PSYC 1200 Lecture 7d
Chapter 12: Psychodynamic Theory
Sigmund Freud Founder of Psychodynamic Theory: what a person is aware of is the “tip of the iceberg”; most of what is going on in the human mind
is outside of our awareness:
Conscious: contact the with outside world that processes information from our ego.
Preconscious: material just beneath the surface of awareness, but can be brought into conscious awareness.
Unconscious: majority of our psyche below the surface of awareness that’s hard to bring into conscious awareness.
Suggested that children must resolve a series of psychosexual stages to emerge as a balanced, healthy adult.
Ego The reality principle that undergoes secondary-process thinking to negotiate constraints society imposes on behaviour (superego)
with our lustful desires (id); it provides appropriate outlets for sexual and aggressive urges that don’t violate rules of society.
Superego Your conscience, which contains knowledge of rules and consequences of behaviour and ensures we behave in appropriate ways
It deals out pride for being good and guilt/shame for bad behaviour.
If there is too much superego you become over-controlled, obsessed about rules, afraid to experience pleasure.
Id The pleasure principle that undergoes completely unconscious motives aimed at avoiding pain and obtaining pleasure without
acknowledging the rules of society.
Includes the Life Instinct/Libido (drive for sexual pleasure) and Death Instinct (the drive toward aggression).
If there is too much id you become uncontrolled, impulsive, hostile, selfish, etc.
Psychodynamic The mind is full of psychological or intrapsychic forces that we are not consciously aware of, which motivate people’s actions.
Theory Such energy, established in early childhood, is the root of both healthy and maladaptive behaviour.
Consequences of Balancing the 3 Concepts of Personality:
Problem: Your Id wants to do inappropriate things and tension builds when you don’t allow it to do what it wants.
Consequence: Your ego needs to impose defense mechanisms to reduce tension between the Id and Superego.
Oral Stage Birth to 1 year: a baby’s interactions with the world and access to food are largely through their mouths.
Conflict: Id wants more “oral gratification” than the world can or is willing to provide.
If not resolved, the consequence is oral fixation, leading to overemphasis on oral gratification as adults (overeating, smoking, etc.).
Anal Stage 2-3 years old: key issue is control over body functions.
Conflict: Id does not want rules in cleanliness and body functions, while society demands toilet training and good hygiene.
If not resolved, anal fixation will occur, leading to lack of control or over-controlled responses to cleanliness related issues.
Phallic (Oedipal) Stage 4-5 years old: key issue is gaining opposite-sex parent’s love and attention.
Conflict: the same-sex parent is a competitor.
The goal is to adopt rules of social conduct proved by the same-sex parent to safelyget closer to the opposite-sex parent.
Failure to adequately resolve this conflict is critical in determining if one is capable of forming healthy relationships as an adult.
Latency Stage 6 years to puberty: intermission; nothing much happens by way of personality development other than making new friends.
Genital Stage Puberty to Adulthood: key issue is developing a healthy adult sexuality.
Conflict: Id wants sex whenever it likes; superego imposes constraints on that desire.
If not resolved, it leads to fixation, resulting in overly-repressed or overly-impulsive sexuality.
Objections to 1. The theory of Id, Superego, and Ego is too descriptive to be confirmed scientifically.
Psychodynamic 2. The theory was developed from a small number of clinical patients with unusual behavioural problems.
Theory 3. The theory seeks to make sense of current behavioural problems based on descriptions of childhood events.
The patient’s memory for the events might be distorted
Assumptions of childhood events causing later behaviour could be illusory
4. Theory strikes people as a bit male-centered:
Penis Envy: Freud thought that some emotional problems experienced by women stemmed from childhood
dissatisfaction with being female (a view later challenged by Karen Horney).
5. Kind of a bleak view of human nature due to all that emphasis on