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alfred adler(adlerian theory)

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motivated by Sex and Aggression.

People have no choice in shaping their

Personality.Present behavior is caused by past.

Emphasis on the unconscious.

Man is motivated by social influences & striving for superiority.

People are largely responsible for who they are.

‘Present behavior is shaped by the future.

People are usually aware of what they are doing and why.

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ADLER’S THEORY There is a single drive or motivating behind

all of our behavior and experiences:Striving for Perfection -It is the desire

to fulfill our potentials and to come and closer to our ideal.

Aggression drive –the reaction we have when other drives, such as the need to eat, to be loved etc are not met.

*COMPENSATION(striving to overcome)

Adler noted that boys were held in higher esteem than girls.

Boys wanted desperately to be thought as strong, aggressive, in control

The idea of dependency and weakness is seen feminine.

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If a boy fusses or demands to have his own way (masculine protest) they say it is natural.If a girl is quite and shy, she is praised for her feminity.

However if a boy is quite and shy, they worry they may grow up to be a sissy and if a girl is assertive , they call her a “tomboy” and hope she grows out of it.

Adler asserted that men are no more successful or powerful because they are men but because they are encouraged to be assertive.Both genders begin life with a capacity to “protest”, what they protest though is largely shaped by what we expect them to be.

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Striving for superiority- refers to the desire to be better, but also has the idea that we want to be better than others, rather than better in our own right.

Adler later asserted that striving for superiority can be unhealthy or neurotic.

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Inferiority Complex – He described this as feelings of lack of worth.

- This complex developed when a person tried to conquer their inferiority complex by suppressing their existing feelings.

“WE ALL WISH TO OVERCOME DIFFICULTIES” According to Adler, when we feel encouraged,

we feel capable and appreciated and will generally act in a connected and cooperative way. When we are discouraged, we may act in unhealthy ways by competing, withdrawing, or giving up.

Adlerian believe that a “misbehaving child is a discouraged child”

Each individual has a weak area in his or her body- organ inferiority, which tends to be the area where illness occurs, such as the stomach, head, heart, back, lungs, etc.

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Social an cultural conditions, especially childhood experiences, are largely responsible for shaping personality.

People whose need for love and affection satisfied basic hostility towards their parents and eventually, basic anxiety.


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When safety and satisfaction is not felt

by the child.Refusal of Parents to love their

Children.Interwoven with Basic Hostility.


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Protective Devices

Affection (Purchasing Love)

Submissiveness( compliance)

Power(prestige, possession)

Withdrawal (emotional detachment)

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Need for Affection and Approval Need for a powerful PartnerNeed to restrict one’s life within narrow border.Need for PowerNeed to Exploit OthersNeed for PrestigeNeed for AdmirationNeed for AmbitionNeed for independenceNeed for Perfection

10 Neurotic Needs

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Coping with basic anxiety

Moving toward People

Moving against People

Moving away from People

Normal Individuals do this but neurotic tend to rigidly on one.

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Her Theory is related to her personal life and how she was able to deal with her problems. Neurosis is how people cope and have control over interpersonal issues that happen day to day.Is a psychic disturbance brought by fears and defenses against these fears, and by attempts to find compromise solutions for conflicting tendencies.

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