Alfred Adler Biography Psychologist (1870-1937) His theory is known as “individual psychology” which in many ways is the opposite of Freud’s theory. For Freud, individuals are constantly in conflict with one another and with society; Adler saw them seeking relationships and harmony, he looked upon mind as an integrated whole working to help to attain the future goals.
• Initially he was Freud’s closest friend.
• 1911: Diverted and launched his version of psychoanalytic approach.
• Differed from Freud in:
i. Freud’s negativity (e.g. Thanatos instincts)
ii. Freud’s idea that libido is the prime impulse
Main concepts: Esteem, inferiority complex, birth order, will to power and style of life
i. We are a product of the social influences on our personality
ii. Goals and incentives drive us more than drives and instincts
iii. Our goal in life is to achieve success and superiority
Inferiority complex: the feeling of being less able than others. It affects one’s relationship with others and his achievement in many ways.
Motivating Forces of Human Life
i. Feeling of inferiority
ii. People are primarily motivated to overcome inherent feelings of inferiority
Birth Order: has effect on personality. The first- born is different from the last one, and so is the middle- born different from others.
Sibling Rivalry: Siblings feel a kind of rivalry toward each other.
Psychopathology: Compensation: i.e., Compensatory defense mechanism combined with conscious or unconscious feelings of inferiority is the main cause of psychopathological behavior. Function of the Psychoanalyst: To discover and rationalize such feelings and break down the compensatory, neurotic will for power.