BIOL 1010 Lecture Notes - Defence Mechanisms, Reaction Formation, Neurology
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Trained as a neurologist Freud saw the source of all the ids energy as biological. Only later at the
infant develops is the energy which Freud called libido converted into psychic energy all of it
unconscious below the level of awareness
The id seeks immediate gratification and operates according to the pleasure principle. When the
id is not satisfied tension is produced and the id strives to eliminate this tension
Another means of obtaining gratification is primary process thinking –generating images—in
essence fantasies—of what is desired
2) The ego is the next aspect of the psyche to develop. Unlike the id the ego is primarily
conscious and begins to develop from the id during the 2nd 6months of life. Its task is to deal
with reality. Through its planning and decision making functions called secondary process
thinking the ego realized that operating on the pleasure principle at all times is not the most
effective what of maintaining life. The ego thus operates on the reality principle as it mediates
between the demands of reality and the immediate gratification desired by the id
the final part of the psyche to emerge is the superego which operates roughly as the conscience
and develops throughout childhood
Freud believed that the superego developed from the ego much as the ego developed from the
id. As kids discover that many of their impulses such as biting or bedwetting are not acceptable
to their parents they begin to incorporate
introject, parental values as their own to enjoy parental approval and avoid disapproval
The interplay of these forces is referred to as the psychodynamics of the personality
Much of human beh is determined by forces inaccessible to awareness. The ids instincts as well
as many of the superegos activities are not known to the conscious mind. While the ego is
primarily conscious and is involved in thinking and planning it too has important unconscious
aspects that protect it from anxiety.
Freud considered most of the important determinates of beh to be unconscious
When ones life is in jeopardy one feels objective (realistic)anxiety –the egos reaction to danger
in the external world according to Freud.
The person whose personality has not developed fully due to fixation at a stage may experience
neurotic anxiety- a feeling of fear that is not connected to reality or to any real threat.
Moral anxiety arises when the impulses of the superego punish an indiv for not meeting
expectations and thereby satisfy the principle that drives the superego—namely the perfection
Defence mechanisms –coping with anxiety
Neurotic anxiety can be handled by means of a defence mechanism.
A defence mechanism is a strategy unconsciously used to protect the ego from anxiety