Rage Against the Externalized Self

Summary. Inabilities to accept (and therefore recognize) our dark feelings are leading us to externalize our shadow (as Jungians would say) to others, for example to a therefor loved partner. Especially vulnerable narcissists defend themselves against shameful helplessness in cases of separation with a partner (and therefore with a part of themselves) by negating their helplessness. To avoid frustration, rage, and violent defenses in case of uncontrollable separation it is, … Continue reading

Circular Causality of Global and State Self-Esteem

The traditional self-esteem paradigm does not take into account sufficiently the idea of bottom-up causality from state self-esteem (e.g., contextual academic achievement, social status, and appearance) to trait self-esteem (i.e., global self-esteem; e.g., a relatively stable personality characteristic, such as narcissism). This is problematic as it cannot explain, and is contradicted by, many studies showing that development throughout the lifespan is influenced by state self-esteem and self-experiences.

Cross-Cultural Psychology: Beyond the Dichotomy of Individualism – Collectivism

Content: 1. There is more than East and West in cross-cultural psychology, 2. Need for internationalization of developmental psychology, 3. Integration of indigenous psychology, 4. Addressing country, individual, and situational levels

Attachment and Moral Development Theory

Summary This essay evaluates whether “the fundamental problem of social psychology is the moralization of the individual by the society” (McDougall, 1908 as cited in [1], p.8). Also, how does attachment theory permeate aspects of human (and ecological) relationships [2], and how are emotional, moral, and identity development and personality theory aspects intertwined? Finally, implications are suggested regarding factors that have the potential to influence attachment style throughout the lifespan … Continue reading

Boosting Self-esteem to Help Trusting Others Too

Attachment theory is critical in analyzing personal characteristics and relational behaviors across the lifespan [1] (see also article “Different Types of Attachment and Socio-emotional Development Throughout the Lifespan“). Bowlby’s findings that individuals construct internal representations of the self and others that serve as guidelines on how to behave in social interactions [2] might indeed have an association with self-esteem as self-esteem is integral to how somebody feels about oneself [3]. … Continue reading

Nature v. Nurture in the Lifespan Development of People with Down Syndrome

In this article, passive and active genotype -> environment effects in general and related to the cognitive development of people with Down syndrome (DS) are discussed. An emphasis is put on the high variability in profiles of DS, as well as on the existence of multiple intelligences such as musical, spatial, interpersonal, and naturalist abilities, although these are not included in traditional IQ tests that measure mainly linguistic and logical-mathematical … Continue reading

What made Rosa Parks stand up for her rights? Continuity/discontinuity and nature/nurture aspects of psychological development

Rosa Parks is called a “civil rights pioneer” [1], an Alabama seamstress who was “sparking the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s” [2, p. 184], and a ‘one hit wonder’ who refused in 1955 to give up her seat just because of being tired from shopping [11]. Activists’ security it is essential to declare their protests as rather casual than strategic [3]. Some quote her with … Continue reading

Moral Development

Definitions of morality Societal and ecological problems are considered to be a result of moral deficits, and in various scientific disciplines morality is an important subject [1]. In developmental psychology, the notion of ‘development’ generally relates to permanent positive progress across the whole lifespan [2]. Macklin (as cited in [2]) provides the principles of humaneness and humanity for a definition of morality. Rationalistic proponents of morality theories such as Kohlberg … Continue reading

Approaches to Lifespan Development and Cultural Considerations

Developmental Psychology and Lifespan Development Developmental psychology comprises the research of children’s cognitive, societal, and emotive development, and is especially interested in studying how children learn [1]. During the last decades, lifespan developmental psychology became an “independent, interdisciplinary specialization of life sciences” [2, p. 25] that is embracing the developmental stages over a whole lifespan [3]. Lifespan development research seeks insight into the determinants of individuals’ well-being, e.g., ‘successful aging,’ … Continue reading

Too Much and “Good” or “Bad” Emotional Intelligence / Empathy

High levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI) are generally associated with high performance and success. However, there might also be a kind of emotional overthinking with adverse effects on work performance. And, EI is not in itself a “good” or a “bad” personality characteristic.

Online/Internet Emotional Intelligence (EI)

  Summary. Online learning and team work are ever increasing. This poses new challenges on how to predict successful learning, teaching, and performance in general while being wary about problematic Internet/online usage too. Emotions may be seen as less relevant in an online environment, but studies show that Emotional Intelligence (EI) of online instructors and leaders of virtual teams does predict online success. As online participant want to bring in … Continue reading

Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI): Not Just the Sum of Individual EI

Summary. Collaborative learning and teamwork play a significant role in learning and work performance. Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) has positive effects on learning and performance dynamics in learning and collaborating teams, which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior. Therefore, the potential of CEI should be harnessed by further integrating it into work-relevant learning curriculums. Team Learning for Team Performance Despite or because of the controversy related … Continue reading

Psychological Predictors for Career Success Beyond Dispositional Personality

Summary. Both trait personality and intelligence aspects contribute to the predictive power of psychological measures related to job performance. The validity of predictors depends on specific context and content. To most effectively operationalize relevant performance assessments, combinations, adaptations, and even new tests should be carefully chosen to best map performance criterion and predicting variables as accurate as possible. 

Trait and Ability Emotional Intelligence

Summary. As an “individual’s ability to monitor his or her own feelings and those of others” EI in general, in contrast to the more stable personality traits such as measured by the Big Five instrument, is considered to be learnable [2]. This implies that interventions for improving interpersonal competencies and workplace behavior is possible. There is mixed evidence for EI as a distinct concept with more or less strong correlations between … Continue reading

The Oedipus Complex: Development of One’s Sexual Identity and the Risk for Neurosis

Summary. Sigmund Freud’s childhood development stages remain an influential idea. Out of the sequence of the oral, anal, phallic, and genital stages, the phallic phase between 3 and five years with its rise of the Oedipus complex seems to be a central psychic reference point. Freud’s Oedipus complex model suggests that overcoming the competition with one’s father or mother for the affection of the other parent (of opposite sex) is … Continue reading

Personality Factors as Predictors for Future Behavior, Outcomes, and Effective Interventions (At the Example of Criminality)

Summary. Developmental psychology aims to predict future behavior and outcomes. Many factors contribute to personality and the manifestation of behavior. These may be of biological, psychological, and social nature. While psychoanalysis sees our moral development as a rather automatic process determined mainly during childhood, Eysenck’s personality traits in interaction with the environment provide for an approach that involves more the possibility of learning. According to his Antisocial Behavior Hypothesis (ASB), … Continue reading

Lifetime Stability & Changeability of Personality (Developmental Psychology)

Summary. Research from developmental psychology is suggesting that personality traits are inherently stable across a lifetime. Some characteristics may explain actual behavior or predict future development. This post, however, examines the question related to how much of our underlying personality is “nature or nurture.” In summary, genetic factors are independent of age and sex influencing character stability during childhood, while environmental factors are largely contributing to changes during adolescence and … Continue reading

Sigmund Freud versus Hans J. Eysenck – The Development of Personality

Freud and Eysenck are two of the greatest psychologists of the 20th century. Indeed, both are living on in contemporary views and research, although, according to Eysenck (1996), Freud’s genius lied mainly in convincingly telling fairy tells. Indeed, the unconscious sexual desires that are making up entirely an individual’s psychic motivation are hardly testable and may degenerate into adventurous explanations of human behavior. It is the scientific scrutiny and broad … Continue reading

The Case for Measuring ‘Resilient Type’ Traits in Inuit Youth

Summary. The Inuit communities in the Alaskan regions of Northern Canada suffer from colonialization issues, such as corrosion of collectivistic values of family relations. Inuit youth’s well-being is depending on their cultural environment. Mental health problems, substance misuse, and high suicide rates are significant concerns. Resilience as a strength based approach to adapt to adversity is sought to be better understood to design culturally sensitive and therefore effective interventions. A … Continue reading

Psychic Blindness: The Object Recognition Problem


Abstract. Do you know “blindsight,” when we recognize something without conscious effort? “Psychic blindness” is the opposite. Besides perfect eyesight, a person suffering from visual ‘object agnosia,’ cannot recognize an object due to the inability to associate the optical signals with the memorized concept of the object in sight. The same object could, however, be identified by the means of other senses such as hearing or touch. The article discusses … Continue reading