ambivalence

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ambivalence

(ămbĭv`ələns), coexistence of two opposing drives, desires, feelings, or emotions toward the same person, object, or goal. The ambivalent person may be unaware of either of the opposing wishes. The term was coined in 1911 by Eugen BleulerBleuler, Eugen
, 1857–1939, Swiss psychiatrist. He taught (1898–1927) at the Univ. of Zürich, serving concurrently as director of Zürich's Burghölzi Asylum.
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, to designate one of the major symptoms of schizophreniaschizophrenia
, group of severe mental disorders characterized by reality distortions resulting in unusual thought patterns and behaviors. Because there is often little or no logical relationship between the thoughts and feelings of a person with schizophrenia, the disorder has
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, the others being autismautism
, developmental disability resulting from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. It is characterized by the abnormal development of communication skills, social skills, and reasoning. Males are affected four times as often as females.
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 and disturbances of affect (i.e., emotion) and of association (i.e., thought disorders). Bleuler felt that there were normal instances of ambivalence, such as the feeling, after performing an action, that it would have been better to have done the opposite; but the normal person, unlike the schizophrenic, is not prevented by these opposing impulses from deciding and acting. In Freudian psychoanalysis, ambivalence was described as feelings of love and hate toward the same person. This specific meaning has attained common usage by psychiatrists and psychoanalysts.

ambivalence

[am′bi·və·ləns]
(psychology)
The coexistence of contradictory emotions, attitudes, ideas, or desires with respect to a particular person, object, or situation.
References in periodicals archive ?
But it was not so clear a constant through the careers of other left-wing thinkers of his era: Thorough evidence of totalitarian excesses was required before various of Ellison's contemporaries caught up to him, and helped to create a cultural milieu in which "ambivalence"--as Ellison deploys the concept in his novel--could be so pregnant with significance.
There is no ambivalence in its attitude toward Clifton: He was a traitor, and deserved condemnation.
Au contraire, explains our hero, in his wise ambivalence: "You go along for years knowing something is wrong....at first you tell yourself that it's due to the 'political situation.' But deep down you come to suspect that you're yourself to blame..." (575).
In the same era, the ambivalence and resistance of German social arbiters towards the Sexual Revolution and the women's movement is expressed in the statement that it is unavoidable that men and women work together in the same room, often right next to each other.
As these more egalitarian rules take time to 'sink in', this shift in the traditional division of labour between husbands and wives has intensified the tug-of-war between old and new ideals (and power resources), and the related feelings of ambivalence in both men and women.