Analysis of Jung’s Analytical Theory
Analyzing Jung’s Analytical Theory
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The personality of an individual can be likened to an iceberg. There is the exposed tip that psychologists have considered as the conscious part of the individual, and the unconscious which, during the time of Carl Jung, was considered to be something that is considered to be of secondary importance in the study of the human personality to the men who were considered to be the contemporaries of psychology. Initially, Jung followed the teachings of Freud but found loopholes within his theory of personality. This paper will present an analytical analysis on the overall purpose behind an individual’s personality as well as the concepts that all individuals’ personalities possess and the role of society in the development of the personality of an individual based on Jung’s theory. It will also explain how despite the similar concepts that each individual’s personality possess, the personality of two individuals can be unique from each other.
Purpose of Jung’s Analytical Theory
Unlike his predecessors, Jung concentrated his work on the unconscious of the individual. In fact, he considered the unconscious as the most important section of the personality of an individual. This is because it is within the unconscious that the individual’s self is achieved (Hall, Lindzey & Campbell 1997).
Jung stated the purpose on an individual’s personality is to attain an understanding and comprehension of one self. He views the self as life’s goal. It motivates the behavior of the individual and it is the reason for the individual’s search for wholeness. One example of this is the concept of religion and religious figures. Religious experiences allow the individual with conjure images with regards to religious figures such as Christ for Catholics and Christians or Buddha for Hindu within the modern world (Hall, Lindzey & Campbell 1997).
Elements of Jung’s Analytical Theory
The personality is composed of three interacting systems. The first is the ego. The ego is the conscious part of an individual’s personality. It contains the individual’s conscious perceptions, memories and thoughts. It is responsible also for the individual’s sense of identity and continuity. The second section is the personal unconscious. This refers to the experiences that were previously part of the conscious but became part of the unconscious through the individual’s actions of repression and suppression. The personal unconscious is similar to Freud’s preconscious material which Freud considered to be experiences and emotions that are located in the unconscious but may be brought back to the ego or conscious of the individual. The final system is the universal or collective unconscious. This, according to Jung, is the most powerful system among the three because it is the area where concealed traces of memories and experiences that were past down by one generation to the next. This includes memories passed down to the individual by the individual’s race and human beings as a specie altogether (Hall, Lindzey & Campbell 1997).
Role of Society in Jung’s Analytical Theory
As mentioned earlier, the collective unconscious of an individual contains memories and experiences that Jung believes to be passed on from generation to generation. This being said, it can be concluded that the role of society in Jung’s Analytical Theory is that it fills the collective unconscious of the individual of experiences and beliefs of those who came before him or her, including his or her parents (Hall, Lindzey & Campbell 1997). This could explain as to why all humans, regardless of age, gender or race experience the same feelings and emotions such as love, anger, sadness, hunger, grief, happiness and so much more. Society influences the individual prior to his or her ability to become conscious about his or her actions and able to express his or her feelings correctly. This is why babies cry when they feel a sense of discomfort as well as giggle and laugh when they are happy and enjoying certain things.
Differences in Personality
Just as the influence of society is seen in the collective unconscious, so are the differences in the personality between two individuals. The collective unconscious is composed of various elements. One of which is called the archetype. This is considered as a universal though which contains a large portion of emotions that results from experiences of an individual’s race with the environment and among each other. Among these emotions are the characteristics of both male and females. Jung referred to the female’s archetype as the anima while the male archetype was referred to as the animus. These archetypes are also conditioned by the sexual hormones, chromosomes and glands. As a result, these archetypes allow individuals to respond and understand how they are supposed to. This is why males and females think, speak and react differently from each other. This also explains why homosexuality occurs. Jung referred this resulting to the confusion on the understanding of the archetypes (Hall, Lindzey & Campbell 1997).
While previous theories have concentrated on the study of the conscious, Jung’s theory, which concentrates on the unconscious, gave readers and other members of the psychology community possible explanations with regards to innate reflexes, experiences, emotions and the like. It also explained that society’s influence on an individual’s personality is so immense that it allow various memories, emotions and experiences to be past on from generation to generation. Furthermore, Jung’s theory gives a possible explanation as to why homosexuality is present in today’s society as a result of a confusion on the understanding on the role an individual should partake in society.
Hall, C - Analysis of Jung’s Analytical Theory introduction. S., Lindzey, G. & Campbell, J. B. (1997). Theories of personality, 4th ed. New
Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.