Carl Jung's Theories: Personality, Psyche & Dreams

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  • 0:05 Carl Jung
  • 0:42 Personality Theory
  • 2:48 Human Psyche
  • 4:33 Dream Analysis
  • 5:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

In this lesson, we will be discussing Carl Jung's theories. Specifically, we will look at his theories on personality, dream analysis and the human psyche. At the end, you can test your knowledge with a short quiz.

Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist whose research was deep-rooted in psychoanalysis. He was greatly influenced by Sigmund Freud and even conducted research alongside him. Eventually, though, Jung disagreed with many of Freud's theories. Jung is best known for his research in personality, dream analysis and the human psyche.

His theories are so revered that they were made into their own school of psychotherapy: Jungian psychology, which is also called analytical psychology. Let's look deeper into the main theories of Jungian psychology.

Personality Theory

In his theory of personality, Carl Jung distinguishes two different attitude types: Introverts, which are those people who receive stimulation from within, and extroverts, which are those who receive their stimulation from the environment.

Introverts are generally more withdrawn, while extroverts are generally more sociable. For example, Donna is an extrovert. She loves to go out on adventures with lots of people and see exciting new things. Her friend David, though, is the opposite. Given the choice, he'd rather read a book on his couch than go skydiving with Donna. David is an introvert.

Jung also separates introverts and extroverts into four subtypes according to the functions that control the way they perceive the world. Both introverts and extroverts can be any of these subtypes, so there are eight possible personality types. These four functions are:

1. Thinking

Applying reasoning to the situations and environments you encounter. For example, David likes to think things through and consider all the pros and cons before he makes a decision about anything.

2. Feeling

Applying subjective, personal assessment to the situations and environments you encounter. Unlike David, Donna relies on her feelings to tell her how to make a decision. If something feels good, she goes for it; if it doesn't, she avoids it.

3. Sensation

Applying aesthetic value to the situations and environments you encounter. For example, when deciding how to arrange his living room, David tries to make things very symmetrical. If there's a chair on one side of the room, he has to put the same chair on the other side of the room to balance it. This symmetry makes the room look nice.

4. Intuition

Using your unconscious or the mystical to understand your experiences. For example, Donna thinks David is arranging his furniture all wrong. She thinks he should use feng shui, an ancient Chinese philosophy, to choose where to put his furniture.

Human Psyche

The human psyche is the whole mind, including the conscious and the unconscious. Jung's theory states that each person's psyche is comprised of three components:

1. Ego

The hub of consciousness that forms all unrepressed perceptions, thoughts, feelings and memories. When Donna walks into a room, her ego perceives the color of the walls, the people in the room and what they're doing and the song playing in the background. But, the ego can only hold a select amount of information and the remaining data sinks into the unconscious.

2. Personal unconscious

The experiences and memories unique to the individual that are not currently in, but are readily available to, the conscious mind. For example, maybe Donna feels uncomfortable in the room where she just walked. She doesn't like it, but she's not sure why. It just gives her a bad feeling. Perhaps it's because the walls are the same color as the hospital room where her grandmother died. She doesn't consciously associate the room with her grandmother dying, but she has bad feelings because her personal unconscious is at work.

3. Collective unconscious

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