Fall semester -2012
Take Home Mid-Term Examination
Professor John P. Wilson
Freud’s theory of personality and behavior exemplifies a deterministic view of mental life and how they contribute to different levels of human thought. Not only does his research and theories influence modern psychology and psychoanalysis, they set the tone for motivation. According to Freud’s innovation in the field of human mental health; the unconscious and unconscious plays a determining role in our thought process that can dictate our behavior. These two mind bogglers (unconscious and unconscious) are the opposite of one another and are distinct in their components. The conscious level is the level on which all of our thought processes operate by being perceived, thought of, or understood. The unconscious level contains repressed thoughts and past experiences, which can lead to mental anguish, high arousal and anxiety. The relation between the unconscious and conscious exert pressure on awareness that an individual is demanded to feel. For example using two rooms as a metaphor, the conscious level of an individual’s mental apparatus is represented by the small room. The larger room represents the unconscious which is full to capacity. For mental stimuli to surpass unto the smaller room, it must pass through the doorway separating the two rooms. At the door way stands a censor who determines what mental events have allowed entry. Although some stimuli have gained entry Freud says that they can be driven out, due to high levels of anxiety or simply because they contain mental excitations that are unacceptable to sustain homeostasis. The repression of such stimuli protects us from the unpleasantness residing in the conscious; if crossed unpleasant excitations might produce anxiety, embarrassment or punishment. One key factor that Freud stresses is that these unpleasant excitations (anxiety embarrassment and punishment) from the unconscious have alarming consequences that demand some type of satisfaction that may postpone pleasure and endure discomfort that which one would prefer to avoid.These psychological pressures creates a continuous battle between the ego and unconscious, that each dynamics is large enough to control one’s behavior, thoughts and feelings. This conflict threatens the interaction of the id, the superego, and the ego. The id is innate (biological drives, aggression and instincts) according to Freud, and operates solely on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. This component operates at an unconscious level that relies heavenly on obtaining immediate homeostasis. For example when your stomach is empty, sensations of hunger imply that you need to eat. The ego operates on the reality principle, which may force the individual to post pone immediate pleasure and endure discomfort if the result is greater pleasure later. For example a student may forgo a party Thursday night in order to study for Friday’s exam on the assumption that good test scores will produce longer lasting pleasures than a good party. The super ego is contained in the conscious and is responsible for judgments, morals and values that guide our behavior. For example a five year old may know that even though candy tastes good, eating too much can ultimately cause cavities. Sigmund Freud believed that all human behavior was motivated by unconscious forces. Referring back to the smaller room (thoughts, feelings) and the larger room (repressed thoughts, instincts and mental excitations ) also show how the unconscious will tend to override the conscious once it has attracted “the eye of the consciousness” (Freud). This once again can exert pressure on our mental stimuli and evoke behavior. An instinct is one example that Freud uses in determining how instincts correlate to reducing this pressure thus changing behavior or influencing it. The unconscious sets...
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