Freud’s personality theories Essay

Topic:  Freud’s personality theoriesAuthor:Description: This is a paper on Freud’s personality theory.

.This paper should cover..Id, Ego and super Ego, Anxiety and defense mechanisms, Anxiety, Displacement, fixation, oral-passive character, oral-aggressive personality, Character, dreams, and etcDo not need the stage of development…(ex.

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. erogenous zones, oral stage, anal stage, Phallic stage, latent stage, genital stage, and The Oedipal crisis)—-this paper should not included any of these….

…..Sources that must be used.

..The Ego and the Id by Sigmund Freud ,andThe Interpretation Of Dreams by Sigmund Freud…..

……No other sources can be used..

.-It needs to include citations, and quotes (must be cited)Example…(((((((`The pre-genital stages are brought to a stop, or draw back by a period called latency. A second wave sets in with puberty and determines the final outcome of sexual life`. (Three contribution to the theory of Sex, p.

69).))))Must have quotation marks and page numbers..

.—–also this paper must not include Freud’s bio…

‘Personality’ is internal qualities or group of characteristics that tend to affect behavior of the individual in various circumstances.  The manner in which an individual behaves in order to adapt to the environment is also considered as the personality.  Behavior patterns and qualities such as values, abilities, attitudes, motives, emotions and thoughts constitute a part of the behavior.  Freud’s theory of personality mainly deals with the communications between various elements of personality.  His theory of personality is also known as ‘psychodynamic theory’ as there was a conversion of internal psychic energy into externally-manifested behavior.  He tried to determine how normal personality and unusual behavior developed.            Freud considered that in reality several objects existed amongst and the individual or organism was considered special.  The individual is capable of existing and multiplying and has several needs including hunger, thirst, comfort and sex.

  The nervous system forms a very important portion of the individual as they are sensitive to its requirements.  A personality was composed of three components, namely, the id, the ego and the superego (The Ego and the Id, p. 42).The id represents sexual and psychic urges and instincts or wishes and works on the pleasure principle.  The id is considered to be unacceptable by the environment and the organism may not survive on the id alone, as it is irrational.  The id represents passions (The Ego and the Id, p. 46-47).

The ego is a more rational element of the mind that relates the organism to the environment.  It works on the reality principle and considers reasoning and use of common sense (The Ego and the Id, p. 19).  The main goal of the ego is to control the id, by acting as a mediator between the id and the third component of the mind known as the ‘superego’ (The Ego and the Id, p. 44-47).

The superego is often contained within the ego and represents that component of the mind that exercises moral judgment.  It is influenced by parental and social control.  The superego develops later in life compared to the ego and the id.  The superego contains two components, the conscience and the ego ideal.

  The conscience is an internal understanding of warnings and punishments, and the ‘ego ideal’ derives itself form positive feedbacks and rewards given to the individual.  The personality is formed by the interactions of these three elements of the mind (The Ego and the Id, p. 48-61).Freud considered that human being was often motivated to fulfill their drives and instincts.  These feelings were actually neurological manifestations of the individual’s physical requirements.

  Instincts encourage the fulfillment of the needs of the individual such as food and water (to survive), and multiplication of the species (through sex).  The libido is a motivational energy that arises from instincts in order to fulfill desires (The Ego and the Id, p. 67-70).Drives were of two types according to Freud, namely sex and aggression.  All actions of the individual are being motivated by one of these two drives.

  An individual in order to live, grow and produce offspring develops the sexual drive; and to survive and chase off all threats, the aggressive drive is present (The Ego and the Id, p. 37-47).            Freud considered that there were a lot of traumatic experiences in life when he said ‘life is not easy’.  This may be due to conflicts between the ego, the id and the superego.  The ego is often threatened when there is conflicting demands between the id and the superego.  Such a feeling is often manifested in the form of ‘anxiety’, which is a sign to the ego that its survival is at stake (and in fact the survival of the entire individual is in danger).  Freud described three types of anxiety, namely, realistic anxiety, moral anxiety and neurotic anxiety.  Realistic anxiety is the fear or phobia that an individual experiences.

  Moral anxiety on the other hand involves an attack on the ego by the superego after it has adopted principles of the social world.  It includes shame and guilt.  Neurotic anxiety on the other hand suggests fear of being attacked by the id, and includes several experiences such as loss of self-control, losing temper, etc (The Ego and the Id, p.

58-62).            Freud considered that the ego does the best it can to permit the demands of reality, id and the superego.  However, if one of these components becomes dominant, a problem develops and the ego has to often protect itself.  A protective defense technique is adopted by the ego in which these signals or feelings are unconsciously obstructed and destroyed in a manner that it becomes more acceptable and less damaging.  These protective defense mechanisms were also known as ‘ego defense mechanisms’.  The ego often tries to balance the voices from the id and the superego.

  The ego defense mechanisms have often been described as tools adopted by the ego to defend itself.  Freud, his daughter Ann and others had discovered several of these ego defense mechanisms, such as denial, repression, asceticism, isolation, displacement, turning against self, projection and rationalization (The Ego and the Id, p. 58-62).            Displacement is a process by when an impulse is transferred or redirected onto an alternate target.  It is a situation in which the impulse does not cause much of a problem to the individual but out of hatred to another individual are such bad impulses directed.  An individual may be frustrated with his work or job and may instead take out his frustration on his family members.            Repression is a situation in which the individual is unable to recall or remember a threatening event, person or circumstance.

  Anna Freud often termed this defense as ‘motivated forgetting’ (The Ego and the Id, p. 17-18).            Regression is a situation in which goes back in time to a previous stage of psychological development in order to reduce the stress faced in life.  For example, when an individual becomes frightened, he tends to behave like a child (The Ego and the Id, p.

57).            Freud considered that there was only a single positive defense known as ‘sublimation’.  It is a process of converting an irrational impulse or situation into a more acceptable one that can be tolerated by the society.  Some of these impulses are even converted into positive energy that can be productive.  A person with aggressive thoughts in his mind can become a wrestler or a butcher, whereas an individual with strong sexual intentions can become an artist or a novelist (The Ego and the Id, p. 44-47).

            An individual’s personality or character is strongly affected by life-experiences.  Stressful life-events produced a great effect on the character of the adult.  These events would produce varying effects in different individuals, and the effect of these events had to be studied in each individual.  Trauma that develops during stage development is more unswerving as all people have to go through the various stages in psychosexual development (The Ego and the Id, p. 23-26).            Fixation is a tendency in which the individual may retain some of the childish habits due to difficulties associated in various tasks that are required in the stages such as sulking, toilet training or developing a sexual identity.  Fixation can cause a lot of problems during each stage of psychosexual development and later in the personality or character of adults (The Ego and the Id, p.

26-29).            Oral-passive character is a behavior in which the individual is more dependent on others.  Freud felt that this condition developed because as an infant frustration was being experienced in association with the lack of weaning.

  Mothers who tend to wean the infant too early are at a risk of producing such characters later in life.  Such individual often tend to develop a lot of pleasures in eating, drinking and smoking, seemingly because  they did not enjoy an opportunity during the infancy stage. (The Ego and the Id, p. 43-60).            Infants only tend to bite the mother’s nipple when weaning in order to relieve the discomfort caused by the erupting teeth (teething).

  Some mother’s in an effort to reduce such problems tend to wean the child too early.  This may result in a personality later in life known an ‘oral-aggressive personality’.  Such individuals tend to bite or chew on objects such as nails, pencils, etc.  They are also at higher chances of becoming aggressive (The Ego and the Id, p. 62-65).

            Freud also put in a lot of efforts to interpret dreams and applied a technique in order to interpret the meaning of dreams.  He said that dreams had a certain psychological structure that could be utilized once the patient was released from psychoanalysis.  Freud tried to uncover the psychic forces or psychic conflicts that created dreams.  He tried to reveal and draw inferences from strange and obscure dreams.  The individual may develop dreams because of certain experiences in life which generally fade away with time but have some effect on the individual’s character (Interpretation of Dreams, ch.1, pg.3). Freud felt that each and every portion of the dream had to be interpreted individually, as each of these portion stood for different things (Interpretation of Dreams, ch 1, pg .

4).Freud studied his patients during psychoanalysis.  These patients expressed their ideas and thoughts that had a relation to distant memories.  The individuals were told not to suppress their ideas but to express it in order to make sure that the process of psychoanalysis was a success (Interpretation of Dreams, ch.

  2, pg. 2).Freud observed that the mental state was different when an individual was reflecting than when he was observing his psychic activities (Interpretation of Dreams, ch. 2, pg. 9).

  Freud said that dreams were not considered as scientific evidence as they did not stand for psychic activity and was merely symbolic.  He considered that dreams had a hidden meaning and suggests a different thought process.  Freud felt that psychoanalysis could help detect problems in the psychic function and could thus be employed to treat several mental disorders (Interpretation of Dreams, ch.  2, pg.

14).Freud considered that dreams may be a ‘wish-fulfillment activity, and is build on highly complicated activities of the mind.  However he said that dreams also stood for realization of the apprehension, reflection of content, reproduction of memories (Interpretation of Dreams, ch. 2, pg. 14).

Reference:Freud, S. 1923. The Ego and the Id.Freud, S. 1900. Interpretation of Dreams.


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