Hot Best Seller

Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego

Availability: Ready to download

File Name: Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego .pdf

How it works:

1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.

2. Download as many books as you like (Personal use)

3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.


Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego PDF, ePub eBook The question he addresses here is, What are the emotional bonds that hold collective entities, such as an army and a church, together? It is a fruitful question, and Freud offers some interesting answers. But Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego stands chiefly as an invitation to further psychoanalytic exploration.

30 review for Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    Over the last few years, I have pondered the dynamics of group psychology. We see events on TV and the Internet, yet sometimes the underlying evil which appears to be present is difficult to assign to the individuals participating. In other words, the group actions may be unthinkable to an individual; nevertheless, the event happened when they all participated as a group. Curious about the possibilities, I ventured into Freud’s “Group Psychology.” This is a short book, but I would not classify it Over the last few years, I have pondered the dynamics of group psychology. We see events on TV and the Internet, yet sometimes the underlying evil which appears to be present is difficult to assign to the individuals participating. In other words, the group actions may be unthinkable to an individual; nevertheless, the event happened when they all participated as a group. Curious about the possibilities, I ventured into Freud’s “Group Psychology.” This is a short book, but I would not classify it as a quick read. Sometimes it is the translation, other times it is the subject, but a little perseverance makes it all readable and understandable. Some of it seems to be common sense knowledge that appears to be already known by the reader, but sound reasoning is also present and the resultant knowledge gained on the psychology of crowds can be enlightening as well as unnerving. Interesting reading for the curious. Four stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ken Doggett

    This book is in the public domain and I downloaded it for free. As with all of these public domain works of Freud's that I've read so far the translation leaves a lot to be desired. I'm certain that Freud's message was clear and lucid in the original German, but here it's obscured by unnecessarily complicated sentence structure that often requires re-reading before it can be fully understood. Here is an example of one of the shorter sentences: "Contagion is a phenomenon of which it is easy to est This book is in the public domain and I downloaded it for free. As with all of these public domain works of Freud's that I've read so far the translation leaves a lot to be desired. I'm certain that Freud's message was clear and lucid in the original German, but here it's obscured by unnecessarily complicated sentence structure that often requires re-reading before it can be fully understood. Here is an example of one of the shorter sentences: "Contagion is a phenomenon of which it is easy to establish the presence, but that it is not easy to explain." To say that a sentence like this requires editing is an understatement. This might be one way to improve it: "The presence of Contagion is easy to identify, but not so easy to explain." I could have given much worse, and far longer, examples, but the point of it all is that the readibility of the entire book could be better. On the other hand, Freud gives a good description of group-think, and identifies the problems associated with groups. This is one insight (and I won't attempt to edit these examples): "...the individual forming part of a group acquires solely from numerical considerations, a sentiment of invincible power which allows him to yield to instincts which, had he been alone, he would perforce have kept under restraint." I think that it's worthy to note here that this shows that even otherwise reasonable persons can form up into unruly, destructive mobs. The reasoning power of a mob usually devolves to the lowest level of the members within the mob. "He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings...then dwells especially upon the lowering in intellectual ability which an individual experiences when he becomes merged in a group." "...goes directly to extremes; if a suspicion is expressed, it is instantly changed into an incontrovertible certainty; a trace of antipathy is turned into furious hatred." I think we can easily see how this applies to wide ranging events, whatever the place or time. Freud also illustrates how group-think also extends to politics and religion, often combining the two: "If another group tie takes the place of the religious one—and the socialistic tie seems to be succeeding in doing so—then there will be the same intolerance toward outsiders as in the age of the Wars of Religion." And to social networking: "We have only to think of the troop of women and girls, all of them in love in an enthusiastically sentimental way, who crowd round a singer or pianist after his performance." Keep in mind that this book was written in 1921, but indentifies group behavior that would accurately apply today. To Freud's insight, logic, and clarity of thought I would of course give five out of five stars. To the translated version, four stars only. I still recommend it to anyone who would like to get some insight into groups and group behavior.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alain Dib

    Group psychology and analysis of the ego turned out to be such a valuable book. It turned out to be everything the title says it is and much more. In fact, I purchased this book some months ago and left it on my shelf because, I was missing the energy to start it. Having gone through the effort it was a pleasant surprise because once in a while I pick a book without specific knowledge, giving it the benefit of the doubt in case just because it caught my attention on the library. The highest point of Group psychology and analysis of the ego turned out to be such a valuable book. It turned out to be everything the title says it is and much more. In fact, I purchased this book some months ago and left it on my shelf because, I was missing the energy to start it. Having gone through the effort it was a pleasant surprise because once in a while I pick a book without specific knowledge, giving it the benefit of the doubt in case just because it caught my attention on the library. The highest point of this book(for me)comically isn’t about Freud itself. It resembles some sort of argumentation and analysis Freud conducted on the work of Gustave Le Bon Titled”Group psychology”. When picking the book I didn’t realize that it featured inside of it the entire book of Le Bon which contains very high value,is intriguing and is in itself a good introduction to social psychology. It is easy to read and I would advise curious people who are ready to make the effort to read it, I mean the book of Le Bon at least because the analysis of Freud just adds some more little notions of his and tries to tie it with his theory of the psychoanalysis. It’s not a bad move on itself but the more detailed text is that of the author I just discovered by accident: Le Bon. Although, Freud did a pretty good job by adding notions in a way I found concise and precise. I preferred the Le Bon part because I read this work in french so it is the original language which made the reading claire and lucid in comparaison with the writing of Freud which I find myself liking considerably less because of the translation which in my opinion doesn’t always convey his ideas in the way he meant it and adds unnecessary complexity to some sentences. But in order to read the original works of Freud I would have to learn german which would certainly be a possibility if I ever get reincarnated and have another life to waste or something. In the meantime I will stick with the 3-4 languages I know and will still recommend this book for specific people because I think that on one hand the informations are valuable but on the other not everyone is interested in them and it demands effort to get through the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Satyajeet

    A detailed yet a comprehensive read. Freud discusses his views on religious faith, and the army, and how these social drivers can cause human kind to commit acts of atrocities. It discusses a few aspects of Freud’s interest in the human mind, and how social drivers drive us to behave. This might feel a little similar to Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti, but unlike Canetti, Freud's work is more balanced i.e Scientific = Literary. A good read, but this book can be a difficult read without the prior A detailed yet a comprehensive read. Freud discusses his views on religious faith, and the army, and how these social drivers can cause human kind to commit acts of atrocities. It discusses a few aspects of Freud’s interest in the human mind, and how social drivers drive us to behave. This might feel a little similar to Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti, but unlike Canetti, Freud's work is more balanced i.e Scientific = Literary. A good read, but this book can be a difficult read without the prior understanding of Freud’s concepts and notions of the dynamics of the human mind. One must be familiar with Freud's writing (Psychoanalysis) before picking this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cooper Cooper

    During his long career Freud focused almost entirely on the psychology of the individual, but he did make this one foray into the psychology of the group (which, not unexpectedly, he promptly reduced to the psychology of the individual). He starts his investigation by reviewing the work of Gustave LeBon (The Psychology of Crowds), William McDougall (The Group Mind) and William Trotter (Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War), praising their (especially LeBon’s) keen observation of crowd behavio During his long career Freud focused almost entirely on the psychology of the individual, but he did make this one foray into the psychology of the group (which, not unexpectedly, he promptly reduced to the psychology of the individual). He starts his investigation by reviewing the work of Gustave LeBon (The Psychology of Crowds), William McDougall (The Group Mind) and William Trotter (Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War), praising their (especially LeBon’s) keen observation of crowd behavior but finding their explanations wanting. Some of the characteristics of crowd behavior: dwindling of the conscious personality; focusing of thoughts and feelings in a common direction; predominance of feelings over thought; predominance of the unconscious over the conscious; and a tendency to act on impulse—to take immediate action. Pretty good description, said Freud, but the causes adduced, “hypnotism” or “psychological contagion” or “heightened suggestibility” or “the herd instinct,” explained absolutely nothing. To find out what is really going on, insisted Freud, we must enter the mind of an individual in the crowd—what is happening inside his psyche? Freud slowly works his way to the answer, en route analyzing several states related to “herd intoxication,” including hypnosis and “being in love.” Here’s some background without which none of Freud’s theorizing will make sense. *Libido. Freud calls the psyche’s energy the libido. What the sex-based libido attaches to (“cathects”), glows with life. Normally, in an autonomous adult, most libido is narcissistically invested in his own ego—self-love. However, within the overall psyche the ego has a hard-nosed companion—the superego (often thought of as “the conscience”—moral values introjected from the culture, usually by way of the parents). One vital component of the superego is the “ego ideal.” The ego ideal represents a sort of ideal self, one that meets the most demanding standards of the culture—standards that are, in fact, too demanding—impossibly so. In effect, the ego ideal is always beating on the ego to be and/or do better. So the psyche’s energy, its libido, is split internally between two elements: the ego and the ego ideal. *Inhibited Aim. Enter the object. Since the libido’s source is the sexual instinct, it is always ready to attach itself to (“cathect”) objects. The first objects so cathected are the parents. The child wants to possess one of the parents sexually—invests some percentage of its libido in the desired parent. But the child soon learns that this is hazardous because it recognizes the other parent as a rival and fears retaliation. Therefore, the child “represses” the sexual desire (it becomes unconscious)—that is, “inhibits the libido’s aim” of achieving direct sexual satisfaction. Some percentage of the repressed libido is then “sublimated” into more acceptable (to the conscious mind) emotions like affection—in fact, according to Freud this is precisely the origin of affection, as well as of other non-sexual (i.e., sublimated) emotions such as brotherly love. Now we have laid the groundwork for Freud’s analysis of “being in love,” hypnosis, and the psychology of crowds. *“Being in Love.” When I am in love, I combine libido that has directly sexual aims with libido that is inhibited in its aims—in other words, I want to possess the woman (“object”) sexually, but also feel toward her tenderness, affection and other aim-inhibited emotions. Further, I tend to become irrational (indeed, sometimes ridiculous) and overvalue my love object because I transfer to her the libido that I normally reserve for my own ego (i.e., my self-love). *Hypnosis. When I am hypnotized, my libido has no direct sexual aim, the aim is fully inhibited, but what happens is that I put the object (in this case the hypnotist) in place of my ego ideal—the image of the perfect me which I can never attain. Thus I cathect and place myself under the spell of this object that substitutes for the perfect me, while the realizable me, my real ego, is de-cathected, devalued and subordinated. *The Group. When I am in a group, I treat its leader like the hypnotist, replacing my ego ideal with him, so that I am “somebody” only insofar as I am connected with him; in addition, through the psychological mechanism of “identification,” I invest some libido also in other members of the group, since they are so like me in their relationship to the leader (Freud also ties this members-of-the-group connection to the relationship between early man’s “primal father” and his intimidated but finally murderous sons—but we won’t go into that). And what of the leader himself? “[The leader’s:] ego had few libidinal ties; he loved no one but himself, or other people only insofar as they served his needs. To objects his ego gave way no more than was barely necessary…he may be of a masterful nature, absolutely narcissistic, self-confident and independent. We know that love puts a check on narcissism, and it would be possible to show how, by operating in this way, it became a factor of civilization.” Are all of these Freudianisms plausible? Do they really explain anything? I would say, “sort of.” Within his scheme, they make sense. And one of Freud’s strengths—perhaps his greatest strength—was that he presented his scheme very well and very persuasively. But as far as group psychology is concerned, he more or less ignored the existential aspect—many seem to join groups not so much to escape the pressures of hyper-demanding superegos as to find some kind of meaning in their lives, of the sort that was once furnished by religions (a criticism of Freud’s theory long ago made by, among others, C.G. Jung). Today, perhaps more common than the hyper-demanding superego is the hypo-demanding superego—many folks seem to lack sufficient internal guidance and to possess ego ideals modeled on loose bozo celebrities. Do I recommend this book? Only if you’ve read some basic Freud (such as General Introduction to Psychoanalysis), or a good independent description of Freudian theory (such as Calvin Hall’s Primer of Freudian Psychology).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Polansky

    Usually there’s a point in Freud’s essays where he’ll fiat some flatly incorrect premise, and then rush past in hopes you won’t notice. Here it comes in identifying a ‘leader’ as an essential pre-condition of the ‘group/herd’, which brings us back to his father-as-first-sacrifice thesis which he articulates in Moses and Monotheism, but sidesteps the most fascinating aspect of group psychology; namely, that it often operates without any such patriarch, but as a faceless, blameless mass, giving v Usually there’s a point in Freud’s essays where he’ll fiat some flatly incorrect premise, and then rush past in hopes you won’t notice. Here it comes in identifying a ‘leader’ as an essential pre-condition of the ‘group/herd’, which brings us back to his father-as-first-sacrifice thesis which he articulates in Moses and Monotheism, but sidesteps the most fascinating aspect of group psychology; namely, that it often operates without any such patriarch, but as a faceless, blameless mass, giving vent to the sublimated desires of each individual. Whatever, there are still some fun brain teasers in here.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marwa Assem Salama

    The Silly questions easily find its way to haunting my mind for days. And I used to manage this mental situation by asking almost everyone around me for a convincing answer which I don’t interested in as much I do to drifting my mind away from the question itself. The last week’s question was: if any project was losing all possible success characters but kept only one of them that obliged you to still call it “successful” , what would it be??. And away from crippling jokes, there was a clear con The Silly questions easily find its way to haunting my mind for days. And I used to manage this mental situation by asking almost everyone around me for a convincing answer which I don’t interested in as much I do to drifting my mind away from the question itself. The last week’s question was: if any project was losing all possible success characters but kept only one of them that obliged you to still call it “successful” , what would it be??. And away from crippling jokes, there was a clear consensus about the answer which was “ the continuance”. The only different part was, the example that each one gave to support his idea. So, while someone talked about the marriage, others explained the financial companies. And after she uttered furiously: “ this shit place we work for “, he was smoking merrily , saying: “I don’t mind if you consider me as an example”. But affected by news, my beloved colleague said desperately : “ of course the (Muslim Brotherhood), all this stupidity was there since 1928, could you imagine that?? How could any group successes to be futile along all these years??”. And because she bestowed me a new question, I think I owe her an answer too!!. The writing style was formal and academic. That’s why you will find (Freud) has kept referring to the other psychological scientists’ sayings in a way that makes the script much like a thesis more than a book. Firstly, In order to make a correct judgement upon the mentality of a group, you must take into consideration some facts which Freud explained plentifully & I tried to collect them in the following points: - “Whoever be the individuals that compose the group, however their occupations, their character or their intelligence , the fact that they have been transformed into a group puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind will make them feel , think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would do in a state of isolation”. - “The particular acquirements of individuals become obliterated in a group, and that in this way their distinctiveness vanishes. The racial unconscious emerges; what is heterogeneous is submerged in what homogeneous. So, the mental superstructure, the development of which in individual shows such dissimilarities, is removed. In this way, individuals in a group would come to show an average character”. - “The individual in a group is no longer conscious of his act. As in a case of hypnotized subjects, at the same time that certain faculties are destroyed, others may bring to a high degree of exaltation. So he has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will”. - He referred also to a concept that he called (Contagion phenomenon), which reminds me of this old video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSnu9B... - And the fact that said: “ a man forms part of an organized group, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization. Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian, a creature acting by instinct. So all the cruel, brutal and destructive instincts , which lie dormant in individual, are stirred up to find free gratification”. - “While with isolated individual's personal interest is almost the only motive force, with groups it is very rarely prominent”. - And to find your way to control such mentality, bear in your mind the following points: - “The feelings of a group are always very simple and very exaggerated. So that a group knows neither doubt nor uncertainty. It goes directly to extremes; if suspicion is expressed, it is instantly changed into an incontrovertible certainty; a trace of antipathy is turned into furious hatred”. - It thinks and stimulated by images. So to produce an effect upon it; you must paint in most forcible colors, you must exaggerate, and repeat the same thing again and again. - “It respects force and can only be slightly influenced by kindness. What it demands of its heroes is strength or even violence. It wants to be ruled and oppressed and to fear its master”. - “ It is possible to speak of an individual having his moral standards raised by a group. Whereas the intellectual capacity of a group is always far below that of an individual, its ethical conduct may rise as high above his as it may sink deep below it”. - “ Groups have never thirsted after truth. They demand illusions, and cannot do without them. They constantly give what is unreal precedence over what is real. And have a tendency not to distinguish between the two”. According to Freud’s study, the results could be summarized in these following characters: - “The individual loses his power of criticism. - He replaces the whole society with the group he belongs to, so in obedience to the new authority, he may put his former ‘conscience’ out of action and so surrender to the attraction of the increased pleasure that is certainly obtained from removal of inhibitions. “Therefore, it is not remarkable to see individual in a group doing or approving things which he would have avoided in the normal conditions of life.” - McDougall sums up the psychological behavior in the following features : “ excessively emotional impulsive, violent, fickle, inconsistent, irresolute and extreme in action, displaying only the coarser emotions and less refined sentiments; Careless in deliberation, hasty in judgement, incapable of any but the simplest and imperfect forms of reasoning ; easily swayed & led, lacking in self- consciousness, devoid of self -respect and responsibility” While reading the book, I kept thinking of the (Muslim Brotherhood) as a perfect example of these characters. While Freud’s examples were (the church and the army). He revealed clearly all the possible similarities between the previous theories and them. And may you would realize that it is easy to prove how much the individual forming part of a group differs from the isolated individual , but it is less easy to discover the causes of this difference. But because Freud is deeply believed in the notion that “ The greater part of our daily actions are the result of hidden motives which escape our observation” . And because he always tends to interpret the actions of human beings through their (sexual desires), you would find he exhausted himself along complete three chapters, trying to convince you that the more the isolated man is sexually satisfied, the less he would be involved in such group and the less his tendency to be led by others & the vice versa. After he repeated in many different ways that the men with restrained sexual instincts are in continuous need for a role model to identify their masculinity through him, and after explaining it in both the church & the army, he may compel you to think that in order to end the awful circumstances in this country, we have to arrange for (sex parties)!! Anyway, as this book failed to give a sufficient treatment for those psychologically diseased groups, at least it made me- psychologically as well- more understanding & compassionate to the mentality of their individuals.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Santiago Soria

    While I enjoyed reading this book due to all the detailed explanations of how humans behave In groups , j would have preferred that Freud toned down a bit his usual “humans are driven by their sexual desires”. But generally speaking, this book is very helpful to understand how behavior changes when people merge together into an individual mentality free of any sort of prejudice among its members, Freud also cites various authors to give us different approaches to the masses (Gustave le bon, most While I enjoyed reading this book due to all the detailed explanations of how humans behave In groups , j would have preferred that Freud toned down a bit his usual “humans are driven by their sexual desires”. But generally speaking, this book is very helpful to understand how behavior changes when people merge together into an individual mentality free of any sort of prejudice among its members, Freud also cites various authors to give us different approaches to the masses (Gustave le bon, most noticeably) ... if you’re getting started into psychoanalysis you’ll really enjoy this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Preston

    Most if not everyone has at least a vague idea who Sigmund Freud is. He is a brilliant and sometimes over-analytic researcher of the human mind. His thoughts, theories, and ideas of the ego, superego, and the id are still cornerstones of modern psychology. This book (understandably) is mostly a collection of his ideas and that of various studies of the time. If you were looking forward to a fantasy-adventure or a hilarious page-turner you will be sadly disappointed. Though if you are going into Most if not everyone has at least a vague idea who Sigmund Freud is. He is a brilliant and sometimes over-analytic researcher of the human mind. His thoughts, theories, and ideas of the ego, superego, and the id are still cornerstones of modern psychology. This book (understandably) is mostly a collection of his ideas and that of various studies of the time. If you were looking forward to a fantasy-adventure or a hilarious page-turner you will be sadly disappointed. Though if you are going into a book by Freud with those expectations...there is probably something "off" about you. The reason i bring this up is because this book doesn't need dragon fighting or comedic jokes to be interesting and stimulating. Its deep and sophisticated theories of the human condition are entertaining by themselves. Now then for the negatives and reasons for its 3-star rating. It can at times be a very tough read. The language is dry and complicated. Quite a bit i had to re-read certain parts to try to retain what i just read. Sometimes i would just chug through knowing i just wouldn't have a chance to fully grasp the concepts and principles. Though once again this is going to happen when you are reading something by Freud. It was created to be academic and textbook-like. One of my favorite quotes kind explains exactly why this book can be so hard to follow and understand. “If our brains were simple enough for us to understand them, we'd be so simple that we couldn't.”-Ian Stewart. However this shouldn't deter you from reading and learning more about what makes you..."you."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Ele

    I tried getting into this book, I really did. I thought it was going to help me see the idiocy of crowds in a more enlightening way. All it did was confirm what I already knew. That people in crowds are a lot less rational. Of course there's a whole bunch of sexual stuff having to do with Oedipus and wanting to kill your father and have sex with your mother, weird, ancient greek myth type stuff, and all that, but why don't I just spare you the pain. Freud believed most if not every psychological I tried getting into this book, I really did. I thought it was going to help me see the idiocy of crowds in a more enlightening way. All it did was confirm what I already knew. That people in crowds are a lot less rational. Of course there's a whole bunch of sexual stuff having to do with Oedipus and wanting to kill your father and have sex with your mother, weird, ancient greek myth type stuff, and all that, but why don't I just spare you the pain. Freud believed most if not every psychological problem stemmed from repressed sexuality. Uhh, okay Freud, that would be fine if Ernest Becker hadn't come out of your camp and proved much more eloquently in "The Denial of Death" that it is not repressed sexuality which gives rise to all of our psychological problems, but rather the denial of death, as the title of that book implies. Anyways, lovers of Freud are going to hate me for this review, but who cares they'll probably just chalk it up to me not being able to have sex with my mother.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    An excellent synthesis of the ideas that Freud had about social psychology. "MOses and Monotheism", "Totem and Taboo", "Civilization and Its Discontents" are all recapped and metabolized in this book. Plus, it's charmingly literary (with fantastic footnotes!*). * Here's one, where Freud rewrites schopenhauer: "A company of porcupines crowded themselves very close together one cold winter’s day so as to profit by one another’s warmth and so save themselves from being frozen to death. But soon they An excellent synthesis of the ideas that Freud had about social psychology. "MOses and Monotheism", "Totem and Taboo", "Civilization and Its Discontents" are all recapped and metabolized in this book. Plus, it's charmingly literary (with fantastic footnotes!*). * Here's one, where Freud rewrites schopenhauer: "A company of porcupines crowded themselves very close together one cold winter’s day so as to profit by one another’s warmth and so save themselves from being frozen to death. But soon they felt one another’s quills, which induced them to separate again. And now, when the need for warmth brought them nearer together again, the second evil arose once more. So that they were driven backwards and forwards from one trouble to the other, until they had discovered a mean distance at which they could most tolerably exist”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Cheng

    From the very first individual psychology... is at the same time social psychology as well. Like many other Marxists, my interests in psychoanalysis stem from the sociological implications of the unconscious. For this reason, this book, given its focus on the group, has been on my to-read list for quite a while. However, I was sorely disappointed because of my wrongly made assumptions. Unlike Civilization and its Discontents where Freud’s claims are undoubtedly directly sociological, this text is From the very first individual psychology... is at the same time social psychology as well. Like many other Marxists, my interests in psychoanalysis stem from the sociological implications of the unconscious. For this reason, this book, given its focus on the group, has been on my to-read list for quite a while. However, I was sorely disappointed because of my wrongly made assumptions. Unlike Civilization and its Discontents where Freud’s claims are undoubtedly directly sociological, this text is, as the title says, a group psychology. In other words, it does not conceive of the group as a united whole that has to be analyzed as having a unitary unconscious, but rather looks into the inner psychologies of the individual when she becomes a member of a group. From this, he investigates the composition of groups as a collection of the libidinal drives of the group’s members - more specifically, the way in which they are directed toward each other and toward the leader of the group, the libidinal Urvater that acts as their guiding Ego-Ideal. This fine but crucial distinction is part of the reason that this text is not a particularly major work in Freud’s larger oeuvre. Aside from the fact that the text is already very brief, a significant portion of the text is made up of glosses of two other psychologists, Le Bon and McDougall. The vast majority of the rest of the text is taken up by a summary of the now much more developed system of psychoanalysis that had been reached by 1921. Because so much of this work is a summary of other works, the room for original material is rather limited. But despite the fact that so much of this book is citations of other texts, this does not mean that these citations are unfruitful. The most interesting of these citations here is undoubtedly Totem and Taboo. Freud enters his discussion of this text when he wants to unveil the of the “Suggestion,” the command of the leader that directs the group and the grounding fact (Grundtatsache) of human mental life (menschliches Seelenleben). This etiology leads Freud to the anthropology of Totem and Taboo. In that text, Freud explains how the original father (der Urvater) initially restrained the sexual desires of his sons and through this restraint, created a community and group psychology in which the sons developed ties (Gefühlsbindungen) with each other and the Urvater. When the Urvater died, a new son had to take this place. It is at this anthropological moment that Freud comes to the conclusion that every mass wants a leader, i.e. an Urvater to act as a dominating authority and an ideal for the mass (Massenideal). All this being said, this text is fundamentally an application of psychoanalysis’ insights to gain an understanding of group psychology. While this application is undoubtedly a contribution to the greater psychoanalytic project, it is certainly not ground-breaking and should probably be relatively low on one’s Freud to-read list.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sam Klemens

    Cared very little for this. An obvious significant problem is that I just didn't understand a good bit of stuff. I am perhaps more versed in psychology than the average guy on the street but plenty of this was straight whoosh, over my head. Next was the stuff I did understand but a good chunk of this I already knew! However, here's where it gets interesting. Perhaps... It is that these facts are part of our common knowledge *because* of Freud and when he proposed this stuff it was bleeding edge. Cared very little for this. An obvious significant problem is that I just didn't understand a good bit of stuff. I am perhaps more versed in psychology than the average guy on the street but plenty of this was straight whoosh, over my head. Next was the stuff I did understand but a good chunk of this I already knew! However, here's where it gets interesting. Perhaps... It is that these facts are part of our common knowledge *because* of Freud and when he proposed this stuff it was bleeding edge. That could be possible, I don't know, I don't care enough to try and find out. Then there were one or two interesting insights that I wasn't familiar with. Overall though I found this book to be difficult to read, dated and not at all worth the time I put into it. I finished it because it seems like a person who reads a lot ought to take in at least one book by Freud but having done that I don't know that I would ever go back to him. I've also read one book by Jung and that I found insightful, comprehensible and extremely enjoyable. In the battle of the Austrians vs. Swiss I know which camp I favor.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kirk Johnson

    Freud's early style has lost its usual magic in this book especially, and what came across as quaintly charming balderdash in Totem and Taboo seems tiresomely absurd here. Perhaps what particularly helped Totem and Taboo along were the copious passages from Frazier's The Golden Bough, whereas this book uses up its scintillating quotes (from Le Bon's The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind), in the second chapter, leaving Freud to carry on for the rest of the book in dessicated fashion, meandering Freud's early style has lost its usual magic in this book especially, and what came across as quaintly charming balderdash in Totem and Taboo seems tiresomely absurd here. Perhaps what particularly helped Totem and Taboo along were the copious passages from Frazier's The Golden Bough, whereas this book uses up its scintillating quotes (from Le Bon's The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind), in the second chapter, leaving Freud to carry on for the rest of the book in dessicated fashion, meandering through his used toolbox of metapsychology. I had the painful sense that at this point he had really drawn himself into a box, and I found much of his variations on a theme on this occasion, even when interesting, stale.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Varad

    Freud offers some interesting observations about group psychology and a decent summary of the research up to his time, but undermines it by trying to explain it all according to his theory of the libido, which at times seems like a decent explanation, but at others gives way to hammer-and-nail syndrome (when all you have is a hammer . . .). It was a mistake by the editors to render "foule" as "group" in their translations of passages of Gustave Le Bon when "crowd" is more accurate. Indeed, it's Freud offers some interesting observations about group psychology and a decent summary of the research up to his time, but undermines it by trying to explain it all according to his theory of the libido, which at times seems like a decent explanation, but at others gives way to hammer-and-nail syndrome (when all you have is a hammer . . .). It was a mistake by the editors to render "foule" as "group" in their translations of passages of Gustave Le Bon when "crowd" is more accurate. Indeed, it's rather misleading. Tuesday 1/15/19

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mario Marset

    It is a phenomenal little book. Freud provides deep insight into the different depths of group psychology and the experience of the individual and their ego. This is a brief read ideally read in one sitting and Freud's writing is very clear; used precise language, it was smooth to follow along with the chapters and the content, at the same time, was developed deeply. No prior reading in psychology is necessary to understand this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Did he get it all right? No, but his ideas are pioneering and radical in his time. Sometimes dead on; sometimes the seeds of further warranted discourse that ultimately drive thought forward. Freud has no qualms tackling the most taboo topics, all of which have relevance to human behavior.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Onur B

    It was very interesting, Freud shows us mass psychology very well with all constituent parts such as ego and ideal ego, suggestion and libido, love and identification and also mob mentalty. For sure a bit dense but any how highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    A selection.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Swaroop Johnson

    A very detailed unwrapping of the 'crowd' and how to organize a mass. Academic in the literary sense, but well worth a read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ya'rob

    Typical Freud, partially right, partially wrong. A book Full of enthusiasm, Sharp and smart analytic power, too much about libido and Oedipus.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Schuschu

    Freud’s point here was that Nietzsche’s thoughts on the herd are what they are because of sex; even at the earliest stages of life. An Anti- Anti- Oedipus before its time.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gian Paolo

    An exeptional analysis of the Human's way to relating with others people

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Freud is an idiot.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gian Treinen

    I think it is an awesome book with a lot of knowledge, but for me right now. Gonna read it in 2-3years again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Can E.

    Everyone should read Gustave Le Bon's The Crowd: A study of the popular mind first because it criticizes that book in the first place.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maica

    This was a rather brief treatise of Freud on the psychology of groups, particularly crowds in organized groups. He gave the two examples of what he termed artificial groups: the Church and the Army, and their need for subjugation of a leader. Even though the text was very short compared to his other books, he discussed insightful ideas on: Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind, Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life, Suggestion and Libido, Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army, Furth This was a rather brief treatise of Freud on the psychology of groups, particularly crowds in organized groups. He gave the two examples of what he termed artificial groups: the Church and the Army, and their need for subjugation of a leader. Even though the text was very short compared to his other books, he discussed insightful ideas on: Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind, Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life, Suggestion and Libido, Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army, Further Problems and Lines of Work, Identification, Being in Love and Hypnosis, the Herd Instinct, the Group and the Primal Horde, and a Differentiating Grade in the Ego. Anybody familiar with Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky will find Freud's ideas resonating with them: especially when he discusses his hypothesis on the Primal Horde, and the irrationality of group-think. However some of his ideas are still very limited, and colored by his personal opinions. As a whole this text is recommended as introduction to his group psychoanalytic theory and for those who wish to understand in depth psychology, the behavior of groups and the psychology of suggestion. Here are some quotes that I liked from the treatise: As regards intellectual work it remains a fact, indeed, that great decisions in the realm of thought and momentous discoveries and solutions of problems are only possible to an individual, working in solitude. A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will. - Gustave Le Bon

  28. 5 out of 5

    John H.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Psychology

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mahmoud Haggui

    unconsciously, while reading I remind something from Gustave Le Bon "psychologie des foules". Le Bon’s and the Group Mind• “Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a group puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel unconsciously, while reading I remind something from Gustave Le Bon "psychologie des foules". Le Bon’s and the Group Mind• “Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a group puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think, and act were he in a state of isolation” (Le Bon, 1895).• “The psychological group is a provisional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are combined, exactly as the cells which constitute a living body form by their reunion a new being which displays characteristics very different from those possessed by each of the cells singly” (Le Bon, 1895). Le Bon, G. (1895 ) Psychologie des foules, rarely and under certain exceptional conditions is individual psychology in a position to disregard the relations of the individual to others. In the individual’s mental life someone else is invariably involved …individual psychology is at the same time social psychology" it's the quotation that paved the way beyond Freud's basic theory of man’s instincts towards an appreciation of the importance of social relationships. on the other hand, concerning Group Psychology• “…is therefore concerned with the individual man as a member of a race, of a nation, of a caste, of a profession, of an institution, or as a component part of a crowd of people who have been organized into a group at some particular time for some definite purpose” (p.4).• “…the social instinct may not be a primitive one and insusceptible of dissection, and that it may be possible to discover the beginnings of its development in a narrower circle, such as that of the family” (p.5). All quotes are from (Freud, S. (1959) Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Whether you want to or not, you probably already know some Freud, which is good, because here he uses some of his classic depth psychology (that you already know from Woody Allen films) to explain group dynamics (because his depth model has always been connected with a social structure -- the family). Surprise, surprise, it's about libidinal energy that has been inhibited from finding sexual completion. That's at least part of it; the other part of it is about how individuals in groups may repla Whether you want to or not, you probably already know some Freud, which is good, because here he uses some of his classic depth psychology (that you already know from Woody Allen films) to explain group dynamics (because his depth model has always been connected with a social structure -- the family). Surprise, surprise, it's about libidinal energy that has been inhibited from finding sexual completion. That's at least part of it; the other part of it is about how individuals in groups may replace their ego-ideal (which is the term he uses in 1921 for what would become his theory of the super-ego in 1923) with the object of their ideal leader -- and because they now share the same ego-ideal, members of the group are able to identify with each other on the level of ego. This way, Freud brilliantly splits what had been often thought of together (as in Le Bon), the identification-suggestion (the effect the leader has on the led) from the contagion (the effect the led have on each other). He also has some great critical thinking (on topics distinct from group psychology, such as how distorted libidos can result in virgin/whore complexes), but I think he leaves some questions unanswered, primarily this one: if his model of the group (which is foundational) includes even groups of two (the couple in love, the hypnotic pair), then why do we sometimes oppose the feelings of others (27)? When going along with the group becomes the natural thing to do (as opposed to Le Bon, where group dynamics were, among other things, the unnatural end of civilization), why do we sometimes not go along with the group?

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.