Erik Erikson and Ego Psychology
Erikson was greatly influenced by Freud and generally stayed closer to Freud's theory
Some distinctions between Erikson and classical psychoanalysis
determinism. Erikson believes we evaluate what we have done in the past and can use these experiences to continue to grow
conflict. Erikson believed that social and interpersonal forces and the culture at large were equally as important in shaping our personality.
the unconscious: Erikson also believes in conscious awareness and decision making processes.
Eriksonís theory is heavily influenced by Ego Psychologists
place less importance on the Id and more on the ego
Ego psychology emphasized the existence of the ego prior to birth
the ego has other functions rather than defense mechanisms
One main function of the ego is to maintain our sense of identity.
Erikson suggests that our identity is made up of four parts:
individuality or a sense of uniqueness;
synthesis, or the coming together of all the parts of our "selves";
continuity, or the idea that you are the same person today that you were yesterday. This also includes the function of maintaining our self-image consistent.
social acceptance, this basically relates to being part of and similar to others of the group we belong to or identify with. It also includes being accepted and valued by the group members.
One of Erikson's most important concept is the epigenetic principle.
The development of our brain and other physical organs occurs according to a predetermined genetic blue print.
Erikson suggests that psychosexual development proceeds in a similar manner and advances according to the epigenetic principle.
Development is a result of the interaction of biological, environmental, and psychological factors
Erikson conceptualized personality development as having eight psychosocial stages
Each stage develops from and builds upon the previous stage so that our progress is in part determined by our success, or lack of success, in all the previous stages.
Every stage includes a specific problem or crisis that we must resolve in order to move on.
The term "crisis" is used in the sense of a critical turning point that can either lead to progress or stagnation rather than an upcoming calamity.
The crisis involves a conflict between two opposing elements.
The best resolution involves a balance (although not necessarily an equal balance) between the two.
Each stage has a certain optimal time as well
so we generally cannot speed things up or slow things down. However, the outcomes of each stage are not necessarily permanent.
For example, the outcomes of a later crisis may counteract either previous successes or failures.
If a crisis is favorably resolved, we gain a certain virtue or ego strength which will help us through the rest of the stages of our lives.
On the other hand, if we don't do so well, we may develop maladaptations and malignancies, as well as endanger all our future development.
A malignancy is the worse of the two, and involves too little of the positive and too much of the negative aspect of the task
such as a person who can't trust others.
A maladaptation is not quite as bad and involves too much of the positive and too little of the negative, such as a person who trusts too much.
Infancy: first year (similar to oral stage)
Ego Crisis: Trust vs. Mistrust.
Major problem is dependency. Is the adult to be trusted?
Significant Task: Mutual affirmation of mother and child - a big emphasis on visual contact. Trust gives capacity for faith.
Basic Strength: Hope.
A basic confidence in the future.
Ritualizations are recurring patterns of behavior characteristic of a particular society (kissing, hugging, shaking hands, etc.).
Numinous means "profound emotional experience".
The first ritualization is the greeting of the mother - the touch, smile, and eye-to-eye contact which assures "separateness transcended, yet distinctiveness confirmed".
Ritualism: Idolism (idolatry).
Ritualisms are exaggerated, rigid, inappropriate ritualizations.
Idolism is a distortion of the numinous reverence into adulation which gives an illusory image of perfection.
Maldevelopment is a basic weaknesses resulting from poor resolution of the ego crisis.
Withdrawal is "detaching" from others, similar to the problems of schizophrenia.
Significant Relations: Maternal parent
Early Childhood: 2 to 3. Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt
Significant Task: Differentiate right and wrong & to establish psychosocial independence. Primitive independence comes by saying "No".
Strength: Will, courage - the ability to exercise both freedom of choice and self-restraint.
Ritualization: Judicious - forms basis of legal system.
Ritualism: Legalism - being more concerned with the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law.
Significant Relations Parents
Play Age: 3 to 5: Initiative vs. Guilt
Significant Task: Role experimentation
Strength: to identify with proper role models
Ritualization: Authenticity - assume culturally accepted roles.
Ritualism: Impersonation - trying to be something that you are not.
Significant Relations: Basic family
School Age: 6 to 11: Industry vs. Inferiority
Significant Task: Skill learning
Strength: Competence (craftsmanship). At this age, children know who is good at everything.
Ritualization: Formality. There are appropriate ways of doing things above being simply right or wrong.
Ritualism: Formalism (perfectionism)
Significant Relations: School, neighborhood
Adolescence: 12 to 18: Identity vs. Role confusion.
In the search for identity, many adolescents go into a period of withdrawing from responsibilities which Erikson called a "moratorium"
Significant Task: Establish philosophy of life.
Adolescents think in terms of ideals. Problem is that they don't have much experience.
Strength: Fidelity & devotion
Ritualization: Ideology. Adolescents tend to substitute ideals for experience. Ideals are different from reality because they are conflict free.
Ritualism: Totalism. Extremely rigid, unbinding set of ideal - cults, or merely totally dropping out.
Maldevelopment: Repudiation - by indifference or defiance.
Significant Relations: Peer groups
Young Adulthood: 18 to 35: Intimacy vs. Isolation
Significant Task: Establish mutually satisfying relationships - primarily marriage & friends.
Strength: Love and Affiliation
Ritualism: elitism - status symbols
Maldevelopment: Exclusivity - world begins to shrink
Significant Relations: Marital partner, friends.
Middle Adulthood: 35 to 55. Generativity vs. Stagnation
If a feeling of stagnation appears, the stage is set for a "Midlife Crisis".
Significant Task: Perpetuate culture.
Strength: Car for others & Production
Maldevelopment: Rejectivity - don't care for specific groups.
Significant Relations: Workplace - community & family
Late Adulthood: 65 to death: Ego Integrity vs. despair.
Significant Task: Completion of life
Strength: Wisdom. Wisdom is a detached concern for the whole of life
Ritualization: Integralism (philosophical).
Ritualism: Sapientism (dogmatism). When you know all the answers
Maldevelopment: Disdain - a feeling that the trip was not worth it
Significant Relations: Mankind
Agreed with Freud regarding
The importance of dreams
Attention to childhood
Disagreed with Freud regarding
Freudís overemphasis on instincts and drives and did not pay enough attention to social factors. Saw his physiological emphasis as off track.
Freudís overemphasis on childhood. Horney did not assume that problems resulted from the unsuccessful resolution of a particular developmental stage.
The way he viewed women. Differed with Freud early on by denying penis envy.
Said it was more likely that men had womb envy. Hidden jealousy because of women's ability to bear children, their breasts, etc.
The keystone of female psychology is the need for power and equality of status and opportunity
Motivational nature of personality
Emphasized the individualís search for sense of security in the world as the primary motivational force in personality.
Two most powerful needs that childeren demonstrate are for safety and satisfaction.
Each person develops a personality style for coping with the world.
Social nature of early childhood. Horney emphasized the influence of social interactions on the nature of personality adjustment
Cultural nature of personality
Both men and women are motivated by the same desire to seek security.
Basic concepts: the causes and consequences of seeking security.
Parental mistreatment in early childhood can result in a vicious circle of intensifying basic hostility and anxiety
conflict is inevitable, but persons with basic hostility and anxiety develop neurotic ways of trying to get it
is the sense of anger and betrayal the child feels for the parents who are not helping to create a secure environment.
Since no parents can be entirely consistent and satisfying, basic hostility is an inevitable experience for the child.
Feelings of insecurity, insignificance, powerlessness, inferiority, and hopelessness in a social environment that an individucal feels is full of hostility, betrayal, and unfaithfulness.
involves an expanded sense of basic hostility being generalized from the parents to other people in the individualís personal and social environment.
The Development of Maladaptive Personality
the vicious cycle results in an idealized self-image, an imaginary self capable of unlimited powers
the search of glory is an attempt to fulfill this idealized self-image
the striving is characterized by being
compulsive: striving to be first
indiscriminate: all the time
and insatiable: and never enough
Irrational strategies for coping with emotional problems and minimizing anxiety; the individualís reaction to real or imagined threats
The neurotic needs are as follows:
Moving Toward Others
Moving Against Others
Moving Away from Others
Self-effacement: Moving Towards Others
Compliance, which includes.
1. The neurotic need for affection and approval, the indiscriminate need to please others and be liked by them.
2. The neurotic need for a partner, for someone who will take over one's life.
3. The neurotic need to restrict one's life to narrow borders, to be undemanding, satisfied with little, to be inconspicuous.
Expansion: Moving Against Others
Aggression, including needs four through eight.
4. The neurotic need for power, for control over others, for a facade of omnipotence.
5. The neurotic need to exploit others.
6. The neurotic need for social recognition or prestige.
7. The neurotic need for personal admiration.
8. The neurotic need for personal achievement.
Moving Away From Others
9. The neurotic need for self-sufficiency and independence.
10. The neurotic need for perfection and unassailability.
As well as number three, the neurotic need to restrict oneís life
Healthy adjustment: the overlapping of the real and ideal self
Real self: What person believes is true and unique about himself or herself.
Include: personal likes and dislikes, strengths and weakness, and needs and desires.
Idealized self: Perception of how he or she would like to be.
Wanting to be more independent, powerful, outgoing, honest, emotionally involved with someone, or responsible. Measurement of personal growth and the realization of true potential.
employs the technique of free association to help clients think more openly about problematic interpersonal relationships
to examine neurotic needs
to improve interpersonal relationships and
use new-found knowledge to develop more realistic perceptions of the self and relationships with other people.
Erich Fromm was born in 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany.
His father was a business man and, according to Erich, rather moody.
His mother was frequently depressed.
Like Jung, Erich came from a very religious family
two events in his early adolescence that influenced later thinking.
The first involved a friend of the family's suicide
Erich found some answers -- partial ones, admittedly -- in Freud.
World War I.
he found some answers, this time in the writings of Karl Marx.
received his PhD from Heidelberg in 1922 and began a career as a psychotherapist.
moved to the U.S. in 1934 and settled in New York City
where he met many of the other great refugee thinkers that gathered there, including Karen Horney
Toward the end of his career, he moved to Mexico City to teach.
He died in 1980 in Switzerland.
Fromm's theory is a rather unique blend of Freud and Marx.
Freud, of course, emphasized the unconscious, biological drives, repression, and so on.
Marx, on the other hand, saw people as determined by their society, and most especially by their economic systems.
Fromm added the idea of freedom.
people transcend the determinisms that Freud and Marx attribute to them.
freedom is the central characteristic of human nature and is the source of their existential dilemma
There are examples where determinism alone operates.
A good example of nearly pure biological determinism, ala Freud, is animals
A good example of socioeconomic determinism, ala Marx, is the traditional society of the Middle Ages.
The lack of freedom represented by biological or social determinism is easy.
Your life has structure, meaning, there are no doubts, no cause for soul-searching, you fit in and never suffered an identity crisis.
Uniquely Human Needs
Transcendence: to rise above oneís animal nature
Unity: to unify animal and nonanimal natures
Identity: to establish oneís individuality
Frame of orientation: to make sense of the world
Frame of devotion: to have purpose
Excitation-stimulation: to use oneís capacity
Effectiveness to realize oneís existence
Fromm describes three ways in which we escape from freedom:
We seek to avoid freedom by fusing ourselves with others, by becoming a part of an authoritarian system like the society of the Middle Ages.
There are two ways to approach this.
One is to submit to the power of others, becoming passive and compliant.
The other is to become an authority yourself, a person who applies structure to others.
Either way, you escape your separate identity.
Fromm referred to the extreme version of authoritarianism as masochism and sadism
both feel compelled to play their separate roles
milder versions of authoritarianism are everywhere.
Authoritarians respond to a painful existence by, in a sense, eliminating themselves:
If there is no me, how can anything hurt me?
But others respond to pain by striking out against the world:
If I destroy the world, how can it hurt me?
It is this escape from freedom that accounts for much of the indiscriminate nastiness of life -- brutality, vandalism, humiliation, vandalism, crime, terrorism.
Fromm adds that, if a person's desire to destroy is blocked by circumstances, he or she may redirect it inward.
Automaton conformity. Hide within mass culture
In a more egalitarian soceity, there is less hierarchy to hide in
When we need to hide, we hide in our mass culture instead.
Which of the escapes from freedom you tend to use has a great deal to do with what kind of family you grew up in.
Fromm outlines two kinds of unproductive families: Symbiotic and Withdrawing.
Symbiosis is the relationship two organisms have who cannot live without each other.
In a symbiotic family, some members of the family are "swallowed up" by other members, so that they do not fully develop personalities of their own.
cool indifference, if not cold hatefulness.
Parents are very demanding of their children, who are expected to live up to high, well-defined standards.
Punishment is a formal affair, a full-fledged ritual
Alternatively, a culture may use guilt and withdrawal of affection as punishment.
What makes up a good, healthy, productive family?
Fromm suggests it is a family where parents take the responsibility to teach their children reason in an atmosphere of love.
Growing up in this sort of family, children learn to acknowledge their freedom and to take responsibility for themselves, and ultimately for society as a whole.
The social unconscious
It is so close to us that we usually forget that our society is just one of an infinite number of ways of dealing with the issues of live.
We have learned so well that it has all become unconscious -- the social unconscious, to be precise.
Fromm believes that our social unconscious is best understood by examining our economic systems.
In fact, he defines, and even names, five personality types, which he calls orientations, in economic terms.
The receptive orientation.
These are people who expect to get what they need. if they don't get it immediately, they wait for it.
They believe that all goods and satisfactions come from outside themselves.
This orientation is associated with symbiotic families, especially where children are "swallowed" by parents, and with the masochistic (passive) form of authoritarianism.
In its extreme form, it can be characterized by adjectives such as submissive and wishful.
In a more moderate form, adjectives such as accepting and optimistic are more descriptive.
The exploitative orientation. These people expect to have to take what they need.
Things increase in value to the extent that they are taken from others
The exploitative orientation is associated with the "swallowing" side of the symbiotic family, and with the masochistic style of authoritarianism.
Mixed with healthier qualities, they are assertive, proud, captivating.
The hoarding orientation. hoarding people expect to keep.
They see the world as possessions and potential possessions.
In its pure form, it means you are stubborn, stingy, and unimaginative.
If you are a milder version of hoarding, you might be steadfast, economical, and practical.
The marketing orientation. The marketing orientation expects to sell.
Success is a matter of how well one can sell, package or advertise oneself.
Even love is thought of as a transaction.
This, according to Fromm, is the orientation of the modern industrial society. This is our orientation.
In extreme, the marketing person is opportunistic, childish, tactless.
Less extreme is purposeful, youthful, social.
The productive orientation.
There is a healthy personality as well, which Fromm occasionally refers to as the person without a mask.
This is the person who, without disavowing his or her biological and social nature, nevertheless does not shirk away from freedom and responsibility.
This person comes out of a family that loves without overwhelming the individual, that prefers reason to rules, and freedom to conformity.
humanistic communitarian socialism
The society that gives rise to the productive type(on more than a chance basis) doesn't exist yet, according to Fromm.
Fromm says that the first four orientations (which others might call neurotic) are living in the having mode.
The productive orientation , on the other hand, lives in the being mode.
Orientation Society Family Escape from Freedom
Receptive Peasant society Symbiotic (passive) Authoritarian (masochistic)
Exploitative Aristocratic society Symbiotic (active) Authoritarian (sadistic)
Hoarding Bourgeois society Withdrawing (puritanical) Perfectionist to destructive
Marketing Modern society Withdrawing (infantile) Automaton conformist
Productive Humanistic communitarian
socialism Loving and reasoning Freedom and responsibility acknowledged and accepted
All the orientations we've talked about, productive and non-productive, in the having mode or the being mode, have one thing in common: They are all efforts at life.
They are, to use his word, biophilous, life-loving.
But there is another type of person he calls necrophilous -- the lovers of death.
They have the passionate attraction to all that is dead, decayed, putrid, sickly; it is the passion to transform that which is alive into something unalive