Handbook of psychology. Personality and social psychology by Irving B. Weiner

By Irving B. Weiner

* First of its variety, certain to set the normal for destiny psychology reference works. * offers psychologists, practitioners, researchers, and scholars with whole and up to date info at the box of psychology. * Twelve volumes disguise all the basic parts of information within the box.

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We may sum up by saying that the essential feature in the vicissitudes undergone by instincts is their subjection to the influences of the three great polarities that govern mental life. Of these three polarities we might describe that of activity-passivity as the biological, that of the ego-external world as the real, and finally that of pleasure-pain as the economic, respectively. (pp. 76–77, 83) Preceding Freud, however, aspects of these three polarities were conceptualized and employed by other theorists—in France, Germany, Russia, and other European nations as well as in the United States.

Tribute and affection must constantly be replenished and are sought from every interpersonal source. As they are quickly bored and sated, they keep stirring up things, becoming enthusiastic about one activity and then another. There is a restless stimulus-seeking quality in which they cannot leave well enough alone. At the other end of the polarity are personality maladaptations that exhibit an excess of passivity, failing thereby to give direction to their own lives. Several personality disorders demonstrate this passive style, although their passivity derives from and is expressed in appreciably different ways.

A few words in response to these questions may demonstrate that passivity is not mere inactivity but a stance or process that achieves useful gains. For example, universal among mammalian species are two basic modes of learning: the respondent or conditioned type and the operant or instrumental type. The former is essentially a passive process, the simple pairing of an innate or reflexive response to a stimulus that previously did not elicit that response. In like passive fashion, environmental elements that occur either simultaneously or in close temporal order become connected to each other in the organism’s repertoire of learning, such that if one of these elements recurs in the future, the expectation is that the others will follow or be elicited.

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