The individual psychology of Alfred Adler illustrates the significance of social variables in personality development and the uniqueness of the individual. Adler proposed that an individual seeks to compensate for inborn feelings of inferiority by striving for superiority. It is lifestyle that helps a person achieve future goals, ideals, and superiority. Adler extended this theme of perfection to society by using the concept of social interest to depict the human tendency to create a productive society. He maintained that early childhood experiences play a crucial role in the development of a person's unique lifestyle. An individual lacking in social interest develops a mistaken lifestyle (for example, an inferiority complex). Physical inferiority, as well as spoiling or pampering and neglecting children, contributes to the development of faulty lifestyles. Adler examined dreams, birth order, and first memories to trace the origins of lifestyle and goals. These data were used in psychotherapy to help the patient create a new lifestyle oriented toward social interest.
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