Sigmund Freud's Theory Of Research On Adult Personality Development

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Research on adult personality development began with Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). The origin of psychoanalytical study includes examination of patients, his daughter Anna and Freuds’ self-examination of himself. Freudian theory reports that adult personality develops at an early age and is determined by the fixed primordial behaviors residing deep within the individual psyche.
Personality theorists who followed Freud’s work began to oppose his theory and the neo-psychoanalysis approach to personality development was born. Jung, Adler, and Horney all agreed with the fundamentals of Freud’s psychoanalysis theory. However, they had significant theoretical differences in the effects of human nature and the role it plays in the development of the adult personality over a lifetime.
Psychoanalysis Theory
Freud’s primary techniques included free association and dream analysis, in order to uncover repressed memories of
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Karen Horney (1885-1952), another neo-psychoanalyst who revised psychoanalysis theory to include the prospective of womanhood and women’s roles. Thus, in 1922 the feminine psychology movement began. Horney’s study of human nature in female patients establishes three types of adult personality, based on the individual’s neurotic needs and trends, including; the compliant, aggressive and detached personalities. As well, feminine psychology declared social and cultural demands led women into feelings of conflict from having to choose motherhood or career.
In contrast to Freudian belief, Horney theorized the effects of social conditions provided a better basis for understanding adult personality development. Therefore, Horney put emphasis on the uniqueness of the human, past and present experiences, as well as, the growth and flexibility represented by human nature as important determinants of adult personality
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