Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Psychodynamic Foundations

  • Tommie Forslund
  • Pehr Granqvist
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1972-1


Westen (1998) has defined psychodynamic theories with five postulates: (1) much of mental life is unconscious; (2) mental processes operate in parallel so that people can have conflicting feelings that motivate them in opposing ways; (3) stable personality patterns begin to form in childhood, and childhood experiences play an important role in the developing personality, particularly in shaping social relationships; (4) mental representations of the self, others, and relationships guide people’s interactions with others and influence psychological symptomatology; and (5) personality development involves learning to regulate sexual and aggressive feelings but also the move from an immature, socially dependent state to a mature, interdependent one. According to this definition, attachment theory is a psychodynamic theory. However, Bowlby explicitly demarcated his attachment theory from the drive principles.


John Bowlby, a psychoanalyst and child psychiatrist, was...


Object Relation Attachment Theory Psychoanalytic Theory Infant Survival Attachment Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden