Understanding Human Nature: The Psychology Of Personality

Understanding Human Nature: The Psychology Of Personality

by Alfred Adler, Colin Brett


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Long-regarded as the handbook of Individual Psychology, Understanding Human Nature provides an engaging introduction to Adler’s key concepts including: inferiority and superiority complexes; life style; memories and dreams; love, marriage and children; and sexuality and sexual problems. Adler’s holistic approach to the study of personality saw him challenge the dominance of Freud’s thinking (his friend and colleague) and develop a truly innovative, and still highly relevant, method of psychoanalysis. A straightforward, clearly-written book, it shows the seminal thinking of a great mind and provides a basis to understand both Adler's unique theories and the development of twentieth-century psychology, in which his work has played such an important part.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781851686674
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publication date: 07/16/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 547,266
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Colin Brett is an accredited Adlerian counselor and former Training Officer of the Adlerian Society of Great Britain. He is the translator of Adler's Understanding Human Nature and the editor of What Life Could Mean to You.

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr James Hemming 9

Preface 15

Introduction 16

Part 1 Fundamentals of Character Development

1 What is the Psyche? 27

The concept of consciousness 27

The function of the psyche 27

Our purpose and goal-directedness 28

2 Social Aspects of Mental Life 34

The absolute truth 34

The need for communal life 35

Security and adaptation 36

Social feeling 38

3 The Child and Society 39

Infancy 39

The effect of obstacles 41

The individual as a social being 45

4 The World We Live In 47

Our mental universe 47

The way we see the world 49

Perception 49

Memory 50

Imagination 51

5 Aspects of Unreality 57

Fantasy 57

Dreams: general considerations 59

Empathy and identification 59

Influence, suggestion and hypnosis 61

6 The Inferiority Complex 66

Early childhood 66

Compensation: The striving for recognition and superiority 68

The graph of life and the cosmic picture 74

7 Psychological Characteristics 83

Preparation for life 83

Attention and distraction 85

Criminal negligence and forgetfulness 87

The unconscious 87

Dreams 94

Intelligence 102

8 Male and Female 104

Men, women and the division of labour 104

Male dominance 106

The alleged inferiority of women 110

Rejecting the woman's role 114

Tension between the sexes 122

What can we do? 124

9 The Family Constellation 126

Part 2 The Science of Character

10 General Considerations 135

How do we become who we are? 135

Social feeling, community spirit and the development of character 139

How character develops 142

The old school of psychology 148

Temperament and endocrine secretion 149

To sum up 155

11 Aggressive Character Traits 157

Vanity andambition 157

Playing God 175

Jealousy 178

Envy 180

Greed 183

Hate 185

12 Non-Aggressive Character Traits 188

Withdrawal 188

Anxiety 189

Timidity 192

The detour syndrome 194

Absence of social graces 199

13 Other Expressions of Character 202

Mood and temperament 202

Manner of speech 204

Schoolroom behaviour 204

Pedantry and prejudice 205

Submissiveness 206

Imperiousness 209

Bad luck 209

Religiosity 210

14 Feelings and Emotions 212

Disjunctive feelings 213

Anger 213

Grief 216

Disgust 217

Fear 217

The misuse of emotion 219

Conjunctive feelings 220

Joy 220

Sympathy 221

Humility 221

15 General Remarks on Child-Rearing and Education 223

Conclusion 229

Glossary of Key Terms



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