Freud and the Psychodynamic Perspective

Critical Thinking Questions

How might the common expression “daddy’s girl” be rooted in the idea of the Electra complex?


Since the idea behind the Electra complex is that the daughter competes with her same-sex parent for the attention of her opposite-sex parent, the term “daddy’s girl” might suggest that the daughter has an overly close relationship with her father and a more distant—or even antagonistic—relationship with her mother.

Describe the personality of someone who is fixated at the anal stage.


If parents are too harsh during potty training, a person could become fixated at this stage and would be called anal retentive. The anal-retentive personality is stingy, stubborn, has a compulsive need for order and neatness, and might be considered a perfectionist. On the other hand, some parents may be too soft when it comes to potty training. In this case, Freud said that children could also become fixated and display an anal-expulsive personality. As an adult, an anal-expulsive personality is messy, careless, disorganized, and prone to emotional outbursts.