PSY405- Personality Psychology No. 5“INSTINCT: WHAT MOTIVATES HUMAN BEHAVIOR?” Problems Discussions and Solutions Fall 2013


A Matter of Life and Death

Human Development Viewed Psychosexually

The Oral Stage (birth-to -18 months):

The Anal Stage (18 months to 3 years) :

The Phallic Stage (3 years to 5 years):

The Latency Period (5 years to 12 years):

The Genital Stage (12 years -puberty):

The Nature of Anxiety

Types of Anxiety

Realistic Anxiety:

Neurotic Anxiety:

Moral Anxiety:

Ego Defense Mechanisms






Reaction Formation:


Techniques of Psychoanalysis

Patient → therapist


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Replies to This Discussion

Projection: As a defense mechanism, projection ranks next to repression in terms of theoretical
importance. It refers to the process of unconsciously attributing one's own unacceptable impulses, attitudes,
and behaviors to other people or to the environment. Projection thus enables us to blame someone or
something else for our own shortcomings.

Displacement: In displacement, when viewed specifically as a defense mechanism (as opposed to the more
general meaning of the term described earlier in this chapter), the expression of an instinctual impulse is
redirected from a more threatening person or object to a less threatening one. For example, the student
angered by his professor instead swears at his roommate. Or the child scolded by her parents proceeds to hit
her little sister, kick her dog, or smash her toys.

Rationalization: Another important way in which the ego attempts to cope with frustration and anxiety is
to distort reality and thus protect self-esteem. Rationalization refers to "fallacious reasoning" in that it
misrepresents irrational behavior In order to make it appear rational and thus justifiable to oneself and
others. One's mistakes, poor judgments, and failures can be explained through the magic of rationalization.

Reaction Formation: Sometimes the ego can control or defend against the expression of a forbidden
impulse by consciously expressing its opposite. This is known as reaction formation. As a defensive
process it operates in tow steps: first, the unacceptable impulse is repressed: next, the opposite is expressed
on a conscious level.

Regression: Still another common defense mechanism that we use to defend ourselves against anxiety,
regression involves a reversion to an earlier stage of psychosexual development or to a mode of expression
that is simpler and more childlike. It is a way of alleviating anxiety by retreating to an earlier period of life.

Feel free to ask in case of any ambiguity.


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