I. Overview of Jung's Analytical Psychology
Carl Jung believed that people are extremely complex beings who possess a variety
of opposing qualities, such as introversion and extraversion, masculinity and
femininity, and rational and irrational drives.
II. Biography of Carl Jung
Carl Jung was born in Switzerland in 1875, the oldest surviving child of an
idealistic Protestant minister and his wife. Jung's early experience with parents
(who were quite opposite of each other) probably influenced his own theory of
personality. Soon after receiving his medical degree he became acquainted with
Freud's writings and eventually with Freud himself. Not long after he traveled
with Freud to the United States, Jung became disenchanted with Freud's pansexual
theories, broke with Freud, and began his own approach to theory and therapy,
which he called analytical psychology. From a critical midlife crisis, during
which he nearly lost contact with reality, Jung emerged to become one of the
leading thinkers of the 20th century. He died in 1961 at age 85.
III. Levels of the Psyche
Jung saw the human psyche as being divided into a conscious and an unconscious
level, with the latter further subdivided into a personal and a collective unconscious.
Images sensed by the ego are said to be conscious. The ego thus represents the
conscious side of personality, and in the psychologically mature individual,
the ego is secondary to the self.
B. Personal Unconscious
The unconscious refers to those psychic images not sensed by the ego. Some unconscious
processes flow from our personal experiences, but others stem from our ancestors'
experiences with universal themes. Jung divided the unconscious into the personal
unconscious, which contains the complexes (emotionally toned groups of related
ideas) and the collective unconscious, or ideas that are beyond our personal
experiences and that originate from the repeated experiences of our ancestors.
C. Collective Unconscious
Collective unconscious images are not inherited ideas, but rather they refer
to our innate tendency to react in a particular way whenever our personal experiences
stimulate an inherited predisposition toward action. Contents of the collective
unconscious are called archetypes.
Jung believed that archetypes originate through the repeated experiences of
our ancestors and that they are expressed in certain types of dreams, fantasies,
delusions, and hallucinations. Several archetypes acquire their own personality,
and Jung identified these by name. One is the persona-the side of our personality
that we show to others. Another is the shadow-the dark side of personality.
To reach full psychological maturity, Jung believed, we must first realize or
accept our shadow. A second hurdle in achieving maturity is for men to accept
their anima, or feminine side, and for women to embrace their animus, or masculine
disposition. Other archetypes include the great mother (the archetype of nourishment
and destruction); the wise old man (the archetype of wisdom and meaning); and
the hero, (the image we have of a conqueror who vanquishes evil, but who has
a single fatal flaw). The most comprehensive archetype is the self; that is,
the image we have of fulfillment, completion, or perfection. The ultimate in
psychological maturity is self-realization, which is symbolized by the mandala,
or perfect geometric figure.
IV. Dynamics of Personality
Jung believed that the dynamic principles that apply to physical energy also
apply to psychic energy. These forces include causality and teleology as well
as progression and regression.
A. Causality and Teleology
Jung accepted a middle position between the philosophical issues of causality
and teleology. In other words, humans are motivated both by their past experiences
and by their expectations of the future.
B. Progression and Regression
To achieve self-realization, people must adapt to both their external and internal
worlds. Progression involves adaptation to the outside world and the forward
flow of psychic energy, whereas regression refers to adaptation to the inner
world and the backward flow of psychic energy. Jung believed that the backward
step is essential to a person's forward movement toward self-realization.
V. Psychological Types
Eight basic psychological types emerge from the union of two attitudes and
Attitudes are predispositions to act or react in a characteristic manner. The
two basic attitudes are introversion, which refers to people's subjective perceptions,
and extraversion, which indicates an orientation toward the objective world.
Extraverts are influenced more by the real world than by their subjective perception,
whereas introverts rely on their individualized view of things. Introverts and
extraverts often mistrust and misunderstand one another.
The two attitudes or extroversion and introversion can combine with four basic
functions to form eight general personality types. The four functions are (1)
thinking, or recognizing the meaning of stimuli; (2) feeling, or placing a value
on something; (3) sensation, or taking in sensory stimuli; and (4) intuition,
or perceiving elementary data that are beyond our awareness. Jung referred to
thinking and feeling as rational functions and to sensation and intuition as
VI. Development of Personality
Nearly unique among personality theorists was Jung's emphasis on the second
half of life. Jung saw middle and old age as times when people may acquire the
ability to attain self-realization.
A. Stages of Development
Jung divided development into four broad stages: (1) childhood, which lasts
from birth until adolescence; (2) youth, the period from puberty until middle
life, which is a time for extraverted development and for being grounded to
the real world of schooling, occupation, courtship, marriage, and family; (3)
middle life, which is a time from about 35 or 40 until old age when people should
be adopting an introverted attitude; and (4) old age, which is a time for psychological
rebirth, self-realization, and preparation for death.
Self-realization, or individuation, involves a psychological rebirth and an
integration of various parts of the psyche into a unified or whole individual.
Self-realization represents the highest level of human development.
VII. Jung's Methods of Investigation
Jung used the word association test, dreams, and active imagination during the
process of psychotherapy, and all these methods contributed to his theory of
A. Word Association Test
Jung used the word association test early in his career to uncover complexes
embedded in the personal unconscious. The technique requires a patient to utter
the first word that comes to mind after the examiner reads a stimulus word.
Unusual responses indicate a complex.
B. Dream Analysis
Jung believed that dreams may have both a cause and a purpose and thus can be
useful in explaining past events and in making decisions about the future. "Big
dreams" and "typical dreams," both of which come from the collective
unconscious, have meanings that lie beyond the experiences of a single individual.
C. Active Imagination
Jung also used active imagination to arrive at collective images. This technique
requires the patient to concentrate on a single image until that image begins
to appear in a different form. Eventually, the patient should see figures that
represent archetypes and other collective unconscious images.
The goal of Jungian therapy is to help neurotic patients become healthy and
to move healthy people in the direction of self-realization. Jung was eclectic
in his choice of therapeutic techniques and treated old people differently than
VIII. Related Research
Although Jungian psychology has not generated large volumes of research, some
investigators have used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to examine the idea
of psychological types. Some research suggests that extraverts and introverts
have different preferences in their choice of partners. Other researchers have
reported that personality type is related to academic performance and success.
IX. Critique of Jung
Although Jung considered himself a scientist, many of his writings have more
of a philosophical than a psychological flavor. As a scientific theory, it rates
average on its ability to generate research, but very low on its ability to
withstand falsification. It is about average on its ability to organize knowledge
but low on each of the other criteria of a useful theory.
X. Concept of Humanity
Jung saw people as extremely complex beings who are a product of both conscious
and unconscious personal experiences. However, people are also motivated by
inherited remnants that spring from the collective experiences of their early
ancestors. Because Jungian theory is a psychology of opposites, it receives
a moderate rating on the issues of free will versus determinism, optimism versus
pessimism, and causality versus teleology. It rates very high on unconscious
influences, low on uniqueness, and low on social influences.