Social Psychological Models

Karen Horney

Type of psychology: Personality

Fields of study: Personality theory; psychodynamic and neoanalytic models; psychodynamic therapies

Horney's social psychoanalytic theory focuses on how human relationships and cultural conditions influence personality formation. The theory describes how basic anxiety, resulting from childhood experiences, contributes to the development of three neurotic, compulsive, rigid personality styles: moving toward others, moving away from others, and moving against others. Normal personality is characterized by flexibility and balance among interpersonal styles.

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