Psychodynamic Theories Affect Individual Personality

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Psychodynamic Theories Affect Individual Personality

University of Phoenix

Psychodynamic Theories Affect Individual Personality

Individuals differ from one another and each personality is unique. Be it physically, emotionally, intellectually or psychologically, each person portrays distinct characteristics that are exclusive. Many psychodynamic theorists have theorized the origins and contributions that cultivate personality. Highlights of this paper will include contents of Freuds psychoanalytic theory to include the id, ego, superego, child experience, and the infantile stage, and Sullivans interpersonal theory to include the importance of interpersonal relationships defined early in age through needs and anxiety that contribute to the individual and interpersonal relationships.


Psychodynamic theories, according to psychodynamic theory (2005), go a long way back throughout history. Psychodynamic theories of personality represent behavior and personality development. Dr. Sigmund Freud, recognized as propagating psychodynamic theories through his theory of psychoanalysis, depicts how the combination of the presence of unconscious and conscious mind, id, ego, super ego, and childhood experience create individual personality (_Psychodynamic Theory_, 2005).

Freud describes that the unconscious mind is divided. These divisions include the id, which represents the amoral unconscious need to fulfill pleasure through any means (good or evil); the ego, which recognizes reality and delivers needs of the id based on social norms; and the superego, which recognizes morality (good and evil) and delivers emotion such as guilt (Feist & Feist, 2009). Key factors that control the id, ego, and superego are childhood experiences with drives of sex and aggression.

Oftentimes anxiety arises because sexual and aggressive acts are punished during childhood. The ego keeps emotions of anxiety repressed in the id, which contributes to individual behavior, emotions, and attitudes throughout a lifetime (Feist & Feist, 2009). The id, ego, and superego play significant roles in Freuds stages of development that all contribute to individual personality.

Sripakdeevong (2008) states that Freud's psychosexual development during an individual's childhood would determine personality as he grows up. This development begins during infancy; known as the Infantile period. The Infantile period includes the oral, anal, phallic phases. The oral phase is characterized by the id, in which the id aims to satisfy pleasurable needs. It includes the sexual urges of sucking because sucking is an infant's first experience with pleasure. During the oral stage an infant does not heed considerations and consequences of any need as in the anal stage (Feist & Feist, 2009).

Second is the anal phase in which the ego is present on the individual. Reality of surroundings, praise, and consequences are considered. Freud explains that one of a child's first experiences with punishment and reward begins during toilet training (Feist & Feist, 2009). According to Freud toilet training ignites a child's experience with aggression and the reaction of the parents influence personality and behavior. Freud determined when a child within this phase presents the gift of his feces to his parents and is praised he will display characteristics of generosity. If the gift is rejected a child will withhold the gift; influencing characteristics of orderliness and stubbornness (Feist & Feist, 2009).

Last, the phallic stage introduces the superego and the resolution of identification derived from Oedipus Complex. During the phallic stage children discover pleasure among their genitals and masturbation becomes a suppressed emotion because of punishment. During this stage an individual's personality is affected. He is able to...
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