Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Psychodynamic Perspective

  • Simon BoagEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1415-1



The psychodynamic perspective encompasses a number of theories that explain both normal and pathological personality development in terms of the dynamics of the mind. Such dynamics include motivational factors, affects, unconscious mental processes, conflict, and defense mechanisms. Psychodynamic theories also typically emphasize the importance of childhood experiences and object relations for understanding personality development. While most commonly associated with Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, the psychodynamic perspective also extends to several post-Freudian schools including object relations theory and neuropsychoanalysis.


The term psychodynamicitself generally refers to both the mind’s mental “forces” and the psychological conflict that can arise between them. Such forces include drives and impulses, wishes, affects, as well as various mental agencies. Psychological conflict may arise due to anxiety...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Virgil Zeigler-Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA