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Psychology – Psychoanalysis 02 Notes

More of Freud

Freud believed that our personality and all of the conflicts we experience within our conscious and unconscious minds stems from our childhood experiences and development. Freud’s study of his patient’s histories led him to believe that most conflicts arise from unresolved conflicts in childhood. For example, if a man has a problem with accepting orders and directions from a female supervisor at work, then Freud would have suggested that the man had unresolved issues with his mother as a small child. Perhaps, this man’s mother was over dominating and this created resentment that followed him into adulthood and was now being transferred to any woman that had some sort of power over him.


Freud also believed that every child passes through a series of psychosexual stages, where the Id’s basic, primal pleasure seeking drives, plays the most important part in the development and behavior of the child.
As adults, Freud believed that conflicts within a person’s mind occurs when the Ego begins to fear that it is losing control of the demands of the Id and the Superego. The result of this fear would be anxiety and in order to protect itself, the Ego would develop certain Defense Mechanisms.
According to Freud, the Ego’s Defense Mechanism’s reduce or redirect anxiety in various ways, but in doing this it often distorts reality. The seven most common defense mechanisms identified by Freud were as follows;
1. Repression The Ego banishes all anxiety from our consciousness. Sometimes our repression slips out in dream symbols or in “Freudian Slips” of the tongue.
2. Regression Faced with anxiety or tense situations, we regress to a more infantile state. For example, a child facing anxiety regarding attending school for the 1st time may regress to the oral comfort of thumb sucking or nail biting.
3. Reaction Formation The Ego makes unacceptable impulses look like their opposites. For example, a woman suffering from an abusive relationship feels that she really loves the man. Or, a man suffering from feeling of inadequacy or large doses of low-self esteem, results in bravado or behaviors that make him appear fearless.
4. Projection The Ego disguises threatening impulses by attributing them to others. For example, a student who is experiencing difficulty with a teacher becomes distorted. i.e.: “I hate him” or “I hate myself”, becomes “He hates me.”
5. Rationalization The Ego lets us create self-justifying explanations so that we can hide from ourselves the real reasons for our actions. For example, an alcoholic may rationalize that he is just a “social drinker”.
6. Displacement The Ego diverts sexual or aggressive impulses to a more psychologically acceptable object. For example, a child who can’t express her anger towards a parent may displace her anger towards a family pet or her brother.
7. Sublimation Is the transformation of unacceptable impulses into a socially valued motivation. For example, Freud believed that Leonardo da Vinci’s many painting of the “Madonna” (the mother of Jesus) were actually a sublimation of his longing for intimacy with his mother who was separated from him at an early age.
Essentially, Freud’s Defense Mechanisms function indirectly and unconsciously. They reduce anxiety by disguising our threatening impulses.


Freud’s Psychosexual Stages



Oral Stage (0-18 months) The focus for this stage centers on the mouth, sucking, biting chewing.
Anal Stage (18-36 months) The focus for this stage centers on bowel and bladder elimination and coping with demands for control.
Phallic Stage (3-6 years) The focus for this stage revolves around the genitals and coping with incestuous sexual feelings
Latency Stage (6-puberty) The focus for this stage is centered around repressed sexual feelings.
Genital Stage (puberty on) This stage revolves around the maturation of sexual interests.

Psychology – Psychoanalysis 02 Assignment



More of Freud



Directions: READ your notes and the excerpt, A Review of Freud, to answer the following questions.


  1. Define the following terms:

defense mechanisms repression regression




  1. Answer the following questions using COMPLETE SENTENCES.




  1. In your own words, describe how Freud came to develop his theory of Psychoanalysis. (4 marks for evidence of thought and effort)




  1. In your own words, describe why the Id plays such an important role in Freud’s concept of psychoanalytical conflict? (4 marks for quality of response and evidence of understanding)




  1. Create a fictional situation where a person may use a certain defense mechanism. Be sure to identify the specific defense mechanism and explain how it is used.
    (4 marks for evidence of thought and effort)




  1. Personal Response: In your own words, describe your general opinion of Freud? Be sure to specifically mention what it is that you like or dislike about his ideas.


You will be marked out of 5 for your ability to clearly state your opinion
and to provide reasons to validate or support that opinion.

Total: ____ / 20


Psychology – Psychoanalysis 02 Reading



More of Freud




A Review of Freud and his Ideas

Sigmund Freud’s theory of personality grew out of his early interest in the cause of the hysterical symptoms in some of his patients. He decided that, since they had no conscious reason to have such symptoms, the cause must be unconscious, specifically repressed sexual or aggressive desires. Through the course of many years of treating patients with a variety of psychological problems, Freud came to believe that unconscious motives, particularly sexual and aggressive ones, were the source of most aspects of our personalities. Freud divided the mind into three levels of consciousness con, preconscious, and unconscious and into three parts with different functions Id, Ego, and SuperEgo. The Id is the storehouse of the unconscious sexual and aggressive instincts, and the inborn, selfish part of the mind that operates according to the pleasure principle. The Id seeks immediate satisfaction of its needs without concern for the welfare of others. The Ego is the executive of the personality, which controls the Id through adherence to the reality principle; it seeks to satisfy the needs of the id in ways that are both realistic and safe. The Superego represents society’s rules or fight and wrong that often hold the Id in check, not on the basis of what is realistic but on what is moral.


The process of becoming an acceptable member of society is aided by the psychological processes of displacement and identification. When it is too dangerous to directly satisfy and Id motive, the motive is displaced on a safer, substitute goal. The most desirable form of displacement from society’s perspective is sublimation, in which dangerous motives are transformed into socially desirable motives.
Sexual energy is transformed during the life span in yet another way. As the individual matures from infancy to adulthood, the principal means of obtaining sexual pleasure will shift from one part of the body to another. Pleasure shifts from the mouth to the anus and then to the genitals; it passes through a period when it lies more or less dormant and then reemerges as genital sexuality. Abnormal experiences at any of these stages can lead to fixations that hinder the full development of an effective personality.


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