The Freudian Theory of Personality The Topographic Model: Levels of Awareness Conscious – contains the thoughts you are currently aware of. Preconscious – large body of retrievable information. Unconscious – the material that we have no immediate access to. Fundamental Assumptions of Psychoanalytic Theory The Basic Instincts: Sex and Aggression Closely follows Darwin‟s theory Freud believed that everything humans do can be understood as manifestations of the life and death instincts Later termed libido (life) and thanatos (death) Instincts: Libido & Thanatos Libido – the life or sexual instinct. Sexually motivated behaviors not only include those with blatant erotic content, but every action aimed at receiving pleasure. Thanatos – death or aggressive instinct. The unconscious desire we all have to die and return to the earth. Death instinct is turned outward and expressed as aggression toward others. Fundamental Assumptions of Psychoanalytic Theory Unconscious Motivation Individuals control their sexual and aggressive urges by placing them in the unconscious These take on a life of their own and become the motivated unconscious The Structural Model: Id, Ego, & Superego Id – present at birth; selfish part of you, concerned with satisfying your desires. Pleasure principle – only concerned with what brings immediate personal satisfaction regardless of physical or social implications. (I WANT!!!) Id impulses tend to be socially unacceptable. Completely buried in the unconscious. Most primitive part of the mind; what we are born with. The Id precedes culture and is universal. Source of all drives and urges irrational, emotional, demanding…and STRONG The Structural Model: Id, Ego, & Superego Ego – develops during the first two years of life; primary job is to satisfy the id impulses in an appropriate manner by taking consequences into consideration; mediates between id, superego, and environment. Operates according to the reality principle and secondary process thinking. Ego is pragmatic. “You can‟t always get what you want.” Reduces tension. Ego develops strategies to help the Id make it until the urge can be satisfied. The Structural Model: Id, Ego, & Superego Superego – develops by the time the child is 5 years old; represents society‟s and parent‟s values and standards - the part of the mind that internalizes the values, morals, and ideals of society Conscience – right and wrong. Can be weak – little inward restraint. Super moral – impossible ideals of perfection. Moral anxiety – ever-present feeling of shame or guilt. Id, Ego, & Superego Iceburg Illustration The Structural Model: Id, Ego, & Superego Conflict Model: The self is NOT UNIFIED; it is not a coherent, singular entity. Not entirely rational, not entirely in control of yourself. There are competing elements within ourselves. No way to resolve competing elements – only way to stay healthy is to not let any one of them “get the upper hand” or sickness (i.e. neurosis or psychosis) can occur. Balance Between Parts of the Psyche If, as an adult, your Id is too dominant? (very self-absorbed, don‟t care about others, only out for yourself) If, as an adult, your Ego is too dominant? (distant, rational, efficient, unemotional, cold) If, as an adult, your Superego is too dominant? (guilt-ridden or sanctimonious). Defense Mechanisms The ego‟s way of dealing with unwanted thoughts and desires; wants to resolve tension. Repression – active effort of the ego to push threatening material out of consciousness or to keep such material from ever reaching consciousness. This is a constant, active process. Sublimation – the ego channels threatening unconscious impulses into socially acceptable actions. Ex: Aggressive id impulses are channeled into competitive sports. Defense Mechanisms Continued… Displacement – involves channeling our impulses to non- threatening objects; do not lead to social rewards. Ex: If someone is angry at the boss, he or she may take that anger out on the children at home. Denial – refusing to accept that certain facts exist; insisting that something is not true. Reaction Formation – hiding from a threatening unconscious idea or urge by acting in a manner opposite to our unconscious desires. Ex: People obsessed with religious values. Defense Mechanisms Continued… Intellectualization – ego handles threatening material by removing the emotional content from the thought before allowing it into awareness; by considering something strictly intellectual, previously difficult thoughts are allowed into awareness without anxiety. Projection – attributing an unconscious impulse to other people instead of ourselves; we free ourselves from the perception that we are the only ones that have that thought. ACCORDING TO FREUD, humanity's very movement into civilized society (and the child's analogous introduction to that society) requires the repression of our primitive (but still very insistent) desires. Indeed, for this reason, he argues in Civilization and Its Discontents that all of civilized society is a substitute-formation, of sorts, for our atavistic instincts and drives. As he puts it in Introductory Lectures on Psycho- Analysis (First Lecture), "we believe that civilization is to a large extent being constantly created anew, since each individual who makes a fresh entry into human society repeats this sacrifice of instinctual satisfaction for the benefit of the whole community" (15.23). What happens instead, as he goes on to explain, is that those "primitive impulses," of which the sexual impulse is the strongest, are sublimated or "diverted" towards other goals that are "socially higher and no longer sexual" (15.23). Our instincts and primitive impulses are thus repressed; however, Freud believed that the sexual impulse was so powerful that it continually threatened to "return" and thus disrupt our conscious functioning (hence the now-famous term, "the return of the repressed"). Vocabulary consciousness - The upper level of mental life of which the person is aware, as contrasted with unconscious processes. Context: By the end of the 19th century, consciousness began to be seen as a rational process. displacement - A psychoanalytic defense mechanism in which one's desire for something inappropriate, such as one's mother, is displaced onto something acceptable, such as one's wife. The acceptable person shares characteristics with, and takes the place of, the unacceptable person. ego - One of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory; it serves as the organized, conscious mediator between the person and reality, especially by functioning in both the perception of and adaptation to reality. Context: The ego is the rational self. Vocabulary id - One of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory; it is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy derived from instinctual needs and drives. Context: The id is the emotional part of the mind. latent - Present and capable of becoming visible, obvious, or active. Context: The real, hidden meaning of the dream is called the latent dream. neurosis - A mental disorder that involves distortion, but not outright rejection, of reality. Neuroses include anxiety disorders, "hysteria," "neurasthenia," and obsessive-compulsive disorders. See Repression. Oedipus complex - A persistent set of unconscious beliefs and desires that results, according to Freud, from the childhood repression of the desire to sleep with one's mother and kill one's father. Vocabulary pleasure principle - The principle obeyed by the id, which attempts to accomplish infantile wishes (e.g. see Oedipus Complex). projection - A psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which an unwanted desire is attributed to others instead of the self. If you hate your father, for example, you might project your own feelings onto him and become convinced that your father hates you. psychoanalysis - A method of analyzing psychic phenomena and treating emotional disorders that involves treatment sessions during which the patient is encouraged to talk freely about personal experiences and especially about early childhood and dreams. Context: In Freud‟s hands, psychoanalysis allowed his patients to attempt to make sense of their pasts. reaction formation - A psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which an unwanted desire is converted into its opposite; e.g. a hatred of one's father is converted into a powerful (neurotic) love for him. Vocabulary reality principle - The principle obeyed by the ego, which attempts to reconcile the id's desires with reality. repression - The process by which the ego prevents unwanted desires from emerging into consciousness; a mechanism of psychological defense, which conceals certain drives deep within the unconscious mind. "The unconscious exclusion of painful impulses, desires, or fears from the conscious mind" (American Heritage Dictionary). According to psychoanalysis, partially-successful repression is the cause of neuroticism. Sublimation - Channels the energy of unconscious and unwanted/inappropriate desire (sexual) drives into useful, socially acceptable activities, such as science, art, good works. Civilization, Freud argues, is premised on this process. His favorite examples of sublimation are art & religion. Helps channel repressed desires into socially appropriate outlets. Vocabulary superego - One of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory; it is only partly conscious, represents internalization of parental conscience and the rules of society, and functions to reward and punish through a system of moral attitudes, conscience, and a sense of guilt . Context: The superego represents societal pressures and tells us what is right and wrong. Unconscious - It "is rooted in unavowable and unavowed wishes or desires which have undergone repression such that their content remains foreign to, forbidden by the consciousness, which spends considerable energy in barring knowledge of and/or memory of such desire from itself. The unconscious does, however, find indirect expression through nuances, gestures, mistakes, dreams, where these forms take places as lapses, faults or mistakes… [T]he conscious mind is primarily and originally constituted around the root form of negation, variously figured as prohibition, taboo, [and] denial… [In contrast,] the unconscious „knows no negation‟" (Wright 441-2). Reference: Burger, J.M. (2004). Personality: Sixth edition. Thomson & Wadsworth.