Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler developed Individual psychology in which he viewed the individual patient as well as the environment and people routed in the individual’s life as a whole (Alfred, 2014).  He believed people put forth an effort to compensate for the self-perceived inferiority to others (Alfred, 2014).  This inferiority developed from social position, early humiliation, physical defects, or other life experiences (Alfred, 2014).  An effort to compensate for these feelings of inferiority may cause someone to partake in negative behavior or possibly develop an inferiority complex (Alfred, 2014).   Adler was once a follower of Sigmund Freud, however, Adler began to note that people tended to compensate for viewed “abnormalities” psychologically, but if their efforts were not good enough, neurosis developed (Alfred, 2014) Whereas Freud believed that people would bury these feelings of inferiority into their subconscious and forget about them (Goodwin, 2008).   Adler also believed that sex was used by humans to overcome feeling inadequate (Alfred, 2014), whereas Freud believed that sex was a motivator in human accomplishments (Goodwin, 2008).   Both Adler and Freud believed that examining early life experiences brought about acknowledgement of incidences and feelings which supported a behavior change (Goodwin, 2008), but Adler went a little further to  include that people changed their behavior, not to be deemed as “normal”, but to feel superior (Alfred, 2014).  Adler believed that all people had one primary goal in their life:  To belong in the world and to feel significant to others (Alfred, 2014).  This he felt, should be accomplished in childhood.  He thought that encouragement made people feel capable and significant, whereas discouragement made people feel inferior bringing about negative behavior (Alfred, 2014).




Alfred Adler. (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/6042/Alfred-Adler




2 thoughts on “Alfred Adler

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