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Personality Psychology
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Psychoanalytic approaches to personality: Classical
Larsen/Buss cover

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this chapter, you will be able to:

Discuss Freud's analogy that the human mind is like a "hydraulic" system operating by internal pressure.

Discuss Freud's conception of instinct and the role instincts play in human nature and human personality. Review the basic instincts of sex and aggression.

Discuss how Freud's conceptualization of the basic instincts changed, from a focus on sexual and aggressive instincts to the instincts of libido and thanatos.

Discuss Freud's ideas about unconscious motivation and the key idea that we don't always know why we do what we do.

Identify and discuss each of the three parts of the human mind, as presented by Freud. Include a review of the functions and operations of each of these three parts of the mind.

Distinguish between the unconscious and the motivated unconscious.

Review Freud's contention that nothing happens by chance, or what has been referred to as the basic assumption of "psychic determinism."

Review empirical and theoretical work on subliminal psychodynamic activation. What are the key findings generated by this research, and what do they reveal about the status of Freud's thinking?

Discuss each of the three components of human personality, as presented by Freud: Id, ego, and superego. Include a review of the development and function of each of these parts of personality.

Review the role of anxiety in psychoanalytic theory. Discuss the three types of anxiety identified by Freud.

Discuss the role of defense mechanisms, according to psychoanalytic theory-what are they designed to do? How do they operate? Be familiar with the following defense mechanisms: Repression, denial, displacement, rationalization, reaction formation, projection, and sublimation.

Discuss empirical work on repression. What can be concluded from this research, and how does this research inform Freud's original presentation of repression?

Review Freud's five-stage theory of psychosexual development. Discuss the key challenges and conflicts that occur at each stage.

Review the key components of psychoanalytic therapy. What is the goal of psychoanalytic therapy and why? What techniques are used in psychoanalytic therapy?

Review the key components of the process of psychoanalytic therapy, including interpretation, resistance, transference, and repetition compulsion.

Discuss the impact of psychoanalysis on psychology, in general, and personality and clinical psychology in particular.

Be familiar with the key criticisms of psychoanalysis as a theory of human personality.