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Alfred Adler

Adler, Alfred (ädˈlər) [key], 1870–1937, Austrian psychologist, founder of the school of individual psychology. Although one of Sigmund Freud's earlier associates, he rejected the Freudian emphasis upon sex as the root of neurosis. Adler broke with Freud in 1911, maintaining that feelings of helplessness during childhood can lead to an inferiority complex. Adler's theory focused on social forces, and his therapy, while still concerned with the analysis of early childhood, was also interested in overcoming the inferiority complex through positive social interaction. After 1932, he lectured and practiced in the United States. His books include The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology (1927, repr. 1973) and Understanding Human Nature (1927, repr. 1978).

See studies by J. Rattner (tr. 1983) and P. Stephansky (1983).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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