2. • Born:
February 7, 1870 Vienna, Austria
Died: May 28, 1937 Aberdeen,
Scotland Austrian psychiatrist
• Best Known For:
Individual Psychology The
concept of the inferiority complex
President of the Vienna
Psychoanalytic Society, 1910
3. • Adler’s early childhood was marked by illness,
an awareness of death, and intense jealousy of
his older brother
• He suffered from rickets which kept him from
playing with other children. At age 3, his
younger brother died. At 4, Adler himself
almost died from pneumonia, then he decided
to become a doctor.
• As an adult, Adler had no use for the Freudian
concept of the Oedipus complex
• He was an average student and was also
very outgoing, popular and active
• After studying at University of Vienna,
he specialized as an eye doctor, and late
in neurology and psychiatry.
• He began his career as an
ophthalmologist, but soon he switched
to general practice
• His office was in a lower class part of
Vienna, which was a combination of an
amusement park and circus
• His clients included circus people and
their unusual strengths and weaknesses
led to his insights into organ inferiorities
• Adler founded the society for individual
psychology in 1912 after his break from
• He served in the Austrian army during World
War I (1914–1918) and later organized
government sponsored child counseling clinics
• He travelled and lectured for a period of 25
years. Adler’s books and lectures brought him
recognition on a national scale, and he became
America’s first popular psychologist, a celebrity
of the day.
• In 1937, while on an exhausting 56-lecture tour
of Europe, Adler suffered a heart attack and died
• Was founded by Adler in 1912
• Focuses in uniqueness of each person
• Denies universal biological drives and
• We should see person as a whole
rather than a part.
9. Inferiority Feelings: The Source ofAll
Inferiority feelings The
normal condition of all
people; the source of all
• Adler believed that inferiority feelings are a
constant motivating force in all behavior.
“To be a human being means to feel oneself
inferior,” Because this condition is common
to all of us, then, it is not a sign of weakness
• A motivation to overcome inferiority, to strive for
higher levels of development
• Throughout our lives, we are driven by the need
to overcome this sense of inferiority and to strive
for increasingly higher levels of development
• The process begins in infancy.
10. Inability to overcome inferiority feelings: helpless, poor self opinion.
Adler argued that defective
parts or organs of the body
shape personality through the
person’s efforts to compensate
for the defect or weakness.
for example, when a child
suffering from asthma becomes
a top athlete in adult life.
Neglected, unwanted, and
rejected children can develop an
inferiority complex. Their
infancy and childhood are
characterized by a lack of love
and security because their
parents are indifferent or hostile
As a result, these children
develop feelings of
worthlessness, or even anger,
and view others with distrust
Spoiling or pampering a child
can also bring about an
for example The first
experience at school, where
these children are no longer the
focus of attention, comes as a
shock for which they are
11. Striving forsuperiority
• 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
• Adler described his notion of striving for
superiority as the fundamental fact of life.
• Adler suggested that we strive for superiority in an
effort to perfect ourselves, to make ourselves
complete or whole.
• Adler later asserted that striving for superiority can
be unhealthy or neurotic.
12. Adler stated that the ultimate goal for each of us is
superiority or perfection, but we try to attain that goal in
many different ways. Each of us expresses the striving
differently. We develop a unique pattern of characteristics,
behaviors, and habits, which Adler called a distinctive
character, or style of life.
Basic styles of life include:
• Dominant – little self-awareness
• Getting- Expect to receive satisfactions from others,
• Avoiding- avoids life problems
• Socially useful- cooperates with others, shows social
The style of life thus becomes the guiding framework for
all of our later behavior
13. • One individual may try to develop
competence and superiority through
• Another may seek self protection by
capitalizing on physical strengths
• Style of life act in part as a perceptual
filters, influencing the way in which we
view the world
• The ruling type: aggressive,
dominating people who don't have
much social interest or cultural
These are BULLIES and SADIST
16. The getting type: dependent people who take rather than give
• Openness: appreciation for a variety of experiences.
• Conscientiousness: planning ahead rather than being
• Extraversion: being sociable, energetic and talkative.
• Agreeableness: being kind, sympathetic and happy to
• The Avoiding Type: People who try
to escape life’s problems and take
little part in socially constructive
• These have lowest level of energy and
only survive by essential avoiding life.
When push to limit they tend to
become Psychotic, retreating finally
into their own personal words.
The Social UsefulType
The socially useful type: people with a great
deal of social interest and activity
Individuals who are a social personality
type are dedicated leaders, humanistic,
responsible and supportive. They use
feelings, words and ideas to work with
people rather than physical activity to do
things. They enjoy closeness, sharing,
groups, unstructured activity and being in
19. • THE FIRST-BORN CHILD
• THE SECOND-BORN CHILD
• THE YOUNGEST CHILD
• THE OLDEST CHILD
First-born children are in a unique and
enviable situation, at least for a while. The
parents are usually very happy at the birth
of their first child and devote a great deal
and attention to the new baby. First-borns
typically receive their parents’ instant and
undivided attention. As a result, first-borns
have a very happy and secure existence,
until the second-born child appears
21. • Family Situation.
He is peacemaker
There is always someone ahead
• Child characteristics
Is more competitive, want to overtake older
child may become a rebel or try to outdo
Competition can deteriorate into rivalry
• Has many fathers and mothers
• Never dethroned
• Want to be bigger than other
• May have huge plans that never
• Frequently spoiled
23. Family Situation
• Dethroned by next child
• Parents expectation are usually high
• Often given responsibilities and expected to set an
• May become authoritarian or strict
• Feel power in his hand
• Can become helpful, if encouraged
The Oldest Child
24. • Adler’s primary research method
was the case study.
• He published only two case histories
for two fragments: one written by a
patient, the other written by a
• Adler wanted his psychology to be a
science, but it has not been a
psychology easily verified by the
25. • Adler’s belief that dreams help us solve
• he researchers concluded that dreaming
enabled the subjects to deal effectively
with the current threatening situation.
• Those who dreamed later recalled
significantly more of the uncompleted
puzzle than those who did not dream.
• Our earliest memories of childhood
help reveal our lifestyle.
• Early memories of people diagnosed
as anxiety neurotics were concerned
• Early memories of depressed persons
centered on abandonment.
• Early memories of those with
psychosomatic complaints involved
• Early memories of alcoholics
contained threatening events.
29. • Adler argued that pampering in childhood
could lead to a pampered style of life in
which the person shows little or no social
feelings for others.
• pampering can lead to excessive
narcissism, which involves a lack of
responsibility or empathy for other
people, as well as an exaggerated sense of
self-importance, and a tendency to exploit
30. Types of pampering:
• Overindulgence involves the persistent parental gratification
of a child’s needs and desires, leading to feelings of
entitlement as well as tyrannical and manipulative behavior.
• Over permissiveness involves allowing children to behave
as they please with no consideration for the effects of their
behaviour on other people, leading to a disregard of social
rules and the rights of others.
• Over domination involves exclusive parental decision-
making, leading to a child’s lack of self-confidence and a
tendency to become dependent on others in adulthood.
• Overprotection involves parental caution, excessively
warning children of potential dangers in their environment,
leading to generalized anxiety and a tendency to avoid or
hide from social situations.
• Research using the SIS found that
those high in social interest reported
less stress, depression, anxiety, and
hostility than those low in social
• Research with college students found
that those high in social interest
scored high in spirituality and
• social network has been positively
associated with physical and mental
32. Birth Order:
First born children
• A study in Finland found that
the behavior and
characteristics of first-borns
can influence whether the
parents decide to have other
children, within 5 years of
the birth of the first.
• According to Adler, first-
borns are concerned with
power and authority.
Second born children
• Less research has been
conducted on second-born
children. A study of first-
born and second-born
siblings, conducted over 3
years, found that the
attitudes, personalities, and
leisure activities of second-
born children were
influenced more by their
older siblings than by their
• Adler predicted that last-born
children, if excessively
pampered, would have
adjustment problems as
• He also considered only-
borns to be more selfish.
• Another study found that
they were more self-centered
and less popular than were
children reared with siblings.
Last born children
33. Only children:
• To Adler, only-born adults are overly
concerned with being the center of attention,
as they were in childhood.
• He also considered only-borns to be more
• They are more self-centered and less popular
than were children reared with siblings.
34. Reflections on Adler’sTheory:
• Adler’s influence within psychology has been substantial.
• Those contributions make Adler’s personality theory one of the most
• He was ahead of his time, and his cognitive and social emphases are
more compatible with trends in psychology today than with the
psychology of his own day.
• His focus on the whole person and the unity of personality is reflected in
the work of Gordon All port.
• The creative power of people to shape their own styles of life, and the
insistence that future goals are more important than past events,
influenced the work of Abraham Maslow..
• Adler’s ideas also reached into Freudian psychoanalysis.