Ninth Edition CoverGraziano & Raulin
Research Methods (9th edition)

Alfred Adler (1870-1937) was an Austrian psychiatrist and early psychoanalyst. He was an early adherent of Freud’s psychoanalysis, but he later criticized several of Freud’s concepts and created a rival model that he called individual psychology

Adler rejected Freud’s central notion that unconscious drives stemming from the Id, particularly sex drives, motivated most human behavior. He believed that human motivation stemmed, not from the Id, but from the operation of the Ego, which is that part of the personality that deals with reality (the person’s interactions with the real world).  

Adler argued that it was the self-assertion impulse, and not the sexual impulse, that motivates humans. From infancy on, the person seeks to assert oneself, to develop social and personal power, and to achieve superiority. This drive can be easily frustrated in the complex and difficult human environment. As a result, conflicts often occur between the person and the environment and can result in powerful feelings of inferiority. One of the major reactions in the face of such frustration is for the person to compensate

For example, a powerfully driven person, who excels in his or her field, may be compensating for strong feelings of inadequacy; a physically small or weak person may compensate by developing economic power. An Adlerian therapist examines his client’s style of life to determine the client's individual goals of superiority and the characteristic mechanisms that the person uses to achieve self assertion, mechanisms that were shaped over a lifetime. Thus, the critical issues for Adler were not only the psychodynamic factors operating within a person, but also the social factors that impinge on the person and shaped the person's lifestyle. Adler emphasized social factors in personality development, which Freud had essentially ignored. 

Adler’s major work was Individual Psychology (1930).

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