Psychoanalytic theory the nature of people psychology essay

Psychoanalyse first started to receive serious attention under Sigmund Freud, who formulated his own theory of psychoanalysis in Vienna in the s.

Psychoanalytic theory the nature of people psychology essay

A physician who never intended to practice general medicine, Freud was intensely curious about human nature, and in his practice of psychiatry he was perhaps more interested in learning about the unconscious motives of his patients than in curing neuroses.

Early in his professional career, Freud believed that hysteria was a result of being seduced during childhood by a sexually mature person, often a parent or other relative. However, inhe abandoned his seduction theory and replaced it with his notion of the Oedipus complex.

Levels of Mental Life Freud saw mental functioning as operating on three levels: Unconscious The unconscious consists of drives and instincts that are beyond awareness but that motivate many of our behaviors.

Unconscious drives can become conscious only in disguised or distorted form, such as dream images, slips of the tongue, or neurotic symptoms. Unconscious processes originate from two sources: Preconscious The preconscious contains images that are not in awareness but that can become conscious either quite easily or with some level of difficulty.

Early life and training

Conscious Consciousness is the only level of mental life directly available to us, but it plays a relatively minor role in Freudian theory. Conscious ideas stem from either the perception of external stimuli perceptual conscious system or from unconscious and preconscious images after they have evaded censorship.

Provinces of the Mind Freud conceptualized three regions of the mind: The Id The id, which is completely unconscious, serves the pleasure principle and seeks constant and immediate satisfaction of instinctual needs. As the region of the mind that contains the basic instincts, the id operates through the primary process.

The Ego The ego, or secondary process, is governed by the reality principle; that is, it is responsible for reconciling the unrealistic demands of both the id and the superego with the demands of the real world.


The Superego The superego, which serves the idealistic principle, has two subsystems: The conscience results from punishment for improper behavior whereas the ego-ideal stems from rewards for socially acceptable behavior. Dynamics of Personality The term dynamics of personality refers to those forces that motivate people.

The concept includes both instincts and anxiety. Instincts Freud grouped all human drives or urges under two primary instincts: The Sexual Instinct The aim of the sexual instinct is pleasure, which can be gained through the erogenous zones, especially the mouth, anus, and genitals.

The object of the sexual instinct is any person or thing that brings sexual pleasure. Both the aim and the object are flexible, so that many sexually motivated behaviors may seem to be unrelated to sex.

For example, narcissism, love, sadism, and masochism all possess large components of the sexual drive even though they may appear to be nonsexual.

All infants possess primary narcissism, or self-centeredness, but the secondary narcissism of adolescence and adulthood is not universal.

Sadism, which is the reception of sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on another, and masochism, which is the reception of sexual pleasure from painful experiences, satisfy both sexual and aggressive drives.

The Destructive Instinct The destructive instinct aims to return a person to an inorganic state, but it is ordinarily directed against other people and is called aggression. Anxiety Only the ego feels anxiety, but the id, superego, and outside world can each be a source of anxiety.The question of what drives us—what great force underlies our motivation as individuals, propelling us forward through all manner of trying circumstance—was a matter of longtime fascination for psychologist Alfred Adler.

During each stage, the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development.

For Erikson (), these crises are of a psychosocial nature because they involve psychological needs of the individual (i.e. psycho) conflicting with the needs of society (i.e. social). THE ORIGINS OF ATTACHMENT THEORY: JOHN BOWLBY AND MARY AINSWORTH INGE BRETHERTON Attachment theory is the joint work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth &.

Psychoanalytic theory is a theory that came out of a time when there was very little known about the study of human behavior and how it related to the human mind.

Is Freud’s Personality Theory Still Relevant? | Journal Psyche

Psychoanalytic theory was the first theory that brought attention to the complexity of the human mind and human behavior and how those two related to one another. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was a physiologist, medical doctor, psychologist and influential thinker of the early twentieth century.

Working initially in close collaboration with Joseph Breuer, Freud elaborated the theory that the mind is a complex energy-system, the structural. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student.

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Psychoanalytic theory the nature of people psychology essay

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Psychoanalysis/Psychology of Human Nature term paper