Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see the German word that Freud used to refer to a concept…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to know the exact German word that Freud used to refer to a psychoanalytic concept? Move your mouse over a paragraph while reading The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and a window will emerge displaying the text in its original German version.

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

Meissner, W.W., S.J. (1970). Notes on Identification I. Origins in Freud. Psychoanal Q., 39:563-589.

(1970). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 39:563-589

Notes on Identification I. Origins in Freud

W. W. Meissner, S.J.


This survey of the evolution of Freud's notions of identification reveals the following types of identification which received varying degrees of emphasis throughout their development.

1. Dream identification: a form of condensation in dreaming by which the subject's ego represents itself as other figures in the dream's manifest content.

2. Hysterical identification: the assimilation of a property or symptom of an object by the subject as an expression of a resemblance derived from a common element which remains unconscious. The assimilation is functional and symptomatic and has no relation to structuralization.

3. Primary identification: the original and primitive form of emotional attachment to an object prior to any object relations. The model for this relation is the incorporation of the oral phase of libidinal development.

4. Narcissistic (secondary) identification: the form of identification following abandonment or loss of an object which regressively replaces the abandoned object relation by introjection of the object. Oral incorporation is again appealed to

as a model but in a different sense, as dictated by the precedence of an object cathexis. Introjection implies that something is taken in from the object. This has primary application to superego formation but is also extended to ego formation. The explicit intention of this form of identification is structural.

5. Partial (secondary) identification: a form of identification based on the perception of a common quality which does not depend on an object relation. The mechanism does not involve introjection and pertains to the development of structure within the ego. It is an important mechanism in character formation and in group formation.

The clarification of these mechanisms and their theoretical and clinical implications is a continuing problem and concern which is part of the heritage Freud has left with us.

[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.