Psychoanalytic and Trait Approach to Personality

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Freudian psychology, Oral stage Pages: 4 (1145 words) Published: November 18, 2008
Psychoanalytic and Trait Approach to Personality

Psychoanalytic and Trait Approach to Personality

Comparison and Contrast
While researching the Freudian theories of personality, many feeling are touched by each theory. To comprehend personality, one must have an open mind along with a desire to learn what makes people who they are. By reviewing each theory, one can appreciate mankind’s differences and similarities so as to be able to co-exist peacefully. The starting point in understanding the topographic theory is the division of one’s personality into three parts; the conscious, the preconscious and the unconscious. “The conscious contains the thoughts you are currently aware of.” (Personality, pg.44) According to Freud, the preconscious part is what holds a larger portion of uncountable thoughts relatively easily, such as memories of recent accounts or happenings while the unconscious part is what holds the majority of one’s thoughts and accounts that make up each individuals personality. The structural model, which was later conceived by Freud, further divided personality into the id, the ego and superego. Freud maintained that at birth there is but one personality structure, the id. This is the selfish part one’s self that is concerned with satisfying personal desires and is buried entirely in the unconscious. The ego part is based on the reality principal and based on satisfying id impulses while taking into consideration the realities of the situation. The ego’s job is to keep the id impulses in the unconscious, since id impulses tend to be socially unacceptable and may pose a threat to one’s self. Freud maintained that this was aimed at reducing tension for needs that go unmet. The superego helps in ones decisions based on what is acceptable so as to not violate society’s moral code like lying, cheating and stealing; thus the superego concept can be called ones conscience. The libido and thanatos theory as explained by Freud,...

References: Burger, J.M. (2008). Personality (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
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