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Psy250 Week1 Individual

By Sha1018von1984 Apr 09, 2015 1265 Words
Psychoanalytic and Trait Theories
Shavon R. Gray
University of Phoenix
Author Note
Week 2 Individual Assignment
I will write a 1,050 to 1,400 word paper analyzing the components of the psychoanalytic approach to personality. My paper will cover a comparison and contrasting the psychoanalytic theories of Freud, Jung, ad Adler. I will attempt to explain two characteristics of these theories in which I agree and disagree with. I will describe the stages of Freud’s theory and explain characteristics of personality using these components. I will also use at least three Freudian defense mechanism with real-life examples.

Psychoanalytic and Trait Theories
Sigmund Freud, was an Austrian physician, he was responsible for the development of the psychoanalytic theory in the early 1900s. “According to Freud’s theory, conscious experience is only a small part of our psychological makeup and experience. He argued that much of our behavior is motivated by the unconscious, a part of the personality that contains the memories, knowledge, beliefs, feelings, urges, drives, and instincts of which the individual is not aware.” (Feldman, 2011). His theory is compared to the unseen floating Mass of a floating iceberg; where the unconscious contents far surpass in quantity the information that is in our conscious awareness. Freud maintained his stand by stating that when it comes to understanding personality, one must expose the unconscious. Due to the fact that the unconscious can be disguised to cover up the true meaning of the material it holds, the unconscious content cannot be observed directly. Therefore, you must interpret the unconscious in clues- slips of the tongue, fantasies, and dreams- to understand the unconscious process that direct behavior. For example, a slip of the tongue may be interpreted as revealing the speakers unconscious sexual desire. Freud feels as though much of one’s personality is determined by our unconscious with a deeper area that have instinctual drives- the wishes, desires, demands, and needs. These personality traits are hidden from conscious awareness because they will cause conflicts and pain being a part of our daily lives. The unconscious acts as a “safe haven” for our recollections of threatening events. Structuring Personality: ID, EGO, and SUPEREGO

Freud also developed a comprehensive theory to describe the structure of personality. This theory is that personality has three separate but interacting parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. “The id is the raw, unorganized, inborn part of personality.” (Feldman, 2011). The id, from the time of birth, attempts to reduce tension created by hunger, sex, aggression, and irrational impulse primitive drives. A strive to balance the desires of the id and the realities of the objective, outside world which soon begins to develop soon after birth is known as the ego. You can compare the ego to the “executive” (in this case for personality): It makes decisions, controls actions, and permits thinking and problem solving of a higher order than the id’s capabilities allow. The final personality structure to develop in childhood, is the superego. The conscience is included in the superego. This is how we make moral proper decisions with behavior from that guilty feeling that comes upon us if we do wrong. By using the superego to help us control impulses coming from the id, make our behaviors more virtuous and less selfish. Developing Personality: Psychosexual Stages

First, comes the oral stage, which is when the baby has a fixation on the mouth as a pleasure point. For the first 12 to 18 months of life, children suck, eat, mouth, and bite anything they put into their mouths. According to Freud, this suggested behavior of the mouth is the primary site of some sort of sexual pleasure and weaning (taking a child off of the breast or bottle) represents the main conflict in this stage. If a child is overfed or deprived of oral gratification, they can become fixated at this stage. Second, comes the anal stage where from around age 12 to 18 months until 3 years old, a child is potty trained. “At this point, the major source of pleasure changes from the mouth to the anal region, and children obtain considerable pleasure from both retention and expulsion of feces.” (Feldman, 2011). If toilet training is particularly demanding, fixation might occur; which will result in unusual inflexibility, neatness, promptness – or extreme messiness or untidiness – in adulthood. Third, is the phallic stage, which occurs around age 3; where the child is fixated on genitals and fondling them (genitals). Also included in the third stage, is the oedipal conflict, where a child’s sexual interest focuses on the difference between a male and a female and is usually resolved through identification with the same-sex parent. After resolution of the oedipal conflict, usually around age 5 or 6, children move into the fourth stage, called latency period. This stage usually lasts until puberty, during which sexual interests become dormant or even unconscious. This then leads into the last stage which lasts until death, called the genital stage, where the focus is sexual intercourse. Defense Mechanisms. There are eight defense mechanisms: repression, regression, displacement, rationalization, denial, projection, sublimation, and reaction formation. Repression is when you push back unacceptable or unpleasant impulses to the unconscious. For example, if a woman is raped and unable to recall that it happened, is repression. Denial is when a person refuses to accept or acknowledge an anxiety-producing piece of information. For example, a student fails a class and refuses to believe that he or she flunked the course, is denial. When a person attributes unwanted feelings and impulses to someone else this is called projection. For example, my baby father was cheating on me and felt guilty so he kept accusing me of the same. The Neo-Freudian Psychoanalysts: Building on Freud. One of the most influential Neo-Freudians, Carl Jung, rejected Freud’s view of primary importance of unconscious sexual urges. As an alternative, he looked at the original desires of the unconscious more completely and claimed that they signified a more general and positive life force that involves an inborn drive motivating inspiration and more constructive resolution of conflict. According to Jung, we have a universal collective unconscious, which is a common set of ideas, feelings, images, and symbols that come from our ancestors, the entire human race, and even the animal ancestors from the distant past. He then went on to say that the collective unconscious contains archetypes, common symbolic depictions of a specific person, object, or experience. Alder and the Other Neo-Freudians. Alfred Adler, is another important Neo-Freudian psychoanalyst who also considered Freudian theory’s emphasis on sexual needs misplaced. He proposed that the quest for self-improvement and perfection is the primary human motivation. The term inferiority complex is used to describe situations where adults cannot overcome the feelings of inferiority that they developed as a child. Personally, I agree with Freud’s efforts to describe and theorize the unpleasant anxiety that we as people feel. I do feel as though people do develop a range of defense mechanisms to deal with it. I also agree with Adler, and the inferiority complex in which he used to describe situations where adults cannot overcome the feelings of inferiority that they developed as a child. After carefully review of all the theories, I do not disagree with any of the theories. I feel they all have a truth and can be applied, maybe not at the same time (for some) but, I can see how each theory comes into play. References

Feldman, R. S. (2011). Essentials of Understanding Psychology (9th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill

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