In psychiatry, a group or system of related ideas which have a strong common emotional tone. The term was introduced by Jung but is also found in Freud, Adler, and others.Complexes operate largely if not wholly on an unconscious level; at least the “nuclear component” that brings the ideas together has been repressed. They have a significant effect on our attitudes and behavior, and are believed. to be at the core of many of our fundamental drives and conflicts. The most important of these complexes in modern psychiatry are the castration complex, the inferiority complex, and the Oedipus complex. Other complexes are occasionally found in psychiatric literature: the obscenity-purity complex (the “Puritan complex”), the power complex (in Jung), and in psychoanalytic theory, the small-penis complex (a variety of castration complex), the grandfather complex (the desire of small children to become their parents’ parents), and the femininity complex (the small boy’s dread of becoming female through castration). See CASTRATION COMPLEX, INFERIORITY COMPLEX, OEDIPUS COMPLEX, WORD ASSOCIATION TEST.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "COMPLEX," in, November 28, 2018, (accessed September 30, 2022).


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