Sigmund Freud Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychosexual development, Phallic stage Pages: 4 (1327 words) Published: October 2, 2013
Human beings are made up of personality. According to the Oxford dictionary, personality represents the combination of characteristics that form an individual’s distinctive character. Based on psychoanalytic theory, Freud states that personality is composed of 3 important elements which include the id, ego, and super-ego, all developed in different stages of our lives. The 3 elements function at different level of consciousness.

The id is present at birth and it is the unconscious part of our psyche which immediately responds to instincts. The id operates based on the pleasure principle. If the id is not satisfied immediately, tension can form. The id is important in early stage of life in order to survive. For example, when a baby is hungry, but he is not able to communicate with others, so he will cry until his need which is to be fed is met. However, some needs are not able to be satisfied immediately because it may be not socially acceptable. For example, with the presence of the id, a boy may do his business by the road if there is no toilet available in order to satisfy his needs.

“Where the id was, there ego shall be.”(Freud, 1933). Ego is “that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world” (Freud 1923). The ego is ruled by reality principle. The ego operates on the conscious and the pre-conscious level. It mediates between id and superego. The ego is responsible for dealing with reality to ensure that the id can be expressed in an acceptable way. For example, with the presence of the ego, the boy with toilet needs will suppress the urge till he sees the nearest public toilet. Without the presence of the ego, an individual is just a combination of urges and needs.

The superego acts as a moralizing role. It provides guideline for making judgement. It is the conscious part of our mind where we are aware of our surroundings. The superego develops at the...
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