Critical Analysis of Freud's Theory of Personality

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Penis envy, Phallic stage Pages: 3 (897 words) Published: October 31, 2011
Personality is the enduring and unique cluster of characteristics that may change in response to different situations. It can be asses via different approaches such as Self-report or objective inventories, projective techniques, clinical interviews, behavioural assessment procedures and thought and experience-sampling procedures. In the study of personality ideographic research and nomothetic research are used and the major methods that the clinical method, the experimental method and the correlational method. Psychoanalysis was the first formal theory of personality influenced by Sigmund Freud. Freud divided personality into three levels: the conscious, the preconscious and the unconscious. He later revised this notion and introduced the id, the ego and the superego. The id is the pleasure principle and has no awareness of reality. It is the aspect of personality allied with the instincts. The ego is the rational aspect of the personality which is responsible for directing and controlling the instincts according to the reality principle. The superego is the moral aspect of personality. One’s personality experiences anxiety when it doesn’t get what it wants and Freud described this as a feeling of fear and dread without an obvious cause. He proposed three types of anxiety: Reality anxiety, Neurotic anxiety and Moral Anxiety. He also derived the defense mechanisms which are the strategies the ego uses to defend itself against the anxiety provoked by conflicts of everyday life. Due to Freud’s experiences he was a man of high sexual interests and he sense strong sexual conflicts in the infant and child that revolved around regions in the body. He called this theory the theory of psychosexual stages of development. These stages are: 1. Oral – the mouth is the bodily region and pleasure is derived from sucking 2. Anal – the anus is the bodily region and pleasure is derived from toilet training 3. Phallic – the genital is the bodily region and...
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