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The suggestion that seeking to overcome one’s inferiorities is the driving force underlying personality development is, of course, a significant departure from Freud’s suggestion that development revolves around seeking psychosexual gratification. Another important difference is that Adler did not distinguish between the conscious and unconscious minds as Freud had:

The use of the terms “consciousness” and “unconsciousness” to designate distinctive factors is incorrect in the practice of Individual Psychology. Consciousness and unconsciousness move together in the same direction and are not contradictions, as is so often believed. What is more, there is no definite line of demarcation between them. It is merely a question of discovering the purpose of their joint movement. (pg. 56; Adler, 1929a)

Inferiority and Compensation

In 1907, Adler published his classic Study of Organ Inferiority and Its Psychical Compensation , which was translated into English 10 years later (Adler, 1917). This was primarily a medical article on the consequences of organ inferiority , in which Adler looked at how the nervous system helped the body to adapt to physical infirmities that resulted from, literally, inferior organ development. For example, it is often suggested that people who are blind develop better hearing. However, social psychologists have demonstrated that the social environment can profoundly affect our sensitivity to external stimuli. The reason for this is probably just what Adler described as the primary means through which the brain can compensate for any deficiency: by bringing attention to the processes necessary for compensation. Thus, if a person has difficulty seeing, they pay more careful attention to hearing, as well as to the other senses. However, this is not a perfect system, and it can also lead to over-compensation. As a result, a wide variety of physical symptoms can result from the psyche’s efforts (including unconscious efforts) to compensate for some problem. As noted by Freud, hysterical symptoms are typically manifested as physical problems. According to Adler, underlying these physical symptoms, even when they are caused solely by the psyche, there must be some organ inferiority within the body (Adler, 1917).

Adler did not limit his theory of organ inferiority to medical problems or neurotic symptoms, but rather, he expanded the theory to incorporate all aspects of life. Compensation refers to the typical manner in which a person seeks to overcome challenges. For example, if one breaks their arm, they learn to function with a cast, or if one loses their eyesight, they learn to use a cane or work with a seeing-eye dog (Dreikurs, 1950; Mosak&Maniacci, 1999). If we examine compensation in a more psychosocial realm, examples might include a college student who cannot find a suitable boyfriend or girlfriend so they focus on becoming a straight A student, a student who does not do well academically focuses their efforts on becoming a star athlete, or an only child who wished to have brothers and sisters has many children of their own (Lundin, 1989). In such instances, compensation leads to balance in one’s life. A weakness, or at least a perceived weakness, is compensated for in other ways (Manaster&Corsini, 1982). Overcompensation involves taking compensation to extremes. For example, a person born with a bad foot strives to become a professional dancer, or a person born in poverty strives to become a millionaire and then continues to work 80 hours a week or more striving to become a billionaire. Generally speaking, the mechanisms of personality inferiority are more complex than those of organ inferiority. Likewise, compensation and overcompensation are more complex when they pertain to one’s personality than when they involve physical challenges (Manaster&Corsini, 1982).

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
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s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
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Cied
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Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
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I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
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Porter
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Yasmin
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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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