In responding to the classmates post below, discuss whether you agree or disagree with the content of their original posts. Point out strengths and weaknesses in their arguments. Defend your own position with citations from the texts.
This week we learned about Freud’s theory and the theories of neo-Freudians that differed from his. Freud had many followers and some went on to develop their own theories that expanded upon his own theories. Alfred Adler and Carl Jung were two of his followers who did not agree on Freud’s “excessive emphasis on sexual instincts” (Cervone & Pervin, 2016, p. 102). Adler put more of an emphasis on social urges, as well as conscious thoughts, which differed from Freud’s preference of sexual instincts and the unconscious. Adler’s theory deals a lot with inferiority and the motivations we have to compensate for that (Cervone & Pervin, 2016, p. 104). Jung, on the other hand, hadn’t been solely a follower of Freud’s; he had been quite close to Freud and Freud actually believed Jung to be his protégé, who would carry on the psychoanalytic tradition. However, this didn’t happen after conflict arose between the two. Jung believed that Freud had emphasized sexuality too heavily, much like Adler did. Jung viewed the libido as a “generalized life energy,” not as a sexual instinct, which is what Freud believed. Jung also believed our personality development to not be solely focused on what had happened in the past, which differed from Freud’s thinking.
Much like Adler and Jung, Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan broke from Freud’s way of thinking and went on to develop their own theories. Horney’s theory put much more emphasis on cultural influences, as opposed to biological ones (Cervone & Pervin, 2016, p. 107). She also differed greatly on the view of women that Freud had and was very outspoken about the male bias that may have been present throughout his work concerning women. Sullivan also emphasized the role of social factors and contributed a way of thinking about development and personality that differed from Freud’s. He put emphasis on our emotional experiences “not being based in biological drives, as Freud posited, but in relations with others” (Cervone & Pervin, 2016, p. 108).
Freud never did experiments or implemented the use of tests throughout his career. He developed his theories purely from case study evidence. He used free association with his clients and thought it to be a scientific method and primary evidence for his theories, which is problematic. Adler and Horney did a lot of their work through observation, as well. However, Jung and Sullivan had used tests to find results, which helped them develop their theories. As for ethics, I do not believe that ethics were fully considered or upheld for the studies by the neo-Freudians. Reliability and validity is an issue when observation is how you come to your results
Neo-Freudians built upon the work of Sigmund Freud in many ways.
- Karen Horney built upon Freud’s theory in two main ways. First, she recognized that cultural factors were just as important (if not more important) at explaining people’s personality development as were biological factors. These cultural factors include gender roles. Second, she reached the conclusion that “…interpersonal relationships are at the core of all healthy and disturbed personality functioning” (Cervone & Pervin, 2019, pg. 107). In other words, while Freud generally focused on individuals and the conflict between their primitive urges and social constraints, Horney analyzed the urges created by relationships and societal institutions as well.
- Harry Sullivan’s main contribution to personality psychology was his ideas of the “good me,” the “bad me,” and the “not me.” The “good me” is the part of one’s personality that is favorable and accepted by the person. The “bad me” are parts of someone’s personality that he or she associates with pain and punishment, and the “not me” are the parts of one’s personality that he or she rejects entirely (Cervone & Pervin, 2019).
- Alfred Adler’s main contribution to personality psychology was the idea that people who feel inferior in some way generally try to compensate or overcompensate for their inferiorities. For example, someone who is deaf might work towards becoming a very respected musician (Cervone & Pervin, 2019).
- The most unique aspect of Carl Jung’s contributions to personality psychology is the idea of the collective unconscious, where all of humanity has the thoughts and experiences of their ancestors stored in their subconscious minds. Second, Jung generalized the concept of libido beyond sex, arguing that it is energy for all tasks in life. This slight contrast in ideas was enough to destroy the long and powerful father-son-like relationship between Freud and Jung (Cervone & Pervin, 2019).
The four neo-Freudians of this discussion forum used research designs differing significantly from those of Freud, who utilized case studies involving his patients to draw his conclusions.
- Horney’s specific research design is not directly mentioned in the textbook, and I was unable to find specific information about her studies online. However, based on the sentence “… when moving from European culture to the United States, Horney judged that she observed differences in personality structure between European and U.S. patients” (Cervone & Pervin, 2019, pg. 107), I am led to believe that at least some of her research was conducted by observing her patients in case-studies, similar to the research design of Freud. Her studies were likely ethical, as long as she ensured the privacy and confidentiality of her patients and obtained their consent to be participants in her research. However, her research design was very limited, as case studies tell us little about people in general.
- At the Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Sullivan used an experimental research design in order to create new treatments for young schizophrenic patients (Good Therapy, 2015). It is difficult to determine the ethicality of his research, as little information is given, but ethical concerns include confidentiality, and informed consent.
- I was entirely unable to find information about the research design of Albert.
- While Jung’s specific research methods are not discussed, based on the nature of his claim of “collective consciousness,” I can conclude that he did not use studies that are scientific in nature, as a claim about a “collective consciousness” in the subconscious would be impossible to test. We simply do not have the technology to systematically test such a claim, and we certainly did not during Jung’s time. I am unsure of Jung’s ethics, as no information about his research design is given. Although perhaps he used scientific methods in order to support his other ideas.
For this worksheet task, you will identify a gap in personality psychology research and begin to develop a basic research question to address the identified gap.
First, review the literature from the article in my chosen track (three that were provided for you and two that you chose on your own). Using the Research Gap Worksheet as a guide, identify a gap in the research from your articles. Based on that research gap, develop a question to address the gap.
Note: The Research Gap Worksheet is filled out to provide an example for you to follow. Use this sheet as a template by deleting the highlighted portion and replacing it with your own content.