception of unconscious • Unrepresentative samples • Emphasis on shared environment

  20. Subliminally presented stimuli, that is, stimuli presented below the threshold for awareness, can affect our behavior.

  21. Unrepresentative samples • Freud based his theories on atypical samples and generalized them to the rest of humanity.Mostof Freud’s patients were upper-class, wealthy neurotic Viennese women. Freud’s theories may therefore possess limited externalvalidity, that is, generalizability, for people from other cultural backgrounds.

  22. One of Freud’s best-known patients, known as “Anna O.,” was Bertha Pappenheim, who later became the founder of social work in Germany (she was even honored with her own postage stamp).

  23. Emphasis on shared environment • Freudians claim that the child emerging from the phallic stage assumes thepersonality characteristics of the same-sex parent.Nevertheless, as behavior-genetic studieshave shown, shared environment plays limited role in adult personality.

  24. Neo-Freudians • Share withFreudian theory an emphasis on • unconscious influences and • the importance ofearly experience in shaping personality. • Differ from Freud’s theories in two key ways • Less emphasis on sexuality, more on social, such as the need for approval; • More optimistic about personal growth, according to Freud, personality doesn’t change after childhood.

  25. Neo-Freudians: Alfred Adler (1870–1937) • For Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, the principal motive in human personality is thestriving for superiority. Our goal in life is to be better than others. To accomplish this goal, we try to form our distinctive style of life or build superiority over others. Style of life means that each person’s distinctive way of achieving superiority.

  26. Childrenwho are pampered or neglected by their parents are later at risk for an inferiority complex. An inferiority complex refers to feelings of low self-esteem that can lead to overcompensation for such feelings. • Manymental illnessesare unhealthy attempts to overcompensate for the inferiority complex.

  27. German dictator Adolph Hitler’s desire to dominate others was due to a striving for superiority and an effort to compensate for deep-seated inferiority feelings.

  28. Neo-Freudians: Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) • Jung termed the personal unconscious to Freud’s unconscious. For Jung, there’s also a collective unconscious. It comprises thememories from our ancestors across the generations. • The collective unconscious contains many archetypes, or cross-culturallyuniversal symbols, which explain the similarities across peoplein their emotional reactions to many features of the world. They include the mother, the goddess, the hero, and the mandala.

  29. A mandala symbol

  30. Neo-Freudians: KAREN HORNEY(1885–1952) • German physician Karen Horneywas the first feminist personality theorist. She viewed Freud’s concept of penis envy as misguided. For Horney, women’s sense of inferiority originates not from theiranatomy but their excessive dependency on men from early age.

  31. Karen Horney believed that Freud greatly underemphasized social factors as causes of inferiority feelings in many women.


  33. Behavioral Approaches • Behaviorism is a theory of learningand a theory of personality, also. • Believe that differences in our personalities originate from our learning histories. • Freudians (the first few years oflife are especially critical in personality development) X Behaviorists (Learning continues to shape our personalities throughout the life span.) • Personalities are bundles of habits acquired by classical and operant conditioning.

  34. Personalityconsists of behaviors. These behaviors are both overt (observable) and covert(unobservable), such as thoughts and feelings. • View personality as under the control of genetic factors and contingenciesin the environment, that is, reinforcers and punishers.

  35. Like psychoanalysts, radical behaviorists aredeterminists: They believe all of our actions are products of preexisting causal influences. • For radical behaviorists, like psychoanalysts,free will is an illusion.

  36. Although this person may perceive her decision to either eator not eat a piece of candy as under her control, radical behaviorists would regard her perception as an illusion.

  37. Social Learning (Social Cognitive) Theories • Saw learning as important, but believe thinking to play a crucial role as well. How we interpret our environments affectshow we react to them; if we perceive others as threatening, we’ll typically be hostile and suspicious. • Albert Bandura (1986) emphasizedreciprocal determinism, a form of causationwhereby personality and cognitive factors, behavior, and environmental variablesmutually influence one another.