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Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality

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    freudian theory of sigmundFreud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality implicated the structure of the mind, namely the id, ego, and superego, and how conflicts among these constituent parts are resolved in shaping human personality. The id operates on the pleasure principle. It is regulated by both the ego, which operates on the reality principle, and the superego, which operates on the morality principle. Conflicts among these structures of the mind appear at each of Freud’s five basic stages of psychosexual development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital.

    Successful navigation of these natural, internal conflicts will lead to mastery of each developmental stage, and ultimately, to fully-mature, adult personality. TERMS psychosexual Of or relating to the psychological aspect or aspects of sexuality. neuroses Plural form of neurosis. A neurosis is mental disorder, less severe than psychosis, marked by anxiety or fear. FIGURES Image of The id, ego, and superego fig. 2 The id, ego, and superego An iceberg is one of the most famous analogies used to describe the structures of the human mind with much of function ‘under the surface’ of consciousness. Rate these SmartNotes: Full text

    Introduction to Psychoanalytic Personality Theory Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality argued that human behavior was the result of the interaction of three component parts of the mind: the id, ego, and superego. His structural theory placed great importance on the role of unconscious psychological conflicts in shaping behavior and personality. Dynamic interactions among these basic parts of the mind were thought to carry human beings through five psychosexual stages of development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. Each stage required mastery for a human to develop properly and move on to the next stage successfully.

    Freud’s ideas have since been met with criticism, mostly because of his singular focus on sexuality as the main driver of human personality development. Freud’s Structure of the Human Mind According to Freud, the human personality was structured into three separate parts: the id, ego, and superego (Figure 2). The id was the most primitive structure, functioned unconsciously, operated on the pleasure principle, and sought instant gratification. The ego was less primitive, functioned in partial consciousness, operated with reason on the reality principle, and regulated the id by satisfying urges only when appropriate.

    The superego was the most modern structure, functioned consciously, operated on the moral principle, and regulated the id based on social learning and issues of morality. Freud believed that these three basic structures were in constant conflict. The results of these internal struggles throughout childhood were thought to influence the development of adult personality and behavior. Psychosexual Stages of Development Freud worked mainly with troubled adults, and delved deeply into their childhood memories during his experiments and examinations (Figure 1).

    Based on their accounts of experiences and dreams in youth, Freud defined five basic stages of development that he believed to be crucial in the formation of adult personality. He called his idea the psychosexual theory of development, with each stage directly related to a different physical center of pleasure. At each stage, the child is presented with a conflict between biological drives and social expectations. His/her ability to resolve these internal conflicts determined future coping and functioning ability as a fully-mature adult. 1. Oral Stage (birth to 1.

    5 years of age): The oral stage’s major pleasure center is the oral cavity. A baby’s first experience with much of the physical world is through the mouth. The goal of this stage was to develop the proper amount of sucking, eating, biting, and talking, which aid in early development steps such as breast feeding and speaking. Children who did not master this stage would develop an oral fixation that might lead to drinking, smoking, and nail-biting or other mouth-based aggressive behaviors. 2. Anal Stage (1. 5-3 years of age): The anal stage’s major pleasure center is the anal cavity.

    One of the first impulses that a baby must learn to control is his/her excretion system. The goal of this stage is mastery of this system, which usually culminates in proper toilet training. Children who do not adequately master this stage or were harshly punished during the toilet training process developed an anal fixation. This might lead to anal retentive or anal expulsive personalities in which one is overly tidy, and the other overly messy. 3. Phallic Stage (3-5 years of age): The phallic stage’s major pleasure center is the main genital organ in either boys or girls.

    The child is thought to develop his/her first sexual desires which are directed at the closest known adult: the opposite sex parent. Boys develop the Oedipal complex with affection for their mothers while girls developed the Elektra complex with affection for their fathers. The goal of this stage is to master this internal conflict and move toward more appropriate sexual desires. Children who struggle here develop phallic fixations which affect their relationships with their parents adversely. 4. Latency Stage (5-12 years of age): The latency stage’s major pleasure centers are dormant sexual feelings for the opposite sex.

    Here, the child consolidates character habits developed in the previous three stages. Successful mastery in each of these stages is necessary for a mature, adult personality to develop before puberty. If the child does not learn to derive pleasure from external sources such as schooling or friendships, he/she may develop neuroses or fixations on socially unacceptable activities. 5. Genital Stage (12 years – adulthood): The genital stage’s main pleasure center is the surge of sexual hormones in the body during puberty. Adolescents must establish successful relationships with peers in order to master this stage.

    Young adults who do not transition from solitary, infantile sexuality to consensual, mature sexuality develop fixations on sex and tend to have unsuccessful relationships. Defining Personality Criticism and Neo-Freudian Appro… Rate this content: Key Term Glossary consciousness: The state of being aware; awareness to both internal and external stimuli. APPEARS IN THESE RELATED CONCEPTS: Meditation Neural Underpinnings of Consciousness Levels of Consciousness Sigmund Freud: (1856-1939) An Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis. APPEARS IN THESE RELATED CONCEPTS:

    Psychodynamic Perspective Levels of Consciousness psychosexual: Of or relating to the psychological aspect or aspects of sexuality. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality psychosexual: Of or relating to the psychological aspect or aspects of sexuality. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Freud’s Psychosexual Theory of Development personality: A set of qualities that make a person (or thing) distinct from another. APPEARS IN THESE RELATED CONCEPTS: Defining Personality Self Knowledge and an Evaluation of the Personality Perspective Accuracy of Personality Measurement

    sexuality: One’s sexual interest and attraction for others; their capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Defining Sex, Gender, and Sexuality structure: The overall form or organization of something. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Levels of Processing sexuality: The concern with, or interest in, sexual activity. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Human Sexuality neuroses: Plural form of neurosis. A neurosis is mental disorder, less severe than psychosis, marked by anxiety or fear. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality

    morality: Recognition of the distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong; respect for and obedience to the rules of right conduct; the mental disposition or characteristic of behaving in a manner intended to produce morally good results. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development morality: Recognition of the distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong; respect for and obedience to the rules of right conduct; the mental disposition or characteristic of behaving in a manner intended to produce morally good results.

    APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Moral Development in Childhood shaping: A method of positive reinforcement of behaviour patterns in operant conditioning. APPEARS IN THESE RELATED CONCEPTS: Language Development in Individuals Basic Principles of Operant Conditioning latency: The delay between a stimulus and the response it triggers in an organism. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Reinforcement Principles puberty: The age at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction APPEARS IN THESE RELATED CONCEPTS: Physical Development in Adolescence Cultural and Societal Influences on Adolescent Development

    mastery: The act or process of mastering; expertise. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Social Motivation and Maslow’s Hierarchy sex: The distinguishing property, quality, or assemblage of properties by which organisms are classified as female or male on the basis of their reproductive organs and functions. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Defining Sex, Gender, and Sexuality sex: Either of two main divisions (either female or male) into which many organisms can be placed, according to reproductive function or organs. APPEARS IN THIS RELATED CONCEPT: Male, Female, and Intersex: the Physiology of Sex

    Sources Check out our Boundless alternatives to the following textbooks: Psychology by David G. Myers Psychology by David G. Myers Psychology in Modules by David G. Myers Psychology in Action by Karen Huffman Psychology by David G. Myers Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven J Lynn, Laura L. Namy, Nancy J. Woolf Psychology by Don H. Hockenbury, Sandra E. Hockenbury Exploring Psychology by David G. Myers Psychological Science by Michael Gazzaniga, Todd Heatherton, Diane Halpern Psychology in Modules by David G. Myers Search for your psychology textbook

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    Learn More How it Works Professor Resources FAQ Learning Technology Support Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Service Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3. 0 Unported License Introducing Boundless Quiz yourself1/2 What does Freud theorize as the cause of neurosis in adults? Some form of genetic abnormality. Some form of anxiety that interferes with only the first stage of psychosexual development. Some form of fixation that interferes with any of the 5 stages of psychosexual development. None of these answers.

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