Re: CHAT: Psychosexual development theory and sloppy, sloppy usage

Subject: Re: CHAT: Psychosexual development theory and sloppy, sloppy usage
From: "F. Blaine Dickson" <bdickson -at- AWINC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 10:11:38 -0800

>> Hopefully I'm among friends here, so I'm baring my soul:
>> >> I've followed in the footsteps of a lot of anal-retentive,
>> annoying tech writers; and I've probably been the anal-retentive,
>> annoying tech writer that others have had to follow, too. <<
>> I keep seeing the term anal-retentive. What does it mean? Constipated?
>> Somehow this just evades my keen problem-solving ability.
>As well it should. It's a sort of cheap interpretation of the stage
>of development, according to Freud (I think) when children are very
>rule-based and at the same time are being potty trained, and
>consequently preoccupied with...well...poop.* According to common
>perception of the theory, a trauma to the child as a result of
>potty-training will arrest their development so they retain this
>rule-based world view. I've heard that this is sort of a layman's
>misperception, but don't really know what real anal retentiveness is.

Simply, it means stubborness. Some adults have characteristics of children
who have been fixated at this stage in development, the anal stage.
According to Freud, this occurs because the parents of the child have not
allowed sufficient time for the child to experience pleasure derived from
bowel movements or "anal exploration." The parents may have pushed the
child too quickly into toilet training. As a result, the adult now has
become fixated at this stage, expending energy to explore what was not
explored as a child. The fixation does not mean that the adult is now
trying to get pleasure from bowel movements; it simply means that the adult
displays this behaviour as obstinence as in a reluctance to move out of the
anal stage before the stage is fulfilled.

This stage of development can also show signs of excessive orderliness
(from being forced in toilet training) or just the opposite such as extreme
untidiness (rebellion against the parent's wishes).

I knew my psych degree would come in handy some day. And you wonder why I
want to begin a career as a tech writer ;-)

F. Blaine Dickson, B.A.
Teaching Professional
Pro 3 Golf Instruction
Kelowna BC Canada

"Five years ago corporate software giant Microsoft spent
millions of dollars and put a team of hundreds of highly specialized
programmers on an extensive and highly ambitious project to find another
name for the Apple Menu - Windows 95" - Tim Scoff


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