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Sigmund Freud on Personality. Some rules: No judging or evaluating until all theories are presented Consider the man and his theories in their historical context Consider all of the ideas that have arisen to support or refute his theories

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Sigmund Freud on Personality

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sigmund freud on personality
Sigmund Freud on Personality
  • Some rules:
    • No judging or evaluating until all theories are presented
    • Consider the man and his theories in their historical context
    • Consider all of the ideas that have arisen to support or refute his theories
    • Consider that many things attributed to Freud are not his original ideas at all
i background
I. Background
  • Born in Moravia 1856, moved to Austria
  • Education/training
    • Medical school, neurologist
    • Influenced by:
  • Jean Charcot - hypnosis treatment of conversion hysteria
  • Josef Breuer - “talking cure”
victorian europe
Victorian Europe
  • Social Darwinism
    • Evolution of humans expressed through rational thought and little influence of instinctual, animalistic urges.
    • Conversion hysteria is just a symbolic representation of repressed urges or conflicts.
Reactions to Freud
    • Sexuality as central drive is shocking and disgusting to most
    • Freud’s ideas were ignored, ridiculed, and in some cases his writings were destroyed
  • Weakness in Darwin
    • Only identified and labeled behavior, did not explain behavior
    • If all behavior is rooted in physiology and instincts, why is there such a variety, and why is there abnormal behavior?
freud s methods
Freud’s Methods
  • Psychoanalysis - all behavior is motivated!
  • Go back to the beginning
  • Repression
  • Dream analysis, free association, hypnosis
the three part structure of the mind
The Three-Part Structure of the Mind
  • Id
    • Ruled by the “pleasure principle”
    • Source of all mental energy, fuels ego and superego
    • Operates on an unconscious, irrational level
structure of the mind contd
Structure of the Mind, contd.
  • Ego
    • Governed by the “reality principle”
    • Tries to satisfy the Id’s urges in socially acceptable ways
    • Operates in both the conscious and unconscious levels
structure of the mind contd1
Structure of the Mind, contd.
  • Superego
    • The embodiment of familial and cultural values
    • Introduces a conscience
    • Operates largely in the unconscious
structures of the mind contd
Structures of the Mind, contd.
  • The Id says:

“Do it now!”

  • The Superego says:

“Never do it!”

  • The Ego tries to mediate.
  • The Ego serves 3 masters:
    • Id, Superego, Reality
levels of consciousness
Levels of Consciousness
  • Conscious
  • Preconscious
  • Unconscious
    • “Freudian slips”
    • “Slips of the tongue”
a made up example of freudian slips
A made-up example of Freudian Slips

My Dear Son,

The news of your engagment came as a delightful surprise. Naturally we are very peased at the resluts of your efforts. When must we meet the fair lady again? She seemed just to divine when we saw her at your New Year’s petty. Richmond is such a long way - I hope you won’t be going to Vaginia so often that you have no time left for studies.

We love forward to the future knowing that I have not lost a sun, but a daughter.



psychosexual development
Psychosexual Development
  • General Points
    • Freud’s medical training
    • Changes in distribution of sexual energy, called libido, in regions of the body called erogenous zones
    • Fixation - the tendency to engage in behaviors associated with that stage. The ego is an army, must leave troops stationed behind, thus weakening the overall strength of the army (the ego).
the oral stage
The Oral Stage
  • The mouth is the primary erogenous zone (birth - 1 yr)
  • Early Oral (birth - 8m)
    • Gratification from feeding, sucking, swallowing
  • Late Oral (8m - 1 yr)
    • Pleasure from biting and chewing (teething)
the oral stage contd
The Oral Stage, contd.
  • Fixations in the Oral Stage
    • Early Oral
      • Desire to acquire knowledge, preference for soft, milky foods, dependency, gullible, “will swallow anything”
    • Late Oral
      • Chews pencils, straws, cigarette smoking, sarcastic, “biting” comments
the anal stage
The Anal Stage
  • Self-control and mastery over one’s environment
  • Pleasure region is the anus (1 - 3 yrs)
  • Early Anal (1-2 yrs)
    • Delight in defecation
  • Late Anal (2-3 yrs)
    • Retention of feces
the anal stage contd
The Anal Stage, contd.
  • Fixations in the Anal Stage
    • Anal Expulsive
      • Messiness, destructiveness, cruelty
    • Anal Retentive
      • Compulsive orderliness, fussiness
the phallic stage
The Phallic Stage
  • Shift in focus from anus to genitals (3 - 5 yrs)
  • Sexual longings for parents are intensified, expressed in 2 ways:
    • Fantasies during masturbation
    • Alternation of love and rebellion
  • Both boys and girls enter stage with strong bonds to Mom due to her being the source of all good things (nourishment, dry diapers, affection, etc.)
oedipus complex
Oedipus Complex
  • Love of Mother
  • “Castration anxiety”
  • Identify with Father to defend against anxiety
  • Develops a superego
the electra complex
The Electra Complex
  • “Penis Envy”
    • Mom & Dad fight, Daddy castrated Mommy, which is why Mom bleeds
    • Mom got angry with daughter, castrated her
  • Daughter does not love Mom, but Dad
  • Realizes she won’t get penis back, identifies with Mom
  • Develops superego from Mom
the latency stage
The Latency Stage
  • Phallic stage was so traumatic, child’s psychosexual development takes a break until puberty
  • Child solidifies the superego
the genital stage
The Genital Stage
  • Gratification from genital stimulation
  • Seeks new object of affection
  • “Object finding is object refinding”
criticisms of freud
Criticisms of Freud
  • Psychoanalytic theory & concepts are vague and not operationally defined
  • Theory is good history, but bad science - does not reliably predict what will occur
  • Theories were developed from speculation based on clinical experience with patients in therapy for serious problems
  • Developmental theory was not based upon observations or studies of children
  • Theory minimizes traumatic experiences by reinterpreting memories as fantasies
  • It is male centered