19 May 2019

19th May 1929 - Dr Alfred Adler Interview

On the 19th May 1929 an article about Dr Alfred Adler, the Austrian Psychiatrist, appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

It goes on to say how people in 1929 were increasingly knowledgeable about psychology. "The individual who formerly suffered from "nerves" or was "not all there" has now become psychothenic, neurathenic, psychopathic, manic_depressive and dozens of other names."

It says that with all these new names and ideas that the psychologists and psychiatrists are becoming the great men of that time. "Towering above the whole brood of petty, mediocre, and even great psychologists is Dr Alfred Adler... who discovered the inferiority complex."

There follows an interview with the great man himself. He compares peaceful life in Austria with the more frenetic life of New York citizens, and suggests it would do all of them good to spend two months a year in peaceful Austria.

He goes on to explain that an inferiority complex can be something that motivates people. It affects the bossy, overbearing person as much as the shy, timid person. The former are overcompensating.

He says that striving to overcome a perceived inferiority can also turn out great artists and scientists who put all their energy into compensating for their perceived failure. But on the whole Adler sees the feeling of inferiority as harmful, as it is usually anti-social. So he tries to affect cures particularly in children.

Thanks to David Webb's book On this Day in Psychology for pointing out the date. Detail of the interview can be found at newspapers.com.

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