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Special fields of psychology → Курсова робота

How the conditions for satisfaction are to be brought about is the task of the second system, the ego, which is the domain of such functions as perception, thinking, and motor control that can accurately assess environmental conditions. In order to fulfill its function of adaptation, or reality testing, the ego must be capable of enforcing the postponement of satisfaction of the instinctual impulses originating in the id. To defend itself against unacceptable impulses, the ego develops specific psychic means, known as defense mechanisms. These include repression, the exclusion of impulses from conscious awareness; projection, the process of ascribing to others one\'s own unacknowledged desires; and reaction formation, the establishment of a pattern of behavior directly opposed to a strong unconscious need. Such defense mechanisms are put into operation whenever anxiety signals a danger that the original unacceptable impulses may reemerge.

An id impulse becomes unacceptable, not only as a result of a temporary need for postponing its satisfaction until suitable reality conditions can be found, but more often because of a prohibition imposed on the individual by others, originally the parents. The totality of these demands and prohibitions constitutes the major content of the third system, the superego, the function of which is to control the ego in accordance with the internalized standards of parental figures. If the demands of the superego are not fulfilled, the person may feel shame or guilt. Because the superego, in Freudian theory, originates in the struggle to overcome the Oedipal conflict, it has a power akin to an instinctual drive, is in part unconscious, and can give rise to feelings of guilt not justified by any conscious transgression. The ego, having to mediate among the demands of the id, the superego, and the outside world, may not be strong enough to reconcile these conflicting forces. The more the ego is impeded in its development because of being enmeshed in its earlier conflicts, called fixations or complexes, or the more it reverts to earlier satisfactions and archaic modes of functioning, known as regression, the greater is the likelihood of succumbing to these pressures. Unable to function normally, it can maintain its limited control and integrity only at the price of symptom formation, in which the tensions are expressed in neurotic symptoms.


A cornerstone of modern psychoanalytic theory and practice is the concept of anxiety, which institutes appropriate mechanisms of defense against certain danger situations. These danger situations, as described by Freud, are the fear of abandonment by or the loss of the loved one (the object), the risk of losing the object\'s love, the danger of retaliation and punishment, and, finally, the hazard of reproach by the superego. Thus, symptom formation, character and impulse disorders, and perversions, as well as sublimations, represent compromise formations—different forms of an adaptive integration that the ego tries to achieve through more or less successfully reconciling the different conflicting forces in the mind.

Psychoanalytic Schools

Various psychoanalytic schools have adopted other names for their doctrines to indicate deviations from Freudian theory.

Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung, one of the earliest pupils of Freud, eventually created a school that he preferred to call analytical psychology. Like Freud, Jung used the concept of the libido; however, to him it meant not only sexual drives, but a composite of all creative instincts and impulses and the entire motivating force of human conduct. According to his theories, the unconscious is composed of two parts; the personal unconscious, which contains the results of the individual\'s entire experience, and the collective unconscious, the reservoir of the experience of the human race. In the collective unconscious exist a number of primordial images, or archetypes, common to all individuals of a given country or historical era. Archetypes take the form of bits of intuitive knowledge or apprehension and normally exist only in the collective unconscious of the individual. When the conscious mind contains no images, however, as in sleep, or when the consciousness is caught off guard, the archetypes commence to function. Archetypes are primitive modes of thought and tend to personify natural processes in terms of such mythological concepts as good and evil spirits, fairies, and dragons. The mother and the father also serve as prominent archetypes.

An important concept in Jung\'s theory is the existence of two basically different types of personality, mental attitude, and function. When the libido and the individual\'s general interest are turned outward toward people and objects of the external world, he or she is said to be extroverted. When the reverse is true, and libido and interest are centered on the individual, he or she is said to be introverted. In a completely normal individual these two tendencies alternate, neither dominating, but usually the libido is directed mainly in one direction or the other; as a result, two personality types are recognizable.

Jung rejected Freud\'s distinction between the ego and superego and recognized a portion of the personality, somewhat similar to the superego, that he called the persona. The persona consists of what a person appears to be to others, in contrast to what he or she actually is. The persona is the role the individual chooses to play in life, the total impression he or she wishes to make on the outside world.

Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler, another of Freud\'s pupils, differed from both Freud and Jung in stressing that the motivating force in human life is the sense of inferiority, which begins as soon as an infant is able to comprehend the existence of other people who are better able to care for themselves and cope with their environment. From the moment the feeling of inferiority is established, the child strives to overcome it. Because inferiority is intolerable, the compensatory mechanisms set up by the mind may get out of hand, resulting in self-centered neurotic attitudes, overcompensations, and a retreat from the real world and its problems.

Adler laid particular stress on inferiority feelings arising from what he regarded as the three most important relationships: those between the individual and work, friends, and loved ones. The avoidance of inferiority feelings in these relationships leads the individual to adopt a life goal that is often not realistic and frequently is expressed as an unreasoning will to power and dominance, leading to every type of antisocial behavior from bullying and boasting to political tyranny. Adler believed that analysis can foster a sane and rational \"community feeling\" that is constructive rather than destructive.