The significance of Alfred Adler for the concept of narcissism

Am J Psychiatry. 1985 Feb;142(2):203-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.142.2.203.


Alfred Adler's significance for the concept of narcissism is presented with reference to four aspects: 1) Adler's theory of masculine protest was evidently a factor influencing Freud to turn toward the phenomenon of narcissism. 2) Present-day understanding of narcissism shows remarkable similarity to Adler's views on psychodynamics and neurotic egocentricity. 3) Some contemporary criticisms of Freud's theory of narcissism are very similar to Adler's criticism. 4) Adler's theory of social interest permits subsumption of narcissism under lack of social interest rather than acceptance of it as an expression of innate socially negative tendencies.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Ego
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Libido
  • Male
  • Narcissism*
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatry / history
  • Psychoanalysis / history
  • Psychological Theory
  • Repression, Psychology

Personal name as subject

  • A Adler