PSYC 3530 Lecture Notes - Unconscious Mind, Vienna Circle, Iceberg

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Anxiety is the systems way of letting the person know that the ego is losing control, informing itself that id
or superego Is overwhelming from ego point of view
Anxiety is a sign that system is out of whack, to be protected against
Human mind has all kinds of mechanisms to defend itself from experiencing anxiety known as defence
mechanisms =different strategies to protect mind
There are different defences that people use depending on how they are particularly partial to it
Repression is the process of preventing unacceptable thoughts or feelings or urges from reaching
conscious awareness (hurt someone, break the law, etc)=you push the thought away, outside your
awarenessàthis defence mechanism is used by everyone, usually the thing we try first, a human
But repression doesn’t always work, some urges are so strong, so then we have auxiliary defences, where
we show individual preferences, wide range (17 or 18 defences)
The least mature and most primitive defence is denial, you allow it into consciousness, but you don’t
accept that it is true (make believe, pretend), refusal to accept this is the reality of what you thinking,
but the thought is in fact in your head, and your thinking it
More mature than denial is projection, more sophisticated, you take whatever thought or feeling that is
anxiety provoking, and you displace it on someone else, and then you can hate it on that person, e.g.
there are some people in your life who you are simply hostile towards for some unnatural reason, and
Freud thinks that maybe these attributes that you don’t approve in them are actually attributes you see
in yourself, rather than disdaining yourself, you look at the others and despise them (easier to deal
The highest form of defence, most matured and most sophisticated is the defence sublimination, where
you channel or redirect unacceptable thoughts/feelings into things that are socially desirable or
Freud thought much of artistic expression was subliminated into their paintings, where they receive social
rewards and positive attention, and he felt this was a good thing, because it allowed civilization to
maintain itself, redirect unacceptable into socially beneficial ways
Last aspect of Freud’s theories is the conscious mind and the unconscious mind, multiple layers of
conscious, preconscious to unconscious (topography of personality)
Conscious mind consists of all the thoughts and images that you are literally conscious of (everything in
access and you are aware of in your mind), which is the smallest part of your mind
Beneath the conscious is the preconscious, which includes all of those things, thoughts, feelings, urges,
and memories that were not consciously aware of at the moment, but we have access to, we can
become aware of (e.g. phone number), a larger portion of the mind
The largest part of the mind is the unconscious, the part that consists of all the memories, thoughts and
feelings that are unacceptable, anxiety provoking and cannot be allowed into consciousness (involving
trauma, violence, physical or sexual aggression, overwhelming difficult to cope with)
The pyramid of the layers depict an iceberg, the top of the iceberg and the smallest part of it is the
conscious, that is always seen and visible, the preconscious is just below the water, and if you try you
can see what is below the surface, but the majority of the iceberg, is the part you cannot see, like the
Freud’s assistant, Carl Young made impact in psychoanalysis
Carl young was born and raised in Swiss, he encountered Freud at the turn of the century and was
acknowledged in the Vienna circle, where young was the ‘heir apparent’, and Freud knew someone
would have to take his place, and fraud chose young as his successor
They both had their own ideas, that they both had to split
Young had psychotic episodes, that lasted about 4-6 years, and following that he did extensive amount of
writing about human nature, which is slightly more optimistic than Freud
Freud and young disagreed about the existence of the collective unconscious
They agreed upon the conscious ego
The second layer in young’s topography was called the personal unconscious, a combination of the
preconscious and unconscious minds from Freud’s pyramid which represented a substantial layer
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