Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To turn on (or off) thumbnails in the list of videos….

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To visualize a snapshot of a Video in PEP Web, simply turn on the Preview feature located above the results list of the Videos Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Wälder, R. (1936). The Principle of Multiple Function: Observations on Over-Determination. Psychoanal Q., 5:45-62.

(1936). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 5:45-62

The Principle of Multiple Function: Observations on Over-Determination

Robert Wälder

The immediate occasion for the observations which follow is the new framing of the theory of anxiety which Freud has given in his book, Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety. Formerly it was assumed that anxiety originated in the id as a direct result of excessive, unrelieved tension and that during this process the ego was somehow overtaken as a defenseless victim. This Freud now modifies by stating that in a situation of danger, that is, in a threat of oncoming excessive, unrelieved tension, the ego may anticipate the latter in the form of anxiety, and that this anticipation then becomes the immediate signal which tends to induce the organism to adjust itself so as to avoid the danger—for example, flight, or any other appropriate protective measure—and thereby anxiety fulfils a biological function. This conception was naturally not intended to upset or displace the older theory, nor did Freud intend to say that anxiety could be caused first in this and then in that manner. The conception is, rather, that both manifestations—anxiety overpowering the ego and anxiety as a signal through the ego serving a biological function—constitute two sides of one phenomenon. In other words, Freud describes the phenomenon both from the angle of the id and from that of the ego. This two-sided consideration gives rise to the presumption that the same method might be adopted and fundamentally applied to all psychic phenomena, and that a double or generally speaking multiple conception of each psychic action would not only be admissible but altogether necessary in the light of psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis includes in the id everything by which man appears to be impelled to function, all the inner tendencies which influence him, each vis a tergo.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.