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17 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Distinguish between striving for superiority and striving for success.
The sole dynamic force behind people's actions.

The final goal of ______ toward which all people strive unifies personality and makes all behavior meaningful.

people who strive for ________ over others. with little or no concern for others. Their goals are personal ones, and their strivings are motivated by exaggerated feelings of personal inferiority, or the presence of an inferiority complex.
Ex. murderer, thief, professor.
Clever disguise. Self-centered

____ are actions of people who are motivated by highly developed social interest. Psychologically healthy. People who are motivated by the success of all humankind.
Are concerned with goals beyond themselves. are capable of helping people without demanding or expecting a personal payoff. are able to see others not as opponents but as people with whom they can cooperate for social benefit.
THeir own success is not gained at the expense of others but it is a natural tendency to move toward completion or perfection. Maintain a sense of self. See daily problems from the view of society’s development rather than on own personal vantage point.
Sense of personal worth is tied closely to their contributions to human society.
Describe the role of subjective perceptions in Adler's theory of personality.
Shape their behavior and personality. People strive for superiority or success to compensate for feelings of inferiority but the manner they strive is shaped by their subjective perceptions of reality. That is their fictions or expectations of the future.

Fictionalism: The subjective, fictional final goal we set for our self guides our style of life, gives unity to our personality.
Believe that fictions are ideas that have no real existence, yet they influence people as if they really exist.

Physical inferiorities: alone don’t cause particular style of life; they simply provide present motivation for reaching future goals.
Explain how seemingly contradictory behaviors may reflect a single goal of striving for superiority.
Because people are born with small, inferior bodies, they feel inferior and attempt to overcome these feelings through their natural tendency to move toward completion. The striving force can take one of two courses—personal gain (superiority) or community benefit (success).

Define social interest and give examples of what it is and what it is not.
Feeling of oneness with humanity. It implies membership in the social community of all people. Strives not for personal superiority by for all people in an ideal community. Attitude of relatedness with humanity in general as well as an empathy for each member of the human community. It manifests itself as cooperation with others for social advancement rather than for personal gain.
Natural condition of the human race... the adhesive that binds society together.
Yardstick for measuring psychological health and is the sole criterion of human values. Barometer for humanity. It is the standard to be used in determining the usefulness of a life.

Ex. mom feeding infant and protecting child. Rooted luv of child. a love that is centered on the child’s well being not their own needs or wants.

Not synonymous with charity or unselfishness. Acts of philanthropy and kindness may or may not be motivated by social interest.

Not. Rich woman donating money to poor. Allows her to show the distinction between her and the poor.
Explain organ dialect and give examples of how it is expressed in a person's behavior.
Personality is unified and self consistent.
Adler recognized that the entire person operates with unity and self-consistency.
First of these is ______:

The whole person strives in a self-consistent fashion toward a single goal, and all separate actions and functions can be understood only as part of this goal. The disturbance of one part of the body cannot be views in isolation. it affects the entire person.

DEF: In fact the deficient organ expresses the directions of the individual’s goal.

Arthritis in hands. deformity... in hands speaks of his desire for sympathy.

Bed wetter. Creative expression for the child speaking with his bladder instead of his mouth... cuz he doesn’t want to do what the parents wish.
Define causality and teleology and discuss Adler's teleological approach to personality.
_____: Behavior as springing from a specific cause.Deals with past experiences that produce some present effect. (Freud’s view). People driven by past experiences that activate present behaviour

_____: behaviour in terms of its final purpose or aim. concerned with future goals or ends. . (Adler’s view). people motivated by present perceptions of the future.
Define style of life and discuss various methods of identifying a person's style of life.
Flavor of a person’s life.
Includes: person’s goals, self-concept, feelings for others, and attitude toward world.

Is a product of the interaction of heredity, environment and a person’s creative power.

IT is fairly well established by age for 4/5
All actions revolve around our unified style of life.
Unhealthy people lead inflexible lifes, inability to change or choose new ways to react to environment.

Healthy people: see many ways to strive for success. continually seek to create new options for themselves.
Final goal the same... the way in which they perceive it continually changes.

Socially useful life = social interaction through action. Struggle to solve three major problems in life: Neighborly love, sexual love and occupation.

Adler believes these people represent the highest form of humanity in the evolutionary process and are likely to populate the world of the future.
List and describe three types of Adlerian safeguarding tendencies.
Protective devices to protect their exaggerated sense of self-esteem against public disgrace. Enable people to hide their inflated self-image and to maintain their current style of life.
Compares to Freud’s defence mechanisms.
Symptoms are formed as a protection against anxiety.
Freud: operate in unconscious and protect the ego against anxiety. Common to everyone.
Adler: largely conscious and shield person’s fragile self-esteem from public disgrace. Reference to construction of neurotic symptoms.

Following designed to protect a person’s present style of life and to maintain a fictional, elevated feeling of importance:

a. Excuses
Most common of safeguarding tendencies.
“Yes, but”
They would like to but .... follow with excuse.
“If only”
same excuse phrased differently.
Protect a weak but artificially inflated sense of self worth and deceive people into believing they are more superior than they really are.

b. Aggression
Use this to safegaurd their exaggerated superiority complex. Protect their fragile self-esteem.
Can take the form of:
i. Depreciation: tendency to undervalue other people’s achievements and to overvalue one’s own.
Evident in gossip, criticism.
The intention behind these kinds of acts is to belittle another so that the person, by comparison will be placed in a favorable light.
ii. Accusation: tendency to blame others for one’s failures and to seek revenge
Safeguarding one’s own tenuous self-esteem.
Unhealthy people invariably act to cause the people around them to suffer more than they do.
iii. Self-accusation: marked by self-torture and guilt.
Include: masochism,depression and suicide as a means of hurting people who are close to them.
Converse of depreciation: both aimed toward gaining personal superiority. Depreciation: people who feel inferior devalue others to make themselves look good. Self-accusation: devalue themselves in order to inflict suffering on others while protecting their own magnified feelings of self-esteem.

c. Withdrawal
Personality can be halted when people run away from difficulties.
Safeguarding through distance.
People unconsciously escape life’s problems by setting distance between themselves and those problems.
4 modes;
i. Moving backward : tendency to safeguard one’s fictional goal of superiority by psychologically reverting to a more secure period of life. SIm to F: regression. takes place in unconscious and protects against anxiety filled experiences. Adler: sometimes be conscious and aim is to maintain an inflated goal of superiority.
Designated to elicit sympathy. -- attitude of pampered child.
ii. Standing still: similar to moving backward, not as a severe
Simply do not move in any direction. Avoid all responsibility by ensuring themselves against any threat of failure.
Safeguard aspirations never do anything to prove they can/can’t accomplish goals.
Safeguard their self-esteem and protect themselves against failure.
iii. Hesitating: Vacillate when faced with difficult problem. Close to standing still.
Procrastinations that give them excuse “its too late now”
Compulsive Behaviour... attempt to waste time.
Allows individual to preserve their inflated sense of self-esteem.
iv. Constructing Obstacles: Build straw house to show they can knock it down. Overcoming obstacles to protect their self-esteem and their prestige. If fail hurdle resort to an excuse.

SUMMARY: found in everyone by when they become too rigid they lead to self-defeating behaviours.
Overly sensitive people create safeguarding tendencies to buffer:
fear of disgrace
eliminate their exaggerated inferiority feelings
attain self esteem
This can block their authentic feelings of self-esteem.
Better served if people gave up self interest and developed a genuine caring for other people
Discuss Adler's ideas on birth order.
Family constellation: birth order, gender of siblings, and age spread.

Firstborn children: Intensified feelings of power and superiority. High anxiety and overprotective tendencies.
Occupy unique position, being an only child for a time, experience traumatic dethroning when younger child born. If child is 3 or older when second child born, they incorporate this dethronement into a previously established style of life.

Already self-centered- become hostile and resent new born.

If child is less than 3 their resentment and hostility will be largerly unconscious. and attitiudes of resentment will change in later life.

Secondborn: Begin life in better situation for developing cooperation and social interest. Personality shaped by perceptions of the older’s child attitude toward them.
IF attitude hostile - second child becomes highly competitive.
Second child generally matures to moderate competitiveness having a healthy desire to overtake the older

YOUNGEST: Most pampered and run high risk of being problem child. Strong feelings of inferiority and lack sense of independence. Highly motivated to exceed older siblings

ONLY CHILD: Exaggerated feeling of superiority.
Low feelings of cooperation. Inflated sense of self. Pampered style of life.
Compare and contrast Adler's view of women with that of Freud.
Masculine protest: def
Adler: psychic of women is essentially the same as men. Male-dominated society is not natural but rather artificial product of historical development.
Cultural and social practices influence people to overemphasize the importance of being manly, called masculine protest.
According to Adler, Freud’s view on women is due to a person with a astrong masculine protest.
Adler assumeed that women because they have the same phsiological and psychologcical needs want more or less the same things that men want.

See diff in women they Married: Freud: MAry Bernays: subservient housewife, dedicated to her children and husband. No interest in husband’s professional life.
Adler: Reassa: intensely independent woman. politically active career.

Freud: anatomy influences. Regarded women as dark continent.
Summarize recent research on early recollections.
Although family constellation and birth order have been widely researched, topics more pertinent to Adlerian theory are early recollections and career choice. For example, research by Jon Kasler and Ofra Nevo (2005) found that early childhood recollections did match career types in adulthood, which is consistent with Adler’s view.
Adler’s theory of inferiority, superiority, and social feeling can be applied to health-related behaviors such as eating disorders and binge drinking. For example, Susan Belangee (2006) found that dieting, overeating, and bulimia are unhealthy ways of compensating for feelings of inferiority. Moreover, eating disorders suggest that a person’s Gemeinschaftsgefühl or social feeling is out of whack. Recently, Teresa Laird and Andrea Shelton (2006) examined binge drinking and birth order among college students. They found youngest children in a family significantly more likely to binge drink than older children. The researchers explained this using Adlerian theory, in that youngest children are more likely to be dependent, and dependent people are more likely to cope with stress by heavy drinking.
Some evidence exists that early recollections change through the course of counseling. For example, Gary Savill and Daniel Eckstein (1987) found significant changes in both mental status and early recollections for a therapy group, but not for people in a control group. Similarly, Jane Statton and Bobbie Wilborn (1991) found that recollections of preadolescent children changed after receiving therapy, whereas those of a control group did not. These results tend to support Adler’s teleological approach to personality, in that early childhood experiences are less important than adults’ views of those experiences
Critique Adler's ideas as a scientific theory.
Individual psychology rates high on it ability to generate research, organize data, and guide the practitioner. It receives a moderate rating on parsimony, but because it lacks operational definitions, it rates low on internal consistency. It also rates low on falsification because many of its related research findings can be explained by other theories.
Name four differences between the theories of Adler and Freud.
a. Adler saw motivation people as being motivated mostly by social influences and by their striving for superiority or success.
Freud reduced all motivation to sex and aggression

b. Freud. people had little or no choice in shaping their personality.
Adler. believed that people are largely responsible for who they are.

c. Freud’s assumption that present behavior is caused by past experiences.
Opposite Adler’s notion that present behavior is shaped by people’s view of the future.

d.Freud placed very heavy emphasis on unconscious components of behaviour.
adler believed the psychologically healthy person is aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it.
List and briefly explain six major tenets of Adler's theory.
a. the one dynamic force behind people’s behavior is Striving for success or superiority

Striving for Success or Superiority

The sole dynamic force behind people's actions is the striving for success or superiority.

The Final Goal
The final goal of success or superiority toward which all people strive unifies personality and makes all behavior meaningful.

The Striving Force as Compensation
Because people are born with small, inferior bodies, they feel inferior and attempt to overcome these feelings through their natural tendency to move toward completion. The striving force can take one of two courses—personal gain (superiority) or community benefit (success).

Striving for Personal Superiority
Psychologically unhealthy individuals strive for personal superiority with little concern for other people. Although they may appear to be interested in other people, their basic motivation is personal benefit.

Striving for Success
In contrast, psychologically healthy people strive for the success of all humanity, but they do so without losing their personal identity.

b. subjective perceptions shape our behavior and personality

V. Subjective Perceptions

People's subjective view of the world—not reality—shapes their behavior.

A. Fictionalism
Fictions are people's expectations of the future. Adler held that fictions guide behavior, because people act as if these fictions are true. Adler emphasized teleology over causality, or explanations of behavior in terms of future goals rather than past causes.

B. Physical Inferiorities
Adler believed that all humans are "blessed" with physical inferiorities, which stimulate subjective feelings of inferiority and move people toward perfection or completion.

c. personality is unified and self-consistent.

VI. Unity and Self-Consistency of Personality

Adler believed that all behaviors are directed toward a single purpose. When seen in the light of that sole purpose, seemingly contradictory behaviors can be seen as operating in a self-consistent manner.

A. Organ Dialect
People often use a physical disorder to express style of life, a condition Adler called organ dialect, or organ jargon.

B. Conscious and Unconscious
Conscious and unconscious processes are unified and operate to achieve a single goal. The part of our goal that is not clearly understood is unconscious; that part of our goal we fail to fully comprehend is conscious.

d. the value of all human activity must be seen from the viewpoint of social interest

VII. Social Interest

Human behavior has value to the extent that it is motivated by social interest, that is, a feeling of oneness with all of humanity.

A. Origins of Social Interest
Although social interest exists as potentiality in all people, it must be fostered in a social environment. Adler believed that the parent-child relationship can be so strong that it negates the effects of heredity.

B. Importance of Social Interest
According to Adler, social interest is "the sole criterion of human values," and the worthiness of all one's actions must be seen by this standard. Without social interest, societies could not exist; individuals in antiquity could not have survived without cooperating with others to protect themselves from danger. Even today an infant's helplessness predisposes it toward a nurturing person.

e. the self-consistent personality structure develops into a person’s style of life.

VIII. Style of Life

The manner of a person's striving is called style of life, a pattern that is relatively well set by 4 or 5 years of age. However, Adler believed that healthy individuals are marked by flexible behavior and that they have some limited ability to change their style of life.

f. Style of life is molded by people’s creative power.

IX. Creative Power

Style of life is partially a product of heredity and environment—the building blocks of personality—but ultimately style of life is shaped by people's creative power, that is, by their ability to freely choose a course of action.
Name three contributing factors to abnormality, according to Adler.
People are what they make of themselves.
The creative power endowed humans with certain limits, with freedom to be psychologically healthy or unhealthy.. To follow either a useful or useless style of life.

One underlying factor of maladjustments is underdeveloped social interest.
Three characters follow from lack of social interest: Neurotics tend to :1. Set goals too high/ exaggerated as a way to compensate for feelings of inferiority. Unrealistic goals set them apart from the community of other people. They approach problems of friendship, sex and occupation from a personal angle that precludes successful solutions.
2. Live in their own private world. 3. Have a rigid and dogmatic style of life.

External factors:
1. Exaggerated Physical Deficiencies: can be congenital or the result of injury/ disease... must be accompanied with accentuated feelings of inferiority.
The subjective feelings may be greatly encouraged by a defective body. But they are progeny of the creative power.
Each person comes into the world “blessed” with physical deficiencies and these deficiencies lead to feelings of inferiority because they overcompensate for their inadequacy.
Tend to be overly concerned with themselves. Lack consideration for others.
Feel living with the enemy.
Fear defeat more than desire success. Convinced life’s problems can be solved only in selfish manner.

2. Pampered Style of Life
Lies at the heart of most neuroses.
Have weak social interest by strong desire to perpetuate the pampered, parasitic relationship they originally had with one or both of their parents.
Expect others to look after them, overprotect them, and satisfy their needs.
Characterized as: extreme discouragement, indecisiveness, oversensitivty, impatience, exaggerated emotion, especially anxiety.
See world with private vision and believe that they are entitled to be first in everything.
Have not received much love. Feel unloved.
Parents demonstrated lack of love by doing too much for them.
Children may also feel neglected.
Fearful when separated from that parent.
Feel left out, mistreated and neglected.

3. Neglected Style of Life:
Children who feel unloved or unwanted are likely to borrow heavily from theses feelings in creating this type of style of life.
Nobody completely neglected.
Fact child survived infancy is proof that someone cared for that child and that the seed of social interest is planted.
Abused and mistreated children develop little social interest.
Distrustful of other people and unable to cooperate for the common welfare.
See society as enemy country
Feel alienated from all other people,
Experience a strong sense of envy toward the success of others.
Similar characteristics as pampered ones by are generally more suspicious and more likely to be dangerous to others.
Discuss Adler's concept of family constellation.
a) positive trait: Nurturing and protective of others. Good organizer.
b) negative trait: Highly anxious, Exaggerated feelings of power, Unconscious hostility, Fights for acceptance, Must always be right, whereas others are always wrong. Uncooperative.

a) positive trait: highly motivated, cooperative moderately competitive.
b) negative trait: highly competitive easily discouraged

a) positive trait: Realistically ambitious
b) negative trait: Pampered style of life, Dependent on others, Wants to excel in everything, Unrealistically ambitious.

a) positive trait: Socially mature
b) negative trait: Exaggerated feelings of superiority, Low feelings of cooperation, Inflated sense of self, Pampered style of life.
Discuss Adler's use of early recollections
To gain an understanding of patients’ personality, Adler would ask them to reveal their early recollections. ER
Recalled memories yield clues to understanding one’s style of life.
Not causal effect.
Weather recalled experiences correspond with objective reality or fantasy made no difference.
People reconstruct the events to make them consistent with a theme or pattern that runs throughout their lives.
Early recollections are a valid indicator of a person’s style of life.


Early recollection showed he had the help of others. Adler confidence to compete against his rival is due to receiving aid from others.

Confidence and competitive attitude likely carried over to his relationship with Sigmund Freud.

Relationship between style of life and early recollections. Doesn’t believe that early childhood experiences caused man’s current distrust. His current distrustful style of life shapes and colors his early recollections.
Highly anxious people project their current style of life onto their memory of childhood experiences by recalling fearful and anxiety producing experiences.

Confident people recall memories that include pleasant relations with others.
Recollections of early experiences are simply shaped by present style of life.

Early Recollections
A more reliable method of determining style of life is to ask people for their earliest recollections. Adler believed that early memories are templates on which people project their current style of life. These recollections need not be accurate accounts of early event, but true or false, they have psychological importance because they reflect a person's current view of the world.