Chapter 14 – Personality
Slide 11: Psychodynamic Approach: diverse sources of energy interact dynamically in each of us.
(dynamic = energy; has to do with the interplay between elements of psychi and how that
interplay requires energy.)
Sigmund Freud is the most famous proponent of this view.
Freud’s psychoanalytic theory begins with the idea that the mind exists on two basic levels:
conscious (ego, superego: the more relative part of the self; work to channel/restrain impulses)
and unconscious (id: what is happening in the id is not open to our perception/appreciation).
Freud believed that the mind has 3 basic structures; 3 important forces that are at play all the time
in determining what we do, how we think, and things we feel:
-Id: “troublemaker”; unconscious irrational source of primitive impulses; the Id wants
gratification, provides motivation in the form of hunger/sexual urges, etc, to satisfy the
urge for pleasure in instinctual manner; functions on the basis of the “pleasure principle”
-Ego: conscious and realistic; rational part of self; puts constraints on the Id; functions
of the basis of the “reality principle”
-Superego: both conscious and unconscious. Based on rules and prohibitions we have
internalized; moral/ethic considerations (person’s conscience) in regulating the Id’s
The interplay between the superego, ego, and id requires mental energy. In regulating the
impulses of the id, the superego says what we cannot do, the ego says what we should be
reasonable about – when energy is taken into that interplay, the individual becomes susceptible to
mental illnesses (because all of the energy is being spent dealing with conflicts within the
Slide 12: Defence Mechanisms (i.e. reaction formation, projection, sublimation, rationalization);
conflicts created by the id’s strong impulses and the inhibitions imposed by the ego and superego
can be very upsetting; when we have impulses that need to be regulated, we invoke mechanisms