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A Primer of Freudian Psychology Paperback – January 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Calvin S. Hall held teaching posts at several universities including Case-Western Reserve, Syracuse University, the University of Miami, Reserve University, and was Professor Emeritus at the University of California in Santa Cruz.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452011833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452011830
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bud on June 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
By Calvin S. Hall
Published in the United States by the New American Library, Inc.,
1301 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, New York 10019
1954, By the World Publishing Company
This is an important book for everyone who wants to understand human behavior in himself, and in others.
Calvin S. Hall outlines Freud's diagnosis of the balances existing between the mind and emotions, and points out his important discoveries about the parts played by instincts, the conscious and unconscious, and anxiety in the functioning of the human psyche.
The Author explains the ideas of Sigmund Freud's psychology on defense mechanisms, the channeling of instinctual drives, and the role of sex in the boy/girl maturing into man and women.
Sigmund Freud's ideas are scattered throughout his writings from the early 1890's to the late 1930's. The stabilized personality is one in which the psychic energy has found more or less permanent and constant ways of expending itself in performing psychological work. The precise nature of this work is determined by the interactions, between them, and by the developmental history of the id, ego and the superego.
The breakdown of the personality follows:
The ID:
Sometimes called the "pleasure principle" is to rid the person of tension, or, reduce the amount of tension to a low level and to keep it as constant as possible. Tension is experienced as pain or discomfort, while relief from tension is experienced as pleasure or satisfaction, avoiding pain, and finding pleasure.
The EGO:
Instead of the "pleasure principle", the ego is governed by the "reality principle". Reality means that which exists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As would be expected, the Ego, Superego, and Id are prominent players in Professor Hall's summation of Freudian theory. A less well known facet of Freudian principles, the role of psychic energy in the development of personality, is prominently featured; Hall labels this Freud's most brilliant discovery. Thought it is a slim volume, the information is dense. The entire body of Freud's work that Hall is summarizing was originally published in several thousand pages. To attempt to highlight the more important passages would result in the entire text colored in yellow highlighter. In short, the book itself is a well-organized, clearly presented set of notes on Freudian theory.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Strassberg on December 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book covers all of Freud's work in a brief, yet complete manner. It is a short book, but very full of information. The author's approach truly fulfills his mission. He starts the book talking about Freud and his times, and how his background and natural curiosity led him eventually to found psychoanalysis. In discussing the theories of Freud, Hall begins with basics and sequentially builds to a thorough review of the theories. Some writers are bewildering because they begin discussing more advanced theories before laying the groundwork. Not so here; the author provides all you need to know in a clear, stimulating manner before proceeding to the next level of complexity. Whether you are interested in psychology, psychoanalysis in the arts, psychoanalysis as an historical phenomenon or otherwise, this book is a great resource.
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Format: Paperback
I remember reading A Primer of Freudian Psychology when I was in 8th grade and found it overwhelming. After growing up and living the life, I now realize why. It's because I lacked the experience to relate to many of the theories formulated by Sigmund Freud.

I honestly find many of the theories valid and relevant and especially like the constant battle among the id, ego, and superego. However, some of them to explain a certain behavior are awfully simplistic and do not account for several other factors in play. Knowing what we know today, IQ, emotional intelligence, and various chemicals in the brain (he has an umbrella term for it: psychic energy) are among the primary forces that shape a person's personality and behavior. So, I'll excuse him for that. But I won't excuse him for failing to account for environmental and socioeconomical issues. His data comes from analyzing upper-class, sexually repressed women in Austria.

On the other hand, his true infamy lies in the Oral/Anal/Sexual Zone theories which are completely ridiculous. If true, then I suppose, following his line of thinking, Freud's sucking on the cigar means that he likes to perform oral sex on males. I mean, are people really that simple? Meanwhile, he may have coined catchy terms such as "Oedipus Complex" and "Penis Envy." Let's be real: they are too far-fetched to be taken seriously.

If you have seen the film called Spellbound by Alfred Hitchcock, it seems what Freud's psychology about: the repressed memories invoked by dreams. In reality, it's not that simple. Truth be told, I consider people to be easy to figure out, but what I don't have is an access to their biography.
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