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History and Systems of Psychology

ALFRED ADLER AND INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY:Alfred Adler

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History and Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
VU
Lesson 33
ALFRED ADLER AND INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY
Alfred Adler (1870-1937)
Alfred Adler
Alfred Adler was born in the suburbs of Vienna, Austria, on February 7, 1870 and died in 1937. He received
a medical degree from the University of Vienna in 1895. He began his medical career as an ophthalmologist,
but he soon switched to general practice. He then turned to psychiatry, and in 1907 was invited to join
Freud's discussion group. After writing papers on organic inferiority, which were quite compatible with
Freud's views, he wrote, first, a paper concerning an aggression instinct, which Freud did not approve of,
and then a paper on children's feelings of inferiority, which suggested that Freud's sexual notions be taken
more metaphorically than literally.
Although Freud named Adler the president of the Viennese Analytic Society and the co-editor of the
organization's newsletter, but Adler didn't stop his criticism. A debate between Adler's and Freud's
supporters was arranged, but it resulted in the resigning of Adler with nine other members of the
organization, to form the Society for Free Psychoanalysis in 1911. This organization became The Society for
Individual Psychology in the following year. He died of a heart attack on May 28, 1937.
Individual psychology refers to the idea that we should see people as wholes rather than parts. The word
individual means literally "un-divided." Second, instead of talking about a person's personality, with the
traditional sense of internal traits, structures, dynamics, conflicts, and so on, Adler preferred to talk about
lifestyle. Life style refers to how you live your life, how you handle problems and interpersonal relations.
Alfred Adler postulates a single "drive" or motivating force behind all our behavior and experience. He
called that motivating force "striving for perfection". It is the desire we all have to fulfill our potentials, to
come closer and closer to our ideal. It is very similar to the more popular idea of self-actualization. Further,
according to Adler the concept of "organic inferiority" is one of the most important factors in human
psychology. He thought that because of organic inferiority a person develops "striving for superiority."
This striving for superiority leads to:
Compensation
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Over compensation
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Compensation means striving to overcome. Since we all have problems, short-comings, inferiorities of one
sort or another, Adler felt, earlier in his writings that our personalities could be accounted for by the ways in
which we do -- or don't -- compensate or overcome those problems. One way to compensate inferiority
feelings or complex is to become aggressive. The person develops a drive to aggression but also has social
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History and Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
VU
interest. As a result of compensation for inferiority, drive to aggression and social interest a person develops
a style of life. A person's mental diseases can also be understood as his style of life.
Adler also stated that as a result of organic inferiority, a person develops feelings of inferiority. He may also
develop inferiority complex. Adler says it's a matter of being overwhelmed by our inferiority. If you are
moving along, doing well, feeling competent, you can afford to think of others. If you are not thinking of
others, if life is getting the best of you, then your attentions become increasingly focused on yourself.
Obviously, everyone suffers from inferiority in one form or another. For example, Adler began his
theoretical work considering organic inferiority that is, the fact that each of us has weaker, as well as
stronger parts of our anatomy or physiology.
Adler noted that many people respond to these organic inferiorities with compensation. They make up for
their deficiencies in some way: The inferior organ can be strengthened and even become stronger than it is
in others; or other organs can be overdeveloped to take up the slack which is overcompensation.
Sadly, there are also many people who cannot handle their difficulties, and led lives of quiet despair. If you
are overwhelmed by the forces of inferiority -- whether it is your body hurting, the people around you
holding you in contempt, or just the general difficulties of growing up -- you develop an inferiority complex.
The Adlerian therapy consists of:
A good human relationship between patient and doctor
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Direct conversation
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Dream interpretation
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Analysis of childhood memories
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Likes and dislikes of heroes
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Body of languages sitting, walking, talking etc.
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In other words, Adler believed in considering a number of factors when examining an individual for the
disorders he or she has developed. To him these disorders may have their roots in childhood or the
environment in which the person is living.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Methodology, Grading, Course Overview up to Midterm
  2. ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY/PSYCHOLOGY:Socrates, Plato
  3. GREEK THINKERS:Aristotle, Contiguity, Contrast
  4. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 5TH TO 12TH CENTURY:Saint Augustine, Avicenna
  5. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 5TH TO 12TH CENTURY:Al-Ghazali, Ibn-Rushd, Averroes
  6. RENAISSANCE:Rene Descartes
  7. ASSOCIATIONISTS:Thomas Hobbes, John Locke
  8. ASSOCIATIONISTS:David Hume, FRENCH REVOLUTION, Denis Diderot
  9. GERMAN CONTRIBUTION:Wilhelm Liebniz, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hegel
  10. INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS
  11. RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS:Ivan Pavlov, Reflex, Acquisition
  12. RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS:Vladimir Bekhterev
  13. IMPACT OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES ON PSYCHOLOGY:Charles Darwin, Gustav Fechner
  14. STRUCTURALIST SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY:Wilhelm Wundt
  15. FUNCTIONALISM:William James, John Dewey
  16. EUROPEAN FUNCTIONALISTS:David Katz, Edgar Rubin, Jean Piaget
  17. BEHAVIORISM:Edward Lee Thorndike, Law of belongingness
  18. BEHAVIORISM:Albert Weiss, Edwin Holt, Learning, Canalization, Walter Hunter
  19. BEHAVIORISM:J.B.Watson
  20. NEO-BEHAVIOURISTS:Clark Hull, Edward Tolman, Edwin Gutherie
  21. NEO-BEHAVIORISTS:B.F. Skinner, Karl Lashley, Donald Hebb, Hobart Mowrer
  22. GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:Max Wertheimer, Similarity, Proximity, Closure
  23. GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:Wolfgang Kohler, Kurt Koffka, Edward De Bono
  24. GESTALT SCHOOL AND DYNAMIC PSYCHOLOGY:Kurt Lewin, DYNAMIC PSYCHOLOGY
  25. HISTORICO-EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY:Leon Vygotsky, Sergei Rubenstein
  26. HISTORICO-EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY:Alexei Leontiev, K.M Bykov
  27. SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT MENTAL DISORDERS
  28. SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT MENTAL ILLNESS:Philippe Pinel, Sameul Tuke
  29. SIGMUND FREUD AND THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT:The Superego
  30. SIGMUND FREUD AND PSYCHOANALYTICAL MOVEMENT:Anna Freud
  31. CARL JUNG AND ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY:Carl Gustav Jung
  32. JUNG’S ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY:Carl Gustav Jung
  33. ALFRED ADLER AND INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY:Alfred Adler
  34. NEO-FREUDIANS:Harry Stack Sullivan, Karen Horney
  35. NEO-FREUDIANS:Karen Horney, Erich Fromm
  36. ERIKSON and MORENO:J.L. Moreno, Protagonist, Audience, Role playing
  37. HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY:Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Positive Psychology
  38. MODERN TRENDS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT
  39. MODERN TRENDS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT:Biological Approaches
  40. ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MOVEMENT:D.L. Rosenhan, R.D. Laing, Aaron Esterson
  41. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE THIRD WORLD:Frantz Fanon
  42. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE THIRD WORLD CHINA AND PAKISTAN
  43. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21st CENTURY
  44. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY:Consumer Psychology
  45. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY:Sports Psychology, Positive Psychology