The archetypes, at first glance, might seem to be Jung’s strangest idea. And yet they have proven to be very useful in the analysis of myths, fairy tales, literature in general, artistic symbolism, and religious exposition. They apparently capture
some of the basic “units” of our self-expression. Many people have suggested that there are only so many stories and characters in the world, and we just keep on rearranging the details.
What do you think about Jungís theory of archetypes? Do you agree/disagree that part of our personality is composed of opposing forces that strive for balance and transcendence? Why or why not?
Extra Credit #3 Prompt
Although Adler’s theory may be less interesting than Freud’s, with its sexuality, or Jung’s, with its mythology, it has probably struck you as the most common-sensical of the three. Students generally like Adler and his theory.
Criticisms of Adler tend to involve the issue of whether or not, or to what degree, his theory is scientific. Many of the details of his theory are too anecdotal, that is, are true in particular cases, but don’t necessarily have the generality Adler seems to claim for them. A first child (even broadly defined) doesn’t necessarily feel dethroned, nor a second child necessarily feel competitive, for example.
That said, an important component of Adlerís personality theory is that of inferiority. Do you believe that a major motivation for all people is to overcome some physical and/or psychological inferiority? Why or Why not?
Extra Credit #4 Prompt
Erik Erikson is best known for developing a lifespan approach to understanding personality. Unlike, Freud and Adler, Erikson argues that personality development is a life-long process with each developmental stage having a potential conflict that must overcome to move onto the next stage.
Of all the stages that Erikson proposes in his model of personality, which do you think is most important in determining our self concept? Why?
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