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A Primer of Freudian Psychology Paperback – January 1, 1999
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A PRIMER OF FREUDIAN PSYCHOLOGY
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:
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.
Instead of the "pleasure principle", the ego is governed by the "reality principle". Reality means that which exists.Read more ›
Upon re-reading, I find my reactions to this not much different from when I first used it as excellent joke-fodder twenty years ago. Hall's writing is lucid, if slightly on the adulatory side, and his brief analysis of Freud's life and scientific influences is extremely helpful, particularly the focus on Freud's absorption of contemporary discoveries in physics regarding the conservation of energy. However, lucid synopsis is not enough to save the batshit theories Freud promulgated, and the last third of the book (which covers the dreaded oral/anal/genital zones) is likely to leave you rolling your eyes and reconsidering the rationality of the preceding hundred pages.
Hall's Primer does its work well, giving a glimpse of the genius of Freud, the context in which that genius developed, and the serious hangups (not that the author seems to grasp this) which prevented many of his theories from managing to survive outside his middle-class Victorian milieu. And if it's far more entertaining when taken in conjunction with a heavy dose of horse symbolism...well, that's hardly Hall's fault, is it?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mr. Math Expert
Love or hate Freud he began to think of the human mind very differently than his contemporary peers. Excellent book and clearly written.Published on April 13, 2014 by Neil AR
I found this a very concise and clear summary of Freud. It is useful for therapists and psychologists and students of psychology.Published on August 29, 2013 by Laurence W Fennema