Erik Erikson, Karen Horney and Erich Fromm are famous psychoanalytic theorists who contributed remarkable knowledge to the field of psychology. All three of these theorists belong to a group called ‘Neo-Freudians’. Sigmund Freud was one of the earliest pioneers of psychology. He introduced a lot of theories related to psychology that got accepted by a large number of followers. On the other hand, his contributions helped other psychologists in their researches and unravel the mysteries of human psychology.
Neo-Freudians is a group of theorists who accept the basic ideas proposed by Sigmund Freud but disagree with further analysis done by him. Neo-Freudians establish their own beliefs and theories related to personality of the people that according to them make more sense. Following are the basic ideas of Freud that Neo-Freudians disagree with:
- Freud's view on human behavior as negative.
- Freud highlighting sexual urges as major motivator in life.
- His ignorance of cultural and social factors that also play role in forming the personality of an individual.
- His believes that childhood events play the only role in forming personality of an individual.
- Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson's personality theory helps us better understand the challenges and lessons experienced in life that help us grow. His theory shows an emphasis on social factors that shape our personality from childhood to adulthood. He coined the term ego identity which is being aware of our self with the help of social experiences we go through in life. He says that sense of competence is what motivates individuals' behaviors. Erikson came up with eight stages of human development and in each stage he discussed conflicts between several social factors that humans go through in their life, what they choose and how can they develop to their full potential .
- Karen Horney
Another famous psychoanalytic theorist is Karen Horney who also proposed a valuable theory on personality development, which emphasize on the same thing as Erik Erikson but in a much different way. She coined the term neurotic who is a person disturbed psychologically due to the fears from his or her surroundings. According to her, culture plays an important role in forming the personality of a person especially during the stage of childhood. She does not talk about ego identity in her theories, instead she discusses that emotional forces motivate the neurotic. Individual’s opinions and perceptions are shaped according to their experiences, hobbies, families, schooling, etc .
- Erich Fromm
Erich Fromm is also one of the most influential psychoanalytic theorists who did a lot of research on Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Karl Marx theories and came up with his own. He stated that human development is not based entirely on physiological needs but esteem needs are also extremely important. Social and cultural factors do not affect humans as much as their own self esteem needs affect them. A person searches for relatedness, orientation, sense of identity and rootedness to better understand him or her and then solve his or her life issues. Love plays a major role in this regard .
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