anal personality

Anal retentive

The term anal-retentive (or anally retentive, anal retentive), commonly abbreviated to "anal", is used conversationally to describe a person with such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others, and can be carried out to the detriment of the anal-retentive person. The term derives from Freudian psychoanalysis.

Origins

In the psychology of Freud, the anal stage is said to follow the oral stage of infant/early-childhood development. This is a time when an infant's attention moves from oral stimulation to anal stimulation (usually the bowels but occasionally the bladder), usually synchronous with learning to control their excretory functions, a time of toilet training. Freud theorized that children who experience conflicts during this period of time may develop "anal" personality traits, namely those associated with a child's efforts at excretory control: orderliness, stubbornness, a compulsion for control, as well as a generalized interest in collecting, possessing, and retaining objects. Those whose anal characteristics continue into later life are said to be "anal retentive", or conversely, those who reject anal characteristics are said to have "anal expulsive" personality types. Some believe this to be a mild expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Although Freud's theories on early childhood have been influential on the psychological community, research suggests that the overall pattern of parental attitudes has a much more concrete effect on how an infant will grow up. There is no conclusive research linking anal stage conflicts with anal personality types.

References

See also

Search another word or see anal personalityon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;