- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Theorectical Position Paper

Essay by   •  June 4, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,726 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,785 Views

Essay Preview: Theorectical Position Paper

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

Running Header: Theoretical Position Paper

Theoretical Position Paper

Team B

PSY310: History & Systems of Psychology


Linka Griswold


When it comes to viewing the theoretical theories of psychology of the human mind there are four main psychologists that had a huge impact. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, worked with Alder and Jung on his perspectives. It wasn't until a disagreement in theories evolved that Alder and Jung parted ways with Freud. Alder developed individual psychology, while Jung extended Freud's theory with analytical psychology. Unlike the previous three, William James didn't found a school of thought but did play a vital role in the development of modern psychology in the United States. James led a philosophical movement called pragmatism and subscribed to functionalism. This paper will cover these four psychologists, their perspectives, and the differences among their perspectives.

Theoretical Position Paper


When speaking of theoretical positions, the most well known name that comes to mind is Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Some individuals may know of Alfred Alder the founder of indivdual psychology, Carl Jung the founder of analytical psychology, or even William James, an American philosopher and psychologist, who led a philosophical movement called pragmatism and helped to develop functionalism. These four individuals had vast contributions that helped to shape pyschology into what it is today. This paper will set out to explore these individuals, their contributions, and how their theoretical postions differ from one another.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud is known as the father of psychoanalysis. Freud is best known for his work with psychoanalysis and being able to bring unconscious repressed memories into the conscious mind to alleviate the mental anguish in the patient. Freud discovered free association where patients were placed in a relaxed position and encouraged to say whatever came into their minds, without censoring anything (Goodwin, 2008). In addition to free association, Freud used dream analysis as a means to explore the unconscious (Goodwin, 2008). Freud's development of psychoanalysis created a following of people, most of which would eventually abandon his beliefs including Alfred Adler and Carl Jung.

According to Freud, the unconscious is the source of our motivations, whether they be simple desires for food or sex, neurotic compulsions, or the motives of an artist or scientist (Boeree, 2009). Freud and Jung shared many of the same thoughts about the unconscious and

about the id, ego, and superego. This is the point where Freud lost Adler as a follower. Adler did not believe in Freud's theories on the id, ego, and superego. Freud believed the sex drive is the most important motivating force (Boeree, 2009). Freud believed it was not only the primary motivating force not only for adults but for children and even infants (Boeree, 2009). Jung did not believe that human motivation is all based on sexual desires. These beliefs led to the development of the psychosexual stages, which are known as are the oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, latent stage, and genital stage.

Many of Freud's beliefs and theories came from psychoanalyzing himself. This is how the Oedipus Complex was born. This belief is that a young boy loves his mother so much that he becomes jealous of the father for being able to be with the mother when the boy is not allowed. This results in rivalry between the boy and the father (Boeree, 2009). Freud also believed that this could occur between a girl and her father. Freud was an excellent observer of the human condition, and enough of what he said has relevance today that will continue for years to come (Boeree, 2009).

Alfred Alder

Alfred Adler is best known for his creative theory of Individual Psychology in which humans are seen as social beings who must strive to focus on strengths, develop a sense of community, personal freedom and responsibility and possess mutual respect among others (NASAP, n.d.). His readily acceptable teachings became so wide spread that today one can see his ideology through what is commonly referred to as Adlerian Psychology. In the United States his ideology is mainly taught at two locations: The Alfred Adler Institute of New York and the

Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Adler also promoted the belief that humans are constantly striving to achieve self perfection (NNDB, n.d.). He proposed the inferiority complex in which all humans feel inferior for some reason or another and will strive all through life to attain superiority.

His theory of inferior motivation differed from Freud's belief of underlying sexual motivations thus spurring Adler's dissention from Freud causing a large rift between the two gentlemen. Adler's theory of personality, the development of it and the appropriate treatment

differed from Freud's in that Adler believed in holistic treatment rather than the dissecting of an individual between Freud's id, ego, and superego. This also differed from Jung's more mythical viewpoint. Adler believed the three largest contributors to organ dysfunction, which caused problems to manifest within the development of the personality, were pampering, neglect, and birth order (NNDB, n.d.). Pampering resulted in a spoiled member of society. Neglect led to a

personality type that feels cheated and is



Download as:   txt (10.8 Kb)   pdf (133 Kb)   docx (13.3 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2012, 06). Theorectical Position Paper. Retrieved 06, 2012, from

"Theorectical Position Paper" 06 2012. 2012. 06 2012 <>.

"Theorectical Position Paper.", 06 2012. Web. 06 2012. <>.

"Theorectical Position Paper." 06, 2012. Accessed 06, 2012.