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
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
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:
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...
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