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Personality Psychology

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Personality Psychology ­ PSY 405
VU
LESSON 12
ADJUSTMENT TO BASIC ANXIETY
Karen Horney has listed ten neurotic needs or ten abnormal trends in people. They are following:
1. The neurotic need for affection and approval.
2. The neurotic need for a partner who will run ones life.
3. The neurotic need to live ones life with in narrow limits.
4. The neurotic need for power.
5. The neurotic need to exploit others.
6. The neurotic need for social recognition.
7. The neurotic need for personal admiration.
8. The neurotic need for ambition and personal achievement.
9. The neurotic need for self sufficiency and independence.
10. The neurotic need for perfection and unassailability.
All normal people experience all the above ten needs but a normal satisfies one need at a time and then
moves on to others. The neurotic person hangs on to one need even when it is not fulfilled, he still is fixated
over it and invests all his energy in it and ignores all his other needs.
In 1945, Karen Horney in her book "Our Inner Conflicts" classified ten neurotic needs in three categories.
1-Moving Towards People
2-Moving Against People
3-Moving Away from People
Let us discuss each of them
1-Moving Towards People
In this pattern of adjustment, individual moves towards people in order to satisfy his needs for affection and
approval, for a dominant partner to control one's life and to live one's life within narrow limits. This is a
type of person who is complaint type, who says that if I give in, I shall not be hurt. This type of person
needs to be liked, wanted, desired, loved, welcomed, approved, appreciated, to be helped, to be protected,
to be taken care of and to be guided. This type of person is friendly, most of the time and represses his
aggression.
2-Moving Against People
In this adjustment mode, the neurotic need for power for exploitation of others is for prestige and for
personal achievements are to be fulfilled, when an individual moves against people. This is a hostile type of
a person who thinks that if he has power, no one can hurt him.
3-Moving Away from People
In this adjustment mode, the neurotic need for self sufficiency, perfection, independence and UN-assail
ability are classified. This person is a detached type, who says that if I withdraw, nothing can hurt me.
These three adjustment patterns are basically are incompatible, for example, one cannot move against,
towards and away from people at the same time. The normal person has greater flexibility he uses one
adjustment mode to another as conditions and situations demand. The neurotic person cannot easily move
from one adjustment mode to another, rather he is less flexible and ineffective in moving from one
adjustment mode to another.
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Personality Psychology ­ PSY 405
VU
Relationship between Real Self and Ideal Self
The real self represents all those things that are true about an individual, the ideal self reflects what one
would like to become. So the real self is the actual you and the ideal self is that what you aspire to become.
The relationship between real self and ideal self is important. The real self and the ideals self actually are
the two sides of the same coin. For the normal person, the real self and the ideal self are closely related and
not far apart. Whereas for the neurotic persons, the real self and the ideal self are far away and the ideal self
is un-realistic, un-reachable more of a dream. So ideal self is like an illusion that does not reflect a reality
and that needs to be changed and modified. For the normal person, the ideal self is realist, changeable and
reachable.
Adjustment Techniques
Freud's ego defense mechanisms and Karen Horney's adjustment techniques are the same. However, Karen
Horney has added few new and usable techniques of adjustment which are:
1-Blind Spots
Let us take an example, you are extremely intelligent student and you responded to your teacher's question
very stupidly, so this experience hurts your ego. Therefore, you are going to deny it and ignore it because it
is not in accordance with your idealized self image of an intelligent person. Now this experience is a
disowned one and it will reappear as a blind spot in your personality. You will not accept it and it will
reappear as a problem in your personality. This is similar to Sigmund Freud's repression.
2-Rationalization
It is giving good reasons or making good excuses to protect your ego. So rationalization by Freud and
Horney are the same. Let's take an example: A student works very hard for CSS but fails in it. He says, "I
don't want to be a civil servant, all civil servants are corrupt since I am an honest person I do not want to be
a civil servant". The story of the fox and the grapes is another example of rationalization.
3-Excessive Self-Control
Excessive self-control is actually rigid self control at all costs. Guarding one's self, against anxiety by
controlling, any expression of emotion. In real life a puritan character has been created who maintains tight
emotional control under all circumstances.
Example
An individual under extreme grief and depression expresses no emotion.
An individual under state of extreme happiness shows no emotion.
4-Compartmentalization
It means dividing your life in to various compartments, one set of rules controls one compartment and
another set of rules controls another compartment. For example, a teacher does not permit his students to
cheat in the class, but the same teacher while playing a game of cards cheats with his colleagues. So there is
one set of rules which applies to one compartment and another set of rules which applies to another
compartment of his personality.
5 - Externalization
Externalization is similar to Freud's projection. In projection, individual blames others for his own
shortcoming. For example, a student did not prepare for his exams properly, and after getting a low grade,
would say, the teacher was against me or the question paper was out of the course, instead of seeing the fact
that the preparation was insufficient. Our team lost the match, because the umpire was against us while the
fact is that our penalty corner conversion was poor.
6- Arbitrary Rightness
To the person utilizing this adjustment technique, the worst thing a person can be is indecisive or
ambiguous. When issues arise that have no clear solution one way or the other, the person arbitrarily
chooses one solution, thereby ending debate. An example would be when a mother says "You're not going
out Friday night and that's the end of it" A person using this adjustment will arrive at a position and when
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Personality Psychology ­ PSY 405
VU
doing so all debate ends. The position the person takes becomes the truth and therefore cannot be
challenged. The person no longer needs to worry about what is right and wrong or what is certain and
uncertain.
7 - Elusiveness
This technique is the opposite of arbitrary rightness. The elusive person never makes a decision about any
thing. If one is never committed to anything, one can never be wrong, and if one is never wrong, one can
never be criticized. If a person decides to go to college and fails, there is no excuse. If, however, the
decision to go to college is delayed, because of lack of money, or any other reason, this technique is called
elusiveness, where the person never makes a decision about any thing.
8 - Cynicism
Cynics are individuals who do not believe in the value of any thing rather they try to make every individual
realize the meaninglessness of their goals and objectives. Karen Horney believed that Cynics are
individuals who derive pleasure by making an individual realize that he is worthless and his goals and aims
in life are meaningless.
Goal of Psychotherapy
In her book called Self Analysis, Karen Horney says, "that many people do not have emotional problems
because they learn to minimize conflict and try to maintain a relationship between their real and ideal self.
So the goal of psychotherapy is create a realistic relationship between the real self and ideal self." Those
people who accept themselves what they really are, they develop realistic goals for future and they have
peace and harmony with themselves.
Comparison of Freud and Karen Horney:
KAREN HORNEY
FREUD
For Karen Horney, child's relationship to his
For Freud, early childhood experiences are
parents is very important and that determines
extremely  important  because  personality
whether or not the child would develop the
development takes place in the early years of
basic anxiety.
childhood.
Freud  emphasized  the  importance  of For Karen Horney, basic anxiety leads to
unconscious motivation in the development of development of neurosis and causes basic
personality.
hostility, which is unconscious.
For Freud, all conflicts attempted to satisfy Karen Horney deemphasized the biological
biological drives. His emphasis on sex and motives and focused on a need for a feeling of
aggression as the primary biological motive.
security in the child is important.
For Freud, males are superior and he discussed Karen Horney totally rejected this concept and
the Electra complex and Oedipus complex in said that anatomy is not destiny. Males are not
detail.
superior. They are equal to females.
For Freud, personality changed rarely takes While for Karen Horney all of us have capacity
place in adult life.
to change in fundamental ways.
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Table of Contents:
  1. THE NATURE OF PERSONALITY THEORY:Objectives of Personality Psychology
  2. PERSONALITY MEASUREMENT:Observational Procedures, Rating Scales
  3. MAIN PERSPECTIVES:Psychometrics, observation, Behavioral Coding Systems
  4. SIGMUND FREUD: A PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF PERSONALITY
  5. INSTINCT: WHAT MOTIVATES HUMAN BEHAVIOR?, The Oral Stage
  6. PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY OF SIGMUND FREUD:The Ego, Free association
  7. THEORY OF CARL JUNG:Biographical Sketch, Principles of Opposites, The Persona
  8. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES:Childhood, Young Adulthood, Middle Ages
  9. ALFRED ADLER:Biographical Sketch, Individual Psychology, Feeling of Inferiority
  10. INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY:Fictional Finalism, Social Interest, Mistaken Styles of Life
  11. KAREN HORNEY:Adjustment to Basic Anxiety, Adjustment Techniques
  12. ADJUSTMENT TO BASIC ANXIETY:Moving Towards People, Moving Against People
  13. ERIK ERIKSON:Anatomy and Destiny, Ego Psychology, Goal of Psychotherapy
  14. ERIK ERIKSON:Human Development, Goal of Psychotherapy
  15. SULLIVAN’S INTERPERSONAL THEORY:Core Concepts, The Self-System
  16. SULLIVAN’S INTERPERSONAL THEORY:Cognitive Process, Tension
  17. CONSTITUTIONAL PSYCHOLOGY:The Structure of Physique, Evaluation
  18. SHELDON’S SOMATOTYPE THEORY:The Structure of Physique
  19. MASLOW’S THEORY:Self-Actualizers Aren't Angels, Biographical Sketch
  20. MASLOW’S THEORY:Basic Concepts of Humanistic Psychology, Problem Centering
  21. ROGERS PERSON CENTERED APPROACH:Humanistic, Actualizing tendency
  22. ROGERS PERSON CENTERED APPROACH:Fully functioning person
  23. ROGERS PERSON CENTERED APPROACH:Client Centered Therapy,
  24. KELLY’S COGNITIVE THEORY OF PERSONALITY THEORY:Biographical Sketch
  25. CORE CONCEPTS OF GEORGE KELLY’S COGNITIVE THEORY OF PERSONALITY
  26. GORDON ALLPORT: A TRAIT THEORY OF PERSONALITY:Personality as a
  27. GORDON ALLPORT: A TRAIT THEORY OF PERSONALITY:Secondary Traits
  28. FACTOR ANALYTIC TRAIT THEORY:Factor Analysis, The Nature of Personality
  29. FACTOR ANALYTIC TRAIT THEORY:The Specification Equation, Research Methods
  30. HENRY MURRAY’S PERSONOLOGY:Need, Levels of Analysis, Thema
  31. HENRY MURRAY’S PERSONOLOGY (CONTINUED)
  32. ALBERT BANDURA’S SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY:BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
  33. ALBERT BANDURA’S SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY:Reciprocal Determinism
  34. THE STIMULUS RESPONSE THEORY OF DOLLARD AND MILLER:Core Concepts
  35. THE STIMULUS RESPONSE THEORY OF DOLLARD AND MILLER:Innate Equipment
  36. SKINNER’S THEORY OF PERSONALITY:Biographical Sketch, Books
  37. SKINNER’S THEORY OF PERSONALITY:Positive Reinforcement, Generalization
  38. ALBERT ELLIS THEORY OF PERSONALITY:Biographical Sketch, Social Factors
  39. THE GRAND PERFECT THEORY OF PERSONALITY:Genes and Biology
  40. PERSPECTIVES OR DOMAINS OF PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY:Dispositional
  41. PERSPECTIVES OR DOMAINS OF PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY
  42. PERSPECTIVES OR DOMAINS OF PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY:Need
  43. THE GRAND THEORY OF PERSONALITY:Psychosexual Stages of Development
  44. PERSONALITY APPRAISAL:Issues in Personality Assessment
  45. PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY: NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE DISCIPLINE