Carl Jung

You may have heard of certain psychological concepts like the collective unconscious and archetypes. If not, you've most certainly heard terms like introversion and extroversion. Did you know that all of these terms and concepts come from one famous thinker? They are all part of Carl Jung's contributions to psychology. 

Carl Jung Carl Jung

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Table of contents

    Carl Jung, Black and white drawn portrait of Carl Jung, StudySmarterFig. 1 - Portrait of Carl Jung.

    Carl Jung's Theory

    Carl Gustav Jung was born in Switzerland in 1875. His childhood was shaped by his rich imagination, vivid dreams, and philosophical interest in god and spirituality. Jung studied psychiatry and medicine at the University of Basel and went on to work at the Burghölzli psychiatric hospital in Zürich.

    Jung was a student of Sigmund Freud but soon parted from the Freudian tradition, rejecting certain elements of his teaching and expanding upon others.

    Freud’s disciples, often called neo-Freudians, agreed with Freud’s concepts of the id, ego, and superego.

    However, Jung and his contemporaries contrasted with Freud in a couple of important ways.

    1. Jung believed that the conscious mind played a bigger role in processing experiences, whereas Freud placed a much stronger emphasis on the unconscious mind in this role.

    2. Jung did not believe that aggression or sexual impulses played as important a part in human motivation as Freud did. Jung believed that higher personal aspirations and philosophical concepts fueled our motivations to a large degree.

    Jung is credited as the father of analytical psychology. Analytical psychology is the name given to Jung’s theory of mind. Self-realization is the goal of Analytical psychology.

    Archetypes by Carl Jung

    Jung gave birth to the concept of the collective unconscious.

    The collective unconscious can be thought of as a universal pool of ideas or archetypes, built upon our experiences as human beings, that all people have access to and can relate to.

    The collective unconscious, according to Jung, explains why people, regardless of cultural origin, tend to interpret certain moral, religious, or ethical values in the same way. For example, certain symbols or stories can be found across many cultures. The names and places may be different, but the tales are the same.

    Jung called these shared themes and stories archetypes. Archetypes are expressed through art, stories, dreams, or religion. Many archetypes exist in our world and continue to be created as our world evolves. However, Jung emphasized four basic archetypes: the persona, the shadow, the anima/animus, and the self.

    The Persona

    This archetype gets its name from the Latin word persona, meaning mask. The persona archetype is our social mask, the role that we play in the variety of social situations we experience in life. We have to behave a certain way in certain social situations in order to be functioning members of society. Our social masks allow us to navigate the social sphere successfully, but it also hides our true nature. In this way, the persona has a bit of a double meaning. The mask not only represents the various roles we play but a way of hiding ourselves.

    The Shadow

    The shadow archetype is sometimes thought of as the dark part of the psyche or unconsciousness. It contains our repressed desires, fears, aggression, and weaknesses. However, the shadow side can also contain certain good qualities that we may have repressed or exiled out of fear or anxiety. We may have been shamed for our passions or creative ambitions. According to Jung, our goal is to reckon with our shadow side. To bring it to light and integrate it into our lives in a healthy way. Considering the nature of the shadow side, this is no easy task, though it is necessary for self-realization.

    The Anima/Animus

    The anima/animus archetype draws on the traditional notion of the male and female gender. The anima is a personification of traditional female qualities and tendencies, like sensitivity, empathy, creativity, and the capacity for loving relationships. The animus is a personification of traditional male qualities and tendencies, like strength, courage, vitality, and achievement.

    According to Jung, inside every man, there is an element of a woman or the feminine, the anima. Likewise, inside every woman, there is an element of man or the masculine, the animus. If these opposing gender identities are integrated successfully and not repressed, we have the best chance of knowing our true selves and experiencing self-realization.

    The Self

    For Jung, the archetype of self-represented wholeness. Indeed, he often likened it to a circle or mandala. If we are able to successfully integrate our persona, our anima/animus, and our shadow side, we will have access to our totality or self. We reach ourselves through a process called individuation.

    Individuation is the process of integrating our conscious and unconscious aspects. If we can integrate these sides of the self, we will achieve self-realization.

    Carl Jung, Picture of book cover for man and his symbols, StudySmarterFig. 2 - Writings by Carl Jung.

    Carl Jung: Books

    Carl Jung wrote prolifically throughout his career. He has authored 14 books, and his writing has been published in countless volumes of collected works. His works have been used in academic settings and have found great acceptance in popular culture as well.

    The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious is a collection of essays that goes into greater detail about the nature of the unconscious and how each archetype shows up in our lives and across traditions and cultures.

    Man and His Symbols, written right before his death, examines the significant symbols found in the unconscious and throughout history. It also details how these symbols show up in our dreams and how we can understand ourselves better by learning to interpret these symbols.

    Carl Jung on Personality

    Jung is credited for introducing the terms introvert and extrovert into the field of psychology. According to Jung, an extrovert is someone who prefers external stimuli and engages with the outside world. Conversely, an introvert is someone who focuses their energy inwardly with reflective and solitary activities.

    According to Jung, everyone possesses the functions of introversion and extroversion, but we all differ along a spectrum of both with regard to certain types.

    Jung's four main personality types are thinking/feeling, sensing/intuiting, and judging/perceiving. Our unique combination of functions and personality types creates our individual personality profiles.

    Analytical Psychology Carl Jung

    Analytical psychology was a new movement within the field of psychology, started by Jung after he parted ways with Sigmund Freud. It is the name given to Jung's theory of mind, and it is also the name of Jung's particular approach to psychotherapy.

    Like Freud, Jung acknowledged the significance that childhood experiences have on shaping the self, and that they are largely stored in the personal unconscious of each individual. However, Jung placed equal emphasis on external factors that shape the self.

    These external factors are what Jung referred to as archetypes, and they are stored in the collective unconscious.

    The goal of Jungian analysis is individuation, which unites the personal and collective unconscious. Through this process, we can then understand how we can move purposefully into the future.

    Carl Jung - Key takeaways

    • Carl Gustav Jung was born in Switzerland in 1875.
    • Jung is credited as the father of Analytical psychology, the name given to Jung’s theory of mind and his approach to psychotherapy.
    • Jung gave birth to the concept of the collective unconscious, a universal pool of ideas or archetypes, built upon our experiences as human beings, that all people have access to and can relate to.
    • Jung emphasized four basic archetypes: the persona, the shadow, the anima/animus, and the self.
    • Jung is credited with introducing the terms introvert and extrovert into psychology.

    References

    1. Fig. 1 - "Carl Jung" by orionpozo is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
    2. Fig. 2 - "Man and His Symbols", C. G. Jung (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Man_and_His_Symbols_by_Carl_Jung.jpg), by Mike Steele (https://www.flickr.com/photos/21022123@N04/49807172951/) is licensed under CC BY 2.0(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en).
    Frequently Asked Questions about Carl Jung

    What is Carl Jung best known for?

    Carl Jung is best known for the concepts of the collective unconscious and archetypes.

    What is Carl Jung's theory?

    Carl Jung's theory of mind is termed analytical psychology. It is also the name of his approach to psychotherapy. 

    Who was Carl Jung and what did he do?

    Carl Jung was an analytical psychologist from Switzerland. He is credited as the father of analytical psychology.

    Is Carl Jung a behaviorist?

    Carl Jung is not a behaviorist. He is an analytical psychologist.

    What did Jung say about dreams?

    Jung said that dreams contain symbols that can help us fully understand ourselves. 

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    _____________ is the name given to Jung’s theory of mind. 

    ________________ is a universal pool of ideas or archetypes, built upon our experiences as human beings, that all people have access to and can relate to.

    Which of the following is not one of Jung's 4 basic archetypes? 

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