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Essay: Transaction analysis, ego state and strokes

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  • Subject area(s): Psychology essays
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  • Published: 27 September 2015*
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  • Words: 554 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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Transaction analysis is a theory for analyzing human behavior and communication. It seeks to explain or find out how we (human beings) developed into who we become by understanding everything around us. Transactional analysis was developed by Eric Berne for psychotherapy in the 1950s. The objective of TA is to Provide Better understanding of how people relates to One Another, so That They May Develop Improved communication and human relationship. (Businessballs.com. 2014. transactional analysis, eric berne)

Transaction analysis leads us to evaluation of attitudes at work, home, school or anywhere so we can understand and decides on what to do. It is important particularly in an organization where individual interaction, grouping, and motivation as a driving force for efficiency are highly needed.


Ego states are a consistent pattern of thinking, feelings, and experiences and manifest their personality through a mixture of behaviours. Typically, according to TA, there are different degrees from three ego-states that people which are: Parent, Adult and Children. These relations are capitalized so as not to be confused with their lower-cased counterparts. Thus, a parent (mother or father) has parent, adult and child ego states; and a child (son or daughter) also has parent, adult and child ego states. (Dave Spenceley, 2014 online available http://www.ta-psychotherapy.co.uk)

Parent: a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents (or other parental figures) acted, or how they interpreted their parent’s actions. For example, a person may shout at someone out of frustration because they learned from an influential figure in childhood the lesson that this seemed to be a way of relating that worked.

Adult: a state of the ego which is most like a computer processing information and making predictions absent of major emotions that could affect its operation. Learning to strengthen the Adult is a goal of TA. While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.

Child: a state in which people behave, feel and think similarly to how they did in childhood. For example, a person who receives a poor evaluation at work may respond by looking at the floor, and crying or pouting, as they used to when scolded as a child. Conversely, a person who receives a good evaluation may respond with a broad smile and a joyful gesture of thanks. The Child is the source of emotions, creation, recreation, spontaneity and intimacy.


According to the (Berne) define stroke is a unit of recognition, attention or responsiveness that one person gives another. The strategic idea is that people crave recognition, and in the absence of positive traits, seek any kind they can, even if it is the recognition of a negative type. We test children as strategies and behaviors seem to caress us, of any kind we can get.

The economy of stroke

A harmful aspect of the Critical Parent is that it has a set of rules governing the giving and receiving of blows (Do not give, ask, accept or give you strokes). The effect of these rules, called running economy is that people are prevented from freely caress each other and take care of their needs in terms of time.


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